Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Are we crazy? Don't answer that

Those of you who are regular readers of the blog may be asking yourself, "what in God's name are these people doing?" It would be alright to ask that question, because we seem to be asking the same question of ourselves as well. It is Jacobs 7th birthday of September 5th and he has been asking for a dog for the past couple months. Anyone who knows Reba and I well know that we just don't run out and make quick decisions, especially involving a dog. We found a litter of golden retriever puppies two miles from our house. We fell in love and we are brining the puppy home in October. One may ask what we are doing still living in remodel chaos and now adding a puppy to the mix. We finally get Noah toileted properly and we then take on another family member that we have to now, potty train. Some would say that this is the worst time to get a dog, but on the other hand, it may actually divert us from the stress of a torn apart home. It may also divert us from precious hours of sleep at night. Either way, it is another adventure in life. Jacob feels up for the job, as well as, help from his two brothers. On to more exciting news from the LeRoy Clan.

Jonah has wanted to join a soccer team the last two years of his little life. We tried to sign him up for fall soccer two weeks ago and found out that it was full. We were bummed for him but thought we would try it next time. Two days ago, we received a call from soccer club that told us they made up another team and he was to start on Tuesday. Jonah was beside himself with joy. I took him to soccer last night and they were given their soccer uniform. Jonah was more excited about that than playing yesterday. Tonight at practice, he so wanted to wear the uniform and the smile on his face was priceless. He will start his first game on September 9th. He can't wait. Jonah begged me to bring the camera to take pictures. Here you go. Life is full of joy.

On Sunday, we were able to go to the Kitsap county fair. The kids had been working towards this for the past three weeks. They have been doing chores and saving their money so they could go on all the rides. The day was hot, exciting, and awesome. Our kids flocked to Sarah and Josh. Josh is the bomb. The kids think he is the best, so he was a buddy for the day for Jonah and Noah. The kids are now exhausted from a long weekend of fun and excitement. Enjoy the pictures.


Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Saying good-bye to Summer

The kids have been hounding me to get pictures on the blog so that they can look at it and see themselves. Summer is coming to an end now and as we start school, the kids are already missing summer. In June, we went to Priest Lake in Idaho for a week of water sports and fun. All of the kids loved being on the water. Jacob was fearless in the water and feels like he could swim across the lake if he wanted to. Jonah is the terror of the water. He thinks he is invincible, but when it comes down to it, he really is a soft hearted 5 year old. Then there is Noah who just within the past month was willing to go in the water during swimming lessons for the first time. All of the kids want us to move to the lake so we can play all year long. There will be more pictures to come in the days ahead now that we are up and running.

Say Good-bye to summer.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Flying away from the stress!!

For those who know us well, a weekend trip away is what most of you expect now. Two days before a quick trip, we hear comments like, "where are you going?" People at my work give me no end of crap. They say that I am on a perpetual vacation. I do get a lot of vacation through my job, and I try to use it every chance I can get. Life is too short to hoard and save 4-6 weeks of vacation in a year. As it stand now, I have 400 hours in the bank and that 's after all the mini-vacations. Reba and I didn't have a chance to go around our anniversary, so last Friday, I got on the internet and started looking for tickets up and down the west coast. We found great deals to fly into San Jose. We left for the weekend with the help of my parents and Reba's mom. They are the real backbone of the operation. Without their help, these vacations would not be a reality.

Because our life is mostly about the planning and shuttling kids around, we decided not to plan our trip more than the hotel and rental car. When we showed up to get the car, they said that they didn't have our class of car. Reba made the comment, "a convertible would be just fine. Long story short, we got the mustang, red, convertible and we were off. After a good night sleep and coffee to rev us up, we started off towards San Francisco. The top was down, the sun was out, and Reba's hair was snarled and beautiful. We had a great time. Reba used to live in San Mateo, so she drove me around there and we decided to head down the coast instead. We drove to Santa Cruz, Monterey, and Carmel. We stopped when we wanted to, ate when we wanted to, and actually had many conversations that were complete and whole. It was relaxing and felt like we were millions of miles away from Seattle. We felt like we were dating again, but this time, Reba was of legal drinking age. We fell in love with the car, and I have to say for the record, Reba was quite comfortable weaving in and out of California traffic. We came home Saturday night, flying first class, and ended the mini-vacation without a hitch.

Going away gives you some good perspective. You begin to miss the kids and you can actually start seeing the aerial view of you life. You are calmer, more relaxed, and you life seems to fall into place. But, before you know it, all of that starts closing in once you walk through the door. Today, was great with the kids. We went to church and had a great time. We worked in the yard and enjoyed the sun and then went to beach for my Aunt's 60th birthday celebration. We had great food, the kids played in the water and it was back to normal. Three skinned knees, two bloody elbows, one skinned foot, and one child, who we shall keep nameless, pooping in his bathing suit even though we took him to the restroom three times. Our first aid kit was back in business. Life is good again. There is some comfort knowing that things don't change that much when your gone. It makes the times you leave, wonderful and the times you come back, even better. Have a great Monday and enjoy the sun if you live in Seattle.

Robb (Rested and ready for the week)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Life of being absent minded

Who ever said that being absent minded happens in old age. I believe that as cute and loving as children are, they can also suck the memory right from you. Not to blame all of the children out there, but they do a pretty good job of distracting us, making their agenda more important than our own. When I was a child, mom parents would look around the house for things and then promptly say, "One of the kids must have lost that." We all knew that they had in fact lost what they were looking for, but as children you shake your head and say to yourself, "that is really too bad...It is just getting worse."

Much of the time, our children like to hide the remote, phones, keys, etc. Most of the time, they are being "helpful" and when you ask them, they take you to the blanket under their crib and show you where it is. Occasionally, they have no idea. Case in point. The other day, Reba and I couldn't find one of the phones. We looked everywhere, even recruiting the kids to look up in the play area, the pool, and the garage. We even have a page finder that makes the phone beep. Reba was on her way out to do errands and was pulling out of the driveway. I pushed the page finder and made my way into the garage. I thought I heard the beeping, but it was getting farther away and then I didn't hear it again. I looked everywhere in the garage and outside in the driveway, but no such luck. Later that day, Reba pulled back in and I was outside mowing the lawn. I went over and was talking to her as she got out of the car. I looked down on the hood and low and behold, the phone was on the hood of the car, wedged behind the front bumper cover. I pulled it out and Reba and I both lost it. Reba had been driving around for 24 hours doing errands with the phone on the front of our car. We even drove to Poulsbo and back without it flying off. I guess we can't say that the kids had anything to do with this event. Although I would like to blame them, it was me who placed it there the day before. The kids scraped by this time, but I'm sure they've lost something in the past week that we aren't aware of yet.

In my old age of 34, little by little, I am losing ground. I guess I need to start taking my vitamins. Until next time.


Saturday, August 12, 2006

Who ever said potty training is easy?

I love all of the articles and books out there that simplify potty training down into three easy steps. They didn't have our children in mind when they wrote it. All of our children have taken their own sweet time getting through this hurdle in life. Noah, is no exception. He has been potty trained for a month or two now which is great. We just can't quite get the poop thing down. If you ask him, he says, "Oh sure, I go poop on the toilet." The real answer is that if you get him near the toilet to sit down, he begins to cry and throw a fit. Truth be told, he would like to sneak out of the house and hide in behind the play area with a newspaper and do his business. Completely satisfied, he walks in from outside, pleased with his accomplishment. He will tell you all the right answers, "Next time I will go poop on the toilet." None of us believe him, but he says it with such conviction that there is a part of you that gets caught up in the moment. At this point in the blog, I am sure that you all have thoughts on what we could try. For the record, we have offered chocolate, candy, money and even a pony. Nothing ever works.

Now that we only have him in underwear, he always wants to change into his pull-up so he can go outside and do his business. Today, he started coming up to us saying that his bottom was hurting ie. "I need to go poop." From expert advise from out doctor, we ask him what he is going to do about it. He won't ever tell us. We went through this all day long while we were playing at the beach. Finally, when we got home, it really got ramped up and he was uncomfortable. He was in the bathroom with Reba and she all the sudden calls me in to a horror I will never forget. Noah had not made it to the beloved toilet, but let loose on the new tile that Reba had put in herself. I didn't quite know what to do, which is odd since this is our third child. All I could think about is the new tile. Kidding. Anyway, instead of having a nice dinner as a family, Reba and I were cleaning up the "accident" while Jacob and Jonah sat nicely at the table eating. There is nothing like weekend family time spent together running back and forth between the bathroom and the washing machine. It's all good though. The only good thing that came out of this experience is that he did actually sit on the toilet and produced. It used to be that fixing a leaky sink or painting that extra room in your home gave us a strong sense of accomplishment. Now, poopin on the toilet is all we have left. The energy we started with at the beginning of the day was drained from us around noon, but you perservere.

On a positive note, we did go to point no point, a sandy beach in Hansville, WA, and we have a great time. The kids played for hours without fighting. The weather was great and we had a great lunch. On the way home, the kids had to fight off sleep. Now that the kids are in bed, we are fighting off sleep. Have a great day. Until next time.

Quote of the day: "Dad, I wish I had ten arms so that I could eat, play with legos and watch television all at the same time." Jacob Mark LeRoy (age 6 and 11/12ths)


Monday, August 07, 2006

A Glorious Morning!!!

The sun slowly creeps over the hills and trees one summer morning with birds hurrying to and fro gathering their morning breakfast. The newly cut grass shimmers with the morning dew. The paperboy rides by on his bright red 1972 Schwinn bicycle throwing papers which narrowly misses rose gardens only to end up perfectly landing on the front porches of Bremerton's finest. Reba rolls out of bed and puts her robe on, walks down the hall heading for the coffee pot. As she passes through the kitchen, insulation from the ceiling gently floats down and lands in her hair like soft snow on a December morning. Robb, outside doing yard work, looks up to see his beautiful wife of 11 years open the kitchen window and instead of throwing a good morning kiss, smacks the gold coffee filter on the side of the house allowing last night coffee grounds to shower across the garden( It all happened in slow motion of course). The birds stop gathering their morning breakfast and the paperboy loses his balance, smashing into the neighbors garbage cans. This is the house of the LeRoy's.

It consists of Rebecca making scrambled eggs out on the deck at 0730 in her robe with hair put up into a bun for optimum efficiency. It is learning to make a healthy dinner for 5 using only a microwave, one bowl, and an icecream scoop. It is putting up with a large hole in the ceiling of our kitchen which doesn't really guard us from the elements. It is living with a large, bright green, dumpster welcoming family and friends at the entrance to our driveway. It is also answering the question ,"When do you think you may have your kitchen done?" And the short answer to that question is that we don't know.

Even though life is kind of strange and crazy right now, we are still trying to keep things "normal" so that the kids end up less damaged than they would be. We decided to have Mark and Sue (Reba's parents) over for dinner and surprise, we were barbecuing. We said we would just throw something together and that it would be no problem. We had the side burner going with artichokes and meat on the was too good at this point. As I was outside on the deck overlooking the neighbors yard, I thought to myself....."You know, we have had this propane tank for a long time and haven't really had to switch it for over six months. I sure hope it lasts for the next couple days, or at least through tomorrow's breakfast." Right about that time, I heard a "pop". I slowly put down the ice cream scoop and opened the barbie and no flame was in sight. The boiling water slowly calmed and the sound of burgers sizzling faded away. I took one good drink of my beer and headed inside to share the news with the family. We ended up having an eclectic meal with mostly cooked artichokes, sliced ham from the deli, cheese and crackers. Don't you worry, if we ever invite you over for dinner, you can expect the best from us. Note to self....Pick up more propane before morning and restock cold cuts in case this sort of thing happens again. Boy there are a lot of life's little lessons to learn in one day.

We have learned to laugh a lot more at ourselves and our situation along with some tears at times. The thing that has been great is the kids feel like we are on one big camping trip. They know if they spill on the carpet, mom and dad will most likely say, "Oh don't worry about it". We do really want to get moving on things and anyone who knows us realizes that we are not procrastinators, but things always take longer than anyone thinks. This is our life and we are livin it to the fullest. Thanks for your time.

Robb (The man with two first names)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Blogging against my will

I resent the idea that I have to blog just because both my sisters do. Though I am acutely aware that I have the most interesting life (and as a result, the widest internet appeal), the most talent in creative writing, as well as the most blog fodder by far between the three of us, one must readily admit, I have also the least amount of time during which to blog. Come on, girls. I mean, do you really want me to spell it out for you? However, due to the high demand and unrelenting pressure to create a blog, I may be forced to submit--I can't really let Robb do all the writing. That's for sure. Don't get me wrong. He's a great guy. He's got good hair, eyes that can't really just be called 'blue', a sense of humor matched only by those on the writing team at Saturday Night Live, and admittedly, even wider appeal than myself. But, the guy is just not into the details. He's right behind me right now, blogging on his computer. I have not yet read what he is about to publish. But, my guess is that it is a very funny story about poop on moving day. That's pretty much what it comes down to. However, without my unmatched editing skills, witty comments, and general attention to detail, I'm just not sure he can do it. So, I will pop in from time to time, to correct, edit, and add detail when I find it necessary. Unfortunately, I am also the most computer and internet saavy between the two of us. So, I will also be required to add pitures, possibly HTML tags, etc. Really, it's another full-time job. Did I mention I already have 3 of those? Ugh, the pressure to perform is unbearable, being as Mary Poppins perfect as I am...

Moving Day, July 15, 2006

We really didn't have a choice at this point on moving day. We couldn't hold onto the rental and pay the mortgage on the new house, even though that would be the comfortable thing to do. Five weeks prior to moving in, we had been ripping, hammering, pulling, and tearing out all that we could. Mostly, because we had time and we wanted to get a lot of the dirty work out of the way prior to moving in. We were so tired by moving day, that we felt spent by 10 a.m. that morning. We did pull in help from our Bachelor friend Tim from Portland that day and my father-in-law. To make a long story short, my mother-in-law, Sue, who was watching the two boys locked her keys in the car with it running at Wal-mart of all places and was stuck for an hour while she waited for AAA to come and bail her out. I pulled away from the rental house in the U-Haul truck so tired and deranged that I forgot I had the back still open and the ramp down. It wasn't until I heard the loud scraping noise, as well as Tim yelling at me from his comfortable BMW, that I stopped the car and thought..I shouldn't be driving anymore. We did turn the truck back in without further incident and finished the move, but it was close.

That night, as we sat down in our home with dry wall ripped from the 2 x 4's, it sunk in that we may have bitten off more than we could chew. We didn't have running water in the kitchen along with any kitchen cabinets. Boxes lay around the room as Tim, Reba and I talked about the days events. Now, before I state this next part, those of you without kids may be shocked by the type of things that go on in a house with children. You may need to cover your eyes. Earlier in the day, our 5 year old, Jonah, ran out into the living room with his pants down around his ankles stating that he had a "poop bubble" come out and he needed help wiping. Like the good father I am, I quickly educated him on on the merits of using his voice to call us from the bathroom as I ushered him back to the comode. After that was cleaned up, we thought it was all over.

Now back to the relaxing evening sitting amongst boxes. Reba stood up and walked over to the middle of the floor and leaned over while saying, "I hope this is not what I think it is" as she put her finger in a brown chocolate substance. And yes, you guessed it, a treasure from the days earlier event involving Jonah. As she collapsed in terror and exhaustion by what she had discovered, our single friend Tim used the time to reflect on the joys of being married and having children in your life. He is still shocked to this day by what he saw, heard and smelled late that one evening in July. We haven't talked about it since and probably won't again. Ahhhhh, the joys of moving, being a parent, and spending quality time with close friends, or so we hope. Tim hasn't called much since that fateful night. We are hoping it didn't completely deter him from the thought of every having children in the future.

There are many other stories that we can share from the past three weeks to get you all up to date. Don't you worry. If your life is boring and you need a little lift, have three children and buy a fixer upper. Until next time. Oh and by the way. Those of you who wonder why the blog is labeled "House of Dedons" here is a simple yet quick explanation. When my two older brothers were younger, we wanted to come up with a word for the male anatomy...I know, I know, this is a rare thing for young boys to do but anyway, we did. We thought we were sneaky in naming it Dedon. We thought we could use this in conversation all the time around my parents without them knowing. That didn't work so well but we continued to use it anyway. Now, it is a family word that makes my mother cringe every time she hears it being used off in the distance. Well, with three boys, we thought "House of Dedons" would be appropriate.


Friday, August 04, 2006

Our Hero and Yours, Hannah

Welcome to House of Dedons. The purpose of this blog is to share with the online world our journey renovating our new house, raising our three rambunctious little boys, and trying to stay sane. Our family loves to hear about our crazy lives, so we thought you might enjoy it as well. Our sister/sister-in-law, Hannah, is the one who finally pushed us into online journaling. We hope you enjoy hearing our stories.