Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Last night I took our 3 guys (our third moved in on Sunday) to Sports Authority to pick up some football and soccer necessities. This is our 4th semester in the house... so I've gotten used to the looks people give us when we are out and about. I look a little older than a high schooler but not old enough to be their mother... and to be honest... I would probably stare as well. It also didn't help that they were arguing the rules of shotgun when we walked in the door of the store... or the fact the Fred was still wearing half of his football pads. I think people usually assume that I just happen to be walking in with them at the same time... not that we actually arrived together. Anyway, in our almost 2 years of living here, last night was the first time someone asked who we were. It was the first time I was trying to explain Joe's Place with any of our guys listening... and it caught me off guard a bit. But I was actually kind of glad that she asked. I probably wouldn't have had the nerve to.

So... to get to the main point. Fred was quoting his football and track stats to the people standing in line behind us. As we walked out the man in line asked his name and said he would keep a look out for him in the newspaper. Well... here he is:

Fred is on the far left.

Here he is top left.
And here is the story. We're looking forward to a great season!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Carter is going to get some major sports education these next 9 months. This fall we're starting with soccer and football (and of course backyard basketball and wiffle ball). Here he is this afternoon practicing some soccer drills (the socks were his idea)...

And here he is tonight. He was asleep by 6:30pm. When I went in to check on him at 7:30pm he was curled up on top of his pillow. He must have needed some extra snuggles.

He's wearing one of the few outfits he hasn't figured out how to take off. This afternoon he even mastered the art of taking off his diaper while keeping his clothes on (he was even wearing a onesie).

I was going to do a different post... but then I saw these pictures from earlier in the week that I had forgotten about. I don't think the start of this year could have been any more different from last year. It's been great. Don't get me wrong... our exhaustion still ranks right up there with having a newborn baby... but we don't really care.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Thursday, August 21, 2008

One of these days I'm going to do a post on the similarities between toddlers and teenagers... they really are not so different. Anyway, I was thinking today how smooth this week has been (thank you for your prayers) and how much Steven and Fred act like brothers. It really is amazing to see how much they have changed toward each other in the year and a half that they have been here. In fact, I think it's so great, that it didn't even bother me one bit a couple nights ago when I was trying to go to sleep at 11pm and Fred was pounding on Steven's bedroom door because he couldn't find Spandex. It was actually really hard not to laugh as I was listening to them... and Fred did eventually find Spandex in one of Steven's dresser drawers. Ah... the joy of living with teenagers.
Getting ready for a little b-ball...

Monday, August 18, 2008

Introducing Spandex... because according to Fred he's... well... he's tight.

I thought they looked so sweet getting the cage ready.

He may wear these gloves as Maplewood's starting running back... but they also double as protection against a hamster who doesn't want to be picked up.

First Day of School!

Here are the guys with Dan this morning on their last first day of high school... I was actually kind of sad. My goal this year is to get a good picture of them together. You really wouldn't think it would be that hard (at their age) to ask everyone to smile and look at the camera at the same time.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

It was fitting that we celebrated Fred's birthday on the first night everyone was back at Joe's Place. The guys are so excited to be back. Steven said he couldn't wait for school to start all summer because he was so excited to be back here in the house.

Fred's birthday food of choice was pancakes... so Dan found a cute diner in the Dogtown area to go to for dinner. A huge thanks to my good friend Ann Louise for hanging out with Carter. We had a lot of fun and spent a lot of the time laughing. We really missed these guys!

Carter with the birthday boys before we left for dinner.

My attempt at the MRH football field and track.

Fred has been asking for a hamster for months... so we surprised him with a cage.
Here he is right after he opened it...

When we asked Fred what he wanted for his birthday he said he wanted something he could build... but not a car or an engine. This gift was perfect because it took several hours to put together.

The finished cage...

Ty opening his remote controlled jeep.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I wanted to post this picture for a couple reasons. First, because it's Ty's (Fred's youngest brother) birthday today. We first met Ty when he was a 5th grader. This year he'll be going into 7th grade and will have Dan for two classes! I think he's pretty excited about that... although he'll have to get used to calling him Mr. Reeve.

The second reason I wanted to put the picture up is because Fred made this cake (with a little decorating help) for Ty this afternoon after a four hour Saturday football practice. How many 19 year olds do you know (still in full practice gear) that would spend three hours on a Saturday making sure their 13 year old brother had a special day. It made me want to cry.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

As the school year approaches I am so thankful for the time we were able to spend with family and friends out of town this summer. I don't think we realized how much we needed that.

We've been back in town for almost a full month and have spent much of that time getting ready for the guys to move back in. As I was just putting away groceries and finishing cleaning the fridge I was thinking about how much things are going to change again in just 3 days... so I thought I would ask you all to pray. Please pray for our first night back together on Sunday (Fred's 19th birthday), for the two new boys that will probably be moving in in next few weeks and just for the school year in general. Last year we had 6 different boys living with us at different times and a handful of others who toured the house to see if it would be a good fit for them. We are so thankful to have the chance to be a part of this program. Our family has grown in ways that we never would have imagined... and we are so grateful for that.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

This is the reaction I got when I told him no about something earlier today (if you listen closely I'm sure you'll be able to hear the scream echoing all the way from our little backyard in Maplewood)...

but then one of his favorite people walked through the back gate and the no was forgotten.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

This is one of the MANY reasons why I love my husband...

He won the recorders at the beginning of the year district get together this morning... and yes... he did the same thing in front of a group of people. The theme this year is Renaissance... that's the reason for the beret.

I think it's a good look for him...

After the Renaissance fun the middle school staff had their beginning of the year retreat. The retreat included lunch in downtown Maplewood followed by a bus tour of the school district. The tour ended with a stop here at Joe's Place. I was really hoping they would pull up in the school bus... but they walked. Anyway... 25 teachers and administrators poured through our front door about 30 minutes after I put this guy down for his nap (I just realized that's the same recorder Dan had in his nose)...

and he didn't wake up. He ended up sleeping for 3 and a half hours! It confirms my belief that he needs some sort of major commotion to be able to rest peacefully... unless it's Steven. He wakes up no matter how hard Steven "tries" to be quiet.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Kickin' it Old School

Maplewood House for Rent

Ok friends... we're looking for a renter for our DARLING house in Maplewood. We've had two people fall through in the last month... so I thought I would post some pictures on the blog. It's a two bedroom/one bathroom. It has a dining room and sun room that we used as a breakfast nook. It is within walking distance to several grocery stores, great shopping, fun playgrounds and amazing restaurants in downtown Maplewood. Please pass this on if you know of anyone looking!! Thanks!

Great covered front porch with a view of Clayton.

Living Room

Dining Room

Master Bedroom

Master looking into bathroom.

Kitchen looking into dining room.

Kitchen with door leading to sun room.

The 2nd bedroom is perfect for an office or...


Another bonus is that we take care of the yard and a couple of the bills. We're looking for someone to sign a year long lease. Thanks for your help!!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

We're getting ready for some football!

Check out this story about my dad's college band (click on Local Band Finds Delayed Fame). He's the one playing the tambourine.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Some pics from the week...

One of the things I really missed while we were on vacation was our story time lady at Borders. She is awesome at keeping things short and sweet and connecting with the kids. Our first Friday back just happened to be all about trains! Carter actually paid attention for the first couple of pages... and he got to come home with this sweet tattoo!
These are his current shoes of choice. The other day he put them on all by himself! That means they are my favorite shoes as well... although I was pretty bummed the other day when he didn't want to wear his red converse.

Hanging out on the front porch after a no nap Friday. I don't think he's ready to give up his nap yet... but he sure fights it. Just look at those poor tired eyes.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

I don't know why it's taken us so long to do this... but this morning we finally took Carter on his first MetroLink ride (St. Louis' light rail system). We walked the 4 1/2 blocks from our house to the Maplewood stop and caught the Eastbound train to the only appropriate place to go on your first ride... Union Station. He loved it! The best part was all of the tunnels.

Walking up to the stop.

Buying our tickets.

Waiting for our "choo choo."

Riding alongside an Amtrak train.

In the Grand Hall.

Looking out the window on our way home.

I also wanted to include these last two pictures from our walk home. I don't know why this sign cracks me up every time I see it. I get why they did it backwards... but I just think it would have looked better the other way.

We ended up walking back through the pool parking lot... so I snapped a picture of where Dan's new classroom is. It's the top 3 windows (the small window on the left is his office). Isn't that an awesome view... although I think I might have a hard time paying attention. You can actually see the MetroLink from his classroom.