Saturday, October 29, 2011

If You Give a Kid a Box...Part 2

If you give a kid a box, they will play in it every day for TWO MONTHS (and counting.)

And it ceased to be just a BOX, right around the same time they installed a skylight.

And added a window:

The telescope is a nice touch, perfect for spotting enemies from the west side of the compound.

And what's a compound without a telecommunications device?

And some mod decor?

Stay tuned for the next installment of If You Give a Kid a Box...there's sure to be more renovations next week.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Great Wall Of Randomness

One of my favorite things about Luke is his WILD imagination.

He's the kid who can take a stick, a paperclip, a shoelace or a Post-It note and turn it into a toy, creating an entire scenario and alternate universe around whatever random, found object he has in his hand.

Apparently he decorates his bedroom the same way.

Case in point: The Great Wall of Randomness:

Just give Luke some thumbtacks and he's happy as a clam  hanging all his "special things" on a blank wall in his bedroom. 

There's the enlarged photograph of a street sign bearing our last name. I actually have NO IDEA where this came from, but it's pretty cool.  

The cover of the Cars game for his Nintendo DS:

Some glow-in-the-dark stars that must have fallen from the celestial galaxy on his ceiling:

A Go Texan bandana from the East Texas State Fair last year: 

His "Starlight Dining" award from school for having excellent manners in the cafeteria. Go Luke.

The cross that Granny and Pop gave him when he was born and has been  hanging above his bed since he was a baby:

A piece of his own artwork, featuring his signature lightening bolts:

Another piece of his art work. In true little boy fashion, the caption used to read, "Bessy's Butt Egg." I made him erase it and read him the RIOT ACT about potty words. 

And another piece (with LOTS of lightening bolts!):

There's the snapshot taken at the church nursery during Vacation Bible School when he was just a "baby," probably almost two years old in this picture: 

The jewelry bag that my birthday gift, a James Avery charm for my charm bracelet, came in: 

Ewwwww.....the cellophane wrapper to a Lunchable and the top to the cereal he got at school for breakfast. These probably need to come down....:

Continuing on the food theme, the top of a Fruit by the Foot box, his favorite snack. Also a door hanger he colored (why it's on the wall and not the door I have no idea!):

And advertisement for a museum in San Diego, from Aunt Caren's visit there: 

A Cars movie poster, also from Aunt Caren.

And a balloon from a birthday party he went to this weekend.

There's a few more things, but I think you get the idea. While Design Star might never recruit Luke, home is where the heart is and his heart is definitely in his bedroom. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

CrAzY..." StUpId"...(PUPPY) ~*~*~*LOVE*~*~**~

If you'd asked me 10 years ago if I'd be a dog lover today, I'd have told you that you were CRAZY.

And not just garden variety crazy, like the woman at work who talks to herself while moving about the hallways. But CERTIFIABLE. PADDED ROOM. MEDICATED. CRAZY.

You see, I never had pets growing up. Except the hamster, Hannibal. Whom we are NOT talking about. I don't blame my mom; she had five kids. Keeping anything else alive was going above and beyond the call of duty.

I had two black cats when I lived in Germany. But we're not talking about them either.

All in all, I never thought I'd end up with pets.

There was a Cookie. A Border Collie with whom we had a very brief association with back in 2002. Curt was a baby; Cookie was an untamed force. Cookie pancaked Curt on a regular basis and dug tunnels to China in our small back yard. We found Cookie a very nice ranch to live on and she was happy as a dog....

That strengthened my conviction that I'd never had a dog.

But I've learned NEVER to say NEVER.

When I was teaching preschool at Trinity Day School in Beaumont, the teacher in the classroom next to mine brought in a basket of puppies. Someone had dropped them on the rural road where she lived. Abandoned. She let the 3 year olds manhandle them all day. Those puppies were so sweet and docile. Little bundles of soft fur and sweet breath. By the end of the day, she'd found homes for all of them. But I couldn't get those little puppies out of my mind.

Until  one day the following week, when I substituted in a classroom I wasn't supposed to have taught in that day. One of the puppies had been returned. Not because it was a BAD puppy, but because the person who took him was trying to sell him; and my teacher-friend had no intention of these precious puppies being sold. She only wanted to find them good homes. So I thought.

And I thought.

And thought some more.

I wanted that puppy. I called hubby and he agreed.

The little ball of energy was Jack.

But we're not talking about him. 

OK, well maybe just briefly. I loved Jack. He was the sweetest little Beagle mix ever. I think he loved me too. Jack turned me into a dog lover. The dogs next door loved Jack, too. Three Labs and a pit bull mix used to dig under the chain link fence between our house and theirs and come Army crawling into our yard to have doggie play dates. Hubby was diligent about filling up the holes, but three Labs, one pit bull mix and a beagle mix are hard to keep up with. One night Jack tunneled out through a hole under the fence and escaped through the neighbor's open gate.

And that's all I have to say about that.

After Jack, I swore I would NEVER get another dog. Until I was browsing a local classified website and found an ad for someone to PLEASE give a sick and abandoned puppy a loving home. A few hours later, we were the proud owners of Jill, an Italian greyhound/boxer/whippet....(insert your guess here) bundle of personality.

Best.  Dog. Ever.

In the spring of 2009, after we moved to Tyler, Curt wanted to play soccer. The soccer season was a bit challenging for him, so as incentive, he earned "Puppy Points," working toward the reward he wanted more than anything: a puppy he could pick up all by himself.

He earned those points and Tickles joined the family.

Well now, Jill doesn't live with us any more.

I posted on Facebook one night that I'd LOVE either a German shepherd or a Jack Russell. A friend messaged me almost immediately and told me that a friend of HERS had just had a German shepherd mix abandoned on her property.

Meet Gretel, our 16-week-old German shepherd mix (if we had to guess, probably a collie of some sort). 

Gretel is almost IMPOSSIBLE to photograph because she NEVER. STOPS. MOVING. She's kinetic energy at its best.

So with two dogs again, our family was complete.

Until last week.

When we took Gretel to the vet for routine shots. And the vet mentions that just that very day, they'd picked up a sweet German shepherd puppy dodging traffic on Shiloh Road in Tyler. Did I want to see her?


Was I sure?


Well my resolve lasted approximately 2.8 seconds.

Two days later, after giving her owners enough time to come find her, we picked up Shiloh (what else could we name her?) and brought her home. Seven months old and 52 pounds of sweetness.

She and Gretel get along famously. Just like sisters already.

And Tickles?

He just kind of runs with the pack.

Our Menagerie

Let me be clear: I will PROBABLY not get any more pets. Three fish, three dogs and two boys is more than enough to keep alive.

But let me also be clear: to whoever owned Shiloh before we did: you're NEVER getting her back. And I can say that with certainty.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pick A Peck of Painted Pumpkins

Say *that* ten times fast.

Today the boys painted pumpkins. I already had them, decor from last weekend's party, and Luke had been itching to add his personal stamp to the orange orbs.

When you paint them, they last SO MUCH longer than when you carve them.

Curt's pumpkin has two faces: a happy face and a scary face.

I think I see a similarity...

Luke's pumpkin sports  his signature lightening bolt (for the nose) and a "screaming" mouth.

Oh, and bunny ears.

But what pumpkin patch would be complete without bunny ears?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The FrEaKs Come Out at Night

Tonight  Last night (blog owner fell fast asleep while posting) was Family Fun Night at school. Family Fun Night, aka, the Halloween Carnival, is one of Curt and Luke's FAVORITE events at school.

When else, can two, sweet, mild-mannered, crazy and wild, boys

be transformed into ZOMBIES for a few hours?

At Family Fun Night, that's when!

The evening's festivities began with the Soda Walk in the gym. Akin to the Cake Walk, the boys walked around a circle trying to land on the right number to score a soda.

FINALLY, after at least 98 rounds, both boys won a soda.

From there, it was on to the bounce super slide.

And then to the cafeteria for a pizza dinner.

After pizza, it was straight to the duck pond!

Then to the Hole In One game (which ended badly)

Luckily Plinko was a sure thing!

My favorite might have been "Bobbing for Doughnuts."

Because what's better, at 8 p.m. on a Friday night, then MORE SUGAR? It brought out the Zombies in them for sure, let me tell you!

We ended the evening with pony rides.

I won't tell you what happened during the dismount, but I will tell you it was DEFINITELY time to go home after that.