Monday, February 28, 2011

Back to Reality

We seriously had a great time this weekend in Lynchburg. Our weekend started with our girls trip to sees Princesses on Ice Friday and the fun did not stop until this morning.

Mike and I dropped off our youngest babes in Radford Saturday morning to head to Lynchburg with Kyle. My Mom was sick earlier in the week and we really did not plan to leave Hope with her until we got there. When David got out of the car and she did not she started shrieking for David so she too got unloaded in Radford.

They had a marvelous time just hanging out at my parents house. Late Saturday night Dave and my Dad put on their Hokie finest and headed to Blacksburg to watch the unranked Hokies upset #1 Duke!!! I am sooooo thrilled that David got to be there and he had a ball.

Meanwhile we were in Lynchburg cheering on our favorite swimmer. This meet is a regional A/BB meet which means that you had to have qualifying times to get there. Kyle qualified in four events which is super exciting as a nine year old. Mike and I enjoyed a weekend full of good food and good rest-and I know Kyle enjoyed our undivided attention.

It hit me several times during the weekend that I am so thankful that I do not have an only child. This weekend it was sooooo easy to let Kyle dictate every move we made because Mike and I are pretty laid-back when it comes to food choices and such. Kyle was thrilled to get to determine eating places and he even got a new pair of running shoes to start dryland training this week.

I found him asking for several things this weekend that I easily answered with "sure" because what is a pack of gum or an ice cream cone when you only have to buy one. This weekend gave me a glimpse as to the kind of mother I would be if I only had one babe to spoil. I am so thankful that God has allowed me to mother three because I tend to be indulgent with my children. I admire parents of only children that are doing it well, because this momma tends to say "yes" and "sure" too much and I would have had an entitled brat on my hands.

So today we are back to reality. My energy level from my bout of bronchitis is slowly returning so I am starting the spring cleaning process around here. I am tackling a room or area a day and today it was the laundry room. I am trying to get the house in order so when the weather is warm we can work on the outside. We are not OCD about our house, but it definitely needs a little attention. Spring is on the horizon and this household is definitely ready for days of outdoor play and sunshine!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Princess Mania and our Genius!!

Today Hope and I had the BEST girls day out ever. We scored some tickets to Disney Princess on Ice and went with some of our friends.

Here are Princess Sydney, Hope, and Macy and despite a stop for a little throw up, we had a wonderful day out! I have to admit that I did not give much thought to where we were going-it sounded fun and I love a day out with friends. When the show started I quickly realized that this was a top rate performance with all the elaborate details that comes with Disney.
This is the finale where all the princesses come back out with their princes decked out in sparkly white ball gowns. I just have to admit that it moved us all to tears. I have no idea why it had this effect on us, but it was magical. I got this huge lump in my throat when Cinderella rolled out in that beautiful, sparkly carriage all dressed for the ball. There is just something to that story that touches any heart and makes you believe that dreams do come true.
I have been so far out of the princess circuit due to the fact that I have mothered boys for the last nine years. But today sitting with my little girl on my lap I was overcome with emotion. There is something so precious about sharing something with your daughter that you enjoyed as a child.

My daughter loved every minute of that two hour program. She was mesmerized from the beginning. What really got her attention was Mickey and Minnie. Hope has recently fallen in love with Minnie and was ecstatic to see her today "live."

Even Mickey and Minnie came out in sparkly clothes for the finale. My pictures are not that great because my camera stinks and the lighting in there was poor. It was truly a wonderful, magical show and I am so thankful for times with just my favorite girl and friends.

My girl is growing up so fast. She did not want to hold my hand coming out, she wanted to walk with Macy.

Even princesses need their beauty sleep:)
When we picked up David, I saw THIS in his backpack!!!! My Dave rocked his spelling test and even got one of the bonus words. We were so proud of him and it was icing on the cake of a perfect day:) Way to go David!!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My Heart

My heart can barely handle these pictures of the boys playing basketball together on the same rec team. For one thing, it makes me giggle that I have the tallest and tiniest kid on the team. Also, it thrills my soul that David has the opportunity to be on the same team as his brother and friends.

Kay Clawson is a friend of mine who takes wonderful pictures. She is launching a sports photography business and I am so excited for her. For a reasonable price, she will come to your child's event and take pictures for you and then hand them over to you on a cd. These pictures are precious and priceless to me because the reality of the situation is that my boys will have very few opportunities to wear the same uniform and play together. As the boys get older, the game gets rougher and it is not fair to put Dave in a situation where he will get hurt.

I am going to frame these two all over my house. I know these boys fuss and fight, but you can see the love between them in these pictures. In the picture above, Dave's expression kills me!
I get so emotional watching Kyle encourage and cheer on David. I also love to watch the thumbs up that Dave gives Kyle.

Dave's jump shot! He has not made a basket yet, but he is oh so close and when it actually happens, I will probably scream and scare him to death!

Kyle's jump shot! Kyle ADORES baseketball.

Coach Daddy and Dave on the bench talking strategy! HA! I also have to admit that Dave's Under Armor muscle shirt makes me smile. His skinny little arms are too much for me!

Kyle's first three pointer that went in!! I can't believe Kay got a picture of it!

Kyle gets fouled a lot, so he spends lot of time on the foul line.

Mike is the assistant coach and "Bull" is the head coach. Both of my boys adore him and as you can see he and Dave have a special little friendship.

This picture is the one that makes me want to sob in a good way. This time last year he could not even dribble, much less dribble and walk. This picture is such a reminder to me to NEVER under estimate this kid. I had major reservations about him playing in this league because it is so rough, but he is holding his own. I am so proud.

Slam dunk thanks to coach "Bull"

This picture makes me laugh so hard. David got pushed down during the game and the whole place gasped. Kyle had been pushed down several times and we told him to get up and keep playing, but with Dave we all jumped and he even got an ice pack!! I love this picture.
David is certainly not going to be headed to the NBA anytime soon, but I am so thrilled when he get an opportunity to do sports with Kyle. I know that these moments will be rare in the years to come, so I am so thankful that I have these awesome pictures of a season in our life when my boys suited up in the same uniform and enjoyed some brotherly love in the huddle.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Random Post

This week I have been consumed with cleaning the germs out of this house. We are all finally on the mend around here. The bronchitis that David and I both had was a nasty, nasty bug. We still do not have our energy back yet, and poor David fell asleep yesterday during guidance. His teacher said he fell sound asleep during the lesson-poor baby.

Hope and I have been soooo excited about the idea of getting outside to play again soon that we....

painted our toes!! She loves her painted toe nails and will rip off her socks and shoes to show you her "pitty toes!" She is so verbal, active, fun, but strong willed these days. I so enjoy our days together. I know this stage of our life will not last forever.
Her sweet little feet:)

This week our calendar is packed extra full as we try to fit the last of the rec league basketball games in for both boys and Kyle is working extra hard in swimming right now. This upcoming weekend, he has qualified to go to the A/BB meet in Lynchburg!! This is a first for him and he is sooooo excited. He will swim the four events that he has qualified for.

On a a super exciting note, David got to do a public service announcement this morning for our local radio station. Next week on March 2nd is the national day to end the use of the "r" word. We are trying to get the word out that using the word "retarded" is not acceptable in any way, shape, or form. It is hurtful to people with intellectual disabilities. This morning the local radio dude came to David's school and he taped a PSA about this issue. I listened as he did it and I CANNOT wait to hear the final outcome after editing.

I have to admit that I was seriously worried about him doing it. David's speech is certainly not his strength, but we practiced with him and made him say each word separately to be clearer and I think it is going to be precious. To say he enjoyed the taping is an understatement. He broke out into Big Green Tractor and he even gave a shout out to a friend. This kid is such a ham:)

The radio dude promised to email it to my when it is done so I can share it on this blog. I love times like this where we are busy doing things our kids love doing, but I am ready for life to slow down just a bit:)

Thursday, February 17, 2011


This week we have been in a huge battle around our household-Robinson's versus Germs. Unfortunately the germs are winning out, but thanks to a great doctor, antibiotics, rest, Gatorade, shots, and grandmas we are surviving!

Last weekend Hope came down with the stomach flu. She threw up most of Saturday and then yucky diapers have followed ALL WEEK. Seriously, I have never ever seen a stomach bug linger for this long. Poor baby girl.

Then Wednesday morning I woke up with my chest burning with lots of coughing. I took all three kiddos with me to the doctor where I was diagnosed with bronchitis and pneumonia and had to take TWO shots. That was wonderful to have my three babes witness my reaction to two painful shots:) Then the wonderful nurses gave my boys the flu shot because the flu is RAMPANT around this area. I was so sick that I could not comfort my babes during their shots-I hear they took them like little men:)

The good news is that my mom came down Wednesday and took over so I could go to bed. Thanks to the shots, I am much better today-just tired.

Poor David, woke up this morning with a fever and coughing, so off to the doctor we went again. David too has bronchitis and we are treating him at home with breathing treatments, antibiotics, and steroids. So far Mike and Kyle are staying healthy.

This is one of those weeks that is just hard and long, but I know we will get better. Weeks like this make me appreciate my overall healthy children and thankful for great, compassionate doctors.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Heart Day 2011

Valentine's Day is always full of fun around here. Both boys had to prepare Valentines to give out at school and I had to make the cookies for each class party.

Here is sweet Dave working super hard on his valentines. He wanted to give each kid a goody bag of stuff and then we made him write his own name on the card.

I adore this picture. We also made brownies for the class and I gave Hope and David each a beater to lick. I love that David got a towel on his own to wipe Hope's mouth.

Silly silly boy. I know my children love to lick the beaters, but I always worry about them eating the dough.

Clearly Hope did need her face wiped:)

Mixing it all up with AShley's help.

This morning before school I made my Valentine's pause for a picture. David for once was all agreeable about a photo op and wanted a picture with each of his siblings:)

My big, sweet boys. These two may fight and fuss, but they really do love each other.

My three sweet Valentines!! Hope is looking so much older to me these days-I guess it is the longer hair!

Tomorrow Miss Hope will be 20 months. Where in the world has the time gone? This is what my babes looked like last year on Valentine's Day! What a difference one year makes in the life of a baby/toddler and Kyle's face looks so much more mature this year. David is now in bifocals which have changed his look too.

Enjoy the Valentines in your house and Happy Heart Day!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Big Dave the Teenager

Friday night we went to the local high school girls and boys basketball games. We were playing a nearby town rival and it was sure to be a great game. David had the time of his life! Two of the varsity boys basketball players came and got him and took him to the student section to sit with them during the girls game. (I stole these pictures off of Facebook from Marshall's mom, Ellen's page so that is perhaps why they are so small)?

Here are the boys bringing David back across the court to come back with us so they can go get dressed for the game.
Just like at every high school, there is a student section where all the students sit. Friday night Dave was smack in the middle of the fun student section. It looks in this picture that he is trying to start the wave?!!
The fun continues when Doug and Dave decide to trade glasses for a funny picture.
You have to look super close, but Dave is right in the middle of a great group of teenagers from our high school. When I worry about David socially I need to remember this picture. For some reason, people are drawn to David and he typically is in the middle of the fun.
Showing off some pre-game muscles!!!
It thrills my heart that we live in a small town and David is well known. We are out and about so much at sporting events and David just knows everyone. I am so appreciative of situations like this where David gets to be the center of attention-Kyle sat with me:) Pictures like this remind me that a diagnosis of a disability is not the end of the world-quite the opposite. Thank you to two terrific guys that made one little dude super happy! David even got to go out on the court at half time and help run the half-court shot fundraiser!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Swimming Dave and Spaghetti

This month David has started some more swimming lessons at the Wellness Center. He did a lot of lessons last year and we are building on that this year. His teacher is very sweet and patient and he really likes her. I insist that all my children be good swimmers. Swimming lessons are really not an option in this family because we are in the water so much in the summer.

Big Dave on the kick board!
This picture totally sums up David's crazy personality! He is such a ham and loves getting his picture taken:)

Kick board time!
Mrs. Anne is actually pushing them to all wear goggles and she had a pair that he could borrow. He put them on and I love this picture of him!
Last night after gymnastics, I came home and made this amazing chicken pasta dish from that cookbook my sister-in-law sent me. Last night's dish was super easy, healthy, and it took me 20 minutes from fridge to table.

Hope was either starving from gymnastics or really loved the dinner because she asked David to help her finish it! The ever helpful Dave obliged and I got these cute pictures! (She had on her pale pink leotard and we stripped her down to eat bright red pasta! Our daughter does not usually eat naked:)

Sibling cuteness!

Here Mom you have some!! I bet you can guess that she went right from the table to the bathtub with this mess:)
Obviously when a recipe is this stinkin' good I must share! All five of us enjoyed this quick and easy dish with very few ingredients. I love recipes that have short ingedient list!
Speedy Italian Chicken With Pasta
2 t. butter
1 lb boneless chicken tenders chopped in bite-sizes
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic (I have the can of fresh garlic and just used a little of that)
1 jar of spaghetti sauce -your family's favorite flavor
1 pkg. of thin spaghetti
Parmesan cheese
In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add chicken, onion, and garlic. Cook until the chicken is done and onion is tender. Stir in spaghetti sauce. Reduce heat and simmer covered, stirring frequently for about 10 min. Cook pasta according to pkg directions and drain. Serve sauce over hot pasta and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
This was such a flavorful dish and it was a hit with my family. Try it and let me know what you think!
Today is snow day #18 for us. We have caught up around the house and spent time preparing for Valentine's Day on Monday. Kyle's class valentines are all completed and the cookies are made for the party and in the freezer:)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Tiger Mother

I just have to blog about this bizarre and crazy book that I have just swallowed hole. I started reading it and I just couldn't stop. I even exercised 5 more minutes on the elliptical so that I could finish the chapter. I loved it but I dislike the author.
Amy Chua is a mother, law professor, author, that writes about western parenting versus the Chinese model of parenting. The premise being that Western parents (that would be me and everyone I know) are lazy, selfish and are okay with our children being mediocre because we allowing them to choose their own activities, nurture their souls and allow them to be who they are.
The chinese parenting model does not allow for much fun because every moment of the day is spent playing a musical instrument or excelling in school. No sleepovers, playdates, or days at the water park because fun takes away from precious practice time. This author has parented her own children on this model and you will have to read for yourself if you think that it has merit.
I personally think that the woman is totally over-the-top nuts and abuses her daughters to the point of a social services complaint. On the flip side, her daughters do excel and succeed.
Reading this book has made me evaluate if I push my children enough. I am certainly a tiger mother when it comes to my children-there is nothing I will not do for them. But, do I allow too many video games and not enough reading? Do I allow David's IQ to determine how many flash cards I do with him?
The one paragraph from the book that continues to haunt me insists that Western parents try to respect their children's individuality, encouraging them to pursue their true passions, supporting their choices, and providing positive reinforcement and a nurturing environment. By contrast, the Chinese believe that the best way to protect their children is by preparing them for the future, letting them see what they're capable of, and arming them with skills, work habits, and inner confidence that no one can ever take away.
The phrase that catches me is work habits. I know that I fall into that trap of doing way too much for my children and not making them work for "stuff." I am home fulltime for a reason, but I never want this to make my children lazy and entitled. Even though this book is totally nuts, it has made me realize that I am doing my children no favors by enabling them and making their lives too cushy.
Read the book and let me know what you think about Amy Chua's parenting approach. It kind of galls me that she is making money off of her extreme parenting that I feel is borderline child abuse. In the meantime, I am going to go print some more flash cards for Mr. David and print off some subtraction regrouping for Mr. Kyle when he comes home today:) This tiger mother will not allow her children to be entitled, lazy brats!

Sunday, February 6, 2011


I am so tired. My legs are throbbing and I am already envisioning the amazing Monday afternoon nap I will take tomorrow. We worked our tails off this weekend hosting an AAU tournament to raise money for our team.

David got to eat some hotdogs and other junk food and we raised almost $3000 for our team. It was hard work and long hours, but it was so worth it to bulk up our AAU bank account for new uniforms and entry fees. We also had fun hanging out at the gym for almost 20 hours with some of our dear friends. It was one of those weekends where you wipe your brow and know that it was all worth it.
My hubbie coached hard and he worked his buns off for this tournament. I do not want to know how many trips I made between the three gyms taking food, money, tickets, signs, etc.

This man is not afraid to work hard and from cleaning bathrooms to sweeping gyms floors he is not afraid to get dirty.

Pops, GG, and Mimi came on Saturday to pitch in. Pops volunteered and kept the clock for about 6 games. He was so helpful and we appreciated his help. GG andMimi babysat Hope and David and got to come watch the last game. I love this picture of Pops and Dave.

One of our friends, actually DAvid's PE teacher, is an amazing photographer and came and took some pictures for us. She is launching a sports photography business and I am so thankful that she used our kids as guinea pigs! Local folks, call on Kay Clawson to take your kids pictures at sporting events. You can sit back and cheer on your kids (or yell at the referees) knowing that she is capturing all the moments that you do not want to miss in real time. She is reasonable and for a flat rate she will come to your child's event and take pictures and provide you with a CD of her work. She is a gem.

I love pictures of my boys in action!

Here is Pops and Kyle sitting at the officiating table. Pops volunteered to keep the clock for us for many games and he was such a blessing. Kyle was so proud that his Pops was the clock keeper!! When Kyle wasn't playing, he was sitting very close to Pops:)

After we closed up the tournament and counted all the money, we headed to our friends, The Jonas' house for a Super Bowl party! We had such fun relaxing and eating some yummy food:)
Tonya and Caleb in opposing team helmets:) At the party mostly everyone was cheering for the Steelers except Tonya:)

I realized that my boy is growing up when he and his buddies Caleb and Tanner were glued to the TV the whole game. In the past he has watched bits and pieces of it, but tonight he was glued from the start.

When we came home from the party Miss Hope was not tired due to a late nap, so we put all three boys to bed from our big weekend and we went downstairs and cuddled and watched the rest of the game.
I do not want to work a tournament more than once a year, but I can honestly say that I had a blast. It was fun cheering on our team and it was even more fun to hang out for an entire weekend with families from our team. You never waste a moment of your life when you are investing in your children! I enjoyed Pops chauffering me between schools as we delivered hot dogs, waters, and Gatorade between the three concession stands.
My weekend is catching up to me and Miss Hope and I are off to bed:)