Life. Love. Family. My Perfect Imperfection.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

A month of Alex - May TBT #5


Birthday cake (1st bday 2006)

Wintertime 2007 (18 months)
I found these awesome pictures on some DVD's this morning! There were so many cute, older pictures of him and his brother E floating around, and it was very difficult to narrow it down to just these 2 today. Tomorrow, Alex will be celebrating his 9th birthday. This morning while he was packing his book bag, I went in their room and laid down on his bed, and he came over to give me a great big hug. I said to him, "so after today, do I still get hugs and cuddles? After all you will be 9 tomorrow..." He responded "Absolutely! I love you, mom!" That was the sweetest thing I could have heard this morning.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Rock on The Range 2014


Wow! Talk about an awesome weekend!

The three boys stayed at my parents and had so much fun. They went to the park to play on the playground, for a walk to the nearby shopping center to watch rc cars, a small festival where they each rode one or two rides, and to the dollar store to buy a small toy. Movies were watched, games were played and tons of outside fun was had. Alex got his birthday money early, and is saving it to spend later. E got his early too, and spent about half of it on a used DS game. Jackson slept and ate well nearly the entire weekend, and only asked for us a few times, but a short phone call each day made him smile.

That Thursday, the boys and I were supposed to meet up with someone but unfortunately our plans fell through. Instead we spent the day with my dad, and went to the store for a bit. Early the next morning, Jason drove down and picked me up for our 3 hour drive south to Columbus, Ohio. We went to Heather and Matt's house and got to spend some time with them and my nephew before the 4 of us adults headed out to the Columbus Crew Stadium for the concerts.

Friday, we got to see Black Label Society, Seether and Staind. All very good shows! I had heard songs by each of them but I'm not so good at remembering which songs are by which bands. Well, some bands and songs are iconic, so they stick with me a bit better. Staind's front man, Aaron Lewis, really earned my respect that night. People were crowd-surfing like crazy, and guys were grabbing girls inappropriately just "because they could". Well Aaron Lewis said something about it! Basically, that their moms should be ashamed of them, they probably didn't raise them to be like that, it's not open season on girls, that girls are grabbing them in their privates, etc. He was eloquent, to the point, and got cheers from all the women and girls in the crowd along with many of the guys! Much love for that!

We did catch a couple of the other bands on the smaller stages, but just a song or two here and there, and I don't remember the bands.

Friday's Headliner: Guns 'N' Roses. I have no words. We left early during their show. No Slash. Axl was being... Let's just say I will never be able to listen to Welcome to the Jungle the same again. Most definitely without laughing extremely hard. I went to get my hair chopped off last night, and turned the radio on in the truck. That song came on, and I just couldn't stop cracking up, thinking of that night, and then Jason's imitation in the van the other day when we heard it.

We went to a great little restaurant, where the waitress was joking and laughing with us while we ordered and ate breakfast at midnight (except Heather, who got chicken strips. "One of these is not like the others" - Jason, who also order fried mushrooms to go with his big breakfast). We probably spent a good hour and a half just hanging out.

Saturday brought more fun after some busyness in the morning/afternoon. When we got to ROTR, we got the opportunity to see Pop Evil, Theory of a Dead Man and Chevelle who all sounded great. At that point Jason and I took off for the "pit" area, moving as close to the stage as possible. Heather and Matt went to the bleachers to sit.

Slayer!! We were so close! Jason and I did get separated for most of the show, but it was so awesome. I couldn't leave my phone out, or I'd have dropped and lost it in the madness. Great show, crazy crowd, so much fun!

Headliner: Avenged Sevenfold (A7X) put on such an awesome show!!! I didn't realize how much I like their music until that night. Really! I can see why they are so big.

Boneless wings, cheese and bacon fries, and subs is what our late-night dinner consisted of Saturday. Heather and Matt suggested awesome places! We, again, spent a great deal of time just hanging out and talking about nothing in particular. Such a fun time.

The truck had started acting funny Saturday, so Sunday morning Jason took an hour or so to try and figure out what was up with that. Then he and I went to Auto Zone to find out if they could check for any malfunction codes. It came back with 6... On to the next. LOL. After a bit more poking around there, the four of us went back for the final day of ROTR.

We had the opportunity to see Alter Bridge (we stayed up in the bleachers for this one), Five Finger Death Punch (AWESOME!! and they also earned major respect points for saying something similar as Staind had), and heard a little of Jason Bonham LZE from the Ernie Ball stage.

Sunday's Headliner: KID ROCK! He puts on a really amazing show! I never knew he played so many instruments: guitar, keyboard, drums. So cool.

We had originally planned to go to dinner at the first place we went to, but they close early on Sundays. Steak and Shake was open though. Our waitress was awful, but the food was delicious and the company was great :) I think 90% of the other patrons had also come from ROTR.

I tell you what, we are DEFINITELY going again next year. One way or another, come hell or high water. Not only did we have an absolute blast, the boys had such a good time too, and Jason and I came back refreshed and able to enjoy our kids even more than before. I can't tell you the last time we had no children around for more than a couple of hours. It has to have been before Jackson was born - 2 1/2 years ago - because this was his first extended time away from us! We had time alone to talk in the car on Friday, and Monday, plus some time during the weekend when we went places together. Time to laugh, and just be, be together, be Jason and Crystal, be husband and wife, be friends, not just "mom and dad". We love our boys so very much, but I think we both forgot how nice it is to just be grown-ups and have time just to ourselves to work on our relationship. I feel like we really bonded and reaffirmed our love over the weekend. It gave us time to step back from the craziness of life and just let loose and have some fun. I had forgotten how much fun Jason can be when he's not stressed from work, or tired from school, or being constantly bombarded from every direction. I had forgotten how to laugh, really laugh uncontrollably, at something other than my boys being silly or telling jokes.

We drove back to my parents Monday morning and when it was time to leave there to head for home, E and Alex didn't want to leave! Jack couldn't care either way, as long as mom was staying around. He had fun but told me he missed me very much. The older two had had so much fun and enjoyed their time with grandma and grandpa so much, they wished they could stay a few more days. I felt so bad, but reminded them that they had swimming lessons that night, and a few more weeks of school. They (E and A) are going to their other grandparents for a week the first week in July, and that will be super fun as well, and I'm sure my parents will try to get the older two for a couple of more days of the summer also.

Probably my favorite "crazy" quote from the weekend? "Who does that? Who s*#%s in a port-a-potty?" Overheard while waiting in line for said port-a-potty - the trailer kind with 6 stalls on one side for the women and 6 on the other for the men. I will admit, it was the filthiest, stinkiest port-a-potty I've seen to date, and most of the stalls ran out of TP that first day, but seriously?! She just kept up her drunken rant about it for what seemed like 15 minutes. Heather and I could not stop laughing, nor could the other girls behind us.



Thursday, May 22, 2014

A month of Alex - May TBT #4


First Communion (2013)

Alex and I were just sitting here yesterday and talking about things coming up in the next few weeks. School is out in about 3 weeks (15 school days left, not including today), and we go on vacation just 2 days later - on Father's Day! Memorial Day is Monday, and while there is no school, we have a cub scout event including a parade and picnic. It dawned on him that means his birthday is NEXT Friday.

He finally decided he wants to have a sleepover with 5 of his friends and have pizza and pop. We are going to take the boys bowling - or maybe roller skating. Either one will be fun for all involved. Ethan has asked if he can have a friend spend the night as well, but Jas and I need to discuss this as it's Alex's special day. I'm hoping the weather will be nice Saturday night because Alex is hoping they can have a camp-out in the backyard in the tent (with dad out there for supervision, of course).

I'm planning to give him the choice between yellow cake or brownies for his "cake" and any flavor ice cream he likes - Breyer's has so many choices that are dye-free and HFCS-free, with very few ingredients.


It's been hard to decide each week which pictures to show! I love looking back and see how he's grown and changed.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

A month of Alex - May TBT #3!!

"Driving" a police car at the Fall Fest (2 1/2?)

Face painting at Fall Fest
These are two of my (many, many) favorite pictures of Alex. They were taken at the Fall fest in a suburb of our hometown back in I believe 2007. This was the first day we met our now long-time friends, Sharon, Pat and their 2 older boys. Fast forward 7 years, and instead of 4 boys between our families, we currently have 6, with Sharon expecting another boy in July! Every time we get together, our boys play like it was just yesterday they saw one another. I'm so glad we went to the Fall fest and met up with the mom blogger I'd been introduced to by a mutual friend (whom I still haven't met IRL!! LOL).


Friday, May 9, 2014

For the birds


Alex wanted to do a "big" project from his Bear Cub Scout book and we decided on a bird feeder. There's no real plans in the book, but I had seen a picture of a simple one somewhere (where I don't remember) and it gave me a starting point on writing up a plan for him to follow. 

Starting with a 12"x24" craft plywood board, Alex measured and Jas cut - using power tools - a 12"x12" section. 




 Then Alex took the two 1/2"x4"x24" boards, measuring and cutting them into four sections, using a handsaw. Two of the sections were 12" long and the other two were about 11 1/4". As they were building the frame, we realized that a little section had to be cut off the shorter pieces for it to fit together correctly.

Alex got to hammer the pieces together with Jason bracing them for him. He did really well with the hammer. Nobody ended up with any swollen digits!

Finished frame


 Next, they attached the bottom 12x12 piece to the frame with some small nails.
Dad adding a couple of starter nails to hold it in place for Alex

"Put one right here to start"

Look at that guy!


Next, they drilled a small hole in each corner, and screwed in 4 small screw hooks.


Using s-hooks, he attached two chains (each 2 feet long) diagonally, connected them with an additional s-hook in the middle, and attached a 3rd 1-foot long chain to hang it from.
Finished project!!


It's now hanging in a tree in our front yard. We are hoping to get some neat photos in the future of different birds.