May 31, 2011


I see it's been two+ weeks since I've visited my little corner of the internet. We've had too much soccer, baseball, end of school, warm weather, 20th! high school reunion and travel on the docket. I have good intentions to document some of that eventually so I'm skipping to yesterday. I love that I can do that since this is my website.

We have owned the House of Hondo for 10 years tomorrow and during those 10 years, the landscaping that was practically newborn when we took possession has matured into full-blown angry teenager. We've got one tree scraping the porch and shading the sidewalk to the point that there are no longer any annuals on the market that appreciate the level of shade it delivers.  We've got another tree threatening to take over our driveway and one in the backyard attempting to become one with the boys' playset. I decided yesterday was the day to reclaim our yard, and a trashcan and five huge yard bags later, we've bought ourselves another six months before we have to call in a professional. And, my begonias might have a prayer of blooming.

I was so in the groove after attacking all these trees (albeit only as far up as someone who is 5' 6" can reach from the top of a stepladder - it looks as polished as you might imagine) that I decided it was time for the scrubby stuff that had been dying by our front walk to go too.  I pruned it all back as far as I could then sweetly batted my eyelashes at my husband and asked him if we couldn't use some teamwork to just quick-like dig those stumps out of the ground.

"I'm sure their roots aren't all that deep."

"I know you just mowed but this will only take a few minutes."

He totally fell for it.  Next thing you know we had a family shovel fest going down.  A short hour later we had removed two past-their-prime bushes and are ready for a fresh start. I might have been a bit off on how much effort it would take but we definitely had the teamwork part covered.  These three boys shoveled their arms off.

I included this last shot to document that I was indeed chatting with a neighbor while the boys finished the job. I did my part by dragging it all out to the curb tonight. If the trashmen take it all tomorrow morning then this job has been a success. 

I love my team!!!

May 13, 2011

Who's laughing now?

We at House of Hondo are so excited by warmer weather and longer days. The boys rush to get dressed so they can play outside before school and they rush home to jump in the trampoline after school. The birds are chirping, the sun is shining and things are grand. 

Or are they?

We've reached a phase in our house where the boys "sleep in." While the definition of "sleep in" is relative, we've become accustomed to 7:15 or 7:30 for Thomas and even 7:45 for Andrew. That leisurely hour feels purely luxurious after the early years of Thomas' life where he was regularly up and at 'em by 6 a.m. He's the reason we instituted the Do Not Come Out Of Your Room Until The Clock Starts With A Seven rule.

It turns out the only drawbacks of longer days and more sun are longer days and more sun. Hello, 6 a.m.! 

***I do not like 6 a.m.***

After a few consecutive mornings of early wakeups, and the resulting grumpy evenings,  I have taken matters into my own hands. Genius or desperation?  You be the judge:

That's right. I taped their bedroom curtains to the walls last night. They already have blackout lining but that pesky gap between the curtain and the wall seemed to be giving us fits.  I've taken care of that issue in a super klassy manuever involving a roll of masking tape. Mark was sure they would notice AND that it wouldn't work. It turns out to be very fortuitous that theirs are the only two rooms in this house that I haven't painted so their contractor white walls match that klassy tape pretty well and they were none the wiser.

Everyone stayed in their own beds until 7:20 a.m.  I'm thinking that this round goes to Mom.

May 5, 2011

Royal fever

As someone who has recently turned down an invitation to see the Princess Diana traveling exhibit that's in Kansas City because it just doesn't trip my trigger enough to spend a precious Saturday morning there, I have to admit that I got a bit sucked into last week's Royal Wedding. I didn't think I would be interested but once it was happening I found myself mesmerized by the footage and wondering why I don't get to be Kate Middleton.

Part of the appeal was that the boys (the two small ones) were just as interested as I was.  As is typical, and totally wonderful, they were intrigued by different aspects of the whole circus. Next time you see Andrew, quiz him about the who, how and when of the ascension to the throne. He's got it covered. He also knows how old the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William are and he thinks Her Majesty looks pretty good for eighty-five.

Thomas was kind of just into the William and Kate part of the story and somehow became aware that William is a helicopter pilot. He, if quizzed, will share that Kate is now Katherine because she's a princess after she wore that pretty dress.

They watched the coverage at Buckingham Palace with me as we prepared for school and that lead to the creation of White Wing Palace underneath our deck later that afternoon. Sadly, it rained before I thought to photograph the signage Andrew made for their backyard castle but it had a crest and everything. Their palace was furnished with everything that lives in our backyard that isn't nailed down; plastic picnic table, sand table, mini-trampoline, soccer net, wheelbarrow, etc. They spent the better part of an hour horsing these things around the yard. While they were in the palace they were both Knights.  Beautiful stuff that I couldn't dream up if I tried.

The part I did get documented was Thomas' school outfit for the big Royal Wedding Day. His teacher, the fabulous Miss Lori, planned a day of royal festivities, complete with Burger King crowns for everyone,  and invited all the kids to wear their best princess or prince attire. We're a little short on princess dresses around here but Thomas' research into Prince William left him inspired.

Prince William - the pilot!
Thanks to Uncle Jeff and Aunt Stephanie we do happen to have a flight suit in the closet and it would be an understatement to say this was a hit at school. He wore it all day long and would have worn it to dinner with little encouragement.

It's a little bit of a letdown to know that William is now officially taken, and while Harry is still technically available, I think I'll stick with HRHs Andrew and Thomas.