navygreen: (HP: Draco - banned books)
The boys really dived into the Summer Reading Program at the base library again this summer. A.J. went to the library on a Saturday with a friend, and he signed up on his own, coming home with log sheets, three new books, and a cool T-shirt (awesome, compared to last year's design!). Philip and I took Jack in the following Monday, and we signed him up as well. He checked out a bunch of books and received a different T-shirt, and I've been logging hours for both of them ever since!

They can pick up prizes when they turn in one log sheet, and both are close to being done. Jack's currently read for 27 hours (of the 32 slots on a sheet). He looks like this often:

Jack reads for his Summer Reading Program.
Jack reads for his Summer Reading Program./

He was reading A Tale Dark & Grimm in that picture, and it was a recommendation from our librarian. He loved it, and I really enjoyed the parts I read here-and-there as well - very funny! It was a new book to our library, so he read it first in his selections so that he could get it back quickly for others to read.

We'll have to return one of his books tomorrow for a different one. He visited the library with Philip a few days ago, and he brought home Fire World. Now, he's read The Fire Within before, and it's the first in the series, so he thought this next book was just a sequel. Turns out, it's the seventh in the series, so he's going to return it and get the second book instead. The books in this series are Harry Potter-huge, but he really likes them.

A.J. has read for 21 hours himself (though he read some this morning that I haven't logged - I'll have to double-check with him again), and he's currently plowing through the Star Wars: Young Jedi Knights series. He checks the storylines against things on the internet in the Star Wars universe too, so it's been very engaging for him as well.

(He won't let me snap a picture while he's reading, though. *wink*)

One of the funny things (I think) that Jack does while he's reading is put his extra hand up under his chin. He always does this, even without a book in his hands, when he's laying on his back, and I think it's so strange. I wouldn't find that comfortable at all, but he sure seems to. If nothing else, I love how it brings out his little chin dimple, too!

Summer Reading Program.
navygreen: (Boys: hug)
While in the car this afternoon, A.J. brings up the subject of asexual plants and animals, and how it's very weird that some living things can have offspring without mating. Jack pipes up with, "They have to, A.J. It's not like a plant can just scootch (while doing the motion across the backseat) over to another plant and start kissing!"

Love them. :-)
navygreen: (Eeyore)
My boys are on all fours, butts pointed toward each other and almost touching, tooting at one another.


They're trying to see if either of them can produce a toot forceful enough to blow the other one away.
navygreen: (Boys: hug)
Philip's parents celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary this past weekend. To love on 'em, the boys made special cookies to send to them.

This was the boys' first time decorating cookies. Before that, they each picked out the special cookie cutter shapes they wanted to use, surprising me with their choices. Jack picked out a giant heart and a duck (?), and A.J. chose a Halloween kitty (??). They were so excited to get to work!

They piped the outlines first, and I must say they did a really good job! Piping tension isn't an easy task to master, but they did well. Then they flooded and toothpick'd the fillings. Jack wrote his name on a few cookies, but he used the flooding icing to do so... it kinda bled out. ;-)

Jack's flag heart.
Jack's heart.

While working, Jack had the idea to make one of his giant hearts a flag. (They only had white in piping consistency - none for flooding, by the way.) It turned out very cool! Read more. )
navygreen: (Snowflake)
I'm eating a leftover Heavenly Strawberry Tart, and it is oh-so-good. Yum!

We had a snow day here today. The first we've seen since moving to Minot AFB, and the accumulation isn't even bad. We had 50mph+ winds this morning though, and you couldn't see a thing with the last two days' worth of snow blowing around everywhere.

Philip got up with the boys and made sure they were ready for the bus. I'd been concerned because A.J., in particular, had a heckuva lot to carry. Monday = band class, so he had his clarinet. He was wearing all his snowgear, including snowboots, so his regular shoes were in his backpack. He also had a few textbooks and binders in there from his homework last Friday. In addition to that, he had three gallon-sized bags containing health items for the school's 'Haiti Aid' drive. (Each kit contained the following: a full-sized bottle of shampoo, a full-sized bar of soap, a washcloth, a comb, a toothbrush, and a full-sized tube of toothpaste. A.J. had two entire kits, plus an extra bag with four more toothbrushes and three extra washcloths.) A.J. got it all together, and then he and Jack were out the door. Philip then came back to bed.

And within probably two minutes, the doorbell rang. (I have no idea why, since the door was unlocked.) It was Jack, and he told Philip there was no one there (meaning the bus stop). Philip was confused, as the roads here were cleared well, and it wasn't spectacularly cold or anything - 13° or so. For a moment, he thought maybe the boys had somehow just missed the bus, but he brought them back inside. He found an update station online, reflecting that their school had a delayed start... but it was stranger than we'd ever had before. It wasn't a two-hour delay like we are familiar with. No, instead school would start at 10:15 (normally at 9:00), and would end at 4:15 (usually 3:15). So the boys took off all their snowgear and got comfy for the next hour to wait.

And then the phone rang at 9:45-ish. It was the alert system for the school, letting us know that school had indeed been canceled. On the news today, it showed that most of the schools in the area had canceled much earlier, but the three base schools (two elementary and one middle school) had held out longer because the road conditions on base were perfectly fine. The entire student body could easily have made it to school, but 75% of the teachers live out in town and couldn't make it in.

So, snow day! They enjoyed a day of laziness and videogames on a weekday. They were thrilled. :-)

I've worked my elbow to death, editing pictures from our vacation this summer. There were other things I'd intended to do this weekend, but I'm ready to get them out and be done with them. My elbow really starts to ache, and when I've laid down to sleep the past two nights, it has just THROBBED.

Jack went out to get the mail late this afternoon, and when he came back inside, he begged to go play. There were a few neighborhood kids out, so he suited up in his gear, and he was off. He played for the next 45 minutes or so, and then he came to the door to get his sled. It was dark by the time he did this, so I made him come inside instead. When he did, I saw that his eyelashes were completely frosted over! He looked like an old man with really bushy eyebrows and lashes! I tried to get a pic, but it just melted SO. FAST. He thought it was pretty funny, though.

We had an easier night for dinner than I'd originally planned. I looked at making a new dinner, but the fridge was just chock-full of leftovers from the past few days, and I decided we'd use those up instead. Now we have room for more, and that's a good thing. I'm making Chicken Gumbo in two days, and I need lots of room for that.

We've been having a lot of "Game Nights" around here lately. Two Fridays ago, I introduced all the guys to Milles Bornes, a game I loved playing with my family when I was growing up. Philip and Jack won as a team in that one. (How is that possible? A.J. and I should have had the advantage with me having played the game before!) Last Tuesday, we played Sorry: Madagascar Edition. A.J. won that one, though it was close - he won by one move over me. This past Friday night, we played Uno, and it lasted forever. I can't remember who won that one... hmmm. Then Saturday night, we all stayed up very late, and we played both traditional Dominoes, and then we introduced the boys to Skip-Bo. I won at Dominoes, but Philip won at Skip-Bo. A.J. wasn't far behind, though!

The boys have really enjoyed learning new games, and it's great for me and Philip that they can finally play "real" games. I'm still hoping/waiting for the day when I can get Philip to agree to teaching them "Rats" with me - it's my favorite card game ever. Philip doesn't care for it though, so he's resisting!

I'm back to pictures for a bit now before bed. 'Night!
navygreen: (Departed: spelling)
There are pieces of paper everywhere - the back of receipts, the torn-off end of a box, the back a graded paper - with just a few markings on them at a time.

His second grade class has begun learning cursive handwriting after this semester, and he's been practicing. It's cute. Right now, I'm looking at the back of a gas receipt on my desk with two uppercase E's and one lowercase e. "Lowercase ones are really easy, Mom. See?" he said as he signed. I nodded, and he continued, "Hey, eeeeeeeeeee-zy, get it?" And then he dissolved into giggles.
navygreen: (School)
This morning was 'Breakfast & A Book' again at the boys' school. We all went, and while there, I also gifted their teachers with some cute, homemade goodies (to be shared about in a separate entry). I then walked the halls and gave the rest away to other teachers that happened to be milling about, as well as the entire office staff and the librarian. Then A.J. headed off to class, and Philip and I brought Jack home for a little bit.

The boys had their regular dentist check-ups yesterday, and Jack needed to go back this morning to have some sealants done. He's got the same substantial "grooves" on his molars that A.J. did years ago, and they want to prevent cavities in those grooves by sealing them now. I took him to that appointment, and then back to school before 9:30. While in the office, another teacher was asking me about the goodies, saying she'd already heard about them from several folks. Fun!

Then I went back at 11:00 for my regular Wednesday lunching with the boys. I'd forgotten to look at the school menu, so I had all my fingers crossed that it was something good... TACOS! I can always support tacos. ;-) A.J.'s group of friends was particularly talkative today, and that was fun. I had put a special, sealed bag in his friend Jade's desk early that morning, and she was BEGGING me to tell her what was in it. I shook my head, and promised her it was worth the wait! Then Jack's group of friends is always so much fun, and I love knowing all of them by name, and continuing individual conversations with the kids from week-to-week. Today, I let his friend Noah Dettmer know that I had *just* spoken with his mom and RSVP'd for the fun 'Mystery Theater' birthday party he's throwing this Saturday. He was very excited, and was *fist-pumping* the air. :-)

As I headed to the office, I was stopped by a few more folks, asking about the goodies. I apologized, saying I was now fresh out, but they still wanted to know how to make 'em. Then it became a baking jamboree discussion in the office, and I love that so many are so interested!

A.J. asked if we could head to Borders after school, and I've got a Bath & Body Works birthday giftcard burning a hole in my pocket, as well as a birthday giftcard to Wheatfield's, so... sounds like a plan to me!
navygreen: (Boys: fall guys)
The cat's out of the bag now. ;-)

For her birthday, we gave Heather a special gift... one that she would cherish, but that would really best be given to her children. (But aren't those some of the best gifts? The ones that make your kids smile, and in turn, make you smile even wider?)

We picked up a copy of All the Ways I Love You, and then we recorded into the book all of our voices reading the story. She will forever have the boys' young voices, and her kiddos will always have a story that can be read to them. They will know how much we love them and think about them every time they pick up the book.

I almost cried while reading my line at the end. So here, have a listen. And while you're at it, wish my fellow Zippy a happiest of birthdays on this glorious birthday that we share!


Jun. 27th, 2009 09:25 pm
navygreen: (Boys: hug)
My kiddos are really great, ya know? Nothing in particular, they just make me very proud. Oh sure, they have lots of squabbling moments with each other, but on the whole? Good boys.

Today, the memories that make my heart tug and swell:

- As soon as I woke up this morning, Jack was by my side, asking if I had to work. When I told him that yes, I was subbing for someone today, he looked very sad and said, "But Mom, you've been working so much now. I didn't even get to *see* you yesterday! (And it made me teary-eyed because it was true.)

- A.J. found a turkey feather at Catherine's party at Gifford Farm today, and he graciously gave it to her as a gift. He kept re-finding it after she would drop it (two-year-olds are easily distracted, especially at birthday parties), and then he would give it to her once again.

- Jack entertained a group of tiny boys by chasing them around a sign and playing Peek-A-Boo. It kept the tykes laughing, and it gave all of their mommas a few more minutes of chatting time. He did it on his own, and it was sweet of him to play with the "babies" like that.

- A.J. and I whispered secrets back and forth to one another behind our menus at dinner. Of the two of them, he's definitely got my sense of humor.

- The two of them have spent the last hour hatching farm animals from "growable" capsules (as Jack calls them). We keep checking on their progress, and in the meantime, the two of them are listening to a "Draco & the Malfoys" CD in A.J.'s room while playing with Pantominos together.

I'm so very lucky. :-)


Jun. 15th, 2009 11:24 pm
navygreen: (School)
This afternoon, the boys got out of summer school as scheduled. I was still at work, so I assumed that Philip was getting them (he was off today). He thought I was off earlier than I was, so he assumed that I was getting them and was mowing the yard.

Do you see the problem here?

I got home at 3:40pm, and a neighbor kid was waiting on my front step. I asked if he was waiting on the boys for something, and he said, "Yeah." So I walked in, called to the boys to tell them their friend was waiting, but didn't hear a response. I went to pee really quick, and then called out to them again. No response.

The doorbell rang then, and I answered. It was the friend, and he wondered, "How much LONGER?!" I told him that they must already be outside in the backyard with their dad because they weren't anywhere in the house. I walked through the house, to the back door, and yelled out to Philip in the yard, "Where are the boys?"

He cut off the mower. "I thought you were getting them?" I replied, "I thought you were getting them. ACK!" And right then, the home phone rang. It was the school secretary, and I quickly explained the conversation that had *just* happened, and told her I was rushing straight down.

So I pulled up, and out came my boys. I had glanced at all the phones, and the school never once called the house, mine or Philip's cell phones, or our work numbers. The boys had been waiting all that time outside the school, and no one ever called!

I couldn't believe that they had waited outside in the sun for 45 minutes before ever asking the secretary to make a phone call. They have all our numbers memorized, and it would've been easy. A.J. said that they almost started walking home (which they've done in the past, but only 3-4 times - crazy kids, they BEG to do it often and treat it like it's a privilege!), but then decided to just wait because they didn't have permission from this morning to do so. We felt so badly for them, but it was a complete accident. :-(
navygreen: (HP: Fred & George - next-door neighbors)
The boys played all afternoon (in their hats!) with the next-door neighbors. As evening approached, we had Andrew and Natalie come over for a movie, dinner, and dessert. Tonight was Jack's Choice in the meal plan, so he was super-excited to share.

Mouse-In-The-House Cupcakes
Mouse-in-the-House Cupcakes.

([ profile] butterflymama3, I'll put the recipe for the Cupcakes in the comments for you.)


Our boys had a great time, and Andrew and Natalie were so sweet and well-behaved. I'm sure we'll get together with them again soon! :-)
navygreen: (Boys: fall guys)
The boys play outside every single minute that they can. On weekdays, this means from about 3:30 (after we've gotten home and they've scarfed down a snack) until dark (or dinner, whichever comes first). There are times that we have to call one of them in for soccer practice, but then they'll happily go right back out as soon as we've gotten home again.

Yesterday, they both quite quite pink from the day's play. *insert Mom guilt* Today, they're outside playing with sunscreen on, as well as wearing hats. They were given choice of their own hat, but it had to be one that covered the face and ears.

A.J. chose his Indy hat. (Of course.)
Jack chose his leprechaun hat, but then promptly switched to his pirate hat. (Both were adorable.)

Such cute guys they are out there, romping around and being the only children in hats. :-)
navygreen: (School)
I just returned home from "Breakfast & A Book" at the boys' school. We munched on doughnuts bananas, and we drank juice - all in the library! It felt so sneaky!

I read Jack's book, More Than An Igor, to him while he ate, and A.J. read silently in his head while eating. When I finished with Jack's book, I read a quick chapter in A.J.'s book, The Cricket in Times Square. Not two seconds after reading the last words of Chapter Eight, the morning bell rang.

It was COLD this morning, and I really wanted to stay in bed. The boys must have wanted that also, as both were still sound asleep and snuggled in deeply when I roused them. I debated for a few minutes about not even going, but I knew that as soon as we got to the school and Jack read the marquee, he'd have remembered it again, and then he'd have been SO SAD that we "forgot." So I'm glad we went (as is usually the case once I get somewhere, ya know?).

It was kinda sad, though. We were there, and we arrived eight minutes late, even. We were the first ones there, and afterward, only two more kids trickled up from the cafeteria that had brought books specifically for this event. Not a single other parent was there besides the PTA volunteer mom that was running the event. I remember the first "Breakfast & A Book" the school PTA sponsored: there were close to 40 kids with parents. During the last two events (they do one in both fall and spring semesters), the attendance has really dwindled. In the fall, Philip and I made up for two of the five parents that showed up. This time? Just me.

I know my kids have loved each one, and I know they'll remember these times. I hope the school doesn't stop trying, but I can definitely understand if they decide not to sponsor this event in the future.
navygreen: (Boys: hug)
~ taken from [ profile] gardenmama

(Jack's answers are first, and then A.J.'s answers are in parentheses.)

1. What is something mom always says to you? – Yes.
(Shut your window, or Turn off your light.)

2. What makes mom happy? - When I'm good.

3. What makes mom sad? - When I'm not good.

4. How does your mom make you laugh? - Tickling me.
(By tickling or joking me.)

5. What was your mom like as a child? - She lived in Texas.
(Southern girl?)

6. How old is your mom? - 29.

7. How tall is your mom? - I don't know that!
(I don't know - how tall are you?)

8. What is her favorite thing to do? - Play Tetris.
(Be on the computer!)

9. What does your mom do when you're not around? - Work.

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for? - Running as the President... 'cuz there is no girl president yet.
(To be elected as the first President that's a woman?)

11. What is your mom really good at? - Tetris.

12. What is your mom not very good at? - I guess, 'cuz she hasn't tried it, 'Pirates' the game.
(Swimming races?)

13. What does your mom do for her job? - Work at Runza.
(A supervisor at Runza.)

14. What is your mom's favorite food? - Chinese food.

15. What makes you proud of your mom? - She loves me.
(That she's the only one I've got.)

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be? - The Cat in the Hat!
(Hmmm... Jerry, from Tom & Jerry!)

17. What do you and your mom do together? - Do crafts sometimes.
(Shop for stuff.)

18. How are you and your mom the same? - Our last name is Cleghorn.
(We both have hazel eyes.)

19. How are you and your mom different? - She wears glasses.
(I'm a boy, and she's a girl.)

20. How do you know your mom loves you? - 'Cuz she shows it.
(Whenever I'm upset, she asks me what's wrong.)

21. What does your mom like most about your dad? - He's nice... sometimes.
(That he came back from Iraq.)

22. Where is your mom's favorite place to go? - Wal*Mart?
navygreen: (Jack: tired)
Jack is watching Blues Clues right now. A dumb episode, with stupid Joe on it... but still.


Time warp, I swear.

ETA: No, Joe, you cannot "ski-doo." You make it look awkward and ridiculous. Steve had class. ARGH.


Jan. 8th, 2009 04:27 pm
navygreen: (Music)
It's very quiet in our house lately. We gave both of the boys their own iPods for Christmas, and they are tuning us out - literally! A.J.'s reading to tunes in his room, and Jack's in the living room with his iPod clipped to the neck of his shirt.

The first song A.J. played? The Song, by Craig Morgan. Jack's was Yellow Submarine, by the Beatles.

I'm loving all the lack of noise, and I think they're so cute with their earbuds in, rocking away. We are truly an iPod family now! I got Philip a 30gb iPod in '05, broke it, then we replaced it with a 2gb Nano in '07. Last Christmas, he gave me an 80gb video iPod, and now this year we've given the boys their 2gb iPod shuffles (in different colors, of course).

Rock on!
navygreen: (Tub)
Jack just fell asleep in the tub. Sound asleep, deep breathing and all. He was OUT. I called Philip in to see, and then we tried to rouse him. He would NOT wake up, and when he finally stirred, he turned to his left to "snuggle" into his covers (as he would in bed), only to then get a mouth and nose full of water!



Aug. 15th, 2008 04:26 pm
navygreen: (Jack: pirate)

Jack has been saving and saving and saving for a Nintendo DS Lite. A.J. has as well, but Jack is a bit better about saving, in general, even though his allowance is less than his brother's. In addition, Jack has received a few cash gifts for his birthday, while A.J.'s real birthday is not until next week.

But it was A.J.'s idea first to save for a Nintendo DS Lite. This was primarily because he broke his GameBoy Advance. It was three years old at the time, so he decided not to replace it (for much cheaper) because most new games are not even released for the GameBoy anymore.

A.J.'s getting closer, and his slightly larger allowance will help him, but he's still got about two months' worth of saving to do before he'll have enough for the DS Lite. Jack, on the other hand, as of today's allowance, has the money right now.

He's saved it, he's waited, and he's SUPER excited about going to pick one out... but a part of me feels kinda rotten for A.J. because "saving for a Nintendo DS Lite" was originally his idea. I have no doubt that he'll keep saving his monies as well, but... yeah.

Being a mom means that, sometimes, your heart will feel two entirely different emotions for your two entirely different kids.
navygreen: ('Affairs:' 101 creative ways)
While out window-shopping, I spied a humorous photo-op. We were strolling by shops, and Philip is very tolerant of my shutterbug tendencies, so he did immediately as I requested when I shouted, "Ooh, ooh, ooh! Stop right there! Now, look at me! Smile pretty!"

So I took this shot:

Mother of the Year, right?
Mother of the Year, right?

Heeheehee. I couldn't suppress the giggles as I was clicking. Not only that, but as soon as I took the first picture, something else began to happen.

A perfect photo example of our family right now. )
navygreen: (A.J.)
Last night, the boys were bathing. Well, A.J. was already bustin' a groove in our bathroom shower, but Jack was still perched on the toilet in the boys' bathroom, doing his thing while the tub filled with water.

And I had to pee. YES, NOW. So, since Jack was occupying the first toilet, I had no choice but to burst in on A.J. (The shower doors are opaque, yes, but still.) So I'm sitting there, wondering if I'm done yet or not (it sounds weird, I know, but if there's water running, I can't hear when I've stopped peeing!), and A.J. says suddenly, "Mom! Hey, Mom! Look what I just found!" He then opens the shower door a crack and pushes his hand through, and I see...

a tooth.

Another one of his molars. That he "just found!" no less. I laughed and asked, "You just found it? Not 'it just fell out of my mouth'?" But he was certain. "No, I was rinsing, and I saw it on the floor, so I reached down to pick it up. I just found it!"

Then he opened the door a bit wider, and I asked to see his mouth. Sure enough, he was sporting a new hole, though the spot wasn't bleeding at all. But I guess while he was be-bopping, the tooth fell out unnoticed, and he then "found" it on the floor.

*shakes head*

Only my kids. Three teeth ago, Jack lost one in his sleep and woke up to it on his pillow. I can tell you this for certain: losing teeth was never quite that easy for me. ;-)


navygreen: (Default)

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