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September 1, 2006

We're back in the doldrums of same-ole, same-ole since school started.  I don't have many photo ops anymore, and not really many stories either.  It's just school, homework, dinner, and bed, with the occasional practice or game thrown in. 

We're still raising our ten little baby snakes, and they're all doing quite well.  The big snakes were cuddling with each other today so we snapped some pictures.  This is Cassy, Arrow and our yearling, Billy.

These guys are surprisingly social with each other

September 2, 2006

Mark's been itching to have a party, so he threw an international beer tasting party tonight for "Slacker's Day," not to be confused with Labor Day tomorrow.  We invited a bunch of neighbors and friends, and the kids had root beer floats while the adults sampled beers that everyone had brought from the country of their heritage.  The kids ranged from 14 years old to 9 months old, and amazingly, they all played beautifully together in the play room and let us adults relax and enjoy.

September 5, 2006

Patrick had his first soccer practice today (at least since he was about 4 years old).  He's been soooooo excited to be playing and was thrilled when today finally arrived.  He was even more excited when he realized he's one of the tallest kids on his team.  He's gotten it into his head that he's too small to be good at anything, which is really sort of funny given that he's definitely not small for his age.  I guess it's a hazard of playing with his big brother all the time.

September 9, 2006

Patrick went to a bowling birthday party for one of his best buddies, John.

These two goofballs are perfect together!

September 13, 2006

Mark and his boys are such good buddies.  :-)

Check out the name of Alex's book!

September 15, 2006

Patch finally had his first soccer game!  He has been so excited!  He played incredibly well and loved every minute of it.

Warming up before the game Daddy tying his cleats

Kicking a goalie kick OK, so that one got by him.  LOL

Even though they scored, he was still happy as a clam Check out that smug look!

September 16, 2006

Alex had a great football game this morning.  He's been thrilled to be playing quarterback - he's been swapping with another guy so they're both playing quarterback about half the time.

Alex is #5, playing quarterback, about to hand off the ball to Justin, who is #6. Alex catching a high snap

Patrick entertained himself with his Game Boy

September 17, 2006

Grendel couldn't decide whether to go in or out, so she did both!

She's air conditioning the porch

September 20, 2006

Alex and Justin had some pretty exciting plays at their game this morning.  Can you tell?


Patrick found yet another strange position for reading.

Why he doesn't suffer chronic pain is beyond me!

September 21, 2006

Happy Birthday to MEEEEE!

I had a closing this afternoon, and when I got home the boys had made pictures for me exalting the joys of turning 40.  LOL  Mark and the boys took me out to the same restaurant we went to for our anniversary, and we had a fabulous meal and a fabulous time together.  

05-06 39.95 Plus Tax.jpg (53740 bytes)

September 23, 2006

My brother is in town helping out Mom with some of Dad's things, but he took a break to go to the Styx concert with Mark and me tonight.  Woohoo!  Talk about reliving your past!  Styx was one of my favorite bands in my teens, and they still put on an awesome show.  Of course, we were all exhausted by the time we got back home.  Tell me again how we could do that way back when and not show any wear and tear?

September 24, 2006

While David is in town, we went to the church and had a small ceremony to put Dad's ashes in the columbarium.  It was a very nice, intimate moment while we put Dad in his final resting place.

The minister putting the ashes in the niche It's so nice to all be together again

Mark was still pretty wiped out, so he and the boys made a three-headed snake.  LOL

September 27, 2006

Mark's dad was scheduled to have back surgery this morning, so they were staying at Mark's brother, KC's house in Tampa to be closer to the hospital.  While he and Mark's mom were getting ready to go to the hospital early this morning, his dad had a heart attack.  Stacy called me at 5:30 and told me that he was on the way to the hospital in the ambulance.  The phone woke up Alex, and he heard my side of the conversation and that I said we'd be on our way soon.  I told him what had happened, and by the time I was on the phone telling Mark (he was out of town on business), Alex was in my room, fully dressed and ready to go.  I hopped in the shower, and as I was getting out, KC called and said that their dad had passed away.  We could not have been more shocked or more devastated.  We went over to Tampa to be with the family and Mark drove there from his business trip.  Everyone gathered at KC and Stacy's and friends came to offer support as the word spread.  All of the grandchildren were there, and the entire group is such a wonderful testament to the dedication and love Joe had for his family.

One of my favorite pictures of Joe is from our wedding day.

The day I joined his wonderful family

September 28, 2006

Alex's birthday party was scheduled for Sunday, but since the visitation will be on Sunday, we moved his party until this Friday (tomorrow!).  I've been a bit insane running around trying to throw everything together, but I think I've got it under control.  Whew!

We also had to go shopping for some clothes for the funeral.  Fortunately, Alex and Patrick's clothes still fit from Dad's funeral, and they just needed a few things to complete the outfits.  

Grendel gave us a minor scare tonight.  I spilled Boudreaux's blood pressure pills and Grendel snatched one up before I could stop her.  Of course, I have to physically force the pills down Boudreaux's throat, but Grendel gobbles it down like it's a treat.  Anyway, I immediately called the vet to see if it was a problem, and they told me we needed to induce vomiting, and they suggested giving her some hydrogen peroxide.  Let me tell ya - worked like a charm.  LOL  Within 3 minutes, no more worries!

September 29, 2006

What a crazy day!  I spent the morning doing laundry, making a birthday cake and stuffing goodie bags.  Alex's party was immediately after school at a local bouncy house/slide place.  The party was a complete success and everyone had a blast, of course.  Mark took Patrick early to go to his soccer game, and I wrapped up the party, dropped Alex off at Justin's and rushed to watch the game.  Mark called me while I was on the way and said no one had brought snacks for the players, and could I pick some up.  Sure, what the heck.  So I rushed through Publix, bought a cooler, drinks and snacks, and made it to the field with a few minutes left in the game.  Pant, pant, pant.  Patrick was playing goalie when I got there.  He saved a goal and kicked the ball back into play.  It went straight up in the air, he took two steps and caught it again, then threw it onto the field.  It was priceless!

The kids loved this bungie pull Alex couldn't make it to Patch and Zach!

Doin' great, Mom! Poor Patrick could hardly pull the bungie!

Patrick on the awesome slide! Playing in the dodge ball bouncy house

Alex is king of the mountain! Alex's birthday throne was invaded!

Alex lives and breathes the Colts!

September 30, 2006

We went to Alex's football game this morning.  They had an incredible game, and it's the first one they won all season!  However, we were saddened when Mark wanted to call his parents to tell them the good news (something we do often), and of course, his dad is gone.  We packed up and headed over to St. Pete where the family had gathered at Mike and Mary Beth's.  The kids had a wonderful time playing with all of their cousins, and many of Mark's extended family came into town.  It's such a difficult time, but so wonderful to see everyone also.

Mary Beth had made arrangements for us to stay in her girls' room, which we gratefully accepted instead of going to the hotel we'd reserved.  However, as it got later into the evening, the kids were quickly losing their ability to cope.  They wanted to go to the hotel in the worst way, arguing that they needed some quiet time alone.  I tried to stand my ground, but it was hard to overcome their arguments when the door to the bedroom we were in opened three times during our discussion with little faces poking in.  I finally gave in, although at this point it was already 10:30 and we were all exhausted.  I left Mark there to visit with his family and the boys and I stayed at the hotel.

The kids were "fishing" a ball out of the gulf off the seawall Heather did a great job of teaching Alex how to be nice to the little kids.  LOL

Mark's Aunt Pat and cousin, Jim, say hello to Caroline Mark's cousin, Rob, saying hello to Maddie

Mary Ellen and their close friends, Bryan and Kay Mark's Uncle Jim (Joe's brother)