Saturday, May 31, 2008

Cleaning and Climbing

The boys having a super time! Tate was amazing for his first time.
I love to rock climb too!
Don't worry, Sommer was just resting after a big climb.

On Saturdays at our house, we spend the morning doing jobs. The kids get so excited about cleaning! Not! They especially love when I sing the song, "When your helping, your happy, and you sing as you go. For you love to help mother..." Not! I assign a task to each child. After they finish that, they get another and so it goes until everything is clean. They all moan and groan as I keep giving them things to do. "Not another job," is a comment I hear often. But I tell them that we keep on trucking along until every job is done!

Well today I told the kids that after they cleaned we would go do something really fun. They all picked Rock Climbing! That worked out perfect because it is free at our gym. First we went to McDonald's for lunch (come on, I wanted to keep our newly cleaned kitchen sparkling!). I told them I only had $10 and had to feed everyone on that amount. $1 menu all the way!
After 2 hours of climbing, everyone was exhausted. We had such a super time.

Preschool Graduation

Ashton and Tate had their preschool graduation this week. The theme for Ashton's performance was Mother Goose. Ashton recited, "Rub a Dub, Dub" and dressed like a dog for "Hey Diddle, Diddle." He was offered the cow costume after seeing it, he proclaimed, "That's weird." He played the part of Jack in "Jack and Jill" and fell down right on cue with Jill tumbling after. He has one more year at our fav preschool ever, 4 Rs.

Tate is officially a Kindergartener now! He can't wait to ride the bus and go to school with all of the big kids. His graduation was themed after Eric Carle's, "The Hungry Caterpillar." He recited a few different lines although we couldn't decipher any of the mumbling. Isn't he cute in his grad outfit?!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Broken in Boston

Did you know I fractured my calcaneous (heel bone) during the Boston Marathon? Well, I might have done it during my training, not really sure. What I do know, after getting a bone scan last week, is that there is a lovely stress fracture on my right foot. Ahhh! A reason for my misery. I have had(and still deal with) Plantar Fascitiis, but that is something I have had in both feet and have managed that discomfort the past few years. This was a bigger mess and most painful. It didn't go away after NOT running for 1 week, 2 weeks, 3 weeks, 4 weeks, 5 weeks...the orthopedic says it might be 4-8 more weeks (even up to 6 months) before I can run again. So for the last month I have been swimming, spinning and the ever boring eliptical machine. I long for the day I can run and run and run....

Anyone out there have any sympathy for me?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sommer and Felicia

Felicia and Sommer...BFFs! We love when Felicia can spend time with our family. Sommer and Felicia spent most of their time inside the inner tubes. Here they are in action!

Lake Living...we wish!

We had an awesome Memorial Day at the lake! We love spending time with Pop-Pop and Grandma Gair at their Lakehouse (see it behind Ashton?). Thank you both for making our weekend care-free...just what we needed...when can we move in?!

Ashton and Tate loved the swings!
Pulling all the beach toys down in the wagon! They have everything a kid could need!
Garth resting after luggin' the wagon down...
During a Sea-Do pull, the rope got caught in the jet ski. Garth had to pull the stranded passengers along with the Sea-Do and Jet ski until we saw them in distress...Grandma to the rescue!
Here are the survivors! Everything was fixed and we were back out before too many complaints.

Mystery Museum

Here is Ethan dressed up like Jigsaw Jones from the book, "The Case of the Marshmallow Monster." The entire 2nd grade held a mystery museum where they spoke in character about a mystery that they solved! They also had to make a diarama (gotta love those). Ethan has been anxiously waiting for his turn at making one of these shoe box creations (after seeing his siblings make them over the years). He did a super job!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Happy Birthday to My Greatest Fan

Happy Birthday Michelle! I wish I could be there on your special day to do what we do best...lunch and shop! Have a wonderful, relaxing day!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Mouse vs. The Porter Family

Warning: Due to the graphic nature of the photos, parental discretion is advised!

I know the mouse has been watching me. Every move I have made in the last few weeks, he has seen. He knows we bought traps and that we have been trying to capture him. He mocks us. How do I know he has been watching me? Let me explain:

I am sitting at the computer. I hear something moving by the top of the windows edge. I slowly focus my attention to the slats of the shades and I see it. The mouse is staring down at me, watching me...
All of a sudden the mouse leaps onto the computer, its tail flinging and ears all cute and pink (how dare he try to be cute after what we have been through). I immediately make a run for the door as the mouse takes hold of my neck and starts to bear down on my jugular (not really). But I do make a run for safety and shut the office doors. I am screaming my signature mouse/spider/tick scream as Garth comes running up the stairs wondering who has broken into our home and is attacking me. "It's the Mouse! It tried to kill me!"

I cannot bear it any longer. It is time to visit Glenn, our super neighbor (he is the master of all home fix-it needs. He is our Yoda. He has assisted us in fixing toilets, clogs, fire alarms, outside lights, inside lights, you name it, he helps us fix it). We love you Glenn!

I head straight for his house. I know he can help us. He immediately comes to our rescue. With his shoe in hand and without a moments hesitation, he starts looking for "Mouse." Garth's courage is now ready, as Glenn's trusted assistant, as he clutches a large white board.

The mouse is quick. They try for what seems like hours (okay, it was like 5 minutes) to catch the mouse killer. I am safely behind the office doors watching in horror as the mouse tries to survive, scurrying behind the bookshelf, on the desk, behind a trunk. But he is no match for the 6 ft tall shoe carrying/white board packing mouse hunters.

Th mouse is literally peering around the book shelf corner trying to stay clear of impending destruction.
Glenn and Garth making their moves...I am safe on the other side.
The mouse making a run for it moments after Garth slammed down his weapon missing by inches.Victory is ours...finally! Hopefully "Mouse" doesn't have "Friends."

What We Need More Of...

Margaret D. Nadauld, Young Women General President:

“The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity”

I just loved this quote! The world bombards women over and over again with what they think we should be.

I had a tender moment with Calvin, my 10 year old this week. After being grounded (again), he was feeling down in the dumps. I decided that it was a perfect opportunity to spend some time with my dear boy. I pulled out Monopoly and we spent a couple of hours playing together. Yes, I was kicking his butt in the game and was wealthy beyond measure, Yes, I then played easy on him to give him a chance. Yes, my old back hurt after sitting in a chair for that long. Yes, I passed go without taking my $200 so I wouldn't get richer. Yes, is what I said to him, when he begged me to keep playing even after he was left with $5 for the third time. Yes, we laughed. Yes, we had fun. Yes, we connected. Yes, he forgot about his sorrowful grounded state. Yes, he asked me to play a rematch game this Sunday. Yes, I felt I needed more of this...what really matters...people, neighbors, friends, family, my family and how I treat them. More tenderness, kindness, faith, goodness, virtue and purity would make the world a better place. Our loving Heavenly Father told us this is what we need more of...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

There is such a thing as a free lunch!

Rosanna called me to see if I would be interested in a free lunch at Red Robin! Free?! Well, how can one turn down a free lunch. Red Robin is opening up in our neighborhood on Monday. But for the next few days, they are serving lunch for free while their waiters and other staff "practice" their stuff on us. Rosanna was lucky enough to get a card for this free celebration. I had the huge Sante Fe burger (so delightful) and took full advantage of the bottomless fries. Thanks for the great day Rosanna and Dana!

Meet the lucky ladies. It looks like Dana and I are shaking on the free deal.

Meet our waiter, Clint. He was very kind, courteous and made our dining experience superiffic!
Meet "the drink." This was a splendiferous delight consisting of pomegranate, blueberries and lime . (My oreo shake, which also was to die for is not pictured. I downed it before I had the ability to stop and take a picture)


Here is a place I am longing to visit. A place where people I love dearly reside. A place where beauty surrounds. Look at my darling brother and sister n law. Look at those snow covered mountains. I wish I could be there...Alaska.

Monday, May 12, 2008

I don't mind...

I don't mind the four days of rain we have had here in Virginia. It reminds me of my Alaska home. Our dear short summers in Anchorage were mostly rainy. If we had sun, we were basking in every 22 hours of it (with temps soaring into the high 70's...whoa, that's hot). But it rained a lot. I loved growing up in Alaska summers; green, lush and full of adventure all day (and night) long.

I don't mind giving a talk in church, if it happens to be on Mother's Day Sunday. I had the opportunity to ponder this sacred calling for the days leading up to Mother's Day. It gave me a greater appreciation for my children. And added bonus: Sommer gave her first talk in the meeting too...can you believe I have a 12 year old!?

I don't mind mowing the lawn during the day, if it means I get to spend more time with Garth when he gets home from work.

I don't mind a sick child. I get tons of snuggle time that would otherwise not happen when he is full of energy and wants to play non-stop.

I don't mind a trial now and then. I find myself praying more, listening more and drawing closer to my Heavenly Father.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Super Father-n-law to the Rescue!

I had a great early Mother's Day present from Bruce and Donna yesterday! Bruce called me Tuesday morning and asked if he could borrow Tate for a trip to Lowes. I came home later that morning to find them both in the yard, pulling weeds, mulching the beds, and planting flowers.

The last few weeks I have felt a bit overwelmed by the amount of work that was needed to be done on our yard. Weeds had taken over, bushes had grown bushy and flowers hadn't been planted in years.

I had the inspiration I needed! I jumped in to assist Bruce and we spent the entire day working together on The Porter House. Man it looks good.

Thank you for giving me the perfect gift!

Ahhh! No weeds!
Ahhh! I can see an edge and bushes are trimmed.
Check out those bags of weeds!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

What is Worse Than a Mouse?

...a TICK!

That is the Porter consensus. We don't like ticks. Nasty little buggers. We went for a Sunday walk in our usual wooded park trail by our house. I think each of us all had at least one tick during the walk. Calvin counted 9 on himself. Garth had 2 of those pesky microscopic lyme carrying deer ticks. Even Joey had a few...hopefully his tick/flea meds are working.

Mouse Update:

We still haven't caught the blasted intruder. He doesn't seem to like peanut butter or cheese. Maybe chocolate?! I am going to try this next: click here

Any ideas?

Friday, May 2, 2008

Guitar Hero

There are certain things that are worth buying. Things such as our trampoline, Razor Scooters, Bikes, Ramps and Ride On Battery Operated Jeeps are items that are used on a daily basis not only by us, but by everyone (you should see our garage...actually, I don't think you can see it)!

Calvin got Guitar Hero for his birthday from Grandma Gair in January. It is used every day by each one of the kids. I even think it is a great game! The lastest Guitar Hero Addict in our family is Tate (our 5 year old). He begs me each day to come and watch him Rock On! If I say anything or move around while he is playing, he gets upset and says, "You messed me up!" He is so cute to watch!

Latest Find

Many of you know I am a "treasure hunter" of sorts. Garth might prefer the term, "person who looks through the neighbor's trash." You often can find me scouring the neighborhood at dusk looking for things we can either use or I can sell on Craig's list.

I have in the past listed some of my great finds and/or valuables such as: Little Tikes Turtle Sandbox, Little Tikes Blue Race Car Toddler Bed, Two Step 2 art easels, a set of small soccer goals, 3 vacuums, anderondak chair, office chair, small yellow desk (Sommer uses it in her room...I told her just yesterday that her year old desk was from a neighbors trash and she was a bit disgusted), silk trees in wicker basket, marble top cherry wood plant stand, bikes, scooter, Big Wheels, high chairs, plastic storage shelves, Battery operated Hummer Ride On, Wooden Quilt stand, Dora the Explorer pop up tent, small trampoline...and on and on I could go.

But this is what I found a few weeks of those Sand and Water Play tables. The boys love it. I figure we will get some great use out of it and then sell it.