Friday, May 23, 2008

I know it's the end of the school year when I find myself making a pot of coffee at 3:00 in the afternoon. I also know the end is near when I start to feel emotional about the guys going home for the summer. I mean... it's hard not to feel emotional when Fred walks in the door with this today...

He made the vase for Carter in ceramics this year. Here are some of his other projects (the shark is actually a tea pot... you pour the water through the eyes).

It's also been an exhausting couple of weeks because of the amount of people that have been in and out of the house. It's been good... but still exhausting. We had a third resident move in on Wednesday and we've had school board members from two different states visit in the last couple of weeks who want to start up similar programs like Joe's Place in their districts. We got to meet an incredible man today from Ohio. Sometimes it's hard not to get emotional when we talk about this program to other people who are passionate about the same thing. There is so much about this place that I can't talk about on the blog... but it has been a really incredible semester.

Here are some pics of the Carter-man from earlier this week. I couldn't upload any photos because of the darn download of summer pictures that was taking days. But in my exhaustion last night I shut down the computer with 500 pictures to go. Stinker (that's for you Steve)!!

Anyway... here he is:

No he's not sleeping... he's blinking while watching PBS
(we always said we would never let him watch TV... we were wrong).

See... he's alert.

Here's Moo Moo. My Aunt Gail got this for him at Christmas a year and a half ago and he hasn't left the crib since (he had special permission to leave the crib on this day).

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I'm thinking Carter doesn't quite have the concept of thank you down yet... because today he thanked me for his time out!!
So... I had these great plans yesterday to do this great birthday tribute to all of the May birthdays in our family like I did last year... but then I realized most of my summer pictures (that have my most recent family photos) were uploaded to the server at Dan's school and not on my computer. We started the download last night and it STILL has some 600 pictures to go. So... instead of all the pictures including Carter... I thought I would just pick some of my favorites that show more of everyone's personality. Here we go...

Grandpa Harris - May 1st

Aunt Lisa - May 15th

Nana - May 21st

Uncle Dave - May 21st

Papa Swanson - May 22nd

Daddy - May 24th

Cousin Lexie - May 25th

Grammy Swanson - May 28th

Aunt Gail - May 28th

Happy Birthday!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

This is one of our flow days. A day where are front door keeps opening and closing. Something at 11:00am, 12:00pm, 2:00pm, 3:30pm, 3:45pm and 6:00pm. It's just one of those days that I've gotten used to in the last year and a half of living here. A lot of people go in and out of this house during the week. Sometimes I feel like I am in a panic to make sure everything is dusted and all of Carter's toys are picked up off the floor. But then last week someone made a comment that surprised me. It was a woman dropping off a donation who I wasn't expecting. Our entry looked like this...
And do you know what she said? She looked in the house and said... "Now that's just beautiful." At first I was kind of confused but then I realized she was talking about all the toys thrown all over the floor. Then she repeated how beautiful it was and left. I guess I shouldn't worry about always being in such a hurry to make the house look perfect.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Two little trains going down the track...

Everything I see is a verse out of one of Carter's books. When we were on vacation over spring break and I saw a sail boat... all I could think of was - "We'll find the way to a shimmering bay where sail boats race the day away." On our back into St. Louis last night I was thinking - "Back to the city at the end of the day where sunshine fades to purple gray."

When my mom was here in March she gave Carter a Margaret Wise Brown book called Two Little Trains. Carter LOVES it. I think I have it memorized. Anyway, Carter has this thing for trains. Even more of a thing for trains now than his truck thing. Every horn, whistle, or engine sound we hear is a choo choo. About a year ago my mom sent me a small part of our Brio train set from when I was little. It's been really fun to have and lately I've wished we had a train table for it. I mentioned that I was looking for one to my friend Julie (who is the reason for pretty much every good find I've ever gotten). She mentioned that to one of her friends who has older kids and is moving soon and that friend e-mailed me that she didn't have a train table but did have a Brio train set that she was going to sell on Craig's list. She wanted to know if I wanted it before she listed it. So... for $30.00 we got a huge amount of tracks and trains that go with set we already have. Carter has been going nuts over it. All that to say that the last few days I keep thinking... "Two little trains going down the track, two little trains going West. Puff, puff, puff and a chug, chug, chug... two little trains to the West."

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A New State Record

Fred did amazing this weekend at the MO State track finals. He beat the class two state record in the 200 meter yesterday. I think he is on cloud 9 right now. We drove to Jefferson City yesterday and spent the night at a (not so great) campground so we could see him compete both days. Our pictures are not great because we were at a huge stadium... but we still got a few good ones with our long lens.

We were running to get to a place where we could see Fred's first event today. You can see the beautiful Lincoln University campus behind us.

Winning the 100 Meter

Getting his 1st place 100 Meter medal

Baton hand off in the 4x200 Meter

Winning the 4x200 Meter
We didn't get to see the 200 meter (his final event) today because someone (who will remain nameless) had a huge meltdown. We can't wait to hear what his time was.

Here are some of our camping pics from last night and this morning.

Rundown cars in a field behind our tent.

Burn pile.

The only thing we could get Carter to eat for dinner. I don't know what we would do without Trader Joe's cereal bars.

The background actually looks kind of pretty when it's blurred like this.

Carter spent about half of the time playing in the car.

It actually was really relaxing. Carter spent the entire morning in his PJ's.Breakfast... he got up sooooo early.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The end of a season...

Steven's baseball team really had a great season this year. They played their second game in districts yesterday and lost. Steven played catcher the entire game and also had a really great hit. It's been fun to go to so many of his games this year. It's also been fun because a lot of the team has been in and out of the house this semester. It was really sweet to hear a lot of the guys talk to Carter from the dugout during the game.

Just in case anyone was wondering... Carter was well cared for this week while Dan and I were getting the house back in order.

Carter's not going to know what to do without those two this summer.