Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Case of the Missing Tooth

Rob and I received a nice financial gift this year for Christmas and decided we would use the money to work down a large list of needs for the family.  One of my first decisions was to get the kids to the dentist.  No dentist in a one hour radius of our town takes their insurance (or new patients with their insurance) so we have been going to a dentist in town that we like and just pay outright for the services.  However, we've been unable to get any of us over there for a few years now and to be honest, it hasn't been much of a thought with all of the other medical emergencies that keep happening.  But I knew we needed to just take care of it and so dental appointments were made the week after Christmas.  They just went this past Wednesday and it was definitely a day to remember.

All three kids were to have their appointments at the same time and I decided to stay with Anna and just confer with the dentist about the boys afterwards.  Nice plan, right?  Well, I ended up bouncing around between three different rooms to listen to three different lists of problems with their teeth.  I had  a pen and notebook out to take notes because I knew I wouldn't remember any of it later, but I was also trying to translate "dental speak" into regular English, which was a little tough.  So here are the results:

Matthew:  No cavities, the front adult tooth they had to replace looks good and might not even need the root canal they talked about four years ago when it was fixed.  He does have a pretty huge overbite and they are talking about some kind of orthodontic appliance.  They don't know what it would be yet, since we'd have to start down that path with a consultation, but most likely braces.  Overall, his visit went well.  We will probably start down that path in a few months after fixing a few things for the other two kids.

Ben:  No cavities (which is really surprising considering how often he forgets to brush!), his front tooth that was fixed last spring looks good, and he has the same overbite as Matt.  He will also need some kind of appliance in his mouth and the word "headgear" was used, which make me snicker.  Couldn't help it--I had images of all the horrible headgear in movies pop into my head.  Thank goodness they don't use awful stuff like that anymore!  Anyway, he also has a chipped tooth, so we set an appointment in February to take care of it. 

Anna:  And now, for the bad one:  Anna is missing an adult tooth, the one right next to her front middle teeth.  And the same tooth on the other side of the front teeth is coming in, but it's too small.  She is going to need implants.  It's by no means a simple fix either.  It will start with a frenulectomy, which is where they will cut her overpronounced frenum so that her front teeth no longer have a gap.  That will help when they have to start bonding the teeth to create a space big enough for an implant.  When the dentist finished explaining everything to me, he summed it all up by saying, "Basically, it just sucks."  That I understood!  They wanted to schedule the frenulectomy right away, but she also needs sealants (the boys had theirs done but Anna was too stressed out to continue the appointment) and she has a cavity, so we'll focus on that in February then do the next step.  She was a mess by the time we left and cried quite a bit at home.  She feels like everything bad always happens to her.  And honestly, it does look that way.  They can't do most of the work on her missing tooth until she's older, so at least it's not something that will happen all at once. 

So that's the scoop on our dental visit.  It was crazy and overwhelming, but I'm glad we got the ball rolling on some needed dental work.  And now we know what we're doing with all of Rob's overtime pay! 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Going from Zero to Sixty

It's a really good thing that we had such a long, wonderful Christmas break because we were rested up and ready to hit the ground running on January 2nd.  Life sort of exploded on that day and it hasn't calmed down since! 

Rob went back to work and right into 50 hour weeks.  Actually 58 because they had to work two Sundays during the month of January (which is now heading into mandatory Sundays.)  The jobs he has been on have been frustrating so he's been stressed about getting his "rate" up.  His rate determines bonuses, eligibility for overtime, and effects his yearly evaluation so it is important.  He's also been adjusting to a new sleep schedule.  The kids are pretty good about letting him sleep, but it's still hard.  We fully stocked him with Isagenix products to give him his best shot and he's been fairing pretty well.  It's hard not having him around as much but we welcome the extra income so we're able to pay off bills and work on purchasing items we need around the house.

Matthew unexpectedly started his paper route on Jan 2.  We applied for a route awhile back but hadn't heard anything.  He got a phone call the week before and he and Rob went to the office to get the list of houses so they could drive around and see the route.  Monday morning he got the call that he could start that afternoon!  The lady who had been doing the route simply would not follow the list and deliver properly, so they fired her.  Matt and Rob headed about early that afternoon and figured it all out.  Matt actually has two routes next to each other, both in our neighborhood.  It's an afternoon paper, so no early mornings.  By the second day he was able to do the smaller route alone and probably would have done the whole thing solo by the end of the week if the weather hadn't turned bitter cold.  On Fridays he also has to deliver the Time Saver, which basically goes to everyone in his delivery area that does not subscribe to the regular paper.  That's A LOT of papers!  It took him a total of five hours to deliver those papers with Rob's help, then he had to do his regular route.  Thankfully he has Saturday morning to finish, so he saved the smaller route for that day.  (And there is no weekend paper.)  He got the total time down to 3 1/2 hours working by himself the next Friday and I'm sure he will continue to reduce his time. 

Matt has also been taking care of a puppy more often, as the owner is transitioning to a new job but still working the old one.  He has so enjoyed playing with Gracie and she's been a nice stress reliever for him. 

The other two kiddos have been anxiously waiting for all of their piano activities to start:  group lessons, private lessons, and theory class.  They should have started this week, but everything was cancelled because of the weather.  We were able to reschedule the private lesson so they enjoyed that today.  Otherwise they have been helping around the house, Anna has been sewing and baking, and Ben has been reading and helping pick up some of Matt's chores. 

And me?  I've just been trying to keep my head above water!  I am back to my nutritional cleansing and it has helped tremendously with my health.  It's been a bit of a three-ring circus to coordinate everything everyone is doing but I'm managing.  The kids and I did get out for a couple of movies.  I took all of them to see Sing and then just the boys to see the new Star Wars movie (Anna stayed with a friend).  It was nice to just relax with them! 

So we're adjusting to our new schedule, taking each day at a time and trying to stay happy, health and sane. 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Christmas 2016

For the past two years, we traveled to Illinois to spend Christmas with extended family.  This year it was time to stay home.  Rob had time off from the 23rd-Jan 2, so we looked forward to a nice long time together as a family.

I had planned to only take the week between Christmas and New Year's off school, but after Thanksgiving I felt that two weeks might be better for the kids.  I told them if we could get three weeks of work finished in two weeks, we would get two weeks off and that's all the motivation they needed!  They worked very diligently to complete everything in time (and because I'm nice, I let a few things slide here and there.)  We spent the week before Christmas shopping for the final gifts, baking goodies, and sending the final few Christmas cards.  This year I decided I wanted as little to do with the baking process as possible, as the children tend to drive me insane when we all bake together.  I let each person in the family choose their treat then told them THEY had to make it.  That's not really a problem, since all three of the kids can cook and bake with only minor limitations.  Matt made Christmas M&M cookies, Ben made Buckeyes (with me doing the actual chocolate dipping), Anna made sugar cookies (just needed someone to handle the oven--she even made the frosting herself!), I made double chocolate biscotti, and Rob attempted mint bars, trying to modify parts of it to fit how he and I can eat.  We cannot have refined sugar so we had to figure out how to make the mint frosting layer.  Well.  Let's just say it's a good thing the brownie part was good or the whole thing would have been a disaster.  He did manage to salvage the filling and use it in a bizarre version of scones.  I'm not sure how he did it, but they tasted good!  And my biscotti was so fabulous we ended up making a couple more batches over the course of the next week.

On Christmas Eve we decided to have some fun and take the kids sledding.  We missed going sledding last year somehow, so they were overdue.  They had a blast and were the only kids on the hill until another family showed up.  All six kids sledding had a blast and had races, etc.  I even went down the hill once, laughing like a loon the entire time.  (Until I had to walk back up the hill...ugh!)  I left early to get hot chocolate ready for the cold crew.  The kids jumped in the showers afterwards and after dinner, we headed to church for the Christmas Eve concert.  I love, love, love attending a service on Christmas Eve.  It just seems "right" to me somehow.  We didn't have one when I was growing up, so it's not something I am used to.  More like something I adopted as an adult that I would love to be part of every Christmas Eve.  This year the church had a sacred concert with a pause in the middle for our pastor to sit on the stage with the children and read the Christmas story.  Only Anna went up this year, as they boys decided they are too old.

After the service, we drove around looking at lights.  We found some fun displays in parts of town we don't normally see and our favorite display included a peacock!  We arrived home to find the police across the street!  Someone drove into a light pole at the neighbors and it looked like a hit and run.  Kind of fun to watch, especially since no one was hurt.  The kids went to bed soon after the excitement was over and Rob and I put out the final stocking stuffers and the "Santa" gifts.  (We have a long-running joke about putting out cookies for Santa and getting gifts the next morning.  We have never done the Santa thing in our house for multiple reasons.)

I got up to use the bathroom around 5am Christmas morning and ran into Matt in the hallway.  Turkey.  We told the kids not to get us up until 7am so they had a LOOOOONG wait!  We giggled to each other in bed as we heard them sushing each other and trying to stay quiet.  Right at 7 they came in to get us up, and of course like all parents everywhere, we dragged out getting ready as long as we could. Generally we start with the "Santa" gifts, which are the only ones they are allowed to open all at once.  This year "Santa" got them fun shirts.  Then it was stocking time and present opening!  We like to do it one at a time and we start with whoever has a gift closest to Dad, then just make sure everyone gets a gift before starting the next round.  We had gifts from the grandparents under the tree too, and the kids all buy gifts for everyone.  We had a grand time watching everyone's reactions to the gifts and the kids were very happy.

I should mention how Rob and I do gifts.  A few years ago we were really strapped for cash so we took a tip from a friend and bought a few presents from thrift stores, and then one main gift off the list. The kids like the idea, as they have no idea what they are getting and it makes the gift opening more fun.  This year we found some really fun things.  Matt received a Star Wars puzzle, juggling balls, a Lego set I didn't want anymore, and his main gift was a tablet.  (It would have been my Kindle Fire but the kindle died one week before Christmas so we had to scramble to get a new gift!)  For Anna we found a cute sweatshirt, a Snowgli from Frozen that talks, a big bag of fabric, and her main gift was a new doll.  Ben got a book about the homerun race between Sosa and McGuire (that apparently was a Christmas gift from "Uncle Dave" back in 1998), a Sammy Sosa jersey I found at a bag sale ten years ago and have kept in storage, Blockus, and his main gift was a Lego set. 

After the gift opening we all had breakfast and got ready for church.  The kids weren't too happy about leaving their gifts and going to church, but they did enjoy the service.  We opted for something different for lunch:  Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches and fries.  It's hard to make so we don't do it too often and gluten-free baguettes are pricey, so it was a wonderful choice.  We spent our afternoon relaxing and enjoying our presents.  Rob and I put out cheese, sausage, and crackers for a light supper and we enjoyed a movie together.  It was a great Christmas!

The rest of our week was relaxing and involved several outings together as a family, a nice date for Rob and I, Matt's first youth group 1/2 nighter (the all-nighter was cancelled this year), and other nice events.  We had a wonderful week together!

Friday, January 6, 2017

The Christmas Tree

Last year we decided that the tree we used for a number of years had seen it's final Christmas.  It was shedding needles like crazy and the prelit lights kept taking turns working.  It was time to go.  We tossed it on the curb after Christmas and knew we had a whole year to save up money to buy one come the following Christmas.  Easy, right?  Nope.

When Rob broke his thumb in April, he had to stop overtime hours and go to regular.  Slowly over the next few months our reserve of funds dwindled and we were back to living paycheck to paycheck with no money for anything extra.  We were hoping his overtime would kick back in come fall, but that never happened.  (Very long story involving an oopsie on the part of John Deere.)  We managed to save money money here and there for presents for the kids, but still didn't have a tree come Thanksgiving. There was a silver lining--a three paycheck December that spread out the bills enough to give us wiggle room, plus overtime starting in the back-half of the month.  But--that meant we had to wait until December 16 to find a tree.

Waiting for the tree was hard on all of us.  The kids, being kids, just want to see a bright, shiny tree every day to remind them of the holiday.  I love Christmas and like being surrounded by decorations.  Rob likes his family to be happy.  We had a discussion with the kids about how we had to wait for a tree and why, and they were very understanding.  They even came up with all kinds of cute ideas for an alternate tree in case we couldn't find one.  Because let's face it--waiting until mid-December to find an artificial tree isn't going to give you the best choices. I went ahead and decorated the rest of the house so it felt like Christmas.  But there was still a hole in the living room.

Heading into the final two weeks before we could buy the tree was going to be rough.  Not only could we not afford extras, a "perfect storm" of bill due dates came up and left us tighter than we had been in a long time.  God knew, and He allowed Rob to earn a bonus so that we were able to better breathe.  His timing is always perfect!

The day before Rob's magic paycheck, he and I went to the downtown Christmas store, a branch of a local thrift shop, just to see if they had anything left.  Matt and I had been there previously and they have over 20 trees of all shapes and sizes, so we knew they existed.  But were any left?  Yup....just one.  And it was perfect.  I did NOT want a prelit again, and this was an unlit tree, perfect size and shape.  It looked a little scrawny in the store, but Rob soon realized that it was put together incorrectly.  When the branches went into the correct slots, it was perfect.  And the best part?  Everything in the store was 75% off so our tree only cost $13!  We were able to bring it home that day and the kids had it up and decorated in record time. 

Not a day went by that I did not catch someone in the family gazing at the tree with a smile on their faces.  I'm so grateful that we had a chance to experience this precious time together--the waiting for our tree when God taught us powerful lessons about waiting on His timing.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

2016 in Review: October-December


Anna finished her fall soccer season in the middle of the month and did a fantastic job as goalie.  She can't wait for spring soccer to start again! 

Our Mondays were pretty crazy with piano lessons, group lessons, soccer practice, and the occasional odd activity, plus working in time to take care of a puppy.  We basically ran all day long and collapsed into bed at night!  Soccer ending helped loosen up the schedule a little. 

The boys took on a week-long job helping to clean up a pet clinic at night.  A friend of ours and her daughter do the job normally but were heading on vacation.  Her husband took over but wanted a helper, so the boys split the responsibility.  They loved helping out and did a great job (and earned a paycheck!)

We had a visit from my parents early in the month and went to Jelli's Market to do the fall activities and pick out pumpkins.  We had a ton of fun driving around the countryside and enjoying the fall weather.

Matt competed in a Mario Kart competition at the library and one.  Playing video games does pay off!

Ben and I enjoyed following the Cubs this year and had a lot of fun cheering them on during the playoffs.  We bought a subscription to MLB-TV at the end of the season, but were disappointed to find out we couldn't watch playoff games live.  However, we were able to listen live and it was a neat experience.  It didn't dampen our enthusiasm one bit and we were able to watch the games the following day.

Rob surprised us with a trip to Mt. Olympus the weekend before my birthday.  He had earned a bonus at work in September and saved the money back for a fun weekend of water slides, rides, and roller coasters.  We even got to watch one of the World Series games from the hotel.  I love that he gave me roller coaster rides for my birthday :)  We made it home in time to go Trick or Treating that evening, then rested the following day.


Ben and Anna played in two piano recitals this month.  The first recital was on the first and was their individual pieces.  They did a terrific job, especially since they chose an earlier recital and did not have as many lessons as normal before the performance.  At the end of the month their piano groups performed in a group recital.  Most of the pieces were Christmas music and was a nice entrance to the season.

Matt attended a paint night at the library and enjoyed painting a picture with a group of teens.  He also attended a youth group activity mid-month and enjoyed playing Underground Church.

We had planned to travel to Illinois for Thanksgiving, but hit a snag when my health did not seem to be improving.  I have major sensory issues when I am indoors in smaller areas (house-sized) with large groups of people and traveling in general is painful for me, so we made a tough decision.  I stayed home and the family visited without me.  I kind of anticipated moping around for three days until they came back, but instead I had a very peaceful time alone.  I spent much of my time resting and recovering, but also stamped Christmas cards, watching the new Gilmore Girls episodes, stamped with another friend who stayed home, talked to the guinea pigs, and had a wonderful time.  The kids and Rob enjoyed two separate family gatherings, helped put up Christmas decorations, and Anna went to see the new Disney princess movie with her cousin, aunt, and grandma.  It was good to all be together again.


The kids and I kicked school into high gear so we could get to our 17th week before Christmas break.  Matt finished a research paper (the first he has ever actually completed) and did a great job.

All five of us came down with a head cold, Anna the worst.  She ended up with an eye infection and had to take her theory test from home.

Ben and Anna finished their lessons and classes for the semester in piano.  They were also in our church Sunday School program.  Matt was happy to have aged-out of the program and enjoyed being in the audience.

Matt and Ben were hired by our landlord to shovel snow this year.  Matt shovels at his house, Ben shovels around ours.  Ben is happy to finally have a paying job!

Rob had the final week of December off and we all enjoyed Christmas together.  I will put our Christmas festivities into a separate post.

Monday, December 26, 2016

2016 Review: July-September

March addition:

I completely forgot about one of the biggest changes in March:  Anna got a guinea pig.  She wanted one for her birthday but we were going to take our time and find one from a rescue.  While the boys were at their camp retreat, Rob and I took Anna to Janesville to shop for an Easter dress.  We popped into a pet store and she fell in love with a little piggie that had just been put up for sale that day.  We bought all of the supplies and came home with Princess.  She's very different from Matt's guinea pig Rocky, as she is far more active and squeaky, but we all enjoy having her around. 


We started off the month having Rob home for a week.  We had planned activities each day, but the week kind of fell apart as it progressed.  On the 4th we decided to skip the parade and head to Harnischfeger Park to hike, play mini golf, have a picnic, and paddle on the river.  We did hike until the mosquitoes drove us batty, our picnic was delicious, mini golf was a hoot (and cheap--$5 for the entire family!) but the paddle boats were beached due to low water level in the river.  On Tuesday of that week Anna got her cast off, so we kept things low key.  Wednesday we watched Ben play a baseball game.  He was supposed to play a double-header, but one of the games was moved.  We also drove to Theresa, Wisconsin to visit a cheese making factory and a candy shop.  The candy shop was AMAZING and we gave each kid $5 to spend.  They came home with piles of candy!  On Thursday Rob and Anna went out for a little date:  dinner and dress shopping.  The boys and I were going to head to Little Amerrika, a local amusement park, but I was sick in the night.  Plus Matt had compressed his back at the park on Monday.  We kicked around different ideas but ended up playing video games at home so two of us could heal. 

The kids and I went to see The Secret Life of Pets the following week and had a ball.  We were joined by two friends of ours and enjoyed the movie together. 

We made a trip to Illinois mid-month to celebrate Kenzie Hawker's birthday.  She had a sleepover for her girl cousins that were around her age and my sister and I had a ball taking the little princesses all over town.  The next day I helped with party prep and we spent most of the day celebrating.  It was pretty tiring, but a ton of fun.

Part of the fun at Kenzie's party was Anna getting her ears pierced.  It didn't go quite according to plan, as the gun was stuck on part of her ear.  That ear ended up getting infected three weeks later, necessitating a trip to the ER and antibiotics.  It's doing better now, thankfully!  She loves feeling all grown up.

Ben's baseball team ended their season on Matt's birthday by winning their division, putting them in the top seat going into the tournament the following day.  They won their first tournament game, but lost the final game.  Ben was the last kid to bat, bases loaded, two outs and he struck out.  He was disappointed in himself, but I told him the game wasn't lost in that final moment--it was lost when his team played terribly two innings prior.  He did have a great team and fantastic coaches this year, so the season still ended on a high note.

Matt turned 12 this month and had a nice day building Lego sets and eating treats.  I can't believe he'll be a teenager next year!!

On the 21st, a friend of mine posted on Facebook that she had two tickets to a Cubs vs Brewers game that she couldn't use and did anyone want them?  I quickly checked my schedule and went for the tickets!  It was am amazing experience to take Ben to his very first major league game, especially with his favorite team playing.  There were more Cubs fans than Brewers fans that night so we were in good company.  He was in awe the entire time!  It was free t-shirt night and he got free baseball cards so we didn't even spend money on momentos.  (In fact, the only things had to pay for was parking!)  The Cubs won, making it an even sweeter memory. 

Ben and Anna attended VBS at another church in town during the last week of July and enjoyed themselves.  Matt and I enjoyed spending time together. 

On the 30th, my side of the family had our annual picnic.  This year it was at a park in the Chicago area.  The kids had fun running around in a splash park and playing with cousins for several hours.

The next day was Rob's company picnic.  This year they decided to hold it at a hunting club.  There was a salon there for massages, facials, and manicures, which Anna and I did.  The guys went shooting and had fun.  Overall, however, it was just hot and not really a whole lot of fun.  We were pretty happy to leave and get home.


We started the month with VBS at our church.  It was a sports camp theme for the second year in a row.  Ben was in the basketball group and Anna learned to play volleyball.  They both enjoyed it.  I helped with cookies this year.  The  youth group usually does a week in August called Teen Epic Battle and this year they ran it at the same time as VBS.  Matt enjoyed all of it, especially water night. 

In August every year I attend a weekly scrapbook class.  This year was even easier than normal because Matt was able to babysit.  Having a babysitter at home has been very freeing for Rob and I and it helps that Matt does a great job. 

We made a final trip to Illinois during our anniversary weekend.  It was a quick trip, but we wanted to get there one more time before soccer season started again.

We had our first day of school on the 22nd.  We usually start school right after the pool closes for the summer.  The kids weren't too terribly thrilled, but they soon settled into their routine.


Matt started a new "gig" as a worker in the nursery for our monthly mom's group.  He is trying to get his name out there as a babysitter and we thought being in the nursery would be a good experience for him.  He really enjoys working with the little kids each month (but not so much on the same day he cares for the puppy--it's a little exhausting!)

Anna started soccer again, this year playing on a larger field.  She plays goalie and LOVES it.  She's very aggressive and keeps begging for goalie gloves.

We had a chance to visit with some foster puppies a few times this month.  They were so tiny and like watching walking tummies :)  And we managed to leave them all there and not bring any home.

Ben and Anna started piano lessons again and this year joined group lessons on top of private lessons and theory class.  It's all included in tuition, so why not?  They really enjoy making music.

Matt went to Farmtastic in the middle of the month and enjoyed romping around playing games all day.

I attempted to take a yoga class but my second session left me in pain for several days.  The change to fall weather was not kind to my body and my health began taking a turn for the worse.

We had a visit from Rob's parents this month for one special reason:  Intense sewing lessons for Anna!  Grandma gave her a sewing machine for an early Christmas present and lessons on how to use it.  Anna is a natural at sewing and has been busy all fall making loads of projects.

Friday, December 23, 2016

2106 Review: April-June


The kids finished up their semester of piano lessons around mid-month.  All three passed their theory exams, although Ben's teacher recommended he repeat Theory 3 just to get a little more solid foundation.  All three performed in a piano recital on the 18th and did a great job.  Matt was really nervous, but he enjoyed his first (and probably only) public performance on the piano.  Ben played an original piece and did a fantastic job.  He loves composing. 

Anna had a busy month of piano and soccer practices and games.  She was a little more hesitant this round, but warmed up toward the end of the season.

Matt got a new job puppy sitting.  A friend of ours got a Golden Retriever puppy named Gracie and he and I went over three times a day to let her out and play with her while her owner worked.  It was a challenge while she was being house-broken, but Matt fell in love with her and was very patient.  He did decide that he will just stick with a guinea pig, as a full-time puppy would be too much work. 

I had a couple of friends from Arizona fly out for a work-visit.  They were helping a group of us on Isagenix learn how to grow our business.  We had a great time showing them around Wisconsin and thankfully the weather was nice for them. 

Rob got a little jealous of all the attention Matt and Anna received when they broke bones that he decided to join the "fun."  At the end of April, Rob smashed his thumb at work and broke it.  Because it was on the job, everything was covered under workman's comp and he still went to work and completed some classes.  He spent most of the next month in a cast.


Ben continued to take piano lessons through May, but he kind of wishes he wouldn't have gone for the extra semester.  Baseball started and that took more of his attention.  He played in an older league with games on Wednesday nights.  That got a little hairy, as Matt was starting youth group and didn't want to miss it.  I'm the one who does all of the running around in the evenings with the kids since Rob is working, so the logistics of getting kids here and there can be challenging.  But, we have some good friends who picked up Matt and Anna for church so they wouldn't miss anything.  There were a few weeks after Truth Trackers ended and before youth group started where the kids were mainly in the service, so they just came to games with Ben and I. Ben appreciated his siblings watching him during a few games.  He mainly played catcher and right field this year.

Matt took a Babysitter Course in May and is now an American Red Cross certified sitter.  The only job he has had so far is watching his siblings, but he's getting the word out and working with kids at church so hopefully he will have some real jobs soon.  He also took his guinea pig, Rocky, to church to visit with the 4s and 5s.  Rocky was a good boy and the kids enjoyed feeding him parsley.

Rob continued to heal from his break and had multiple ortho appointments.  He wasn't able to drive very far so we had to cancel our Memorial Day trip to Illinois.  We tested out his driving by heading to Sassy Cow creamery for a farm tour (which was a total bust--but the ice cream was good!)  It was too far and that was only 45 minutes!


A couple of movies came out this month so the kids and I headed to our local $4 theater to see Alice Through the Looking Glass and Finding Dory.  We enjoyed both of them.  We're so thankful to have an inexpensive theater in town.

On the 7th, Anna decided to join her daddy in a cast and she broke her elbow on the monkey bars.  She and I just stared at each other in the ER and couldn't believe she did it AGAIN.  This time she didn't have to have surgery and opted for a purple cast.  The kids had worked hard on a reading program to earn free tickets to Great America and we had to cancel our trip because she would still be in the cast when we planned to go.  In fact, we were never able to use the tickets all summer, which was a huge disappointment for all of us.  We're hoping to get there next summer. 

The boys spent a lot of time at the pool using our family pass while Anna and I found activities at home.  A few times we picked up her friend Delaney and they girls played while the boys were gone.  That helped distract Anna considerably. 

Matt had a great time at one of his favorite teen activities at the library:  teen mini-golf.  He had quite a bit more fun this year because he was not being wheeled around in a chair.  He was also able to work the annual library teen fundraiser at a local brat house.  He really enjoyed working in the kitchen part and helping customers.

I spent a good amount of my time running two different people to ortho appointments, Ben to baseball activities, and the boys to the pool.