Saturday, October 30, 2010

Quick To ASSume!

I don't know that I specifically said it was the boys who spilled the paint. I was quick to assume it was them. A day later I spoke to the boys about the incident, and they informed me it was a sister that caused the paint to spill.

Said sister wanted them to get down from the scaffolding. They would not listen, so she shook it to scare them into coming down (my boys don't scare easily). They didn't come down, but the paint sure did.

Pictured is our carpet forever ruined, the paint can, some handy artwork found in the gameroom, and today's mess in our storage pantry.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

"You May Not Want To Rush Home."

I was just about to leave work today, and I'm chatting with some of my favorite ladies when I get a text from Bob that reads, "You may not want to rush home."

I opened the attached image to find this:

Now, I'm posting this for a couple of reasons. The first reason is because these types of "incidents" are what started this blogging craze of mine. If you are new to my blog please read posts past. If you are a veteran of the blog then you might need a good laugh or a reality check, so please feel free to review. The second reason is I want to remember this forever. My husband took care of everything, as always. "No complaints" (past post, as well). Third and most important reason for blogging this is to document my mother's reaction...

Let me begin by saying this is not the same woman who raised me. It just can't be. I call to tell her the boys knocked a gallon of black paint off the top of some scaffolding in our game room, and it's everywhere. Her response? "Well, you're lucky it was just paint. It could have been a lot worse, Babe. It could have been one of the boys."

Who is this lady?! Friends, do you have any idea what would have happened to me if I were to spill a gallon of anything on her carpet when I was a kid...much less black paint? One time I snuck nail polish into the bedroom (huge no no), and my sisters and I were doing our nails. We were taking a rest, and the bottle spilled on the headboard (nickel size). Of course, Mom smelled trouble and came looking for the open bottle of polish. I have never seen her more mad than that moment.

It's official. The evolution has occurred. Pat Downing is a grandma.

I did fail to mention, I tried to get the polish off by scraping it with a metal cuticle tool.

Special thanks to Jesse's Carpet Cleaning for coming to the rescue. Beautiful work with a smile.

Kibbee Is Progressing...At Least I Think She Is...

This is Mallory's third year in gymnastics. I'm so impressed with her and her accomplishments. Some of her moves come naturally, but she has really had to work at others. Some of the kids on the teams seem to do it all with ease and grace while others struggle. Before each practice I tell Mallory, "You don't have to be the best. You just have to work the hardest."

After practice I will ask her how she did, and I will ask if she was the hardest worker. This includes no whining. I hear absolutely zero feedback from any of her coaches, but from what I can tell it seems she is holding her own. Mind you, I am no expert, but I'm so proud of her and her constant efforts.

The teams from Gymnastics World had their first performance this weekend.

Monday, October 25, 2010

This Is A Joke, Right?

My sister, Katie Kat, and her awesome friend, Robert, were perusing a new bookstore today and found this little treasure.

She of course, texted me a photo of it right away.

Unbelievable on so many levels was my response.

1. Who needs Cliffs Notes for a Nicholas Sparks' book?

2. This little, yellow book means professors and teachers out there are requiring a Nicholas Sparks' book to be read for their classes.

3. There is actually a teacher's guide to go along with this gem. Unreal.

4. I am floored that someone has the audacity to shelf this yellow book along side truly great Cliffs such as Jane Eyre, The Good Earth, Moby Dick, Pride and Prejudice, To Kill a Mockingbird.

5. I especially love the photo featured of Slick Nicky right on the front cover. That is sure to sell some copies.

Thanks for the smiles Kat and Robert!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Maui 2010!

We took hundreds of pictures, and I don't want to "bog the blog" with too many pictures, so I have chosen a few favorites, and the others will lie dormant on the computer for the rest of my days, I'm sure.

And the winner is...Chocolate Monkeys!

We just returned from a week long adventure to Maui with the girls. We had been before, and while we were there we kept saying how much the kids would love it. When my grandpa gave my mom a timeshare, and she offered it to us, we jumped at the opportunity to return, but this time with the girls.

We referred to our trip constantly as a week of adventure. We snorkeled, kayaked, swam, "belly" boarded, boogie boarded, surfed (Bob only), and had fun with underwater photography. We fit in a couple of movies, some shopping, and a lot of fancy eating.

As we were driving to the airport, we asked the girls what their favorite part of the trip was, and the consensus seemed to be the unlimited (but costly) Chocolate Monkeys at the resort.

A Chocolate Monkey is simply a banana chocolate milkshake. What's ironic is my grandpa who helped us take this trip is famous for his milkshakes in our family. I won't even tell you how many $6.00 milkshakes we drank by the pool this week.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Mike Wagar...

Before I begin this post I have to state something first.

I have had three fathers in this life. I have a birth father, an adoptive father, and a bonus (step) father.

I love my dad, Michael Downing. I see so many kids, especially students, who are living with step-parents, and they are/or feel unloved and unwanted. My dad, Michael, has raised me and loved me as his own. My dad made me feel wanted, and that was and still is a hard thing to make me feel. I love you, Dad!

Now, for my post...

I received a package in the mail this week. I wasn't expecting anything, so it took me by surprise. I opened the box, and pictured below is what was inside.

I have mentioned a time or two that I am adopted. I was six when I left my roots and grafted on to another clan. At almost seven, I was officially and legally a Kleinman/Berryman (a few years later I became a Downing, as well). I won't get into specifics. That is for another post.

Now, back to the package...

When I opened this box and saw the hat and belt my birth father, Mike Wagar actually wore...I just can't put it properly into words what I felt. At the risk of sounding cliche, I felt a flood of emotions. To own something that was once his means so much to me. My dad, Mike Wagar, died a few years ago, and when he did I lost the chance of ever knowing him the way girls should know their fathers. I felt cheated, left out, and unwanted.

Mike Wagar is/was the most handsome, rough n' tough cowboy I have ever known. His hat and belt symbolize his life in a nutshell.

Alicia is my brother's girlfriend (soon to be wife). She mailed me the package along with the most beautiful, sweet letter. Most amazing to me was the fact that she hand wrote the letter. I haven't seen a handwritten letter in years! Just to know my brothers know who I am, and their significant others know who I am is gift enough for me. I loved those boys. I was old enough to care when I left. They were just babies. I know they have no memories of me at home, but rest assured, I have enough memories for all of us.

I kept my Wagar name until I was married. I am proud of my non-traditional, somewhat disfunctional, and always an adventure life.

Who knew the power an old hat and belt would have over me. When I opened that box, I felt a part of something. Something I had been craving since I was six years old.

Thank you, Alicia, for sending such a special gift.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


I am not much for routine. Some people live by structure and routine. I can't stand being tied to a schedule. It drives me nuts. When I feel tied down and held back by the calendar or the clock, I get restless and irritable.

As my children are growing older, I am wondering what long term damage I am doing.

Pictured here are my boys. This is not an abnormal scene in my house. In fact, I think it's cute and funny for the most part, but I can think of at least one hundred mothers and grandmothers reading this post and gasping for air or shaking their heads in disapproval.

To this I say...

My way isn't the way for everyone. It works for me for now. I do what I can, and I prioritize quite well. I get the job done. Sometimes I do it really great and sometimes I just get by. To each his own.

But most importantly, I say...

I was once a young woman who gasped for air and shook my head at many things I witnessed parents/children doing and look at me now! Learn from my mistakes. Don't judge other people's parenting styles and choices. It will come back to bite you.

Friday, October 1, 2010

You Are Your Mother?

These jars above equal one box of pears fresh from Oregon. We did three boxes total. This was my cut/share. Mom finished the job without me.

Mom & Sabe!

I often find myself doing and saying things my mom says or does. It's not as frequent for me as Joan, but it does happen. I won't get specific, but I don't mind turning into my mom. She's a great lady, and from what I can tell...She is turning into her mother, so we are all headed in the right direction.

I was feeling ambitious and ordered a box of pears. I saw they were starting to go bad and started to panic inside. Like my mother, I hate to see fresh fruit go to waste (hence the frequent banana bread and smoothies in our house). Luckily, my mom called me in the same predicament. These pears were not going to last the weekend. Good thing Mom is a canning master. I was but the learner, and I am not yet a master, but I'm working on it.

We canned pears, pear jam, and even a little pear syrup by mistake.

Thanks, Mom!

P.S. Dad helped. He peeled and took some pictures for us.
P.S.S. Yes, that is a fabulous apron, thanks to Nic.