Sunday, August 30, 2009

Last Summer Hoorah

This past Wednesday we did our last Hoorah of the summer. A trip to WI Dells to see the magic show.

I had a friend watch Nathan for me so John and I could just take the older boys. We went to the Rick Wilcox Magic show. We stopped at Moose Jaw for a pizza and games before the show and had a great time there. David and I are addicted to "deal or no deal".

The magic show was worth ever dollar we spent. Now that is a lot coming from me. I expect a lot when I spend $39 a seat for a magic show. If you have never seen this show I would highly recommend it. My boys were wide eyed and open mouthed thru much of the show. Caleb laughed out loud several times. We were CLOSE and could see how things were done - well sort of. At one point John asked Caleb "How did he do that?" to which Caleb replied "Magic!"

It was magic - thanks Rick for the great show and the end note of this summer.

oh and one more thing - they were selling light sabers and this time we bought them.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Sun Praire Corn Festival

Sunday after church we went over to the Sun Praire corn festival. Enjoying our last fair of the season. We again ate all kinds of fair food - but no corn, funny. Man did I pay for that later - getting to old for this - sigh.

The boys ran thru the fun house and Caleb and David enjoyed the bumper cars. The smile on Caleb's face was HUGE!

Nathan got his arm painted with balloons and Caleb got the bat symbol on his hand. All 3 boys bounced around in the bounce houses for quiet a while. David got his first turn trying to shoot out the whole star with the shotgun shooting game. He really did good. We kept that paper star. It was sort of a right of passage - he really is growing up fast.

Caleb got to throw his first dart at the "pop a balloon" game. He actually popped one. We were all surprised by that. Of course his balloon was a point value of 1 and the light saber on display was 16 points. Oh well, it was a good lesson once again we don't get the light saber. 'Can't have every one you see you know. Maybe next time we told him.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Circus is in town

This past week we took all 3 boys to the circus. It was actually right here in Evansville. It was pretty 2nd rate but let me tell you my boys didn't care. The lions and tigers were CLOSE!! A bit unnerving to mom and dad - (Let's hope that cage is secure!) at the end of the video you can hear David saying that he is scared for the people in the cage.

The clown was actually funny. A first for us I think. The unicycle was absolutely amazing to Caleb who just learned to ride a bike with training wheels this summer.

Of course there was cotton candy and all sorts of assorted junk. We told the kids they could get cotton candy but not balloons or toys before heading into the show. Knowing full well the repeated asking for them would occur once we entered the big top. I think everywhere we go someone is selling swords or light sabers. This is just the thing Caleb is looking for. The vendors see us and think - hey 3 boys tlet's go over there with these light ups swords! It was a hard thing for him to go without but let's be real, it is a lesson he and all other boys and girls can stand to learn. We are so spoiled. We are continually discussing what is a need and what is a want. Sometimes I think we are getting thru, sometimes not so much.

Nathan was so excited about the animals and the close proximity of the jugglers and tightrope walkers he was a blast. Here is a clip.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Navy Pier

I almost forgot to post about our trip to Chicago's Navy Pier. We went the first week of August.

We did have some fun, but let me tell you, I would have to rank this as one of the bottom the list things we did this summer. Considering dollar for dollar it would definitely rank dead last in value.

Clearly the so called recession hasn't hit Chicago's navy pier. Yikes. $7 for a single scoop ice cream? That is $21 bucks for my 3 boys to get a single scoop cone! $24 to park the van for 2 hours? $6 tolls to drive there? That is $51 bucks to get there to sit at the pier and have a single scoop. Hmmmm. Add the cost of gas for our mini van and we are looking at $100 bucks for a trip to the shore and a little creamed milk. 0h and a 4 hour round trip van drive - not really worth it. It will be a LONG time before we take the kids back there let me tell ya. Pretty much a bust - but fortunately the only real bust of the summer.

'Did get one cute picture though:

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Celebration of Life

A "celebration of life" day it was indeed. Today we spent half of the day at a funeral and the other half at a birthday party. Pretty weird actually.

Our 3rd sons middle name is Russell, which is named after our dear friend Russ Seils. Russ died this past Wednesday and his funeral was today. Russ was an extraordinary man. As a friend at his funeral put it today: "He was a quiet man, but yet one of great substance." So very true.

As a new comer at Monona Oaks Church 14 years ago it was Russ and his wife Beulah who were among the first couples to welcome us Baierls. They invited us to their home, invited us out to eat an a few occasions and we began to learn more about this extraordinary man. He had a sharp whit, a twinkle in his eye for his bride, and a smile that was boyish (AKA Naughty) even in his old age. He was a World War II veteran (Pacific) who fought behind enemy lines. He gave John a sword bayonet that hangs on our office wall to this day. As he put it: "I picked this up off a dead Jap on the battlefield". Russ is so representative of that generation of men who served their country, lived during desperate times, and remained filled with joy. Men who knew how to stand in the gap, work hard, choose right, lead and provide for their families, and serve his neighbor with whatever they had.

This is so lacking today. I think we could benefit from some hard times, learn from our failures and provide for ourselves thru some good old WORK like they did before the welfare system was around. But sadly as Russ' generation dies the population drifts farther into the "gimmie gimmie generation". Frankly, we need a spanking and detention work, but I digress.

As I sat in his funeral today,my mind flashed back to St. Mary's Hospital 2 years ago. While walking the halls of the maternity ward in an effort to encourage Nathan to be born, John asked me revisit Nathan's middle name. Naming our children is serious business to me. I did much research on names and their heritage and meanings before assigning them to my boys. All of my boys have Biblical names after Godly men. They are all Hebrew in origin. Their middle names are all after men who we held in high respect. So this was no simple flippant discussion. But when he suggested Nathan's middle name be Russell after Russ Seils, I agreed. I called my friend to check the meaning of Russell between contractions in the hallway. (In case Russell meant "willfully disobedient" or worse - remember the boyish smile I wrote about above) She called back saying it meant "little red one".

Once Nathan was born, we both smiled at the small wonder of him, because he was our littlest one (8 lbs even - yes that was our smallest!) and he was indeed red. HA! Nathan Russell Baierl indeed.

For his sake, I pray we do right by his namesake, and teach him the character he needs to represent the name Russell.

Russ' funeral was a great funeral for my boys to attend. He lived a full life, he loved the Lord, and everyone was happy about his recent promotion.

The second half of the day we got to spend with family enjoying Zach's 10th birthday. We changed out of our church suits (the boys looked so handsome) and into our tank tops and shorts and grabbed the gift bag of legos. Back to the world of growing up, not growing old and that too was yet another celebration of life.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A Couple of Caleb Quickies

I know I am repeating myself when I say that 3 and 4 are my favorite kid years. The stuff that comes out of kids mouths at that age is so darn fun. Here is a couple of Caleb goodies:

Mom: "Caleb, it is time to get ready for bed. I have your tooth brush ready for you in the bathroom. Please go potty, brush your teeth, rinse, swish and spit."

Caleb: "Ok mom" (imagine running feet to the bathroom, racing his big brother to the door, and a few giggles when he wins)

Mom after a few minutes: "Caleb?"

Caleb out of breath running to return to the living room:" Ok, I go'd potty, rinsed, swished and pissed."

Mom: "you what?" (trying hard not to die laughing at this slip of the tongue)

Next one

Tonight while sitting in the bathroom waiting for Caleb to finish his "big job" He looks over at me and begins this conversation - remember he is on the pot and I am privileged to have a front row seat:

"Mom when I sit on the toilet, the pee is first and then poop is second. But when I stand, the pee comes but I tell the poop not to come out. But the poop only comes out after I eat, not every time I pee."

Mom: "Ok, then I guess if you don't want to poop you should stop eating. That would solve that." (joking around of course)

Caleb: "I can't stop eating! Then I would die! You would miss me soooo much!"

Mom:"Yeah and you would get real hungry too, if you stopped eating, wouldn't you? and you are right I would really miss you terrible. giggle."

Caleb: giggle giggle giggle

Friday, August 7, 2009

Who invented this stuff?

We just got our new dining room floor installed. It is beautiful.

I spent a few hours the night before ripping up the old berber carpet and happily dragging it to the side of the road. (It reminded me of the post where I put the crib at the curb) I wash my hands of you old carpet. Curses to whoever made that berber junk and to me who was sold on the "quality berber carpet" that I foolishly put in the dining room (Give me some grace I didn't have 3 kids then)

Clearly the person who had made that berber junk did not have to clean it. Whoever invented that carpet should have done a test run in a family of little kids with mac and cheese and peas. I assure you it was not a housewife who made that stuff. Shame on me for being the one who bought it. But I have redeemed myself with this new pick (I have a few more years, and kids, under my belt now)

Now we have beautiful pergo laminate wood in the dining room that matches the original woodwork to the T. Not an easy thing when the house is 140 years old. I went to Home Depot and told the worker there "I have 3 boys, run a part time daycare and I want a floor that can be USED! Boy do I mean USED! I am talking matchbox cars, diecast airplanes, bouncy balls, action figure battlefields, dirty tennis shoes, snow boots and of course spilled food and drink of every kind times 3." She said - "You need laminate - either pergo wood or laminate tile."

Since home depot only had light colored laminate tile I went the pergo wood route. If they had something the color of good ol' fashioned dirt, I would have bought that. But this will do.

Now we can eat rice. :) It is sweep and swiffer, all done clean. I love it!

Whoever invented the swiffer should receive the nobel peace prize. What a dream, you spray, you push, you smile at the results. Even better it can be operated by a boy who needs a house job. :)

Speaking of house work. Yesturday I was at a physical for myself, and I was asked to describe myself using the following words on the card:

self employed

Hmmmmmmmmm what to say, what to say. I resist the urge to listen to the devil on my left shoulder and answer housewife. That is when it occurs to me, the word housewife is appropriate because when you stay home with kids, it really is the house you are married to isn't it? Notice how housewife was at the bottom of the list? - I did.

Who invented that list? Probably not the same person who invented the swiffer.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Caleb's first try at sports - baseball camp

After a summer of sitting in the bleachers watching big brother David play baseball, Caleb was ready to participate in his first organized sport. We enrolled him in Baseball camp (David too) and he is doing great. The ratio is pretty much one coach to one 4 and 5 year old and this is serving him well. When he has 5 free seconds he is playing in the dirt so John has been keeping him involved in the "organized" part of the sport.

After his 1st day at camp (1 1/2 hours/2 days a week) he informed me how to swing the bat correctly.

"Coach says you swing like this : LEVEL. You don't chop! LEVEL"

In print it really misses the candor of his eyes and hands and his voice which was very teacher like. As if I don' t know how to swing a bat, oh that is right I forgot, mom doesn't really know anything!

Nathan is also catching on to the sport after a summer of watching other kids play. He realizes that once the ball is hit, you run. I got a cute clip of his "running the bases".

I guess baseball really is America's past time. It sure is for us Baierls.