Sunday, September 14, 2014

Laundry woes

I have been without a dryer for four days now. Do you know how much laundry we do in four days? 

A lot.


I did what any level headed person would do and pushed the "start" button a million times, much like you do to an elevator or crosswalk button, because we all know the more you push it the faster it works. When that didn't work I  held it in with all my might, willing the machine to spin. When that didn't work I called that stupid b nasty names. Then said a quick "sorry Jesus" prayer then hit start one more time in hopes that Jesus was in the mood to hear and grant dryer prayers. 

He wasn't. He's probably tied up with ISIS or the Kardashians.... 

Dan researched the best possible deal and called Sears asap. The guy showed up yesterday to tell us that we needed a part but he didn't have it in stock. (shocking)

Lucky for us they will have it delivered straight to our house and he could "squeeze" us in in nine days. 

NINE days. 

With a straight face I said, "Sir, we won't be able to open our doors with all the laundry piled up after nine days."

He chuckled but I was serious. 

You would think that with only four people our laundry would be a once a week occasion. At one point I was convinced that the neighbors were sneaking their dirty clothes into our basket. Or that while we we were sleeping little magical elves put on our clothes, frolicked about to dirty them up, then threw them on the floor right in front of the dirty clothes hamper. 

Why is it so hard to put the dirty clothes in the basket? Everything in my house is a"basketball hoop" except the laundry. The boys try for 3 pointers with their trash. They make a hoop with their mouth when they throw popcorn, grapes, or other small round foods into their mouth. They are constantly throwing balls or pillows into the air or against the walls. 

When it comes to laundry their arms become dead, incapable of tossing or throwing. They take what I call the Fireman Approach to taking off pants. In one fell swoop, pants, underwear, and socks come down and off and lay on the floor completely intact. If the event of an emergency, they could step into the crumpled mess, reach down, pull up, and be completely clothed underwear and all. If they sold pants with built in underwear my boys would be first in line. 

We make a lot of dirty clothes here. 

Last time we were without a washer, Dan and I decided to try a Laundromat. If you can overlook the tampon in the washer, $30 worth of quarters, and cleaning someone else's lint tray,  it was pretty awesome to do ten loads in under two hours. 

This time I called my mom. 

You gotta love moms. Moms are the best! You really don't appreciate moms until you become one or have laundry. 

My mom said, "Oh favorite daughter, just bring it over here and I'll keep it going!!"

The boys and I dropped three laundry baskets on her kitchen floor and ran out the door. Later that night she called and said the laundry was done, she made dinner for us, and apple crisp because she knows that's Dans favorite. 

Mom, can we move in with you? 

All of my laundry was cleaned and folded. She even hung Dan's uniform on hangers (she also probably sprinkled Holy Water on it because as of this morning she called me and told me she's really worried about Dan and how ISIS could affect him). 

Mom, Sears called back and said they can't fix our dryer until my boys graduate from High School. 

I guess I'll have to keep bringing my laundry over until then.... 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Give me a break....

Just kidding. No more breaks children!

I was going to write a post about my boys beginning a new chapter in their lives. Max started high school and Tommy started Jr. High this year. Both boys are loving the new change.

Praying before every game. 

Max is playing on the Lehman High School boys varsity soccer team. Unfortunately the school is so small that a JV team isn't offered. By default he is playing with grown men. With facial hair. And defined muscles. One guy with a full beard, around 6 ft. tall,  drove up to camp and I said,

 "Ok, there's the trainer buddy. Just do what he tells you to do and do your best. You're playing with the big boys now so try not to take any shit. But kinda be nice cause we are at a Catholic school and Jesus is always watching."

That was no trainer, it was a teammate.

Max has worked really hard this summer with the team. He has made many new friends and these boys are taking very good care of him at school. When I asked Max how his first day of school went he told me it was awesome.

I'm not sure he has used that word before to describe school.

Then he told me how one of the seniors put him in a headlock during lunch.

And he loved it.

These will be the best years of his life.

Day one of school, Max had a five paragraph essay for homework in addition to Religion, studying for a science quiz, and a few other assignments.

After a two and a half hour practice he got right to work and never complained once.

Tommy has been waiting for Jr. High ever since he found out that there would be no books, all curriculum is on an ipad. Although Tommy has an all boy, very small class he has been pumped to start school. He has decided to give football another shot. He's grown a little more and feels he is ready.

He practices everyday and was super pumped to get his pads so that he could start hitting. He tells me about the great plays and tackles he makes with enthusiasm each night.

Since St. Pats is a small school the Jr. High football team consists of boys from Holy Angles, Piqua Catholic, and St. Pats. All practices take place at Lehman High School. A bonus because sometimes all the stars align and we only need to make one trip up to Sidney to pick them up.

Life is good for Dan and I. Our boys are growing up and are so happy. They love school. They are active in sports. What more can a parent really want?

Last Wednesday Max had his first soccer game and Tommy had football practice. I watched anxiously as the boys soccer team battled on the field. I watched the clock tick away as Max and two others stood on the sideline. With three minutes to go, coach finally puts them on the line to sub in. And not once did the ball make it out, giving them a chance to play during the game.

My heart sunk.

Meanwhile, Tommy walks over holding his head.

"Mom, my head hurts. I hit helmet to helmet and then fell back during practice"

The car ride home was not a joyful one. Max later tells Dan, "Dad it's hard not playing but I know that if I stick with it, it will all pay off one day"

Wow... the wisdom.

The next day at football practice I pull up to find Tommy in the trainer's office with glassy eyes.

He has a concussion.

He's currently resting and is out of football for a week. I tried in my best mommy manipulating ways to get him to quit football.

"You know Tom, chess club will be starting up soon. I think you should give it a strong chance."

He saw right through it.

The following Saturday Max had another soccer game. This time coach called him up before haft time. I am so excited I turned around to the parents and said,

"Oh my gosh, look! Max is going in!"

Yes, I am that parent and I make no apologies. 

God love him. He never quits. He is out there giving his all, as if these boys (men) are his level and size. He goes full speed for the ball and collides with a player twice or even three times his size.

As he was laying on the field my heart was in my throat, my gut feeling was that he broke his arm.

Most times I love being right, which is often, but at that moment I was praying I was wrong.

With nine minutes left in the game I walked Max off and to the ER we went. 

Dan dropped Max and I off at the emergency entrance and parked the car. As I am standing there signing Max in, Dan walks in. Heads right to the front desk. Opens his duck tape wallet (made lovingly by Tommy) and looks at the  receptionist and says, "How much is this one going to cost me?"

I shoot Dan the death stare, the one that says "now's not the time" and quickly apologize to this poor woman just doing her job and could probably care less that on the way to the game we stopped off at MC Sports because Max grew two sizes in shoes. We purchased new cleats, new shoes, new backpack, and various others football and soccer must haves. The total was $300. Dan paid while dramatically holding his chest. So you can imagine the look on his face when I walked Max off the field and said, "Honey, we need to go to the ER. I think Max broke his arm". I'm pretty sure he heard, " Honey, spend more money, blah blah blah, medical bills, blah blah blah, f savings."

All that was the look on his face when he walked into the ER. 

X-rays confirmed my fear, broken wrist. 


While Max is out for an X-ray.

While waiting for the nurse to splint his arm, we ran into a friend of Max's from elementary school. 

She too broke her arm during a soccer game.


After a few days Max got his cast, royal blue for Lehman because it will match his jersey....for when he plays soccer....with a cast. 

It is now a week later. Tommy has been cleared for football and Max is back to full contact soccer. 

I'm praying for no more injuries but I'm convinced that this is just how we do things around here. 

I can't take another person asking me if my children drink milk or get enough calcium. I want to respond, "Wait, what?! You mean if my children drink milk, eat yogurt and other healthy vegetables they will absorb calcium? And calcium is correlated to healthy and strong bones??!! Wow, I've never thought of that before. I think I'll start right now". 

People, yes they get calcium.

The boys are still in good spirits. Dan and I are resigned to the fact that medical bills are just a part of life. And we both want to say that we do realize that it could be so much worse, we will take a broken bone or one concussion (these are too serious! No more concussions!) over a much worse conditon or illness. 

So, here's to a safe, healthy, and happy school/sports year. 

Go Cavs! 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Natural Springs Resort

Now that we are moved in it's time to get a start on our camping.

We packed up the camper and headed to Nautural Springs Resort in New Paris.

For this camping weekend we were met by friends and family.

If you are looking for a campground with lots of water activites then look no more. NSR offers a heated swimming pool.
Chicken Fight!

Water Fun

Tommy and Beux

Max and Noah

Take a look at the lake!

Son of a beach, this place is great! 

Nice dive Tommy!

Hanging out in the lake

Lookin good boys!

Brielle and Lilly making castles

Noah taking the plunge

They even offer scuba diving opportunities. I think I heard that there is a school desk and train or something like that to explore.

We checked in late Friday night and hung out. It feels good to finally unwind after all the moving and unpacking. I need about another month of summer. Speaking of moving I might have forgotten to give a HUGE thank you to all those who helped us... specifically my sisters and Josh. (Happy Buff?)

Tammy, Lindsey, and I 

Take a look at our setup! This weekend we were with five other campers. This is the Hamlin/Williams commune.
So cute!

Kris and Bella

The next morning Dan made his famous homemade waffles.

Outdoor kitchen

And Kris got a start on the bacon.

Grillin Machine

Dan and I decided to burn off some of that with a bike ride around the park.

I swear it felt like I was doing most of the pedaling...

Everyone took a turn!

Tammy and Lance

Buffy and I trying out for a Double Mint commercial 

I'd like to add that while riding with Buff as lead driver, she drove us through someone's campsite. I'm talking in between their camper and picnic table. We might have run over some flip flops. Sorry fellow campers.

At this campground there is a lot of traffic...

The famous "campground" bike rental

Crusin the campground
Max was loving this until some party poopers told him he had to have a valid divers license to operate a golf cart.
I wanted to say:
1. Take a look around buddy. You think this demographic of people has a valid driver's license??
2. I clearly see that one can load up on a case of Old Milwaukee's Best, load about fifteen people on the back and side and drive around like some kind of clown car show from a circus.

But instead I smiled and feigned stupid and said, "oh I'm sorry he's usually a pretty good driver. "

Taking Chewy for a walk... 

Woooop wooop... Pull over.

Officer, I'd like to report a DUI. Some crazy ladies on a tandem... 


The gang
See the guy in the hat? That's Jeff. He's awesome. He is a regular at this campground and brought us over a special batch of his moonshine. After I took a sip and about had a seizure he said that it wasn't this strong when he made it two years ago..... mmmmmmhmmmmm

I put her down Jeff but not without a fight.

As with most camping "resorts" you will always find activities for the kids. Usually it's a shitty craft that nobody cares about. It's a win-win though because the kids feel pretty awesome about themselves and it's one more mindless activity to send your kids to when they are bored.
Craftin it up!

Bling, bling!

Princess Aalyah

Camping doesn't always have to be outdoorsy. Sometimes you just want to sit in the A/C. Adding a deck of cards or board game is always a good idea. We keep Uno in the camper. It's a good two and a half to four hour time kill.
Pick 4 bitch

The weather was good, a perfect weekend to spend time with family and friends. 
Hat buddies

We made new friends, friends that travel with ginormous blenders! Thanks Kim!
Kim's Kool Blender!
This was a successful weekend. NSR gets one thumb up from this camping family. We will definitely come back some day.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Welcome to Our New Home!

It's official.

We are finally moved into the new house. The process was long and at one point we thought we lost this house. I remember a moment, while waiting on the appraiser to get his head out of his ass, Dan looked at me and said, "Let's just walk away. We will find another house".

As I sat on the couch of our very tiny rental I pondered that question and replied, "Oh for God's sake I'm not starting this process over! If you want to find another house good luck, I'm moving to Sayers!"

I don't blame him. It was ugly.

I'd like to take a moment and talk about the VA, as in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Dan served our country by joining the United States Navy, the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces, one of the seven uniformed services of the United States.

He served for four years. I wonder if he too took a 6th grade class trip to DC and the patriotism struck something in his heart that lead him to serve his country.

Or maybe his dad said, "College??!! Jesus, you want to go to college too?? (sidenote: Dan is the youngest of six children) Join the Navy, those sonsofbitches can pay for your college"

I'm keeping my fingers crossed it was the first one.

In the wise words of George Washington,

"It follows then as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious."

Do you want to know what isn't so glorious?? Trying to purchase a house via a VA loan.

It kinda felt like they were saying, "Hey, thanks guy for giving up four years of your life so that we may order you around, make you sleep in coffin-like beds, pay you almost nothing, give you the name seamen (lol) so that when you grow up, find the love of your life, and have children, we can give you the dick sandwich when it comes time to financing your home".

I think the VA needs to read George's words.

The benefits of a VA loan:
1. No PMI- Thanks VA for not letting us pay a PMI, instead charging a hefty VA fee, which I would like to call "PMI".

2. No closing costs- In the end Jesus came through because we were able to get the house, thanks to the sellers coming down on the price and us meeting in the middle a little. Or as Dan would view it, we paid about four grand towards closing costs.

So there you have it. The VA loan= basically a conventional loan with the added bonus of jumping through hoops, on fire, twenty feet high in the air.

Thanks for serving our country Dan. You'll always be our favorite seaman.

The big take away is that we made it! We are moved into our new home! It is everything we wanted, out in the country, and room to grow. Well, not grow as in adding to our family, rather grow in the sense we can get away from each other if needed.

Moving is always fun right? It gives one the opportunity to go through old pictures and boxes of forgotten treasures.

Look what I found crumpled in a trashbag....

Note that the train is much whiter than the dress. That's because I wore this baby twice for Halloween and maybe a few times around the house when the boys were fighting and I needed to hold court.

I did upgrade the trash bag for a box so it will stay nice.

Unless you build, there is always work to be done. Specifically, tearing down trees and painting.

Nobody and I mean nobody blows better than this seaman. There's nothing he can't do. And I'd like to give a big shoutout to Kris's ass photobombing in the background. 

He's a mover....

He's a builder...

Look how fierce he is!

We are the proud owners of two acres! Cutting the grass takes about two hours.

For the boys! Boom! Look who's got free labor!! 

If you're someone reading this blog and you're on the fence about having kids, you need to ask yourself: Do I own grass? Does it snow where I live? Do you want your parents off your back, focusing their keen attention on someone else... say grandchildren? Then you just answered your own question my friend.

We have moved in and are just about ready to have you all over to see the new place!

The boys have already had a few friends over for bonfires and friendly BB gun fun. 

Looks like a campground right?? Well is not, it's our yard....with the camper pulled around back....and no neighbors to judge us. 

The boys watching a movie, outside the camper, parked in our yard. Awesome. 

Wait for the announcement and come join us for a family friendly cookout at our new home!