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January 2004
(Hold your mouse over a picture for its caption.)

January 1, 2004

H a P p Y   N e W   Y e A r ! ! !

January 2-4, 2004

We headed up to Salt Springs in Ocala for a long-awaited weekend camping trip.  We were in the lap of luxury with the pop-up camper!  We stayed at a site with full hook-ups to see what it was like to RV camp.  It was as lot of fun!  Boudreaux came with us, and I think it was a little much for his old bones.  He went for a couple of hikes with us, and we had to stop and let him rest a lot.  By Saturday afternoon he was having trouble getting into the camper, and Saturday night he tossed and turned like an old man.  LOL  We got home Sunday afternoon and he spent the rest of the day curled up motionless sacked out on the couch.

Dinner in our five-star restaurant Patch had had a big day!

Boo on sentry duty Happy camper!

Playing cards in the camper, safe from the mosquitos Recuperating at home

January 5, 2004

Jacob came over to play today, and the kids had a blast with Patrick's Kasey the Kinderbot.  It plays music and they were dancing all over the kitchen like monkeys!

I sure hope they improve before their proms! Picking their next activity

January 6, 2004

Patch helped me snap the green beans for dinner tonight.  He loves being my helper.  :-)

January 7, 2004

We had a bunch of friends only to play after school today.  It was our last day watching Becca's guinea pigs, so we let the kids play with them one last time before they left.

Since Mark's out of town, Mom went out to dinner with the boys and me at Froggers, their favorite restaurant.  When I told them we were eating with Grandma, they were excited, of course.  Then I said that I was coming too (something in their reaction made me think they thought I wasn't).  Patrick said that that makes it even more special.  Awwwwww.  Then Alex asked if Grandpa was coming too.  I said no, he has a cold.  He said that it's still really special, but it would be even more special if Grandpa could come too.  I think I've got some special boys!

Those poor guinea pigs probably couldn't wait to get out of there!

January 8, 2004

We decided to switch dentists to someone closer to our house, and I've been hearing great things about a pediatric dentist close by.  Alex had his first visit with him today and it was wonderful.  Alex got a flossing lesson and of course, a new toothbrush and a dinosaur flosser.  I bought a pack of them this afternoon, and Alex has shown Patrick how to use them and they've been flossing all afternoon!  I feel like I'm in the Twilight Zone!  We've been rather concerned because Alex's adult teeth don't seem to be pushing out his baby teeth, and are growing in behind the old ones.  The dentist said that at this point, it's not causing a problem and Alex has lots of room in his mouth and there's nothing to worry about at this point.  Whew!

The boys got crazy when I pulled out the camera at the hair salon!

Patch apparently went a little crazy with the markers at school - that's marker all over his face and arm! Reach for the sky!

Don't ask - I don't know what the heck he was doing! Mutt and Jeff

January 10, 2004

Today was a whirlwind birthday party day!  This morning Patrick and I went to a party for one of his classmates at the Plaster Cottage.  It's so nice to see him with this very own friends, instead of ones that his brother has made for him.

Patch painting his otter with his friend, Nicholas

After that party, I dropped Patch back off at home, ran and did a closing, then picked up both boys to head to Carter and Nathan's birthday party at a fabulous farm for children.  As you can imagine, there were several picture opportunities!  Happy Birthday Carter & Nathan!

Becca, Andrew and the birthday boys checking out a baby duckling

Thoroughly enjoying the hay ride Patch caught a chicken!

Alex proved to be quite good at catching the chickens "Take my picture, Mom!"

Carter and Alex petting the turkeys Patch petting a turkey

Nathan, Alex, Carter and Patch played together the whole day This goat kept standing on top of the sheep to get fed!

Holding the wiggly baby chicks

They were letting the chicks say hi to each other

Alex and Patrick were playing so nicely with Carter, Nathan and Andrew at the farm.  They played tag, and Alex and Patch would let Andrew get them and exaggerate their reaction until he laughed his head off.  Later, Alex said he and Patch were the "ducks" and Carter and Nathan were the "catchers" (they had just left the duck enclosure, where the had to work very hard to catch a duck to pet). 

January 11, 2004

Mark took the boys and one of our neighbors to shoot off rockets this morning. 

Aaron shooting off his first rocket!

Patrick used the "big" TV table tonight!

Acting VERY big!

January 12, 2004

Patch had his 5-year check up today.  He's the picture of good health (I'll bet you never thought you'd hear that!), but he did have to get THREE immunizations and a finger prick!  He handled it all very well. 

She was asking things like can he skip and jump on one foot (has she forgotten who this is?), and she asked him if he knew his colors and shapes.  He thought for a minute, and said, "Welllll, I don't really know what a heptagon looks like."  ROFL!

Alex was telling me that they're playing basketball in PE.  I commented that the hoops are pretty tall at the school.  He said not really.  I said that I remembered that they were pretty tall last year when we were goofing off there one afternoon.  He said, "They just seemed taller because I was smaller then."  I didn't think kids figured that stuff out until they were adults!

January 12-14, 2004

We're all very sad to hear that my cousin, Gloria's, husband died suddenly last week of a pulmonary embolism after a leg injury.  Mom and I went to Michigan Monday night so we could attend the funeral on Tuesday.  Despite the sad nature of our trip, it was very nice to see everybody again.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to Gloria and her children.

On Wednesday, we drove over to have a quick visit with my Grandma.  She was doing much better than the last time I saw her and we had a nice, albeit short, visit.  Back at the airport Wednesday night, we ran into snow and ice delays, and weren't sure if we would make it home that night or not.  We were lucky and stumbled home at about 1:30 in the morning.  Was it really only a 2-day trip?

January 15, 2004

Boy, that alarm clock seemed to go off early this morning!  Patrick had Winter Wonderland today at school, so of course, I had to go with my camera!  This has always been the boys favorite event at the preschool.  It's so strange to have just been in real snow yesterday, and then to see the kids playing in styrofoam snow today!

Looking through his "telescope"

Googly eyes ready for the "snow" machine It's a snow storm!

Riding the "sled" Playing in shaving cream snow!

January 16, 2004

I helped out in Patrick's classroom this afternoon while the teacher attended a meeting.  I love seeing the kids in their other "home"!

Just hangin' around

January 17, 2004

Boy am I glad this week is over!  With everything else that's been going on, I've had quite a few closings squeezed into my schedule this week as well.  While it's good for the checkbook, there's definitely no rest for the weary around here!

Patrick wanted to make a pig that he saw on Zoom, so we gave it a shot.

Master creater The final step - making him pink

January 19, 2004

We were given annual passes to Universal Studios for Christmas, and went today for the first time.  We had a great time riding the Spider Man ride and a unicorn roller coaster before rain sent us home.  But that's okay - we can go back anytime we want!

They'll climb anything! Just hangin' out with a triceratops

January 20, 2004

Today was the 100th day of school at the elementary school.  They make a big deal out of it, and one of Alex's projects was to wear something to school that had 100 of something on it.  He chose safety pins in a spiral on his shirt.  It looked very cool, but he looked just a smidgen too much like a punk rocker for my taste!

This was supposed to be a picture of his shirt, but they had the snakes out so it turned out to be a group shot.

My little snake charmers

January 21, 2004

The strawberry patch is open!!!!!!!

They're finally getting to where more strawberries end up in the basket than in their mouths!

January 23, 2004

I helped chaperone Alex's class on a trip to Blue Springs State Park today.  The weather was perfect, and there were quite a few manatees there!  Each chaperone gets responsibility for four or five children (usually including their own).  I was dismayed in the morning to see that my group of kids included some of the more, ahem, shall we say "challenging," boys in the class.  I gave the teacher a teasing frown, and she said, "It's not because I hate you, it's because I have faith in you."  Well gee, thanks.  Regardless, we managed to have a wonderful time, although I think we all are going to sleep very well tonight!

Yes, the kid trying to climb OVER the rail was in my group! Alex tackling the vines

After weeks and weeks of persistence, Patrick has finally convinced us that he is ready to have his very own snake.  So we spent the evening at our friend's house who breeds snakes, and Patrick now has a beautiful red rat snake named Arrow.  Sorry I haven't gotten any pictures yet!

January 24, 2004

Today was another birthday party day.  Patrick and I went to a party for one of his classmates at the gym where he used to take gymnastics.  He was a hoot and kept everyone on their toes.  I guess the other parents aren't used to having a daredevil around!  He was one of only two children there who could do the monkey bars by himself.  And of course, half way across them he had to swing himself high and then jump off.  I about busted a gut when all of the moms gasped when he jumped!  To me, that's all in a day's fun!  And you can imagine what he did to the coach's nerves on the trampoline!

My little monkey

Right after that party, we picked up Alex and headed off to a party for one of his classmates at the putt putt course.  It was another beautiful day, and the boys had a blast.  Alex was in his element, and was the only kid who kept score.

Warming up Lining up his shot - ain't he cute?

I can't believe how big Alex is getting!

January 26, 2004

Patrick went to see our new wonderful pediatric dentist today.  Of course, everything went well, and the dentist made his day when he pointed out that he has two loose teeth - albeit in the very early stages!  We have a loooooong way to go before he gets a visit from the Tooth Fairy.

A little nervous at first Checking out the gadgets - COOL!

And my biggest news of the week - Alex started guitar lessons today!  He absolutely loves it!  He's played his little three-note song for us at least a dozen times today - and I'm LOVING it!

OMG - he reminds me so much of his Uncle David!

January 29, 2004

The elementary school sponsored another skate night, and tonight Mom also joined us!  The kids improve marginally each time we go, and tonight was no different.  At the beginning of the evening, Patrick said he wished his skates had six wheels.  While he did improve during the evening, towards the end he said he changed his mind, he wants eight wheels on each skate!  Alex careened around the skating rink like he was the ball in a pinball game.  He has yet to master the control aspect of skating, and goes full speed ahead, arms flailing, until he runs into something, and then he does it again.  He was a bit like a bowling ball, and the poor other skaters in the rink were the bowling pins!  (I'm sorry I forgot my camera so I don't have any pictures to share.)