31 July 2008


This is splash zone - a big concrete pad with a playground in the pool. How fun is that? The spouts shoot straight up out of the ground and our bunch had a great time trying to stop the force of the water and getting hit by the stream.
A fun day in the hot summer sun.

Salt and Pepper Shakers

Don't you get distracted? I sure do.
On e-bay the other day, instead of a birthday gift I was looking for, I found these - Ball jars that are little salt and pepper shakers. They cost a whole $3.50, including the shippping. They made me smile, so I bought them. Happy Tuesday to me.

29 July 2008

Turkey Cupcakes .....

This post is dedicated to my wonderful friend Emilee, who made it all possible ... This is a turkey cupcake. I found this picture in a magazine almost three years ago - it must have been before Thanksgiving '05. The idea is simple and fun. Great thing to do with the ladies, right? So, I tore it out and stuck it on the fridge where it has stayed ever since. Almost three years. Around our house it became a joke. If something was going to take a long time or it seemed like something would never happen, we would say, that'll happen right after we make turkey cupcakes. The clipping was this constant reminder of something I wanted to do, but, just never got around to making the time for.

So, I was talking with my friend Emilee about how our kids are growing so fast and her oldest will be starting kindergarten soon. She was saying how she wanted to make this a special summer, because in the fall her daughter will be off to school, and her opportunity to do all those fun mother-daughter things will have to put off. She wanted to take time to spend with her kids so she didn't have any regrets.

As we talked, my mind was wondering off to the fridge for turkey cupcakes. I told her how I had this clipping, it was easy, inexpensive and quick. I told her the ladies were excited about it at first, but, then it just became this example of how not to be a fun mom. She comiserated with me and we said, yeah, being a mom is the greatest, but, we can't do it all, we just have to do our best.

This past Sunday Emilee handed me a bag at church. In it were a cake mix, candy corns and icing. She said, "I was at the store and I saw candy corn and I thought of you and your ladies and the turkey cupcakes. Here, enjoy."

I am so grateful to have a wonderful friend who listens to me, supports me and also enjoys the turkey cupcakes with her family. Thank you Emilee!

hard at work...
yeah - turkey cupcakes for everyone!!!!

God's Promise

This picture is a bit blurry, but, it was a beautiful RAINBOW.
July 2008

27 July 2008

Samantha is NINE ....

Happy Birthday to Samantha! Nine years old. Let's dwell a just little on our Sam-ba-lam-ba-ding-dong...
Samantha is athletic. She would rather be outside than inside. She has an infectious smile. She makes honor roll at school and her favorite subjects are math and science. Samantha has a temper and is quick to get over it. She will eat just about anything, but loves fruit the most. Lately magoes are her favorite. When Samantha brushes her teeth, she doesn't put the toothpaste on the brush like the rest of the world, she squirts it in her mouth first, then adds a toothbrush. She doesn't like the nickname of Sam. She'll tell you, my name is not Sam, it's Samantha. Her family gets away with calling her Sam, sometimes. Samantha makes friends easily and likes to be the center of attention. She will be in the fourth grade this coming year.
this is Samantha with Coach Kristen and with her team (Samantha is far right)
Samantha was a level 5 competing gymnast for River City Gymnastics Team and her favorite event was the floor, although her coach said her bars were the best. Now she'll be playing soccer in the fall. Samantha used to mix up two words as a toddler - watermelon was lemonade and lemonade was watermelon. She loves them both. She likes to go to the dentist! Samantha collects Pokemon cards and loves to battle her friends with them. Once when Samantha was about three she fell out of a tree in our yard. She cried and cried and wouldn't move her arm. At the hospital the doctor wanted to take some x-rays and tried to get Samantha to take some medicine to calm her, dull her pain and allow the doctor to position her arm for the x-ray machine. Samantha would have no parts of a doctor giving her any medicine and fought the doctor so hard that she popped her arm back into the socket and went home happy as can be. No x-rays, no drugs, just a good tug.

Samantha wanted a dog from the moment she could say the word. So, after years of patient pleading, she has her wish - this past spring our family adopted two puppies. Samantha is now our resident dog trainer. Samantha is a great sister. She plays with her little sisters (she makes a wonderful tiger or dog or dinosaur, whatever the game happens to be) and she is her big sister's best bud, and best opponent. Samantha is a morning person and while she will beg to stay up late, she's out as soon as she hits the pillow. Samantha is in the habit of standing up to watch TV and she has been interested this summer in making money doing extra household chores. Samantha likes to wear her hair down and has never had bangs. She also hates shorts and capris - for her it's either jeans or a swimsuit.
Samantha is beautiful, funny and passionate. She will be the first of her sisters to blow up, and the first to sit down and make the peace. She colored very well when she was younger, usually using a rainbow of colors in a single space. Samantha is inquisitive and asks very good questions in order to understand something. She likes to be on the go and to know what the schedule is. She's a planner. Samantha still has a blanket on her bed that she was given as a baby. She doesn't depend on it like she did as a baby, but, I wouldn't mess with it, either.
Samantha is a handful sometimes, and so helpful to me at home. She is great company and wants to understand the world around her. She is healthy and strong and has so much to offer this world. I am proud of her and I know she will be a valuable player in this life. She is our Schmooperdoodle, our Sambernista, our Samantha Marie.

26 July 2008

David Letterman Style ...


* The birds have to use potholders to pull worms out of the ground.
* The trees are whistling for the dogs.
* The best parking place is determined by shade instead of distance.
* Hot water now comes out of both taps.
* You can make sun tea instantly.
* You learn that a seat belt buckle makes a pretty good branding iron.
* You discover that in July it only takes 2 fingers to steer your car.
* You discover that you can get sunburned through your car window.
* You actually burn your hand opening the car door.
* You break into a sweat the instant you step outside at 7:30 a.m.
* You realize that asphalt has a liquid state.
* Farmers are feeding their chickens crushed ice to keep them from laying boiled eggs.
* The cows are giving evaporated milk.

Whew, its' HOT!

23 July 2008

Yeah! First Check

This is a corny picture, true. It's one of those, I-took-it-myself-poses. But, I wanted to document the moment. I'm standing in the bank parking lot, about to go in and deposit my first Usborne Books paycheck. The check is for $6.82. Some of my friends ordered some books on my website, www.ubah.com/U2914 (shameless plug) and I got a commission check. I hope to have a bunch more business from the school libraries once they come back this coming school year. I handed out catalogs to all the elementary and middle schools just before they let out for the summer, so this fall I hope to be busy. Gotta get out there, right?

21 July 2008

COMMENTS, anyone?

Okay, for all of you non-blogging friends and family, I wanted to tell you something that you may or may not have noticed. Under each post there is a place for COMMMENTS. This allows you, my readers, to say whatever you like about the post. You can tell me that you agree, disagree, that you do the same thing at your house, that the color red is your favorite, that the picture was taken from a distracting viewpoint, that your kids are cuter or that you are in your pyjamas. So, it is a place for you to commment. On anything. Now for me, I like comments. It tells me that someone out there is reading this. Call me shallow, but, I like to think that this isn't all about me and my wonderful family. Please, leave me a comment. In case you are hesitant, here is a look at the form you will see when you click on the comment word.
You will type your comment, and fill in the other fields as you see fit. You can be completely anonymous, or just leave your name. Then hit the big orange "Publish your Comment" button and it will show at the bottom of the original post that a comment has been left. It won't be on the blog page itself, just the comments page of each post. Once you pulish your comment, it will show you a age with all the other comments left about that post and you can read them all. To return to the Ball Team, just look toward the top left of the page and you will see "post a comment on: the ball team". Click on "the ball team" and you will be back to the original blog page of posts, but the comment will be counted at the bottom of the post. Try it, you'll like it. Thank you; this message has been brought to you by the Ball Team and the letter K.

20 July 2008

A new look

Here it is - the newest look for the pool. Can you tell which hair belongs to our friend, not to a Ball lady?

New Olympic events

In case you can't read these, they are:
Olympic Hopefuls; triathelawn; tae kwon dough
fable tennis; synchronized sailing; archiery
volleyballroom; equestriastics; goodminton
(from the Readers Digest)

King James the First

I don't say enough on here about James. I talk plenty about the kids and other topics, but, he is the one that makes it all possible. He is a great Dad - playing with the kids, telling stories about himself as a kid and being there for each of them as they go through their struggles and their accomplishments. He spends time with them individually and as a group, always making sure that the time they get with Dad is spent well. Since he works retail, his days off sometimes come in the middle of the week. On weekends when other Dads are off, or at night when other Dads are home, James isn't, so our schedule has to bend to his. He loves to play games, mostly computer games, but, since the ladies are getting older, we've moved into board games and card games with the big ladies.

James has lived in a dozen states, he's worked nights, weekends and nine-to-five jobs. He was in the Army, and finished his Bachelor's degree while working full time and had two kids at home. He has been injured so badly that the doctors thought he would not walk again (fell off of a roof!) and he's played basketball with kids at church who could've been his own kids. He loves to be outside, he's played every organized team sport as a kid and many as an adult and is devoted to his professional team favorites (football - the Minnesota Vikings, basketball - the Phoenix Suns and baseball - the Texas Rangers). James loves to play golf and once spent two full weeks playing course after course with his Dad as they traveled from Washington State to Louisiana. He will ride any roller coaster and loves a challenge. He beat me the first time we played chess.

James is a people person and loves his job meeting and helping strangers all day. He likes cars, too, especially the 1970 Chevy Camaro and his favorite color is purple. He is allergic to cats and doesn't care much for my fried rice. He says what he thinks and he has an opinion on every subject, but, he'll let anyone else have their own opinion, too. James likes to mow the grass and is used to having animals around. He didn't serve a full-time mission, but, he did serve a mini-mission (remember, they used to do those for the youth - two weeks?)

James makes me think and he makes me laugh. He tells me he married me for my brain and I say I married him for his curly hair. We were born only three months apart, so we have the same frame of reference to life - we remember the same news stories at the same time in life and we listened to the same music and did a lot of the same things. He gets me and I get him and I knew from the first date that we would spend our lives together. He's the kind of husband that lets me do what I think is best and I know he's always on my side.

So while I may blog more here on the ladies and Jay and the day to day moments that make up our lives, I can't ever forget that I have a wonderful basis for it all - the other half of me that brought all this wonderful controlled chaos to life - my Bo, my King James the First.

17 July 2008

Rainy to Brilliant Fourth

Our Fourth of July this year started out great - sleeping in - but, we did miss a good time at the church where they had Independence pancakes without us. Mid-day is was rainy and looking bleak. Then, a break and some great sunshine!

a few drawings by Rachel ...

We don't have any pictures of the kids watching fireworks or of the fireworks themselves, we were too busy watching and playing. We watched the show from a local school and it was a nice display. Add to that a playground to make the waiting more bearable and you have one fabulous holiday! Happy Fourth! More pictures later ...

15 July 2008

Sorry kids, not on the list

----- surreal cereal prices ------

Charlotte Conquers The Diving Board

Charlotte "diving" July 08

14 July 2008


Playing cars is huge at our house. Until recently we were a house of all girls, but we love cars! These little things keep the ladies busy for literally hours. They drive all over the house, assign personalities and genders to each car, visit each other in the cars and fight over the rules of the "road". On the mat, they like to make bumps, which become the mountains, and they will each have a "home" and drive to see each other. I have found them all over the house and in the van. At last count, we had about 120 cars. They've been a staple for birthday and Chirstmas gifts for years! They make sounds effects for the doors opening and blowing the horn - and of course, the cars can all talk, too. They have started to give Baby Jay his own cars. He'll be moving them around, too, soon enough.

A few shots of Jay - July 08

a couple more cute shots of our little man - at the four month check up with Rachel - passed it all with flying colors - and fresh from the tub!

Jay, all dressed up and looking like a little man, ready for church! July 08

I love you, too, Baby Jay

Is this a sweet boy, or what? He's signing - he says, I love you, Mom!

Backyard Chores!

this is our backyard before

this is our backyard after

this is Rachel after - Samantha helped, too!

this is how the dogs help!

Wall "Art"

So here it is - wall art. What do you do when your kids write on the wall? James and I are usually of the same mind, but, on this one we see it differently. I say, give them the magic eraser and talk to them about how we have to respect things as well as people. James says it's artistic expression and we should be happy to have imaginative, free spirited children. Somewhere in the middle is more like what really happens - wash it up as well as you can, talk about how all the Sharpie markers are mommy's, not yours, and then smile every time I walk by it and think, yes, it is good to have kids who want to express their kind of beautiful...

the suspect...