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April, 2005
(Hold your mouse over a picture for its caption.)

April 1, 2005

When I woke Patrick up for school this morning, he asked me what day it was.  I said it was Friday.  He sleepily said, "This isn't an April Fools joke, is it?"  LOL

April 2, 2005

The boys had their first football game of the season, which was Patrick's first football game ever.  It was so much fun to cheer on both of my boys at the same time.  We won't discuss the score, but they played very well!

Patch is at center (bent over) and Alex is second from the right

April 3, 2005

A group of parents met today to try to organize ourselves for the bus battle.  The safety council has asked me and another woman to be the spokespersons for the parents.  I can't tell if that's because I have sound ideas or I have the loudest voice.  LOL  The council will be walking the route on Friday morning, when the children would be heading to school, to see first-hand what we're all screaming about.  I've received a copy of the communication from the county to the safety council asking the council to reevaluate our route, and I now understand the pressure the council is under.  It seems that now that the construction is complete, the state will no longer pay for our bus, and the county doesn't want to pick up the tab.

April 4, 2005

This week is going to be nuts!  Friday night the PTA is putting on its annual Founders Day Fun Night at the school, obviously in honor of the founder of the school.  Each class contributes a themed basket for a ticket auction, and there is all kinds of fun stuff for the kids like bouncy houses and face painting.  Not only am I room mother for two classes, which means I have been collecting donations from parents and arranging the baskets, but I also got snookered into chairing the volunteer committee.  At our last meeting this morning, I found out I need six more volunteers per shift, and I'm out of people!  Aaaaaaaaargh!

April 8, 2005

Mark has been away on business for the last few days, and the poor guy had to get the kids off to school this morning while I met with the safety council to walk to school.  Along with the safety council members, there were a handful of parents and two sheriff's deputies.  I walked with the deputies for a stretch, and they were appalled that children as young as five years old would be walking there.  They even radioed for a radar gun as the cars were whizzing by.  At the end of the walk, the council stepped away and voted on the spot to continue the busing.  BUT, the decision is only a postponement until October so the council can try to make the route safer to walk.  We won the battle, but not the war yet.

I've been on the phone all week calling in every favor I know to get enough volunteers for tonight's Founders Day.  It ended up being a wonderful evening that went off without a hitch - and we even won a basket full of sporting goods!

It's been a helluva a week, but in the end, all is well.  :-)

April 9, 2005

Mark took the boys and their friend, Justin, geocaching again.  They had a much better time, and found an x-Box cache where they traded one of their games.

Motley crew

April 10, 2005

The local mall had a Play Day to benefit the schools in the area.  Each school is responsible for a game at a booth, and also provides a teacher for a shift in the dunk tank.  Of course, the dunk tank is the biggest draw.  We passed by the teacher from our school in the mall as he was going to check in.  He asked Alex if he could throw, and Alex proudly smiled and said, "quarterback!"  We ended up passing on the dunk tank, since the line went outside the building, but it was fun to watch.

April 13, 2005

The construction crew came today to start tearing down our porch.  It's amazing how quickly they gutted it!  Now it's a nice big sandbox, which is quickly working its way into my living room.

Before After

April 14, 2005

Ever since the kids started playing Tony Hawk (a skateboarding game) on the x-Box, Patrick has been wanting a new skateboard.  The one he had is a kiddie one that he can't turn.  He finally saved his allowance and got a real one today.  Mark, Alex and Patrick took turns on the old and new skateboards.  We haven't dug out the elbow and knee pads - it's a miracle no one went to the hospital!

Not too bad Trying to use the stance he sees in the game - he's not really going fast

April 15, 2005

Alex, Patrick and Justin sit together on the bus, and apparently today on the way home Patrick and Justin got into a fight and Patrick tried to beat the daylights out of him.  My poor mom met them at the bus while I was at a closing and had to deal with the immediate aftermath.  It worked out well from a parenting standpoint because she called and told me about it, then I called Mark and we were able to figure out how to handle it calmly.  When I got home I asked Patrick what had happened.  Here's how the conversation went:

Me:  So what happened on the busy today?
Patch:  Justin wouldn't let me see his book.
Me:  And then what happened.
Patch:  I just wanted to see his book!
Me:  And then what happened.
Patch:  You must already know if you're asking me about it!

Part of his punishment was that he had to write a note to Justin apologizing.  His first draft went like this:

Dear Justin, Sorry about the thing on the bus, but you should apolajize for hurting my feelings.

Mark sent him back to try again, and here's the final product:

Dear Justin, Sorry about the thing on the bus.  Please eksepet this apolazashen.  From Patrick.

April 19, 2005

Tomorrow is Alex's teacher's birthday, and as luck would have it, she took today off so I had free access to the kids.  I took pictures of each of them and made her a flower pot of faces.  I think it turned out pretty well!

Happy class Happy Patch

April 22, 2005

Mark has been out of town all week, and my clients need their loans closed by the end of the week in order for them to fund this month, so I've been gone almost every evening at closings.  The kids have had a babysitter or my mom put them to bed for three nights in a row, and the poor guys are completely over it.  Mark drove into town tonight just in time for football practice, as I drove off for more closings again.  I know my job is a dream most of the time, but right now I'm feeling that classic struggle between work and kids.  :-(

April 23, 2005

We got a surprise call from our good friends, Karen and Zim, saying they're in town so we had them over for dinner tonight.  They also have two boys, so the kids got some good old-fashioned play time while we got caught up.  Zim showed me how a piano is supposed to sound and showed Alex some of the finer points of ad libbing.  Patrick played both piano and guitar for them.  What a great visit with good friends!

April 24, 2005

Patrick has been very cranky the last few days, but today he was full of laughs.  We had some sauerkraut left over from last night, and Mark had some on his hot dog at lunch.  He jokingly offered Patrick a bite, and Patrick said, "You just wasted a perfectly good hot dog." 

This afternoon we went to ride go carts.  At first Patrick wanted to go in the two-seater with me, but changed his mind and went alone.  Mark then took Alex over to the 8-and-up cars (his first time on them) and Patrick and I rode together on the little cars.  I used up eight of my nine lives trying not to grab the wheel as I hid my face from the people we rammed.  During one of my screams, Patch said, "This is why I didn't want you to come with me before."

And on the way home, Mark was teasing the boys saying we had tons and tons of shopping to do on the way home.  Of course, we all knew he was kidding, and Patrick reminded him that we had told them that today was their day.  Actually, he said, "Dad, this is our day, with a capital OW!"

Alex (red car) with Patrick (yellow car) hot on his heels Me hiding behind my hand while Patrick imitates Mario Andretti

April 25, 2005

I've been battling a cough for a few weeks, and Friday (of course, just before the weekend) my ear started hurting.  By Saturday I realized I had an ear infection, so I went to the doctor first thing this morning.  So strange that I haven't had a cold or felt sick at all except for this nagging cough, and now this.  I'll tell ya what, now I know why my kids were always so cranky when they had ear infections - this hurts!

April 29, 2005 

The boys had a big day at school today.  It was Jobs on Wheels day, and the parking lot was filled with all kinds of work vehicles.  Alex's class only got to see a few before we headed off on a field trip to Pinnochio's, a marionette theater, to see Hansel and Gretel.  The puppets and Puppeteers were absolutely amazing!  Then we were off to Chick-fil-A for lunch.  This was definitely one of the easier field trips to chaparone!

We finally have concrete!  While we were gone, the workers came and poured the porch/patio floor.  I wanted to put the kids' handprints in the concrete, but when I got home from the field trip, the concrete was already almost hard.  Now, don't laugh, but I was so set on the handprints, I actually went and pulled the kids from class for 20 minutes to run them home and stick their hands in it! 

 Checking out the firetruck Patch at the firetruck

Being goofy

Decorating more windows before they're removed Adding to Alex's sea life decor

April 30, 2005 

This football season has been rather trying, with a string of frustrating losses.  Patch has been moaning that he's not doing anything for the team and he "might as well not even be there."  Well, everything finally clicked this morning.  Patch pulled his first flag - and went on to pull three more!  Alex pulled eight flags, caught an interception, and was declared the MVP of the game.  We were all on Cloud 9 for the rest of the day!