You could set your watch by it

It's not the warm, muggy weather that is starting to creep in and make you sweat all over.

It's not the lack of homework or plethora of school functions four out of the five nights per week.

It's not even the sudden urge to stop eating and drop 40 pounds because OH MY GOSH it's time to get into a swimsuit.

Though that is a serious problem.

How do you know that summer is almost here? These fabulous hair cuts, that's how.

Six years running, people.  That is a lot of hair history.

I give you the Mohawk Brothers of 2012.



And after:




I was hoping to find an explanation for behavior like this, but sadly, I don't think we can blame it on the mohawks.  I think we can blame it on the fact that they are boys.

And boys will always be boys.



Welcome back, summer. It's good to see you, old friend.

Twelve + six days


Dear Chase,

Last Friday, you turned twelve. You have been pretty excited about it and all the milestones that come with turning twelve. I'm left wondering when exactly twelve years came and went. It doesn't seem to be slowing down, either.

You are shooting up right before our eyes, and I am often tempted to measure you at night before you go to sleep. I swear, you are taller every morning. It is killing your big brother that you are taller than him. But you don't make it an issue, you don't rub it in. When people comment on that fact, you just shrug your broad, lanky shoulders and smile. Like it's no big deal.

Would that everyone had a brother as good as you, Chase.

The big excitement of this year is that you are now old enough to get your own gun.

It should not surprise any of us that the gun you picked is a replica of an old gun -- a collector's item -- and not necessarily one we can pick up at the local sporting goods store. It had to be special ordered, purchased through a federally licensed firearms dealer, and brought across state lines with lots of red tape and paperwork. This is pretty typical of you, Chase, as you have always prided yourself on being anything but ordinary.

You are one of a kind.

And we thank god every day for that fact.


This year, you also entered another milestone - that of middle school. It nearly tore my heart in two to watch you saunter so easily to the bus stop with your brother. Watching the two of you walk, the happy banter between you going back and forth, brought back a flood of memories. Memories of the two of you in diapers, playing together - best friends, even then. I can't count the hours spent watching your two heads bent together over a set of legos or sitting exhausted on a park bench, wondering if you'd ever run out of energy.

Which you never did, by the way.

And here you are, taking more independent steps away from me with grace and ease, and growing into a very fine young man in the process.


You are still such a sensitive little soul, and I hope you never lose that. Your kindness for the underdog in every situation has drawn friends to you that others wouldn't have the patience for. You don't mind the quirky kids, the ones with the special needs. In fact, you are so good at looking beyond their limitations and only see the best in them.

Quite frankly, you see the best in everyone.


Your quest for knowledge is as alive as ever. Gone are the days where you need anyone's help to satisfy your thirst for information. Quite often, it's me asking you about something, and without fail, you are always spot on with the right answer. Your brain is a sponge, kid.

And I have no doubt that should we ever find ourselves in a survival situation, I will live through it because of you.


Chase, your heart is pure gold. You love unconditionally and without guile. You draw others in and love them wholly.

There is nothing I love more than your lone dimple in a big smile - it lights up my world. You are so special and you have taught me more about kindness than anyone else ever could. You make me a better mom. You make me want to be worthy of the trust god placed in me when he made you mine.


I love you, kid. Happy twelfth birthday.



Testing my patience

Today's lesson in the culinary arts comes from Chase.

When you want to make a shake after a long, hard day at school, it is wise to remember one thing before starting:


Make sure the bottom is put on the blender BEFORE you pour the #!@$ milk and it runs all over the counter and floor.


Also of note: The blender is hereby off-limits to sixth grade boys pending further notice.

Adorable new smiles notwithstanding.

A five-thousand dollar smile

Today was a very big day in the Chase world. Probably the biggest he's known so far. I'll let his note do the talking:


It says:
Dear Siblings:
I am down stairs with my bran-new smile. Mom got me a cake and this. Please come see me.


P.S. Eat my goody bag*
P.P.S. MP are 40 tokens**
In case the full-sugar soda and "bran-new smile" don't clue you in, he got his braces off today. He about broke the dentist chair with happy feet when they told him the good news.

I doubt his brace-face brother will feel the same joy.

Here's hoping the cake at least cheers him up.

* The orthodontist handed him a gigantic goody bag full of all the treats he has been unable to eat for the last 18 months. Seemed contrary to good oral hygiene practices, but seeing as I ate a few things out of it myself, who am I to complain?

** The orthodontist also has been giving them tokens every visit and he and McKay have their eye on something Xbox related that is called MP. I have no clue.

Having the want to serve

This afternoon, my boys came begging to have a lemonade stand. Seeing as how we had zero lemons in the house, and I had zero desire to drive and buy the aforementioned lemons, that business idea fell flat on its lemony face.

Next they wanted to have a bakery.

Tragically, it was a half hour before dinner time. And since I am a complete OCD freak an organized household coordinator, I nipped that one in the bud, too.

You know.

Seeing as how treats take at least a half hour to bake, another half to cool, and a third half for me to stop eating them long enough for the kids to sell them to the maybe one person who would be wandering our street at that hour. Our neighborhood? Del Boca Vista. Everyone is sound asleep in bed around here by five o'clock.

Hearts heavy, and all the business acumen nearly drained from their souls, they thought of a third potential business venture.

Internet, I give you the Fall & Leaves Co. Which is apparently very strong in religious acts.


Interesting question to ponder (aside from how one goes about becoming very strong in religious acts) is exactly where the business plans to acquire two leaf blowers, a dozen rakes, and hundreds of leaf bags. Because I'm pretty sure that I own none of those things.

Seeing as how our neighborhood does most of our lawn care for us and all.

Details. Getting in the way of budding entrepreneurs every day.