Sunday, May 29, 2011

Way Back When

I've been working on a wall collage of sorts for our basement and have been pulling up our pictures from way back.  Sadly, our digital days only go back to 2004 so we don't have any pics of the little 'uns when they were, well....little.

But I came across this and sighed...

Then I saw this one and broke out in baby gibberish...

"Look at those wittle chubby arms and cheeks!"  Maddie used to love "reading" to Jake and they'd drop down anywhere to read books.  She had the cutest little voice and he was enthralled with almost anything she read to him.

Don't get me wrong, I've loved each new stage my kids grow into.  I love their ages now and how we can laugh and joke together.  But I loved these ages too and all the extra folds that went with it.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Music to Our Ears

This past Friday was my students' recital. 

This meant it was also Maddie and Jake's recital.

For your listening pleasure:

Scarborough Fair (arranged by Carol Matz)
Fiesta Espana (by Faber)

The Cat and the Mouse (by Aaron Copland)

We were very proud of them!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Track & Field Day

Last week Jake had his Track and Field Day at school.  We couldn't have asked for a nicer day outside - slight breeze and plenty of sunshine!

Each class had a specific t-shirt color they've worn all year.  Jake's is obviously red.  He remembered he needed this t-shirt about three minutes after leaving for the bus.  All the sudden he was running in the house to grab it and put it on before his bus arrived.  I guess it was his warm-up for his track events.

Jake ran the 50 yard dash.

(This photo was actually taken by our neighbor...thanks, Jonda!)

He did pretty good.  He's already asked us when he can go running with Mike and I again around our three-mile loop.  I guess that's on our summer to-do list.

Next up was hula-hoops. 

After a little bit the phy. ed. teacher has them start moving around or doing things to throw them off.

They have to stand with their eyes closed and hands over their heads...

Or walk forward and backward...

Or kneel and get back up...this is the move that got him this year. 

Not bad though.  I can't hula-hoop standing in place so he's clearly better than me!

And Jake had quite a cheering section.  My parents came and Tracy and her girls came as well.

Ellie had the best seat in the house...

She was all "Hollywood" in this shot.  Then she said, " more pictures, please."

Riley wanted a good seat too so she found one...

And then she proceeded to pull out all the hair in Tracy's ponytail.

After the first set of events there is a tug-of-war between the classes.  This is my favorite part.  His phy. ed. teacher goes over the rules and always ends with saying, "Win without bragging, lose without excuses."  I seriously love this saying.  There have been times the last couple years where both kids have brought this up after whatever they've been doing and I think it's a great lesson.

Those kids get a work-out with this!  So does everyone on the sidelines!  There's tons of cheering from the other classes, from the families on the sides and from the teachers.  Tracy and I think there's a little competition between the teachers in this event. 

(Also taken by my friend, Jonda!)

It's a double-elimination tournament so some of these teams are up there 2-3 times.  They are worn out when they are finished!

Jake's class won their first round and made it to the final round.  The other team had to win two times and Jake's class had to only win once.  They lost their first time up.  After that round a couple of the kids, including Jake started yelling something.  I later asked him what he was yelling to the other kids in the group and he said, "I yelled that we can DO THIS if we WORK TOGETHER!"  It just makes me smile to see how into this they all get.  And I love that the kids on the sides and the teachers on the sides are just as enthusiastic...

Jake's class ended up winning their second match and the overall tournament.

You should view this larger to see their faces.  Priceless.  Jake said his teacher was really excited too because her class had never won one of these tug-o-wars. 

Afterward Jake participated in the foxtail throw and the day came to a close.  School functions are winding down and partying is winding up.  Summer will be here before we know it!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bad to Worse

Mike is pretty great.  He's very smart, he's a hard worker, he's nice and he is respectful.  I really couldn't have asked for a better husband.

However.  He does have the occasional flaw and I will let you in on the one that is currently driving me the most crazy:  He does not shut cabinet doors in the kitchen.  I don't know how he can't NOT shut the door.  It seems to me it should be a knee-jerk reaction.  Open the door, take out object, close the door.  It's less than a three second process, really.

Yet, he doesn't.  I've begged, I've stared in amazement, I've made fun of him.  He thinks it's hysterical because I don't think he's really trying to drive me crazy, it just never crosses his mind.

But it's gotten worse.  The other day Jake and I were home alone and I walked around the corner to find this:


Four doors AND THE MICROWAVE DOOR open!  Oh. My. Lord.

This morning as Mike sat down to eat his Cheerios and I turned around and SLAMMED the door shut he left open, then watched as Jake left a wake of open cabinet doors while he made toast, I addressed the assembly:

"Attention Boys of this Household: SHUT THE DOOR after you open them.  Watch...[I went through the process of extracting something from the cupboard].  Any questions???"

And they had the audacity to giggle.  Like I was joking.

And then Mike headed downstairs for work after refilling his coffee cup and getting more sugar from the cupboard.  And proceeded to laugh when I stomped over to him and said, "REALLY??" after he left the cupboard door open.  He hadn't even realized he'd done it.

My only hope for Jake is that he'll be cured when he's tall enough to knock his head into the corner of one of these bad boys.  I hold out no hope for Mike.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Last week we started cleaning out the backyard...on the one nice day we had.

Sadie took this opportunity to stake out which chair she planned to reside in this summer.

We were actually all impressed with her flexibility.

She did find her seat.  She laid in it about 10 seconds and hopped down to check out the other action going on around her.  We imagine that when we finally get a chance to just hang out she'll be staying in one spot.  If it's like last year, she'll pick a spot that someone is already sitting in and she'll work her way in until that person moves. 

I'm not giving in this year.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Five Things About Maddie

1.  She's got this new laugh that has recently appeared.  It's just this short burst, but everytime I hear it, it makes me smile.  Really - it's a bit adult sounding.  It goes along with her growing sense of humor.  We've recently shared some more laughs over things that I thought were more "teenager-ish".  How she's reacted to them and laughed along with them makes me think (*hope*) that she's on the right track to manage the coming years.

2.  She currently has a loose tooth.  The hygienist said, "it's ready to fall out yesterday."  That was last week.  She offered to pull it out - during dinner - last night.  Mike vetoed that one and then suggested a change in subject.  This morning she said she's realized she now has two loose teeth.  She doesn't want to chew anything so has been enjoying her smoothies again in the mornings.

3.  She can really play the piano well.  Her recital piece is one of my favorites and I have enjoyed listening to her practice.  I've loved watching her face when she plays a section exactly how we've talked about.  It's one of those, "HOLY COW! I actually did that!?!" moments for her.  I really think she's going to be a much better player than me if she keeps this up.  I briefly considered going the contest route through music associations, but I'm afraid that would suck the fun out of it for her.  She just loves to play - she sits and plays whenever she's bored and it's really nice to just hear. 

4.  She's gotten a lot taller!  We were at the doctor's office yesterday and the nurse asked if she was too old to get stickers.  In that second I looked at her and realized she's gotten really tall!  She was very polite to the nurse and told her she was indeed too old for stickers (she got a free pizza certificate instead!)  But mostly it struck me that she's a lot taller.  We tease Mike's mom because she tells a story of how Mike grew 9 inches in one year (or 11, or 15, or changes every year, we think).  We aren't calling Kay a liar - what we are saying is that Mike was a freak of nature.  We'll have to see how much she grows this year.  I had heard that if you took your child's height at the age of two and doubled it you would get the height they were going to be full grown.  I did that when she was 2 - results concluded that she should be 5'9".  Time will tell...

5.  We think she's one of the prettiest girls around - inside and out.  I took these pictures of her yesterday and in-camera neither she nor I were impressed (not because of her - it was my photography skills we were looking at).  I downloaded them last night and showed them to Mike.  Gulp.  The theme in these five notes is that she's growing up.  We expected that, but every once in awhile it hits us.  Age 10, I still considered her a "little girl".  Growing up, but still little.  Age 11 - eh.  One year difference.  I saw a few changes, but nothing crazy.  As we approach 12 though...[sigh].  I see big changes in so many ways.  Then I realize she's four years from driving and six years from moving on to college.  There's a lot of laughs, hugs, and "I Love You's" we need to squeeze into that amount of time.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Hopping Back a Week

I realize Easter was a week ago, but I've been kinda behind on the whole picture thing.

We awoke bright and early.  Well, maybe not "bright" but definitely "early"!  At 6:30am we hauled the kids out of bed, made them run downstairs to look in their baskets and high-tail it back upstairs to get dressed for church.  By 6:55am we were out the door.  Fast turnaround - hence no pictures.

And that makes me sad.  I meant to grab my camera to take some pictures at church and forgot to leave it sitting by my music bag.  Maddie looked lovely in her new dress and Jake looked so handsome in his new suit.  Hopefully we'll have a dress-up opportunity to take a picture again.

Later that afternoon we headed to my parents' house for a delicious meal.

These are recently "acquired" finger puppets.  Recently as in: that morning at church.  They were formerly table decorations at church.  When mom realized they were finger puppets and super cute, she and the kids began collecting all they could find.  Angels, soldiers, a couple Mary's (there was more than one, you know), and what Jake said was a Joseph, though I'm not sure that was biblically correct.  They were especially happy to find Jesus (given place of honor in the very back row).  Hopefully church gets new decorations for next year.

Everyone received an Easter basket and got right to opening.

As Santa Claus had done, the Easter Bunny brought my kids gum.  I will be filing a formal complaint with the Holiday Characters Association.  This needs to stop.

The Runchey kids all received a new chair for Easter.  Riley loved hers so much that she carried it everywhere she went.


Next up was the egg hunt. I guess Katelyn had called my mom earlier in the week because she wanted to make sure that grandma and grandpa were going to be having an egg hunt.

Everyone had to receive their instructions on the egg hunt.

I think everyone had 5-6 eggs to find.  Certain kids had certain colors.  Some eggs were easier to find than others, but no matter who found what, there was usually a gasp, a squeal, or a shorter person asking for help to reach the egg they found.

Maddie and Jake's eggs were a little more difficult to find.  First, Maddie had helped hide the younger kids' eggs.  While doing this, she found most of her eggs, so my mom hid hers again.  Jake's eggs were in some unique hiding spots as well.  One was in the bottom of the grandfather clock.  You had to not only peer through the glass to see it, but had to open the door to get it out.  This is a piece of furniture I think we've all tried to keep our kids away from.  Mike and I kept directing Jake to check out the corner but it never dawned on him to look in the clock.  Because their hiding spots were tricky (or because they weren't very good seekers, or because they kept refusing help, or...) our kids took FOREVER to find their eggs.  Mike finally got up, took the egg out of the clock and placed it on the table in full view for Jake to find.

On his 15th pass by us, Jake found the egg and just looked at us.  Mike, Tracy and I all told him it had been sitting there the whole time. 

As he walked away to continue his search he said, "I am soooooo stupid. 

We never did tell him that we moved it.

Once Maddie finally found her eggs, she sat down to cozy up with her newest cousin: Addison.

Austin sat down to cozy up with his mom.

And then we all got up to eat a LOT of food. 

We stuffed ourselves.  Good stuff!  Monday night my family headed back for leftovers and came home with the extra ham and ham bone.  Last week I made Split Pea Soup that my dad and I to share.  That too is gone.  [burp.]