Monday, September 28, 2009

On my soapbox...

Remember the DINK (dual income, no kids) days where we thought we knew everything and often said, "Well, when I have kids I'll never...(fill in the blank)"? I remember thinking that. I swore my kids would never go outside with out shoes (happened yesterday). I swore my kids would eat from all the food groups. Cameron can tell you in depth about all of the food groups but that doesn't mean he's going to eat from them. I swore I would never cook separate meals for the kids. I'm sorry but Mike and I love salmon and there is no way the kids are interested in it yet. The one thing I have learned the hard way is never to judge another parent. What works for us doesn't necessarily work for everyone else. I can't believe that we had an over 4 year old who still yearned and longed for her Nuk - a pacifier. I can justify it up and down until I'm blue but it was long overdue to give it up. But I can proudly say, when given the opportunity to show us that she is a big girl, Molly has been Nuk free for a month. On her own terms is how she works best. But, I'm sure that there would have been some judgement passed if others had known that she still wanted a Nuk at bedtime. I probably could judge myself!

We know a couple who was recently judged by a complete stranger on their parenting skills. Someone approached them in a public place and told them that they weren't doing their kids any justice by rewarding bad behavior and that they should seek some parenting classes. They didn't know this person and the person didn't know them. The strange part of it is the couple didn't think that their children were acting up all that much. They actually thought they were having a good day. Regardless I have learned that you never judge someones parenting until you have walked in their shoes. This couple has more than one child and we all know how challenging it can be to keep more than one child in check. I keep thinking that what happened to this couple could have easily happened to Mike and I. You can't even imagine how many times a week someone says to me, "wow, you have your hands full!" I get it. I do have my hands full but this is what God intended for us and I have to also take the skills he gave me and do my best to raise nice, responsible and loving children. So instead of judging each others parenting how about a little support? It will go a long way!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Saturday morning means SOCCER!!...

It's another Saturday morning here and that means SOCCER! I wish our little soccer player went with as much enthusiasm. I think Cam likes it but he certainly isn't chomping at the bit to get out there. We all trek out and set up our chairs, have to eat the obligatory fruit snack, guzzle the drinks (remember drinks mean pee I tell them) and then get the fun snack afterward. I think my boy lives for the snack afterwards.

Here are some photos from the morning...

I love this one...the girls are more interested in socializing that doing the drills. It was so cute!

Here comes the mean coach breaking up the chatting party...

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Cam as goalie

We have selected our ideas for Halloween costumes and the orders have been placed. We can't wait for Halloween!

Today my niece Cailin turns 10!! Happy Birthday to one of the nicest girls that we know!! We can't believe you are double digits. I remember like yesterday the day you were born. Hope you have a great day! We love you!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Random thoughts by me...

I think I'm in a blog funk so I'll just put down some random thoughts and call it a post!

Our school year is going really well. The kids both love their classes and teachers. They both seem very, very nice. It's been good even in spite of the fall Cameron took off the see saw which cut his head open. Nothing a little staple couldn't make better! He took it like a champ - what a Hall he is!! They both talk about friends and Cameron already has his first "play date" set up for Friday. It's kind of strange for me to hear the kids talk about friends and not really know the kids or their parents. I have talked to one Mom on the phone from Cameron's class and know the mother of a girl in Molly's class so there is a little connection. It's been a fun time with school so far. Hope it continues for about 15 more years!

We have fun news from my side of the family. There will be 2 new babies in our family come April. And, NO!!, they are not from us! Both of my cousin's are going to have little ones. My cousin, Jessica and her husband, Dave, are expecting mid April and my cousin, Bill and his wife, Ricki, are expecting late April. Little Lily will be a big sister! All I can say is yea and thank god it's them and not me! We wish them happy pregnancies - such an exciting time!

How much fun did we have at Pumpkin Festival??!! A whole bunch! By Saturday we had had enough so after the parade we were done. If you didn't see our picture on Facebook of our candy loot, holy cow was it a lot! 8 pounds!! It was way too much but so fun for the kids to get. They loved it! We already look forward to next years pumpkin festival. It's the only place in the world where it's cool to wear a pumpkin shirt in September!

The weather here has been unbelievable! It's been a little rainy the last 2 days but we really need it. Not a drop of rain the entire pumpkin fest. Since today is the first day of fall I expect the temperatures to start to drop. Have you seen pictures of snow already in Colorado? Crazy.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A first in the Shook household...

What a weekend! Beautiful weather that started us at soccer Saturday morning. We ran some errands after that and then saw a very discouraging Buckeye defeat Saturday night. Today we headed out to church and then participated in rally day for Sunday School. It's the kickoff that starts the year at church. The kids had yummy snacks, got to go through a blow up tunnel, have their face painted (our kids just did their arm), and do an obstacle course where they got a medal. When we got in the car Cameron said, "Mom, that was REALLY fun!" We really appreciate all the hard work by the education department at our church. They make everything really fun!

After lunch we headed to Peoria and participated in the MS Walk 2009. One of the first families we met here in Morton has been affected by MS this year. Our new friend, Traci Sullivan, was diagnosed with MS in February. With the economy hard hit in our area she was hoping to raise $500 towards the fight against MS. As of today Traci's Troops raised $3,500. Isn't that awesome! I thank those of you who contributed towards my goal of raising $100. Here is a picture of Traci and her husband, Andy and their 2 sweet kids Max and Maggie.

I wish I would have thought to get a picture of us walking but I forgot. It was a great day to walk and there were about 65 - 70 walkers in Traci's Troops. A terrific turnout!

A really monumental event took place after we got home from the MS walk. I have an I've Never List and one of those I can know cross off. I know what you all are going to say. I can't believe this was on Beth's I've Never List but just remember that my Dad always felt this wasn't a girl kind of job. He worried about his princess oops I mean daughter. Well...Today I MOWED for the first time in my life!! Mike needed to mow and was procrastinating so we compromised. He would let me help but only in the back yard. We have 2 mowers since the previous owners of our house left theirs for us to have. Mike is very particular about straight lines but didn't think it would matter as much in the back yard. I set Cameron up wit the Wii and the girls were playing on the swing set and we were good to go. Here's a few pics from the experience. I told Mike afterwards I did an awesome job. He reminded me that every time he mows he doesn't come in the house and say, "I did an awesome job." I don't know, maybe he should, right? :)

I have named the mower Bessie...

Friday, September 11, 2009

This is for the birds...

We put up a bird feeder that my Uncle made for the kids last Christmas. We filled it with wild bird food and have really enjoyed watching the birds and the acrobatic squirrel that come and visit. The feeder can be seen easily from our sun room and I think we will enjoy watching the feeder all winter, especially when the birds are in the most need of food. I took all these great pictures of the feeder. I got awesome shots of the squirrel hanging upside down to eat and shake the feeder so more food fell to the ground. I was so excited to post and then realized this all happened without a memory stick being in the camera. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Maybe someday I will get some more fun bird shots. We have the most beautiful cardinals and blue jays that hang out in our back yard.

On a serious note today is the 8 year anniversary of 9-11. I, like all of you, remember exactly where I was when I first found out. I was working at Bedford Laboratories and my friend, Pam, called from upstairs and said that our country appeared to be under attack. When I was at work I was busy and kind of lived in a bubble. At the time we didn't have internet access but another co-worker who was on vacation had a radio so I went and got it and plugged it in. I listened to NPR all day and was in shock. Our phones were quiet, hardly anyone contacted me about business all day. Eventually someone turned on a TV in a conference room but I never went and looked. I was afraid I would it would be too overwhelming and shocking. I wanted to wait until I got home from work before I watched any TV. The radio was enough for me at the time. I remember driving home from work through a residential area and being amazed how many flags were flying on houses. It brought tears to my eyes. It was beautiful. The next day at work things started to get crazy as customers of ours in NYC and Washington started preparations for hospital to be over stocked with drugs that they might need to treat the wounded. Since there was no air flight trucking companies were brought in to move the pharmaceuticals east. It was by Thursday or Friday that we realized that all this effort was for nothing as there weren't the large amount of survivors that were anticipated. That was very sad. It felt defeating. I wasn't directly affected by losing anyone on September 11th but I do have a cousin who enlisted as a nurse in the Air Force in 2003 and she spent two tours in Iraq. I know that we have all known someone who has served time in this awful war. Today we salute you and your efforts to bring peace to this world and to keep our country safe. Regardless of how you feel about the political state of our country I think we can all be in agreement that our freedom has come at a price and it is because of this freedom that we can voice our opinions. God Bless the USA!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Yes, two adults and 3 children can get lost in a corn maze...

I know that Mike will totally disagree with this statement but I am the one with the better sense of direction between the 2 of us. It's true. I think it's a family trait because the Shook's in general don't have the best sense of direction. It's true. On Saturday we decided to try out a local corn maze at Ackerman Farms here in Morton. The family goes to our church and are the nicest people around. Very nice family. We were the only ones in the corn maze and I think it would have been hilarious to have been a fly on the wall watching us attempt this. It is quite an elaborate maze that John Ackerman cut himself. His wife, Eve, designs it and John cuts out the intricate maze. John hides 18 wooden pumpkins in the maze and each pumpkin has a letter and a number that correspond to a phrase that they have created. The kids had a ball finding the pumpkins that were scattered throughout the tall corn. There were areas where the corn was 10 feet tall. We would lose our direction and two times ended up at the start again. The Ackerman's have a tall blue silo that we tried to use as our point of reference. Once Cameron had to stand on Mike's shoulders and once Molly did to so they could search for the silo. We found 16 of the 18 pumpkins and were able to figure out what the saying was. It's cute - you take your sheet of paper back to the shop and if you get it right you get a Smarties or if you are wrong a Dum-Dum. We had a fun few hours out at the farm and the animals were a very bit hit, too. Here are some of the pictures from our adventure.