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MAY 2008
(Hold your mouse over a picture for its caption.)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Thank God for good friends!  Patrick and I were just about to walk out the door for his guitar lesson when Sherry called from her car, parked in front of my house, asking if I wanted to ride with her.  Ride with her where?  To parents night at the middle school.  Ack!  I'd completely forgotten!  Mark grabbed Patrick and ran out the door while Alex and I ran out the door to ride with Sherry.  Whew!  The fifth graders had a field trip last week to tour the middle school, and Alex slipped right into being our tour guide at the school.  I'm not the least bit worried about him changing to the "big" school now.  He led us straight to the cafeteria, and was completely comfortable on the tour.  Ahhh.

Friday, May 2, 2008

I see progress on the pool ! ! !  Mark has been working his tail off on it, with intermittent help from various pool people, and he's got quite a lot of work to do over the weekend to get things ready for when all of these pool people come next week to make the final push to FINISH it!  We're so excited - there's an end in sight!

Justin and Steven were hanging out at the house this evening, so Mark invited them over to stay the night.  By Friday nights, I'm exhausted, so he took over completely with the kids so I could go to bed early.  I have no idea when he came to bed or when the kids went to bed, but he did tell me that Alex woke him up at 1:30 because the other kids wouldn't settle down and he wanted to go to sleep. 

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Mark and I have spent yesterday and today baking in the back yard working on the yard and the pool.  Well, Mark MUCH more than me.  He had to dig the deep end of the pool down another 6 inches, since so much dirt has moved around after four weeks of sitting idle in the weather.  I removed the rose garden (which has left my arms looking like I've been in a fight with an angry cat), and cleaned up seven 35-gallon bags of trash from the yard.  Grrrr.  I'm so proud of Mark - he's really put a lot of just plain hard labor into the pool, as well as handled a lot of the coordination of people to make it happen.  All the while taking care of sick and/or hurt kids while I enjoy the peace and quiet of work!  ;-)

Speaking of sick kids, it looks like we'll have two sickies home from school again tomorrow.  They both woke up with fevers and sore throats this morning (no wonder after staying up until the wee hours on Friday night) and spent the day lying around the house moaning and groaning.  Mom was a knight in shining armor when she came by this afternoon with a knitting needle for Alex (his arm under his cast is itching him like mad) and ice creams for both boys.

We did have a bit of excitement today - Cassie laid 11 eggs this afternoon.  Seeing new life in the making is always incredible!

Grendel wants to help!

Monday, May 5, 2008

I didn't even bother to wake anybody up for school this morning.  I had a nice, quiet, non-hectic morning and snuck out the door for work without a peep.  Mark called me later and told me that yes, indeed, they were both still sick, and Patrick still had a fever.  They were both still miserable when I got home from work, and Patrick's fever had gone up, not down.  Ugh.

Mark had to go out and do more work on the pool tonight, and I had to run off to another parent meeting for middle school, so Mark asked Patrick if he would clean up the kitchen after dinner.  Bless him - as sick as he is, he did his best.  I've never shown him anything about cleaning up the kitchen, and with that in mind, he did a fabulous job!  But I had to laugh when I looked in the dishwasher.  I brought my lunch Tupperware home from work and put it on the counter.  He put it in the dishwasher . . . with the top still on!  I didn't have the heart to tell him, and waited until after he was in bed to fix it, but it sure was funny!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Mark took both boys to the doctor this morning, and can you believe it?  The have STREP!  By the time I got home from work, the antibiotic had already worked on Patrick and he's doing much better.  He even reminded me tonight when I tucked him in to wake him up for school tomorrow.  Alex on the other hand, is doing worse, not better.  He asked to go to bed an hour early, and now his fever has gone up.  His symptoms seem to be a day behind Patrick's, so I'm hoping that means he'll get better by tomorrow, since he's also on the antibiotic.  When are we going to wake up from this bad dream?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I need to clarify something I wrote yesterday.  I had said that both boys had strep.  Well, apparently that's not the case.  In actuality, Patrick tested positive for strep and Alex tested negative, but since they both came down with the same symptoms, same fevers, same sore throats, on the same day, the doctor reasonably suggested that Alex would have probably tested positive the next day and thus treated them both with antibiotics.  It would appear, however, that Alex has a pesky virus, and not something that can be fixed with a few pills.  While Patrick is happily back at school and had a great gymnastics lesson tonight, Alex is still comatose on the couch.

Now for the positive of the day - our pool actually is starting to look like a pool!  Woohoo!  The crew (for lack of a better word) came out today and put down a two-inch layer of a special cement mixture over the entire bottom of the pool and it looks terrific!  Now that things are moving along again, they're moving fast!

 This guy did an INCREDIBLE job with the finishing Talk about backing yourself into a corner

So that's how it's done!

WOW! Patrick is "swimming"

Thursday, May 8, 2008

  Alex was home again today, but not allowed to use anything electronic, since he's quite the electronics junkie.  So he read his book -until he finished it at 9:30 a.m.  He called me at work, wondering what to do with the rest of his day.  Once again, Mom came to the rescue.  She bought him the next book in a series he's been reading, and stayed for a few hours and played cards with him.  She also brought all of the workers lunch.  What a lady!

It's been a rather busy day!  Mark and the guys put the liner in the pool, and when I got home from work, the deep end was already full of water!  Apparently it's quite a delicate process to make sure all of the wrinkles are out of the liner as the water fills.

Patrick was supposed to have his guitar lesson tonight, but I learned at the last minute that Alex's science fair is also tonight at the same time.  Mark had a conference call tonight, as well as one of the pool guys here to monitor the liner/filling of the pool, so I had to cancel Patrick's guitar lesson and Alex and I rushed over to school for the science fair.  It's amazing the experiments the kids had come up with!

After we got home, the pull of the water was too much to resist.  Mark gave the okay and we were in the pool!!!!!  The slope from shallow to deep end was surprisingly slippery, and in no time Alex had slipped and gotten soaked - cast and all.  Well, what the heck.  It's not every day you get to take the first dip in your new pool.  But we are going to have to figure out a way to get a new cast put on him tomorrow.

Our wonderful helpers putting in the liner It's all coming together!

Walking down to cut holes for the drains

Goofball Posing (not well!) with his exhibit

Checking out a classmate's exhibit

WE'RE   S-W-I-M-M-I-N-G ! ! !

Friday, May 9, 2008

Patrick and a friend went to gymnastics tonight, and Alex went to Justin's house for dinner, and . . . OMG! . . . Mark and I were ALONE!  We headed out to a restaurant we've been meaning to try, and had a very peaceful meal with intelligent conversation.  Ahhhhh.  :-)

The excavators came back today and backfilled around the pool and pre-graded the yard.  What a difference it made!  We can actually walk through the yard now (well - dirt) without sliding and falling into ditches!  And poor Boudreaux is much happier.  All of that rough terrain sure was hard on his old legs.

It actually looks like it might belong there.  :-)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

We received the very sad news this evening that Mark's grandmother passed away today.  She was an amazing woman who was loved by everyone who knew her, and she will be missed.  She was 94 years old and was the head of quite a clan (let me see if I can get this right) - she had three sons, ten grandchildren, and 25 great grandchildren.  We sure are going to miss her.

Great Papa and Great Nana at our wedding way back when

As the pool fills up, the liner gets pushed into place by the water, and Mark has been having to go out and tweak it every so often.  Today he had to put on the fittings over the skimmers and jets, and cut the liner out from the middle of each hole.  He was quite a sight sitting in the pool with his tools and sun hat.  :-)

The only way to work in 94 degree weather!

Sunday, May 11, 2008


We ended up having a wonderful Mothers Day!  Patrick woke me up with a very cute little flower pot he'd decorated and put in wooden flowers with chores written on them that I can ask him to do, and the sweetest note I've ever seen.  Alex made me a certificate for being the Best "and Naggiest" Mom - although it later states that my nagging has actually saved his butt a few times.  :-)

My Aunt Jin just came into town yesterday, and she and my mom are going on a vacation tomorrow to visit with their cousins, and then to join her church group on a trip to New England.  Since Mark and his mom are traveling together up to New Jersey for Great Nana's funeral, we had everybody over here for a Mothers Day dinner.  It was a wonderful visit and so awesome to have both of our moms with us!  Alex gave up his bed for Nana, and when she walked into his room and saw the life-sized picture of Peyton Manning on the wall, she said she hadn't realized she wouldn't be sleeping alone!  LOL

Monday, May 12, 2008

OMG - what a l-o-n-g day!  I woke up at 4:45 this morning (a/k/a the middle of the friggin' night!) so I could get ready for work, pick up Mom and Aunt Jin and get them to the airport and get back in time to get the kids off to school and Mark and his mom could go to the airport for their flight.    By some miracle, it all went smoothly and off to the peace of work I went.  Alex's eye started hurting him yesterday and was getting suspiciously red, but I found some eye drops from the last time he had pink eye, and they seem to be doing the trick, thank God.  I don't know how on earth I'd fit in yet another doctor appointment this week! 

Besides all of that, I have also suddenly been thrown in charge of the swimming pool construction.  I managed to fit in a few phone calls about it at work, and hopefully things are still moving along in the right direction. 

This afternoon when I got home, Alex stopped in the kitchen, said, "Wait, I have to pull out my tooth." and reached into his mouth and pulled out a molar!  Ewwwww!  It was his VERY LAST baby tooth!  Does this mean I can't call him my baby anymore? 

By the end of May, the pool was finished, although it was still surrounded by dirt. 

It may not look great, but technically, the POOL is done!

Alex & Justin hangin' out The boy knows now to relax

Boudreaux is enjoying the shade on the nice level sand.  LOL

I can walk! Ah, that's better

Alex and Patch made their own egg breakfast.

Mutt and Jeff

Patrick is still enjoying shooting his bow.  We found a local shooting range with an indoor (i.e., air conditioned!) archery range, and Mark and Patrick worked out a safe area to shoot in the back yard as well, so he's getting a bunch of practice.