Thursday, September 24, 2009

Where does the Time Go?!

Okay, so it has been several months - and actually an entire season has passed - since my last blog post! A lot has been going on here in Kansas, at the Billings household. I thought it might be a good time to catch everyone up!

We had an awesome summer - filled with lazy days, swimming at the pool, gardening, vacationing and friends!

We were lucky to have the time to travel to Maine and spend two weeks in Stonington. We were also lucky to be joined for the first week by our good friends the Bohlkens. It was so much fun to share our home and "Maine" with friends. Also fun to see things that we take for granted through fresh eyes! When we first arrived, the fog was thick and visibility almost nothing. As Dan, Kelly and the kids were staring at the fog out the big picture window in the living room, the fog began to lift and reveal the amazing view! They had no idea that we were right on the ocean with boats and islands surrounding us! It was funny, too, to hear Zach's comment of "I've never seen that before". I started to realize that he probably doesn't remember much from his last four visits to Maine because he was too little! We had great fun doing a little bit of everything from shopping to boating and hiking.

The second week we were joined by Roger's mom, Helen. She was a bit under the weather, but we still had a nice visit - and I know she enjoyed getting to see the grandkids! We had really great weather, with only a few days of fog and rain, so we were able to do some fun hikes and take the kids out on their first kayak outing. We collected lots of rocks and shells, had lots of lobster races, took some amazing photos and no one wanted to head back home. Did I mention that we drove again this year?! A bit insane - but all went well. Our kids are troopers!

We returned home just in time to start school (only three days to spare)! Emma is in 4th grade this year and Zach is in 2nd. They grow up so fast! Homework has been a bit of a challenge - things get harder as you move up - but otherwise everyone has transitioned well.

Emma decided to take a break from soccer this fall and is focusing her efforts on softball. Of course, she excels in almost everything athletic she tries (she must get that from Rog), and she has made no exception with softball. She is also gearing up to start volleyball academy in November and hopes to start playing next year. Her dad can't wait to start showing her the ropes! She continues to tumble when she can fit it in, and has joined the dance team and running club at school. She will be running a 5K in a couple of weekends! Go Emma! On top of all of this she continues to make straight A's at school! What a great kid!

Zach has given up on soccer for now and is exploring flag football with his buddies. He has had a couple of practices and his first game last weekend. Surprisingly, for the kid who doesn't like contact sports, he seems to really enjoy football. He even got tackled twice during Saturday's game, but popped back up (pulled his pants up) and got back in the game. He is hoping to play basketball this winter, and will continue playing baseball with the Mud Dogs in the spring. He has a great bunch of boys in his grade and they all have a blast playing sports together! He is improving his reading this year and is really impressing Rog and I! I know this is the year where we will see lots of changes in Zach!

Rog is still working for Golf Course Superintendents Association, and I continue to contract with Infant Toddler Services of Johnson County. Both organizations have been struggling in tough economic times, but we are grateful to still have meaningful and rewarding jobs. Our biggest project recently has been to paint our kitchen cabinets. It has actually been easier than we expected and so far is making a big impact on the look of our kitchen! We hope to have this project rapped up in a week or so. Then it is on to bigger and better things!

I promise to make a better effort to update my blog more often. In the meantime, here's wishing everyone a beautiful and peaceful fall - my favorite time of the year!


Monday, May 4, 2009

I can't believe it has been over two months since I posted last! Where does the time go?

Lately our time has been spent at practices and sporting events. I'm not sure what we were thinking letting both kids participate in two sports this spring. It has been a bit of a scheduling nightmare - but manageable. Our practice schedule doesn't leave many nights free during the week, and games pretty much eat up our weekends. It has been fun watching both Emma and Zach on the fields, though!

Zach is playing soccer with some buddies from school. This is his second try at soccer after taking a few seasons off. Let's just say the time off hasn't done much to increase his competitive drive! He probably won't be continuing with soccer after this season. I'm not sure I could take the stress of watching him dance around the field again! At least we have kept the cartwheels at bay for soccer!

On the other hand, he loves baseball and is happy to be playing again this year for the Muddogs! So far, we are 2-o for the season! The Muddogs really do rock and are blowing the other teams out of the stadium at each game! Our coaching staff has done a tremendous job this year - and the boys look great! Go Muddogs!

Emma continues to play soccer with her team the "Banana Splits". I think this is her 5th or 6th season with the team. They are excelling and really starting to look like they know what they are doing out there! Lots of passing and fancy footwork! Emma loves playing goalie or defender. Not really loving the offensive positions, but she can turn it on when she wants to. She scored the seasons first goal during our first game!

Emma is also playing softball for the second season. We have only been practicing so far, but have our first game this Saturday. Looking forward to seeing how the Golden Aces will do this season. There are a few new girls and everyone has been looking good at practice. Emma is considering pitching and has been practicing with her coach. I will keep you posted with her progress as we get into our season!

Rog and I busily planted our garden last weekend, and we are eager to see things start to take shape. This is such an exciting time as we anticipate bumper crops of tomatoes, peppers, green beans, snap peas, watermelon, cucumber, etc. I would love to try my hand at canning some of our bounty this year, and may have to pay Rog's coworker Kelly to come teach me the ropes! We are also considering participating in a local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) group for the things we can't grow or produce ourselves this summer. Rog is a bit nervous about what we might have to eat - for anyone that knows how picky he is - this is a scary prospect! I will keep you posted on how all of that turns out!

I must get to bed now. I am starting a new "boot camp" tomorrow morning and don't want to be too tired! My good friend Elizabeth (who was just awarded her personal training certificate) is going to train a bunch of us "mommies" in the school parking lot at 6:00 a.m., two mornings each week. I am hoping to have my buff body back in 6 weeks! Wish me luck!


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Climbing out of a Bad Weekend

So you didn't think my weekend could get worse, did ya? Well, it did!

Let me just say that scratched corneas are very painful. And, even more so when you are six years old and don't understand why your eye hurts so badly. Poor little man!

Anyway, my wonderful mom came up to help out Friday night and to serve as reinforcement as I attempted to get my kids out of bed on Saturday morning for a 7am soccer game. So, on Friday night we headed to Red Robin for dinner, then ran a few errands to Target and Home Depot. Somewhere along the way Zach began complaining that, not only did his eye hurt, but now his throat hurt as well. Warning bells started going off, since he was just treated for strep not two weeks earlier. We headed home, got in our jammies and watched "Mama Mia" before heading to bed early. I awoke at about 3am and couldn't get back to sleep, so headed to the computer at 4am. At 6am I woke the rest of the crew up and we headed to the soccer game, during which time Zach complained about his eye and his throat. As we loaded into the car after the game and prepared to head to Blue Springs for haircuts, Zach began crying and complaining that his stomach hurt. I quickly turned the car around and headed for home. He refused to eat or drink, and after listening to his complaints become worse over the next few hours, I placed my hand on his head only to find he was burning up! We headed to the pediatric after hours clinic, where after a two hour wait (and a fine episode of puking on the doctor), he was once again diagnosed with strep throat.

The rest of Saturday sucked! I could not wait for Roger to pull into the driveway on Sunday! I feel completely drained, even after getting a full night of sleep last night. Zach, on the other hand, was feeling much better today - even doing dance moves during the Grammy's this evening! He will definitely be heading to school tomorrow morning!

Thankfully, I have nothing scheduled tomorrow and can play catch up!

Have a great week!


Friday, February 6, 2009


Well, he slept through the night, only to awaken this morning and begin screaming and crying all over again! We headed to the pediatrician's office. They did a dye test - and sure enough - Zachy B. has a scratched cornea! We next headed to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription for antibiotic drops. Not sure how long it will take to heal - but I am praying for a speedy recovery!

A scratched cornea is incredibly painful! Poor little guy has continued to scream and cry since leaving the doctor's office. I am very grateful that my mom will be joining us this afternoon, and will spend the night tonight. A little adult commiseration is just what this momma needs right now! It is so hard to see your little ones in so much pain, and not be able to do anything about it!

If anyone has any experience or great ideas - please send them my way!

We will be laying low today and getting some welcome lazy time on the couch. It is beautiful weather here - with predictions that the temperature will reach 70 degrees! I still can't believe it is February in Kansas! Wacky weather for sure!

I will keep everyone posted on Zachy B's progress.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

To Urgent Care - Or Not

It has been a busy week - and we are looking forward to a day off to play tomorrow! Unfortunately, Zach began complaining early this evening that his eye was hurting. It has been off and on for the last few hours and his complaints have become increasingly more dramatic. I think he might have scratched it while playing outside this afternoon. (62 degrees in February!)

After listening to him cry/scream for about 30 minutes straight, I ended up calling the pediatrician's office around 7:00pm. I was surprised when one of the nurses actually answered. She was so nice and suggested treating him with saline drops, ibuprofen and patching his eye. She also said if he kept complaining, or it got worse, take him to the urgent care walk-in clinic tonight. So, after we dropped Emma at her tumbling class, we headed to the pharmacy to pick up some supplies. We are making a go at it - but his complaints don't seem to be easing much. Wish me luck overnight - it could be a long one! I'm really wishing Rog was home about now!

Will keep you posted tomorrow!


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

One Month Down

Wow, it has been one month since my last post! I guess time flies when you are having fun. But, wait, have I been having fun? Of course I have!

You may recall in my last post I talked about an upcoming project - cleaning out and organizing the kid's craft supplies. Well, I have to be honest and tell you that I have yet to complete that project. I am setting a deadline to have it complete by this Sunday. So, stay tuned for some before and after pics!

For those of you who are curious about my "word for the year" - after a lot of consideration - I have chosen the word FOCUS. My goal with this word is to stop trying to multi-task all of the time, and really FOCUS on one project/task at a time. Multi-tasking is highly overated - and I feel it has given me a case of "self-induced" ADD. I will keep you posted on how FOCUS is helping me in my day to day life.

Roger is currently in New Orleans working the Annual Convention and Show for the Golf Course Superintendants Association. The kids and I are missing him already. We are especially sad that he will be gone for his birthday this Saturday. Personally, I am not looking forward to waking both kids at 5:45 am on Saturday morning to make Emma's 7:00 am indoor soccer game. My mom has graciously offered to "sleep-over" Friday night and help me Saturday morning. Thank goodness for Grandma Pat! Wish us luck!

Look for pics this weekend!


Saturday, January 3, 2009

A New Year - A Fresh Start

I love the beginning of a new year! It feels like such a fresh start!

Last year, on the advice of one of the scrapbook bloggers that I follow, I came up with a "word for the year". My word for 2008 was "ACCOMPLISH". I created a framed collage highlighting my word and hung it in my office/craft room. It was so amazing how that one little word, placed where I could see it and reflect upon it, helped motivate me to complete so many projects!

It's now time to decide on a new word for 2009. I have been struggling to find something that really reflects my goals for the year. I am a huge procrastinator - so I have been searching for something that speaks to that - as well as to my other financial/personal/organizational goals. If you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them! So far I have come up with: Motivation, streamline, action. But, nothing seems to be really "hitting the nail on the head". I'll keep you posted in the days to come!

Hope you all had wonderful holiday and New Year's celebrations. For the first time ever our little family was able to spend Christmas day at home opening presents, watching movies, making a steak dinner and playing with our new toys! We all stayed in our jammies the whole day! At about 10:00 p.m., Emma exclaimed, "This is the best Christmas I have ever had!"

A little change in New Year's plans - and we found out on Tuesday that the party was moving to our house! Wow! Lot's to get done in a little bit of time - but we pulled it off and had a blast ringing it in with a small group of good friends and their kids! We had so much fun that the party didn't end until about 2:30 a.m.! With clean-up, I didn't see my pillow until about 4:00 a.m.! Needless to say, New Year's day was another day spent in jammies!

Emma and Zach are back to school on Wednesday of this coming week. I am looking forward to getting back on schedule and into our normal routine. My organization goal this week is to clean out all of the kid's crafting supplies and get them consolidated in one easily accessible spot in our home. I will take pics and post the process and results in a few days. Wish me luck!

Have a great week and a great beginning to your 2009!