My family's journey down the road less traveled....

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

9 years and counting....

It's hard to believe that Michael and I will be celebrating our 9th wedding anniversary tomorrow(actually it's taken me so long to write this that it's now today!!). I don't feel old enough to have been married 9 years, let alone to be the mother of three children. Where did the time go? Honestly, it seems like yesterday that I met this long-haired, hippie with a knack for dirty song lyrics at a party hosted by 2 insane women calling themselves "Thelma and Louise". We laughed at my cousin's weird dancing...imagine Seinfeld's Elaine brand of spasmodic twitching.

We turned 'Twas the Night Before Christmas into an X-rated, ripped straight from the pages of Penthouse poem and shyly flirted all evening(much to the dismay of a friend who had her eye on him too). It seems particularly ironic to be celebrating our anniversary since the party was supposed to serve as a quasi-set up between Michael's friend and myself and he only came along at the last minute to serve as wing man. Thankfully, I spent the night getting to know a man who would ultimately change my life and the gentleman I mentioned earlier spent the night buried under a pile of coats making out with one of the crazy party hosts!! Um....I'd like to take a moment and thank Fate for quickly stepping in that night and preventing me from the catastrophic mistake of hooking up with the Man-Whore.

Nine years has seen us thru a lot of ups and downs; the additions of a few more kiddles, the stress of almost losing one before she was born, the actual loss of loved ones, the frustration of layoffs and financial woes, the awkwardness of living with Michael's parents, the falling out and then back in with mine, the formation of a successful business, the joys of home ownership, I could go on forever(I'll spare you that pain!!). Whatever the moment, I'm just glad I've had my long-haired hippie by my side the entire time.
Here's to another 9 years...after that it's 11 years and counting, his folks said I could return him after 29 years!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Happy end of October!!!

October has been totally crazy for the Patrick household and I am just glad for a quiet moment(all things in perspective-since the girls are arguing in the background and Eli is showing off his newest ukelule shredding solo) to share our eccentric life with the world. We welcomed new baby kitties into our world. Octopus the tail-less cat, birthed four kittens in the early hours of October 4th. Uno, Nubs, Blackie and Quatro are amazingly cute but would really like a home....with you. Blackie proved to be difficult by presenting breech and needless to say Octopus let us know that her earlier decision to forgo the epidural was made in haste!! Animal or not, natural birth my @ss!!! Being the totally geeky, homeschooling mom that I am, I encouraged the kids to watch and afterwards Eli remarked that, "sometimes his butt hurt too, did that mean he was going to have babies?"....I'm still pondering how to answer that without having the Birds and Bees talk with the kids!!!

October 25th saw our 2nd annual hosting of a Letner Family get-together. Our turnout this year was better than last and included family members from the southern areas of the state even despite the hurtle of our house not showing up on GPS units!! We participated in Poo Bowl 2008 and apologize to those who had to ride home with stinky participants...we will definitely remove all doggie droppings before next year!!!!

(Mikey would like special acknowledgement of his 2 receptions for touch downs as well as a touch down pass. It was a great performance all around and he single-handedly led his team to a 6-1(42-7) victory.)

We had a smoky bonfire, waaaaayy to much picture taking, a lot of laughter and thanks to a bottle of lighter fluid these petrified food items passing themselves off as hot dogs. It may be slightly presumptuous but I think a good time was had by all and I know Michael and I can't wait to do it again next year!!!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Happy Autumn!!!

Happy Autumn everyone!! Sorry to leave you all hanging in suspense, waiting with baited breath for the next installment of Our Chaotic Life. I know I have such a dedicated following of readers who were just beside themselves due to a lack of postings. *Snort* Just kidding, I know I have a very limited readership of folks who probably don't give a rat's ass how we're doing. You'll show up dutifully to the funeral only because you know I've demanded a boozey wake!!! Anywho.... We survived the recent wind storm no thanks to ol' Ike. We lost power on Sunday early evening and it was finally restored on Thursday night. A 200 year old, 60 foot oak decided to come crashing down on our property and took out our electric pole and transformer. Thanks to the overwhelming generosity of our neighbor, we had the use of a generator and were able to keep food from spoiling. Clean up of said tree was long and the main trunk is still laying where it fell, the good news it that we have enough firewood to last for quite a while.

We've started back to school. I'm still homeschooling and having Chloe in 4th grade, Grace in 2nd grade and Eli in Kindergarten is making for a lot of work and long days. They continue to impress me and surpass my expectations with their willingness and ability to learn. It's nice to be able to impart actual knowledge and wisdom instead of teaching for a particular test to meet a set standard with the express goal of making a large group "look good". The kids are showing a wide range of interest and I can't wait to explore some of their new pursuits.

I guess that's it for now. We have started regular Girl Scout meeting again and next week will begin ballet and jazz classes for the fall so the updates may be fewer and farther between. No fears boys and girls...just send up the bat signal if you need help and I'll never be far behind!!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Great Moments in Parenting...

I've heard that as parents, we will experience tons of amazing, memorable moments during our kid's lives. I know our children are still very young in the grand scheme of life and we haven't even begun to witness the lion's share of these events. Yet those we have seen are properly documented and cemented in our minds for eternity, or until the time of mashed foods and adult diapers. I can easily bring to mind several... Chloe's first step, bringing Grace home from the hospital, hearing the midwife tell me, "it's a boy". As the kids have grown the moments have evolved and are now based on their own accomplishments as unique, creative beings. Case and point...Eli received a ukulele about 2 weeks ago and has been walking around ever since playing the heck out of the poor thing. Given Michael's influence, he's even created his own brand of music.....ukametal. Imagine death metal on a ukulele-scary!
Michael decided the boy needed a proper ax to shred and we made a special trip to the String Shoppe on campus to pick one up. Seeing Eli's face light up when he heard the sound of his Fender Strat Mini thru his very own Marshall amp was priceless. It definitely qualifies as one of those moments that you'll carry with you forever. Michael was so overcome with joy, pride and maybe even a little gas that he teared up right in the parking lot. Nothing like a Fender to bring a grown man to weep. In public. Freak.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Bout time boy!!!

The world and Patrick family proudly welcomes Colton Christopher into it's folds. We've been waiting for this little guy, earlier dubbed "Baby Boogie", for what seems like an eternity. We are proud as all get out to have another strong Patrick boy to add to the mix. The girls were starting to take over and all that estrogen and attitude was getting thick. Not that we don't love our drama queens (their Hannah Montana songs are grating after a while) but it's fun playing with Hot Wheels cars, shooting bad guys with toy guns, turning a bike ride into a secret spy mission and reading Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel night after night.

We are so excited to watch Colton grow into a mischievous little boy and Aaron and Becca grow into the amazing parents we know they will become.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Nature abounds...

Total unrelated to recent posts but I had to share. While out filming the kids boggin, I heard a momma bird in a pine tree, I'm sorry, Mikey has just informed me that it's a "blue spruce, technically, cough, cough." Asshole...anyway. Every time we moved the branch to get a better view, their little heads popped up with mouths open expecting food. Amazing little creatures.

Knee high by the 4th of July....

Knee high??? Only knee high?? Knee high is for girls and Frenchmen!!

Happy 4th of July!!!

On this most revered day marking our nations birth and Independence from the tyrannical English rule we must remember the sacrifices made by those soldiers and their families. These great people were truly salt-of-the earth folks and the predecessor to the modern day rednecks of the nation. Gun toting, flag waving good ol' boys and girls!! To honor them we've returned to our roots...well more like the wet earth surrounding the roots!!

Thanks to the copious amounts rain we have a HUGE puddle in the lane, perfect for mud boggin. Kids had a blast, got soaked and Eli had clumps of mud in his hair and ears!!!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

The videos keep coming!!!

Well, the go-kart is kink free and the kids were able to take it for a spin last weekend. Chloe is turning out to be a speed freak and actually cackles as she's driving!!! At one point she executed a beautiful slide coming out of a turn, Mikey was so proud he misted up for a second!! Grace is a bit like her mother in this area and is more cautious with her speed, however once she's comfortable I can see her pushing the limits too. Poor Eli has some growing to do before he's able to reach the gas, so for now he's a contented passenger.

We strapped the camera on Grace in the passenger seat to get a bird's eye view of their ride. They were able to make a full lap in just under 40 seconds!! Not too shabby. Unfortunately, the footage of that ride has gone MIA in the dark bowels of the camera's memory, when I find it I'll throw it up. Hopefully the go-kart will sate their need for speed, at least for a little while. We're going to be headed to National Trails Raceway later this summer to watch their friend, an 8 year old, very shy little girl, race her Junior Dragster. I haven't found a Girl Scout badge for that one yet!! I have a bad feeling it'll spur the adrenaline junkies hidden in my girls and we won't hear the end of it until they have something faster!!!

Woohoo!! I found the on board camera video

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Harrowing Tales of Crash McCracken

In my last post I mentioned testing the Go-Kart for issues before letting the kids loose. We thought it best to work out all the kinks before they attempt a solo drive at 25mph. Well tonight I found a kink....during my maiden voyage on the kart-o-death, the accelerator cable broke leaving me balls out with the throttle stuck wide open. This would have been alright had Mikey installed the BRAKES!! As I careened down the neighbor's gravel lane headed towards Turkey Run Creek (yes, it's really a creek), I knew hitting the banks would be dangerous since the drop off is about 6 feet. The impending 10 acres of woods didn't look very inviting either and since I really didn't want to experience pain or make a trip to the ER, I swung a hard left into the newly planted soybean crop (sorry little plants!!). I had to carefully weigh my options and they all sucked. Either I drive it in circles until it ran dry, which would have taken close to 3 hours since we had just fueled it or I let Mikey try and grab on to hit the kill switch, which I was unable to reach. The lack of a good padded seat made my decision easier. I thought it best to give Mikey time to get out back to me so I made a large loop then headed back towards the house. I was able to slow the demon-kart a bit by going up a slight hill at the edge of our property. That's the point when Mikey (aka Captain Peg Leg-my superhero minus the tights) grabbed on to the rail of the kart, jumped onto the back and brought Mr. Toad's Wild Ride to a not so screeching halt but a halt none the less. Poor guy, he hadn't run that much since, shit, he's never run that much. Ever. He's Peg Leg.

I can laugh about it now but in the moment it was a bit scary. Damn devil-kart. I'm just glad it happened to me versus one of the kids. I told Mikey that if he was planning on killing me it's usually best to take out an insurance policy first. Some folks aren't that bright. Anywho...stay tuned for the next episode of the Harrowing Tales of Crash McCracken and remember kids...keep drinking your Ovaltine!!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

2008 Redneck Games

Studies show that many families participate in sports together to strengthen and unify as a unit. Popular activities include hiking, bike riding, karate. Well, here in Redneck Country we have specialized games tailored specifically to our eccentric lifestyles. These activities epitomize the intuitive nature of Rednecks, and like mainstream recreation often bring families closer together in the process. Several well-known games include cat flingin'(takes care of those pesky, over-breeding barn cats), TV shootin' (therapeutic anger management), and beer can crushing (involves the family in recycling). Being a family of innovators, we've created a new sport that we know will soon become a Redneck favorite. Go-Kart Draggin' (the draggin helps to reduce exhaust emissions and therefore reducing the Redneck's carbon footprint). It's typical in a Redneck home to have many unfinished projects and we're no exception. We are nothing if not resourceful, so we've developed a way to turn that incomplete project into an afternoon of fun. Please enjoy this video of the first ever Go-Kart Draggin' Regional Qualifying Round 1.

Actually, Michael needed to test the suspension since he designed and fabbed it up from scratch. Better to have something fail or break at lower speeds than when the kids are full throttle going 20-25mph and with a 6.5hp engine it's definitely possible. Better safe than making a trip to the ER, I always say!!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Dancin' Queens

My beauties have been taking ballet and jazz classes for the past few months and their recital was last night. Now considering who their parents are (Clumsy and Limpy) the odds of them being completely graceful are slim, yet we have hope. Fingers crossed that being gawky and awkward will skip a generation!! All in all the girls had a blast and that's what counts.

My Dancin' Queens, they may very well feel the beat from the tambourine, keeping up with it is another story!!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Olentangy Caverns

The kids and I recently took a field trip to the Olentangy Caverns in Delaware. For those readers in the vicinity or with a love of history and Indian lore, it's worth a look. The caverns range from 75-105 feet underground and were used by local Indians as a hideout. There's even a "lover's bench". Legend has it that a young female would lure her perspective beau to the tunnel near it, whack him on the head, the drag him over to the bench to nurse him back to health and in doing so, ensuring his undying affection. Nothing like putting the fear of a clubbing into a man to make him commit!!

The souvenir shop was a let down as most of the items boasted "Made in China" stickers but the kids were able to do some "gem" mining and found lots of local Ohio rocks and are now constantly on the hunt for additions to their collections.

Like Father, Like Son

Enough said....

Old Man Winter...kiss my @ss!!

A recent post was made and may have implied a fondness for winter on my part. I think it was the nostalgia conjured up from the first snow of the year. It brings back memories of hot cocoa, sledding and the coveted snow days off from school. However, let me set the record straight....winter and snow sucks!!!

These pictures were taken in the first few hours of the "Blizzard of '08". When all was said and done we had 3-4 ft snow drifts in front of the house and on the road. We might have considered it an opportunity to get cozy on the couch and ride it out had Michael not been scheduled to be in Cleveland the next day for training. Let me say it again...winter and snow suck!!

Now that spring has sprung and my flower beds are full of beautiful daffodils, tulips and other pretties I've yet to identify, the memory of that awful cold, white stuff is distant. Next year I'll make sure to read old entries before waxing poetic about the "beautiful" snow. For now, I'm just enjoying the sight of laundry on the line, new flowers emerging from the soil and the sound of my kids. Outside, finally!!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Whoa!! Was that an Earthquake??

I'm sure many of you were wondering what caused the ground to shake so violently on Sunday evening. It felt like the Earth was thrown off orbit and was being hurled out in to the galaxy. Was it an asteroid slamming into the Earth? An earthquake? Had the end time prophecy arrived? No my friend, it wasn't any of those. However, it was an occurrence as rare as all the above happening simultaneously with Woody Allen making People magazine's Most Beautiful list. Be prepared to be shocked and amazed at the actual answer. Drum roll please................My husband washed dishes!!!!

Once I recovered from the shock I was able to sneak up on this elusive creature and snap a few photos. This beast from the rare species of dishes washes husbandi is normally found deep in the wilds of GarageLand hiding amongst the tool chests and car parts. This particular specimen had been tagged years before and records indicate that at one point, many years ago, he was often found in KitchenLand assisting is mate the tiredous wifeous. Crikey, that's a beautiful beast! For this species to expose itself in an environment completely free of potential hiding spots is a rare sight indeed. Scientist are hopefully with extensive training and possible shock treatment he will once again be able to assist his mate.