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APRIL 2007
(Hold your mouse over a picture for its caption.)

April 1, 2007

We stopped to explore a light house on our way home from the beach.  It's the tenth tallest light house in the United States and has 219 steps to the top.  A long time ago, I vowed to ignore my fear of heights in order to do this kind of thing with my family, but not before Patrick "decided" he also was afraid of heights.  Alex led the way up while Patrick made all kinds of "nervous" comments on the way up about how high we were getting.  We stopped a few times on the way up to rest, but it wasn't nearly enough for my legs!  When we got to the top, the view was spectacular.  I had my back to the wall with the boys beside me, and after just a few minutes, Alex quietly said he wanted to go back down - now.  I was happy to oblige so I took the boys back down while Mark stayed up to take some pictures.  When we got to the bottom, I commented to Alex that I was surprised at his reaction at the top.  He said he was too, and decided that some things really are too high.  We were pretty tuckered after all the climbing, and I think it'll be some time before my legs will move properly again!

We've been traveling way too much lately, and I'm happy to say this is our last trip for a while.  I hate kenneling the dogs this much, especially with all of the problems we've been having training Dee Dee.  Mom stayed at the house with all three dogs this weekend so she could have some consistency, and it seems to have paid off.  If Mom is to be believed, they had a pretty good weekend, and Dee Dee seems to have actually improved with her sleep.  Thanks once again, Mom!

Way up there! It was really windy! Mark is the only one not leaning on the wall

The view from the top No wonder we were scared!

219 stairs - up AND down

The obligatory tourist shot The goofy tourist shot

Boo and Patch were happy to see each other

April 4, 2007

The boys and Mark have been home for the last two days with miserable colds.  By some miracle, I haven't caught it, thank God, because I had a crazy busy day today.  I did my usual volunteering in Patrick's class this morning.  I went from there to a closing, but got lost on the way and was an hour late.  Fortunately, the customers were very kind and didn't kill me, although I wouldn't have blamed them.  That put me late to pick up my little sister to take her to the zoo, so I had to bring her home with me so I could change clothes.  The boys have been anxious to meet her, anyway, so it worked out well.  Alex showed her the snakes while I changed, and then she and I had a wonderful afternoon at the zoo.  I got home at about 7:00, just in time to help Alex with a report that was due tomorrow.  Whew!

April 6, 2007

The schools are closed today, so Justin's dad and I packed up the kids and took them, plus a friend of Patrick's, off to the zoo.  We happened to hit all of the animals at the right time and were treated to great entertainment!  We fed the giraffes, had lorries perch and eat nectar from our hands, watched two otters romp and play, and gave palm leaves to spider monkeys, who took them from us with their tails.  The kids ran themselves ragged, and all was well.  :-)

Four of our boys waiting to feed the giraffe Alex got a nibble

Patrick's turn Hey!  Where'd everybody go?

This little bird kept flying straight at the kids' faces! Alex feeding a lory

Patrick's turn Don't bite me!

Alex wanted to feed one in the tree A bunch of wild and crazy guys!

The otters stopped long enough for a picture Patrick got a high-10 (8?)

Measuring up to a vulture's wingspan Alex was surfing the turtle Climbing fools

April 7, 2007

Patrick has been dying to do a back flip on the trampoline, but hasn't had the nerve.  Mark talked him through it today and he got it!  He was so excited, it's all he talked about!

Dee Dee was cheering him on Up and over!

April 8, 2007

H A P P Y   E A S T E R !

We had an awesome Easter day of fun!  The kids woke us up at 7:00 (the earliest permissible time), and fortunately, the Easter Bunny had just left.  ;-)  We had our annual picnic with all of the neighbors, but we had to forego the water balloon fight because, for the first year ever, it was too cold!  But it was perfect weather for a huge football game in the street.  The dads had to gang up on Alex to keep the game fair.  LOL  We had tons and tons of food and the festivities went well into the evening.

Mark and Greg going after Alex (yellow shirt) as he catches the ball Mark with Alex and Patch

That mass of arms and legs are all tackling Alex Mark with Steven and Patch

Boo saying Hello to Justin's new dog, Jovi

April 13, 2007

Founders Day, the big celebration at the school to celebrate the founder of our school, is just a week away, and of course, I'm on the committee and also in charge of volunteers, so things are getting quite crazy.  At least now I know from experience that I will have time for nothing else for the next week, and Mark is on deck for kid duty.  I did find time tonight to take Patrick to gymnastics, since I haven't been in a couple of weeks.  He's improving by leaps and bounds!  LOL

Just look at that form

April 14, 2007

We have always asked for Alex and Justin to be placed on the same football team, but this season it didn't happen.  Today was the first game of the season, and wouldn't ya know, they played each other.  They went into it with good spirits, and actually ended up head to head on the field a few times.  Fortunately, the teams were very well matched, and they tied nothing to nothing.  Even with no score, it was a very exciting game, and the boys felt good about it.  The weather has finally warmed up to more what we're used to this time of year, so after the game we got out the slip n' slide to cool down.

Patch and Daddy watching Alex's game

Alex wins! Patrick loves warming up in the sun

April 16, 2007

Alex had dinner at a friend's house tonight, so Patrick invited his friend to come to a Japanese restaurant with us where they cook in front of us.  The chef catered to the kids and they laughed their heads off.

Cutie pies The onion volcano

April 17, 2007

Mark's aunt Linda had extensive surgery today to remove cancer from her lung.  She did well through the surgery, and her prognosis is good, but we sure could use all of the prayers we can get. 

April 20, 2007

Founders Day finally arrived, and while it's something we've put tons of hours into, I'm always so glad when it's over.  :-)  The committee members met at the school at 9:00 this morning to set up.  While I was there for set-up, Patrick attended the AR (accelerated reader) party so I was able to snap a picture of him getting his trophy.  The party is for students who have earned 75 AR points, and the trophies are for those who have earned 125.  I've got to brag and say that Patrick actually had over 200 points.  Dat's my little book worm!

After that little break, it was back to Founders Day work.  About a dozen of us set up the tables, arranged the baskets for the auction, coordinated food vendors, put up signs and tents, and a million other things to get ready.  There were about a dozen of us, and I'm proud to say, we were all moms and did EVERYTHING without the help of one man!  LOL  The event was a huge success with many more than the 1,000 people we expected.  The only snafu was when the rain started half-way through the auction.  But none of us melted, and I finally dragged myself back home at about 8:30 p.m.  We'll all be sleeping well tonight!

Hammin' for the camera Trophy time

April 22, 2007

Mark got a phone call last week from an old friend he'd gone to grade school with saying that there would be a carnival at the school today.  We drove over today and went to the carnival with KC and his family, and met up with two of his old classmates and their families.  The kids had a blast on the carnival rides, and afterwards we went to KC's for the kids to swim.  We topped off the day with a boat ride to Bahama Breeze for dinner.  It was a beautiful afternoon and we had a wonderful visit.  The kids especially enjoyed playing with their cousins.

I forgot my camera, but here are some cherished memories:

- Preston pushing Alex into the pool
- The three boys playing Monkey in the Middle
- Danielle turning on the charm when we said how cute she is
- The four kids together on the front of the boat
- Preston showing Alex his remote control T-Rex

April 23, 2007

I took Dee Dee for a car ride while I took care of some HOA business around the neighborhood this afternoon.  We drove behind one of the ponds to talk to the landscaper and I figured we were far enough from the road that I'd try letting Dee Dee out of the car.  She had a blast running in and out of the woods and tearing around like crazy.  She even came running when I called her - until she saw the momma duck with her baby ducks in the pond.  She flew into the pond!  The baby ducks scattered off to the other side of the pond, but the momma duck stayed to keep Dee Dee away from her babies.  She did a darn good job, too!  That duck swam down under Dee Dee and would pop up on her other side.  Dee Dee was swimming vertically, splashing water everywhere and barking her fool head off.  The duck then just swam around her in circles.  It was very effective.  Dee Dee kept swimming straight up and down, which is not very efficient and very noisy and splashy, while she rotated to keep track of the duck.  This was absolutely hilarious to watch, but I soon realized that there were no signs of this little dance stopping.  Two of the neighbors came out of their houses to see what was the racket, and we all agreed she would soon exhaust herself and come out.  But after about 20 minutes, her hunting instincts were far outweighing her stamina and I started to get a bit worried.  I started walking around the corner of the pond to talk to one of the neighbors, and when Dee Dee saw me walking away, she came out of the pond to follow me.  Whew - crisis averted!  But that'll be her last little romp in the woods for awhile!

April 26, 2007

The boys went to the dentist today to have their teeth cleaned, and we got a few small surprises.  Alex has been complaining about a sore molar, so I was preparing for his first cavity.  The dentist was funny.  We mentioned the sore tooth to him, and he looked at the x-rays and said, "I'm surprised his whole mouth doesn't hurt!"  Turns out he's got molars coming in right and left and currently has five loose molars.  He also said that Alex will probably be in braces by this time next year.

Patrick has some crooked teeth in front, so the dentist did a panoramic x-ray to see what was causing it.  Turns out two of his adult teeth are pushing aside the roots of two other adult teeth, making them buck out.  We need to get him to the orthodontist to see if early intervention will help.

Time to start playing the lottery!

April 29, 2007

Alex has gotten to be quite the yard helper for Mark.  He enjoys helping mow the lawn, although he cannot do the whole thing before pooping out.  He's getting so grown up!

Child labor

Nothing like a bunch of fruit on a hot day A well-deserved cool down

While we were hanging out with the neighbors this afternoon, Mark was inspired to help the kids climb the big oak tree.  They LOVE it!

Many hands make less work - hopefully! Testing out the ladder

He made it!