Saturday, November 28, 2009

November 2009

The boys and I took these blankets to the Veterans Hospital. It wasn't quite the inspiring, patriotic experience I hoped for. First of all, it took about an hour to get there. We weren't prepared for that length of a trip. :) Second, we got a little lost (no one is surprised, right?). Third, when we found the hospital, it was in a less-than-desirable part of town and was surrounded with razor wire. We ended up pulling up to the entrance and handing the blankets through the window to a volunteer. I just couldn't see trying to find parking and then herd 5 boys through to find the office, etc. Hopefully some of the good of the experience made it through. And, hey, we got to go to lunch with Mike on the way home--we LOVE extra time with Dad!
Allie and I got to attend #4's Thanksgiving Feast

Mike LeBaron Day is November 14th!
Thanks to Earl for editing yet another photo for me for Mike LeBaron Day. This year the cake said "Mike LeBaron Day 2009" and "I'd like to thank the little people." Past years have been Arnold and Qui-Gon.

#3 taught a lesson about putting more effort in up front so that you get what you want in the long run.

#4's kindergarten class took a field trip to the pumpkin patch since they were rained out in October.

#5, his best friend, and I got to join #4 at the Big Orange Pumpkin Farm to feed animals, take a hay ride, play in the sun, pick a pumpkin, and have a total blast.

#4 was much braver than #5 and his buddy. In fact, said buddy told her mom that she and #5 don't like cow slobber, but his mom does! :)

We had Thanksgiving with the Hamiltons and a totally laid back week, complete with kids home from school and Mike home from work. Loved every minute of it! For quotables, read the Christmas letter--it should be arriving soon!

October 2009

Grandpa Joe rejoined his sweetheart. Mike went out to the funeral. Grandpa Joe was a wonderful example of work, commitment, and goodness, not to mention creativity--he was the person who came up with the idea to use chocolate syrup for the blood in "Psycho." He also invented tables to keep food warm during the war as well as a method of quickly covering and uncovering equipment as necessary. He received a medal for his efforts. We love you, Grandpa Joe!

HALLOWEEN! Left to right: #4 - Bumblebee (transformer); Mike - Ceiling Fan; #3 - Optimus Prime (transformer); #1 - Rubik's Cube; #5 - Cat; #2 - Ninja Warrior

We had our house painted. Yeah for color!

We went to LOTS of soccer games. We also had visits from both sets of grandparents. How I didn't get my camera out I can't imagine! We enjoyed both visits immensely. Here Pops shelters #5 from the wind.

At the soccer party, #4 (ready to receive) got an award for "always being willing to take one for the team and sit out so another player could play." #3 (throwing the ball) got his first ever goal (following several very cool assists) on the last game of the season.

September 2009

Soccer season started with Coach Mike (aka Dad). #3 and #4 were able to play on the same team--The Pirhanas.

We had a Primary Talent Show. #3 is telling some of the rules he's learned about soccer.

#1 played 2 songs.
#2 displayed hats he helps make to donate to Parkland Hospital as well as some of his artwork. #4 also displayed some artwork--he is prolific, especially focused on "lego guys" as subjects.
#4 dressed up as an explorer, although he listed at least 5 jobs he wants to roll all into one as he considered dress for the future day at school.
We redid #2 and #4's bedroom TX style.
Mom got to go meet her folks at Aunt Ann and Uncle Adam's house. They are serious hosts, and it was an AMAZING weekend, although mom will never, EVER trust Aunt Ann with the camera again...but that's another story.
#2 earned his Bear Scout award, several arrow points, the Duty to God award, the Wildlife Conservation Award, and several belt loops at pack meeting. That's one proud Cub Master--think he's biased?

August 2009

We did a TON of swimming--very unusual for a mom who's very nervous with kids in water. I think this year marked the beginning of a new era. I now have 3 strong swimmers and 1 who knows his limits!We loved swim lessons with Mrs. Ruth. We took for 4 weeks, so we got to do a LOT of work outs.#5 even decided he could live with having to do a back float.#5 absolutely loves the temple. He asks all the time to go there. One afternoon, mom and dad took him for a special trip all by himself.We love the feeling of calm and peace we get even just on the grounds of the temple and recognize those feelings as being from the Spirit of the Lord. We loved a chance to help #5 recognize those feelings, too.We redid #1 and #3's room in blues, greens, and purples. Here #3 shows #5 the magnetic aquarium he created to help decorate his room.This seems to be a LeBaron family tradition--each of our boys has put both legs in one whole when trying to learn to dress himself. We've always cracked up about the skirt it creates. This time #4 even joined #5 because he thought the "tail" was pretty cool--#4 even used LONG pj pants!We have a tradition the week before school (and spring break) of giving the boys a budget and a calendar and letting them plan. We hope this teaches some awareness both of budgeting and of time management. This year our fun was cut short because mom got sick. We did manage a little "Christmas in August" at the Dollar Store and caroling to some friends with treats.Thanks to an amazing mom of #2's friend, he got even more scout requirments done (this is a fish carved from soap).And during mom's sickness we played a LOT of monopoly. Hey, budgeting awareness, right? :)Mom even rallied for a trip to the zoo on Friday.Back-to-school was hard on mom this year. #4, who has been her little buddy and entertainment and fan, started kindergarten. Combine that with missing #s 1, 2, and 3, and it was a pretty lonely day! This is one mom that loves summertime and having everybody home and getting to choose our schedule and...#5 even wanted to go along. Mom made it through everything without tears until during a quiet--and I mean QUIET--breakfast with this little guy, he kept asking for his brothers back.#1 started MIDDLE SCHOOL!Watching the middle school bus turn the corner may have been the most gut-wrenching moment of the day. Mike cracked up as I took pictures because there just wasn't anything else to do about it.#4 was incensed when Dad showed up to drive them home from school. As a big kid, he should definitely be allowed to WALK home, shouldn't he? Good thing #2 was a good enough sport to walk with him--it was incredibly hot that day! Happy reunion at the end of the first day of school...We finally got all our brothers back!!

Catching Up

Yes, July was my last real post. And, yes, it's November. And the Christmas cards went out yesterday. Sooooo, I'm going to play catch up with posts. :) Wish me luck!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Puberty and the Carpet Guy

I've laughed so hard telling this story a couple of times that I finally decided to post it.

#1's class was going to watch a video on puberty at school. We wanted to preview it first, but could never find time to do it together. So the day before permission slips were due, with Mike making preparations to go out of town that afternoon and with the carpet guy hard at work, I began the preview. I found myself right back in 6th grade squirming in my seat.

But that wasn't all I wanted to do when I looked over my shoulder to see the carpet guy noticing the diagram of male anatomy going through various stages. Could the desk swallow me up, please?

Of course, being me, I couldn't stand the idea that the carpet guy might leave thinking I had been watching something questionable (since he didn't see the rest and couldn't hear it over his work).

So, yes, I must admit, I brought it up with the carpet guy. Now, do you want to be swallowed by your desk imagining my conversation?? It went something like this.
Me: So, do you have kids, Al?
CG: Yes, three.
Me: How old?
CG tells ages.
Me: Oh, so you've already had to have the puberty discussion, huh?

Yes, this was my well-crafted intro to the conversation.
CG: Oh, yeah, I take the boys and my wife takes our daughter.
Me: Good! I'm off the hook!!
CG: Of course, there needs to be some cross over so that the kids know we feel the same way.
Me: Right. That's why I was prepping to talk with our oldest about the puberty video he's going to watch at school.

I'm not going to go through the whole thing, but suffice it to say we discussed the book he uses, some of the topics on the agenda, and the need for recaps. How do I do this to myself? Mike walked in partway through the discussion, and I have to say I was incredibly proud of his composure finding his wife discussing puberty with the carpet guy.