I've only had a few minutes here and there to get through photos and rehash the last weekend.
One of our favorite parts of the weekend? Having the Wesas (one of my husband's sister's family) here. Between our summer adventures and this weekend, the cousins have really gotten to know each other over the past few months.
I had originally planned to pick up a Costco cake and sing to Wendy Saturday evening when the WHOLE famdamily was here, but I guess I should have talked to her first about that thought. When I mentioned it, her eyes got big and ugh. TOO many people, and too overwhelming. A quick run to DQ, and we adjusted to Friday night between a quick dinner and before the guys left for their night out.
This worked out to be just the right size.
The kids loved our little sassy puppy. I was glad to have a place for him to go when things got really crazy. (he went to a neighbors)
These two go through phases of looking more and less alike. I couldn't see the similarities as strong this time, but I can still see them.
Beginning to get wedding ready.....
We were so excited to have Lydia and her dad come for the wedding and for them to stay with us. Lydia had never been to our part of Michigan before. Her and Wendy spend a lot of time together when Wendy heads that way.
The groom's brother, the ringbearer - otherwise known as our Godson.
Lydia's dad, and a lifelong friend of my husband's. Ken stood in our wedding 22 years ago.
The wedding was at four and the Helminen haunted house was at 8. I had told Wendy that if the wedding event was winding down, I'd bring them. We tried to get a van full, but that didn't quite work out - so just four of us went. It was worth it. The girls had a ball and even I got talked into going through. We were back home just after 9.
By 9, everyone was over. I squeezed into my safe place.
One of the great-nephews.
Hallie had come with us to the haunted house. She LOVED it, It was fun to listen to the girls chatter all the way home about how scary it was.
The stairs were filled with kids reading comics or playing with their dsi's. I can really see the similarities between Brian and Jon (both in the back) in this photo.
When nearly everyone had cleared out, I begged George for a wind down to our busy Saturday. He complied.
Ken wound down with a little maze play.
And then it was Sunday......
....and things got wound up again.
Greg took two kids to Sunday School and church. Two of the Wesas followed to church. And the Harjus waited for their third to arrive so they could begin the long drive back home.
A funny from the weekend: The dog had been getting wound up, so Greg said..,"hey Rat (his initials are R.A,T.) come sit with me" And Desmond excitedly jumped onto his lap.
After church and lunch we headed to the cider mill. We went to Spicers this week.
We did another corn maze. The stalks were shorter on this one so it was easy to get a bead on where we were by watching the tree line, and there was the challenge of finding all twenty questions within the maze.
Some of the questions were phrases from scary movies, so you had to answer which one. We'd have been toast it if wasn't for Johnie and Kathy. We didn't even get the Scooby Doo answer right, but mostly because none of us even realized Scooby is a great dane.
Greg amused himself by filling his older sister's purse with corn when she wasn't looking.
The whole gang minus me and Johnie and the two littles who had gone searching for a sign and direction.
It was a great weekend.
This week has been about trying to catch back up and keeping the head above water. Greg is back on seven days a week after begging a few days off last week, and we still have activities four nights a week until the end of November.
I'm here. Second cup of coffee down the hatch, both eyes are now open.
We had a busy, but fun, weekend.
With a family wedding, some of Greg's siblings came to town as early as Wednesday. I think last night was the first night that he went to bed before 2:30 am in the last five days.
But I wouldn't know. I was in bed by 8:30.
The wedding day weather was crummy, but the wedding itself was lovely. I never saw Derek (the groom) smile so continuously in his life.
The last of our company left this morning. We got to enjoy Greg's sister Renee's family staying at our house this trip.
Our boys match up perfectly and Wendy and Penny (above) enjoyed bonding too. They are both only girls in a family of boys. Wendy has three brothers and Penny has four.
Wendy successfully turned 14 on Friday.
Penny will always remember us as the house with the puppy. Listening to her say, "come here, Rocket" and "down Rocket" was the darlingest.
I am thankful to my neighbor for taking Rocket during the times it got really crazy over here. Like Saturday after the wedding when everyone was here.
The camper in our driveway was a huge save. I didn't want to give up any of our company.
Yesterday we went to the cider mill - it was a beautiful day.
Saturday night I managed to get three kids ready in time to bring them to the Helminen Haunted House. Wendy's heart was still pounding by the time we returned home. I had hoped to take a van packed of kids, but it didn't work out that way. We made the best of it.
I got talked into going thru with my friends Liz and Mindi. I only peed a little bit, but was very impressed.
Tonight is the boy's Halloween party. As tired and cranky as they were last night and this morning, I was tempted not to remind them.
This afternoon they both have dentist. Remind me to bring them their toothbrushes.
Greg enjoyed having a three day weekend. We're not sure when he'll get another day off. It won't be next weekend.
I know there is more to share, but my brain isn't fully functioning quiet yet. I'll share more with photos. Tomorrow.
This weekend was our fall services at church. My shift was there at 8 Sunday morning to mix and put multiple pans of pan pasty into the oven. We were done in plenty of time to run home and come back to church with the family.
The smell of pasty doesn't waft through our new church with its one floor design like it did in our old building when the kitchen was in the basement, so it wasn't as hard to have to leave right after church and get our man home to bed. He worked second shift on Friday, and third shift yesterday.
While Greg slept, I took the kids to the corn maze. The last time we did a corn maze, Wendy was in a backpack carrier. It was pretty quiet at the one we went to. There were only a couple cars in the parking lot and we never saw anybody in the maze.
Total time - 43 minutes and about 5,000 steps. We did keep track of our progress to some extent on the paper map.
The bounce house was a free addition to the maze ticket. The kids couldn't believe their good luck.
Maze events done, we went home and said good-bye to dad, gathered up the dog and went for a walk and play at the city park.
Last Thursday after work, and after a quick good-bye lunch for my coworker, I headed ten hours north. We made it there by midnight while making a few phone calls home to make sure my kids stayed on task throughout the evening. Greg was working second shift that day, but had the rest of the weekend off at my request. He needed some time off as much as I needed him to be home.
I was able to help my mom move from her home to her apartment while not worrying about things at home.
It was such a fun move. Fun for spending time with my mom, brothers and two of my sister-in-laws and fun for the fact that my old elementary school was (just) turned into apartments. My mom moved into what I remember being Mrs. Babcock's room. Mrs. Babcock was my fifth grade teacher.
It was fun to walk down memory lane. I have quite a few memories, but I don't remember feeling quite so high up.
It did offer a good view of my brothers hard at work.
We moved the bulk of the stuff on Friday and began some unpacking. It ended up working really well as Saturday's weather brought a wet wintry yuck mix. Saturday was spent cleaning the house and sorting thru what mom no longer wanted.
My mom's room offers a clear view of The Calumet Theatre. When I was a kid, this was where we performed our school Christmas programs. I remember being part of a crowd scene in one of our Christmas plays and I remember that we couldn't see the audience/our parents at all when we were on the stage for the lights. It was a strange feeling for an elementary kid. At least for this elementary kid.
To the left was the lunch room (remember those white milk bags?) where Eddie Lemler once told the gym teacher to go suck an egg, and the whole lunch room went drop a pin silent. Those were the days.
A few pictures from about the place. At the end of each hallway is artwork. I'm assuming these were there when we were in school, but I have absolutely no memory of them.
Cool, though. I must not have appreciated it back then.
I love that they left the old brass numbers up. The center rooms had two doors entering the classrooms. I remember the teacher's desk was between the doors. What I didn't realize was that our desks were mounted to the floor. I didn't take a picture, but you can see the rows of desk marks on the original wooden floor that's still in the apartments.
It was a fun trip down memory lane.
We came back home Sunday and it's been pedal to the metal ever since. I begged the night off, sending Greg with the boys to karate since it's been such a rare option lately. He's working the weekend again, and I'm picking up extra hours at the school.
It's all good. Just don't come over expecting my house to be sparkly. ;)
This and that, because if I don't write it down I'll forget it....
Mark (7) and I went for haircuts tonight. He's growing out his summer buzz and just needs a trim around the edges. I'd do it, but he has that fine hair that has me cutting strays for a whole week. I'd rather pay the ten bucks. Anyway. He's sitting in the chair and carrying on conversation with Cindy, our hairdresser. Cindy: Your hair is looking really nice, Mark. Mark: I want to always have nice hair, even when I'm a grown up. Cindy: I think you're on the right track. Mark: My dad doesn't have nice hair because he doesn't even have any hair!!!
Mark and I went straight from our haircuts to relieve our very exhausted dad at the Lego League meeting. Mark and dad took the bikes home and I stayed with Brian.
An hour later and back at home, bedtime stories read - etc..... Greg hollers up the stairs. Greg: Sharyn!!! Sharyn (that's me): What??? Greg: Where's the car?? Me: Car? Greg: Yeah, the car. Me, memory coming back: Oh. HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Greg: Yeah? Me: It's at the school. I forgot I drove there. (I never drive to school)
Greg walked back to school to get the car. I did offer. And then I imagined that we didn't realize it was missing until I walked to school tomorrow morning only to hear people moaning about the car blocking the drop off lane. I wonder if I would have remembered then? I got the giggles again just thinking about it.
We're stretched a little thin over here.
We're thankful that it's a four day week over here. No work for me or school for the kids on Friday.
Grandma is still in town (she came in time for Justin's wedding and she'll stay through to Derek's wedding) and Allan had the day off work - so they came to the cider mill too.
It was a good day to break in my new camera. It's similar enough to my old camera that it feels familiar, but there are some key differences. The one that's tripping me up the most is the focus grid. It scrolls different on the new camera. I'll get used to it but it'll take me a few times out with it.
Uncle George came to the cider mill too. It was his idea, in fact. We had planned to go last week, but it was cranky weather. And we were tired. This week was beautiful.
Nephew Grayson showed up too.
We saw some familiar faces.
A rare sighting: My husband. He insisted on taking a day off of work. We are grateful.
My husband's youngest sister and her family.
Wendy and Brian were there too, but escaped the lens.
Mark was not there - he went to a friend's house after church, but he insisted we save him some cider and a doughnut.
I had hoped to continue testing the camera while ballooning this evening, but no wind, so no luck there. I won't be able to fit crewing into my schedule for at least another eight days.
I'm, at heart, either a no purse or little purse type of gal. The problem is that Sundays often warrant a purse what with paper, pens, phone, wallet, keys, gum, etc to be toted.
This is where the confession comes in.
*whispers* If I ever need a big purse to disguise a delivery (mail, gift, clothes that have been left by a kid's friend) then I just throw the whole little purse into the big purse along with the delivery and call it good.
We're at that treading water time of the year. With back to school, Greg's crazy work schedule, the kids activities and homework, well - whew. I made it to another Saturday.
Greg's schedule has been swinging between a regular shift, a second shift and a midnight shift.
This week that had me doing all the evening running - so karate on M and W, and robots on Tuesday.
Greg working second shift on Tuesday actually made time for me to get to the gym Tuesday morning as he walked the boys to school.
I find myself already anticipating when both the boys are in middle school I'll be able to do the gym in the mornings regularly. The window between getting the boys to school and then myself to work is just too small.
Thursday seems to be an open evening for now, so I managed to get out and go crewing. It was a fast flight with a hard landing. I've had to turn down crewing more this year due to crazy at home schedules.
Yesterday was our 22nd anniversary and Greg actually beat me home.
I was the librarian yesterday which is an 8 - 4:30 shift. It was my second time being the librarian, but the first time with classes. I loved it. I can't wait to do it again.
The boys and I went straight from school to the homecoming parade. It was perfect homecoming and parade weather.
We got back home to find my husband replacing the kitchen faucet. Much needed.
That job done, we managed to go out for an anniversary dinner. That's a pretty rare event. We went to Aubrees.
Back at home, I fell asleep by 8:30.
Today Greg is working the second shift. He'd be working tomorrow too, but he insisted on a day off.
One of his closest coworkers put in his notice this week. Reason? Overworked.
I feel validated that it's not just us that are exhausted. We're making hay while the sun shines, but it's taking a toll.
Greg gets offered other jobs from old coworkers every now and then, and yesterday was one of those days. However, it's just as much work, if not more. Yesterday's offer pretty much promised 7 days a week for the next three years and more travel.
We'll just keep paying off those bills.
Today my goal is to take both the new camera and new laptop out of the box.
And catch up on laundry.
And make it to a wedding.
Tomorrow's goal is church, cider mill and possible ballooning.
One of these days I'd love to get the kayak back in the water.