Tuesday, July 30, 2013

"Mom! I Skinned It!"

This past week-end we had a few bonfires (I'm not sure if it was for fun or for heat as it's unseasonably chilly in Iowa).  The older as well as the younger kids wanted to roast marshmallows and make smores.  Seems like a perfectly good waste of chocolate but I digress.
Eli has finally mastered the art of roasting the marshmallow without either burning it to charcoal or dropping it in the fire.  Unfortunately for him he hasn't mastered the skill of removing the marshmallow from the stick.

I was enjoying the quiet, the fire and relaxing (interpret as not paying close enough attention) I hear him scream from the opposite side of the bonfire...."Mom, I skinned it!"   I will be adding this to the book I am writing of 1001 things a mom does not want to hear come out of their childs' mouth.

He very disgustedly marched around the fire pit to show me that he'd peeled the outer part of the marshmallow off leaving the gooey center on the stick.  You would have to meet Eli, the kid does not like food touching and likes it even less when food leaves him sticky.  Needless to say he was done with the whole roasting/skinning experience. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

What Did They Say?

Accents.  The boys are not used to hearing what they deem to be an accent outside of our Midwest accent.  When we hit the border of Tennessee and stopped at a restaurant the waitress came to take our order.  I knew by the open mouthed, bugged eyed looks the boys gave her that something, most likely uninhibited, was about to erupt from their mouths.

Luckily they held it together until we placed our order and she had left the table, then it was non stop questions.  "Mom, what's wrong with her voice?" (nothing) "Mom, I couldn't understand her."  (now they know why people sometimes ask them to repeat things) "Mom are we still in the United States?" (urghh!)  "Mom, how did they get that sound?"  (It's called an accent and I must have slept through my speech pathology classes that all adoptive parents had cause I basically winged that answer)

Needless to say accents have occupied a lot of our time these past two weeks.  Every time Eli hears accented speech he wants to know where that person is from and what they are saying.  My fear is that the next time we run into a person with an accent different from the boys' or ours that their curiosity will outweigh their manners and that person will become a specimen for their never ending quest to figure accents out.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

What Did You Like Most?

Since we returned from Florida, Lucas and Eli are asked frequently what they liked most about the trip.  Usually their standard answers are, "All of it."  A person really has to push to get them to pick or talk about any one thing, I think there was just so much they literally can't choose.

One of Lucas' "memorable" if not favorite thing to happen was totally unrelated to any park, beach, air boat or road trip.  It was the moment he spotted the pool at our vacation rental.

He had been so busy checking out the rest of the house and helping to haul things in from the car that he had missed the pool in the back of the house.  The rest of our crew had migrated out to the patio and pool area and the next thing we hear is "wham!!"

I turned around toward the patio doors and what did I see?  Lucas on the other side of the glass doors, holding his head and a big old face print on the window of the door.  The kid spotted the pool and ran full out toward it....no one ever said a 13 year olds' body and brain engage simultaneously.  I can joke about it now but then not so much...scared the poop out of us and dazed him.

By the time all of us on the outside got the doors open and to him inside, he had a big old goose egg on his forehead that he sported for 2 days and was shaking his head trying to clear the stars circling in front of his eyes.  So that is the story that Lucas is telling people about his trip to Florida.  The only good thing that came from that is he approached the patio doors and pool area with a whole lot more caution for the remainder of the trip.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Goofballs Galore!

I'm headed back to school next week after summer break.  Much to all the kids dismay I put their pictures on my desk at work.  I have to say they are pretty good sports as long as I can keep the actual photo sessions to under 30 minutes.  I'm not saying they don't complain, tease, antagonize and generally mess around but somehow we get it done.  There are always a few they think that I won't print and put in frames on the desk...like the one below....they are wrong so much of the time....don't mess with mom she has photographic evidence.
I have to say that this was one time that the girls actually managed to embarrass their brothers.  Much as the girls tried to corrupt them into acting like goofballs, they couldn't quite pull it off.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Comic Books Are Amazing

I'm interrupting our trip stories (I know you'll be disappointed) to tell you about the "amazing" trip that Lucas and Eli got to take this afternoon.  How do I know it was amazing?  They told us it was when they came back.

Rachel and her boyfriend, Ross, took them to one of Ross' favorite places, a comic book store, in Omaha.  Ross loves comic books, I think it's his goal to recruit a couple more followers.  I'm not sure which was more amazing the store, the comics, the ice cream or the fact that Lucas and Eli got to go with the "big" kids by themselves.

Eli's goal for the trip was to come back with a comic book big enough that he couldn't read it in a day.  Lucas was after the good guy comic book, oh, and it had to be a lot of pages.  They were both successful and happy.

I think we are going to have to work on a new descriptive word because the word amazing is being used a whole lot since the Florida trip.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Disney, Air Boats and the Beach....

We made it, we enjoyed it and we are still recovering from our summer vacation to Disney and beyond.  We all managed to arrive in one piece, some by plane and some of us (Mike, Lucas, Eli and myself) by car.  I was very proud of the way both Lucas and Eli handled two and a half days in the car, both down and back. No fights or arguments and blessedly no car sickness.

If you ask them what the best part of the trip was they will both say, "All of it."  I figured it would be Disney but they actually talk about the road trip, beach and air boat excursions equally.  I think at the time everything was hitting them at a high speed that they've had to take this past week to think it all over.  I've had to take this last week to recover.  Disney was a whole lot easier with 3 kids and 15 fewer years of age on our part.

For now I will leave you with a few pictures and say that we are glad we waited a few years since the boys arrival before tackling this vacation, it definitely would have been too much for them even a year ago.

We were all very glad when we saw this sign!
This was just outside of Magic Kingdom on the first day...yes those expressions are genuine awe!
Study of the park maps was Lucas' self designated job. 
Better than drumming on each other's heads.
Fans and a spray bottle, good for 100 degree weather and for irritating your brother.
Alligator hunter Lucas.
They have been waiting to return to the ocean for almost 4 years.  They were thrilled to see dolphins, swim with sting rays and play in the sand.
"Amazing" was Lucas' word of the day.
Eli was so thrilled to be able to swim, his last experience in the ocean was not so fun.
Lucas taking one last look at the end of the day.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Five Little Ponchos

No trip to the state of Florida and especially Disney goes without rain showers.  Once we made it into the great state of Florida and experienced a few of the thunderstorms (brief but mighty) I told the boys that we needed to buy some rain ponchos or suffer from soggy clothes.

They were both remarkably agreeable.  This is the conversation from the back of the car:
  Luke:  "You know Eli we had ponchos in the Philippines, when we walked to school."
  Eli:  "Oh ya, I love those things, they covered the backpack and kept stuff dry."
  Luke:  "Yep, but we only had 5 ponchos and there were six of us walking so one always got wet."
  Eli:  "Not me, I got in line first!"
  Luke:  "Oh ya, you did that a lot."

Needless to say once we checked in and got things around we went poncho hunting and we made sure everyone (except a couple of our older ones - Ross and Mark who probably are a little past the age of having Mickey Mouse plastered on their chests) has a poncho and all is good...now watch there won't be a rain drop in sight!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Disney Here We Come!

We have been holding our boys hostage....in a vehicle for 2 1/2 days on the way to Disney World...life is tough.  Actually they are doing really well.  Only one argument and that was about how to pronounce Chattanooga.

We had a "real" talk about what a family vacation was for, how we can all have a good time and also how that good time can be ruined....they are listening so far.

Lucas was a little worried about leaving home for this long.  It's the longest he's been away.  We assured him that Grandma and Aunt Debbie are taking care of the house sitting duties and the  pets for us.  He keeps asking every so often if they need reminded, so far he hasn't actually demanded we call them to check.

They both have a much better perception of how big the United States is, traveling from Iowa to Florida, helps with that lesson.  You should have seen their faces when we told them this is only half of the U.S....hilarious....okay funny but again 2 1/2 days in a car most things turn hilarious.

Such as traveling through Atlanta, Georgia at 80 mph with Lucas and Eli playing Old Maid/Slap Jack/Slap Your Brother and laughing like hyenas...it was an experience and all survived.

Lucas became quite concerned when we traveled through an "unidentified" city and he said, "Mom!  What happened?  It looks really bad."  Up until this particular city both Eli and Lucas had oohed and ahhed over cities....this one freaked Luke out, he didn't know there are places in the U.S. that look a little tough, thus a need for a massive road trip education.

So far their favorite cities have been Nashville and St. Louis one reason being as they were able to see the sports stadiums they've seen on tv and then the St. Louis Arch was "really cool".  Well on to Disney, the rest of the crew will be flying in so it will definitely be an adventure and an education as to how well "the old people" can keep up.

Having access to dvd's and Ipods for 20 minutes every hour does help with the 27 hour trip.  What is even cooler is that they are self regulating the time.  They could not have done this road trip even a year ago.  So far, so good no motion sickness!  Things may look up for riding the attractions at Disney without motion sickness meds.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Turn Around Is Hair Play

Both Lucas and Eli periodically ask to grow their hair out....that is until it gets to a certain length and then we are back to a short cut.  Their sisters have a "knack" for teasing them and rubbing their hair just to irritate them.  Eli especially doesn't understand why people rub their heads.

Today he caught himself doing the same thing only to Sydney's boyfriend who recently cut his hair short.  When we pointed out that Eli doesn't like it when people rub his hair so he shouldn't do it to others...his come back?  "Well, just cause I don't like it, they still do it, so I will too."

We may have a little training on the concept of "do unto others as you'd have them do to you."