Saturday, May 28, 2011

The videos-preK graduation

I have uploaded all the videos, they are all less than 5 minutes, some have several songs some have just a couple. I have only viewed the first one, I might eventually go back through and watch them all, but wanted to get them posted, in case someone out there is like, "I can't wait to see the videos!"

Halloween & Thanksgiving songs from Melanie Ubil on Vimeo.

Untitled from Melanie Ubil on Vimeo.

Untitled from Melanie Ubil on Vimeo.

Untitled from Melanie Ubil on Vimeo.

Untitled from Melanie Ubil on Vimeo.

Untitled from Melanie Ubil on Vimeo.

I have to give credit to Eric for most of the videos, I think I might have done 1 or 2 of them, and probably the ones that you missed the beginning of because I was like, oh, I'd like to video this one!

preK graduation

Before my sweet Mother's head explodes from the excitement of seeing Gwen's preK graduation I thought I would post the pictures. (Ha! I'm just kidding, she is excited to see them for sure, but she won't be able to see them because she doesn't have an internet connection currently, so this will be a nice surprise for her!) We also have several videos to post, but that will take longer, so for now pictures of my sweet girl. I took pictures of her on her last day of school, just as I did on the first day of school. She looks so different! If you'd like to compare, here is the post about the first day of PreK.

On Thursday was the end of the year ceremony, "graduation" if you will. The kids performed all the songs they had learned throughout the school year. I think it was 10 songs, I am too lazy to go count, sorry. They did seasonal songs and Jesus songs and fun songs. The kids were really funny, some had stage fright and some half participated, but they were cute! After their performance we went back to the classroom where we had refreshments and gathered all the stuff they had for us, including their graduation certificate. They also gave 100 picture album book stuffed with pictures of Gwen and her friends throughout the year. Then we said goodbye to her friends and teachers (sadly one of her teachers couldn't make it, she was in Ohio watching her son become a Capt. in the Air Force).
Gwen seemed fine about school ending but Friday evening she became pretty upset. She was showing Grandma the pictures from her photo album over Skype and I guess she realized how much was going to miss her "kids" and her teachers; she started crying about how much she missed her teachers. I coaxed her into making a card to her teacher that we could deliver to the school. She was still upset but sat in Daddy's lap and started the card before dinner. Both kids were incredibly tired so we put them to bed early and it was very quiet in there and I went to check on Gwen and she still had tears in her eyes and had her photo album opened to her teachers' pages. She was also kissing their pictures. Poor sweet child! Guess we have to work a little on transitions with her.

Friday, May 27, 2011

A post only my Mother can appreciate

I have been spending a lot of time focusing on my Dad, so I thought I would do a post my Mom would enjoy! I asked Gwen to clean up their room this morning and this is what I saw, I quickly ran the vacuum through thereI then opened the closet and found this:
I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree and thank goodness Gwen's bed is on the floor and not on the bed rails!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Here's a story within a story that doesn't at all involve my kids!

I mentioned the jury duty service thing that I had the other day a couple things to note. First they made a big production of the fact that you are doing your civil service and we shouldn't call it jury duty. It was quite humorous, judges, clerks all called it jury service as jury duty had gone through a PR campaign and the powers that be had decided that changing the name was going to make it more appealing to North Carolinians. HA!
Ok, so that totally wasn't the point of the story, more a digression. Have I mentioned I have signed up for a half marathon? No, well I have, my training partner and I are going to run 13.1 miles in Oct! She is very confident that we will make it, I am trying to figure out if she is going to notice if I walk the whole time. But, we've made it to 30 minutes of running which is more than I have ever done in my life and if I could just run somewhere with no humidity I think I could run for hours.
But, I digress again, so back to jury duty service. I immediately get selected to be in the jury pool for a trial. So we proceed to the courtroom where we get the spiel from the judge and he has the court clerk call out 12 people to sit in the jury box. So far so good, I'm not called! The judge asks the 12 to tell a little background information: married/single, employment, spouse employment, where in the county you live, etc. Everyone goes through there info and we get to juror number 7 and he gives us his neighborhood. Right then I think that is odd, is the judge from Wake County supposed to know where that is? I certainly have never heard of this "transitional neighborhood" before. The judge turns the questioning over to the ADA and she starts asking a bunch of questions, at first the questions are routine, do you know anyone here in the courtroom, any of the witnesses, etc. But then they have to get into the more personal stuff, will you be able to be unbiased? Through this process people answer questions and a couple get removed for "cause". Whatever but juror number 7 must realize he is going to be on this jury and he's got to put the heat on, because he doesn't want to be here, so whenever he feels that it is appropriate he talks about his "transitional neighborhood" and maybe he feels like the victim looks familiar, but he isn't sure and if this crime happened in his neighborhood he would have to side with the defendant. The ADA asks him if he knows where the address the crime took place is at and he says no, but if it was in his neighborhood...blah, blah blah. He was like broken record and I kind of wanted to stand up and yell, "we understand you don't want to be on the jury, tell them you can't be biased" At this point we had been sitting in the courtroom for an hour or so, I was done! The ADA finishes up, he spews his crap at least one more time and she kicks off a juror and then has to start again. But is satisfied so the defense attorney starts his spiel, which actually was humorous. He started out saying who he was and if the selected jurors had ever heard of him, or his law partner, or seen advertisements for his business, in case someone had a bad opinion of him or his practice/who he represented. The whole way it played out was funny, because it seemed so cocky, and like he was shocked no one had heard of him. So he gets to juror number 7 and says "it sounds to me like you really would like to serve on this jury, but you feel like you can't be unbiased", all polite and political like. And the guy starts again, well you know if this happened in my neighborhood...blah, blah, blah. It kind of went around and around for a couple minutes, which was funny and then the defense attorney finally got him dismissed and put us out of our misery. Thank goodness!
What strikes me as funny is I couldn't remember the name of the neighborhood, he said it like 5 times, so you'd think I would remember, but I didn't. Today I was trying to look up the course elevation profile to send to a friend complaining about the elevations of a 10 miler she was thinking of running (which is 3.1 miles less than what I signed up for, and she's a runner!) I found the course map; low and behold I get to run very near that damn transitional neighborhood, "Walltown"! Lucky me, I guess now I know where it is and I'll be able to talk about its transitionalness. Lucky me!


This was an unusual week for us here. I had jury duty service on Tues, which is kind of fitting if you knew my Dad. The story goes he was called for jury duty the day before inventory which was a day he had to be at work for, he tried to change it, but they wouldn't let them. He had some choice words for the judge, or so the story goes. Now that I was in the jury pool for NC I can judge some different areas of service. Each state has it's own process and at this point I am saying I liked AL process the best, it seemed to go much faster and they didn't tell you if you were an alternate until the jurors went to deliberate. Which actually is awesome because you pay attention but if I was an alternate and knew it I would probably not place as close attention. I think that the only problem with jury service is they don't let you change your date. I was very concerned I was going to get called to a trial and not have childcare. I think all states should excuse Moms like me who state at home, had to rely on a friend to selflessly talk my children all day, with not much else but my thanks!
Today was Gwen's preschool graduation. They sang all the songs they learned though out the year. We sat in the music room and listened to their "performance" Eric got some video, which I hope to post some time soon. They didn't have the hand out the certificates and wear the caps and gowns. I am cool with that, they are only 4 after all and while it is cute, it is not necessary, because really all it does is make everyone cry and act silly. With this week, I am sure I would have cried and I did cry when Gwen's teacher blubbered over her class gift. (the kids laid down on the ground in the letters spelling out her name. It appears almost all of Gwen's classmates will be returning in the fall, one girl and her family are moving, but everyone else will be there next year. So our summer has begun. And at this point we really don't have anything on the agenda! YAY!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

5 years

I have been trying to come on here and post but have not had the words. I finally realized why, 5 years today. So, I guess I will post about that. I am still a bit distracted, but I guess I will try to type out how I feel.
A couple days ago I thought, I'd like to talk to Dad about that. This is random and not usual for me and I suspect if I figured it out, it would be one of the "significant" days of Dad's last days that subconsciously remembering. It was actually then that I realized I started several posts and hadn't finished them.
As I was thinking of my Dad today I was wondering if my ideas and thoughts about him are getting romanticized, which I guess is what happens when you don't get to talk to people, you remember the good times and forget the bad, you remember things differently. I have been considering what Dad and I would talk about today. And I have had a good giggle, when I think about how I would lament the damn bunny that is getting into my garden STILL and he would talk about the squirrel that is climbing on the pool enclosure. Then we would talk about Uncle Jack and how he would give the squirrels a ride in his town car in his humane traps.
I have determined it doesn't matter if the death of a parent is expected or not, it still is an adjustment and difficult. And just when you think you are fine a little something will sneak up on you, but fortunately those moments are few and far between for me now. Of course the problem is that you never know when things are going to sneak up on you. I suspect I will always have some kind of funk around this time, some years worse than others, but I still have my Momma left to talk to about it and although I imagine the depths of her pain are worse than mine it is nice to be able to say "How you doing?" and to have someone to share how your feeling without having to say "since Dad died".

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Strawberry picking

A couple weeks ago we went strawberry picking at a local field, since that darn rabbit was eating all our strawberries! We had a good time and filled 1 basket. We haven't been back, but will probably go soon...they were delicious!
Nate started out really good, but he soon realized that he could eat them, so his production wore off pretty quickly.
Gwen also didn't work as hard as year's past, but she did her fair share and eat a few too!
They also have a sandbox and these picture things that I couldn't get the kids to pose for in 1 together, so they did them separately. Crazy kids!

Gwen was quite obsessed riding this thing. Luckily some little kids came on and joined her and Nate. Her morning was then complete!
It was a fun spring break activity!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

The garden

I thought a fitting post for Mother's Day would be a post about my garden. Happy Mother's day! We are experimenting with a garden again this year. The garden last year did pretty well and Gwen came home from school with some plants they grew in science class, so we planted them in the garden! Sadly, a bunny has been taunting us, we have been eating dinner outside and a rabbit has been sitting on the "hill", waiting for us to finish our dinner so he can start us. When the rabbit started eating the leaves off Gwen's stuff from the garden I had enough, and we went to the store and got chicken wire and random post type things and Eric fashioned an enclosure.
Sure it is tacky and whatever but at least it is keeping the bunny out! That is all I really care about...sure it looks like nothing in this picture, but now all those spots have something popping up. And, you can see at the very right side of the picture, our lettuce which is growing in the grass! (Note, when having the kids help you with the lettuce planting, don't hold the seed packet over the grass)
Here is our awesome strawberry patch, that I am hoping that will recover from the rabbit eating all the leaves and we will actually get some strawberries to eat.
Hope everyone had a happy Mother's day. We had a nice day, the kids were sweet, the husband made a nice dinner and I got to take a nap and celebrate a good friend's baby get Baptized. A good day!

Friday, May 06, 2011

Poor boy

I feel pretty sorry for the little guy, his sister makes him be a little sister or a baby. The little guy seems to have allergies and this terrible cough, chesty and with clear mucous. He had the same thing last year at this time, even though the doctors told me last year it was cold after cold, he was too young to be diagnosed for allergies. So today, poor kid was tired and this happened.Bless his little tired heart!
It was at this point I decided to put him in his room! What if he fell of his chair?
He has been coughing a lot at night, so I suspect his sleep at night hasn't been very good. Poor kid...guess we should figure out what to do about the allergies!

my luck

I have been thinking, it is time to do a how my kids have matured post. My kids are at the age that is really great. At this point they genuinely like each other and I used to separate them for quiet time, but it is working better to keep them together. Nate would just trash the bedroom and Gwen would be bored and keep bothering me. They would be whining and fighting in the car, so I thought maybe they need time apart...apparently not, they need time away from me. I am cool with that, Gwen is enough of a tattle tale that if Nate gets into something she lets me know. It is a good system!Gwen has blossomed, as her teachers at school tell me. She is quite the sweet little girl. She is becoming more independent and often makes lovely conversation, for her age. She is coming along in the writing department. I think she has a long way to go, but as a right hander I keep out of it, so I don't confuse her poor left handedness. She is in a lovely phase where she will ask me to spell things out for her and she will right them down. She knows some "sight" words, I was rather shocked to see that, but very proud of her. While she was on spring break I brought her to Bible Study and she had all those little boys playing games and being quiet and mostly out of trouble. She has no problem being in charge. But, I think she sometimes just watches a lot especially if someone else is in charge and she doesn't want to do what they are doing. She seems to not always stand up for herself, if no one has taken the lead she will, but won't always defend herself, so we will have to work on that a little. I don't want her beating up on people, but I'd like her to learn not everyone will do what she wants to do all the time so she's not such a sore loser. I am sure that will come in time!
Gwen and Nate are definitely in a lovely phase of getting along, it certainly makes my life easier that they genuinely like each other and want to hang out together. I have noticed that now that Nate has gotten older the playing is getting a little rougher, plus Nate's I don't care attitude about bugs/insects is really having a good influence on Gwen the "AHHHHHHHH A BUG" screaming phase is tapering. She doesn't always love the insects but she often says "oh what a cute caterpillar...." I am afraid we might have bugs coming into the house, because my children bring them into the house! I am not looking forward to that at all.
Nate is something else; a real charmer! He has all the ladies fooled. He is mostly potty trained, unless he is particularly tired, (apparently like today). He only seems to have accidents at home though, so I am pretty happy about that. Well not really happy about it, until I just typed it out just now and have to say, if he's going to have an accident anywhere I'd rather it be at home then when we are out somewhere. He is a talker and he loves music, if he could sing and listen to music all day, he would. He is a little crazed sometimes, but he seems to be pretty smart and sometimes follows directions the first time you tell him...that is of course if he isn't tired, hungry, or has to pee! He is sweet and affectionate. He gives anyone he knows hugs and kisses.
In other news, my kids are obsessed with pets. They pretend to be dogs and lap water out of bowls/cups, whatever. They walk each other on leashes. It is quite cute. I guess one day we'll have to get them a pet. Probably won't be for a few years yet.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Easter pictures

These aren't the last of the Easter pictures, as I was looking at the pictures I realized some were missing. It finally dawned on me that some of the pictures are on the old eventually I will get the egg dying on here, possibly, we'll see! Eric's school had an Easter Egg Hunt, it ended up only being a few kids (5) and they hid 150 eggs. Let's just say that the kids got a lot of chocolate! The weather was iffy and I guess people were scared it was going to rain, it didn't. Sadly we forgot to bring their baskets so we got some boxes from Eric's work.
Here is a picture of the kids with the "Easter Bunny"
The kids got up Easter morning and did their home egg hunt, but sadly because of Gwen's attire we won't be posting any pictures of her...but enjoy the pictures of Nate!

Holy man, it was hard to get them to find their baskets, they just didn't get it. I kept trying to get them to find them, but they were more interested in the eggs. Finally they found them. Here is Nate working on his puzzle.
We had a nice Easter dinner, Gwen helped me ice with the cake. I didn't get to that to mid-day on Sunday. But it didn't matter, it was yummy and it was done in time for desert!
Hopefully I will get to the last Easter post sometime soon!

Monday, May 02, 2011

The project

I decided that while Gwen was on spring break we should do a project. We went to the store, picked out some beads and a cross and everyday until spring break she asked if we could make her Rosary. So, first thing Holy Thursday we made her Rosary. As you can see she dressed for the occasion and wore her baby on her back. (in her homemade sling-type thing) Nate enjoyed playing with the beads.
Here she is hard at work.I think Nate took this picture!
Here she is proudly showing her Rosary.
Some of the beads weren't the easiest for her to get on, so I had to help her, the Rosary is kind of gaudy, but she's 4 and she likes it and is proud of it.