Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Denim & Diamonds

On Sept 16, Daddy and I had a chance for a little grown-up meal, with our Sunday School department and several others from church. It was billed as "Neiman Marcus meets George Strait", meaning us girls could dress up if we wanted, and the guys would be okay in Stetsons and boots. A winner for all parties! I found a $10 dress at a local resale shop that I was really happy with and borrowed some shoes from a friend. I even did my own hair, with some major pointers from a scrapbooking/hair dresser friend. I think it turned out pretty well. We enjoyed the meal at a local steakhouse, even though we ended up being around 30 mins late due to Daddy's work. Sigh, but oh well - I was just glad we got to go. After a steak dinner, we had a couple speak on marriage from another class - it was extremely well done, on the things they've learned from their marriage. (Like always make time for yourselves, etc) Then we played the newlywed game, with one couple from each dept - newlyweds, our dept, and then the next two up from us. It was hysterical - the newlyweds won, and the couple that had been married the longest came in deeeeeeaaaaaaaddddddddd last!!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Oh, and I forgot...

One of my favorite sets of pictures from the kids lately was right after Labor Day. It had rained almost 3 inches that weekend, and the Monday after, they were playing outside in the backyard. I told them they could get muddy if they wanted, but it would involve baths later. Apparently they took it to heart, starting out in the mud puddle to the point of not being able to determine their color of clothes they were wearing. Pretty cute, especially as they tried to see how high they could splash the mud in the air. After getting some pictures, I went inside (with the windows open so I could see and hear things) to finish dishes. I later heard hysterical laughter by both parties, so I stuck my head out to see what could be so funny. After seeing the black lab that was now a chocolate mud brown, I noticed a pile of muddy clothes on the ground. Yep, I had a couple of streakers in my midst!! Apparently when you get that muddy, it doesn't matter if you are wearing clothes or not. And yes, I got more pictures, for future dates and rehearsal dinners, before having to take the hose to them, just to get them inside to head straight to the bathtub!!

When pictures work again, I'll post them to the appropriate posts, I promise!

Balloon Festival

The next weekend, we all went to the local balloon festival - which is quickly gaining popularity in my house as a family tradition, akin to the Pumpkin Days fest in a local town. We all had a blast as usual, despite the requisite 6am wakeup call to get there.

We arrived right on time, just like last year, to see the crews starting to work on getting everything ready. Last year only about 3-4 balloons got up, due to local winds and weather, but this year it was perfect weather!! The kids love to walk around and guess which balloon will go up before another. There were more balloons overall this year too, not just more getting in the air. If I remember right the Remax balloon was appropriately the first to go up. It was followed by lots of bright colors, which the baby loved! The two the kids really got excited about were the local bank one (shaped like a buffalo) and the other bank one which had my alma mater's emblem on it. "Guns up!"

We then took Daddy to work, and the kids and I went to the local Cowboy Symposium. Great fun, and fortunately the weather waited until this event to get kinda soupy. We found great spots for the parade of the horse, which featured, duh, Horses!! pulling all shapes and sizes of wagons/buggies/etc. We also wandered around all the exhibits and really enjoyed the smells of the chuckwagon cookoff contest. Plus the lcoal Native American association was having their pow-wow next door, so we enjoyed that. Puzzling thing though - last year they welcomed pictures and encouraged audience enjoyment. This year, their behavior was odd, almost as if we the audience were interrupting their private religious ceremony. (Which was just wierd, as they had chosen to have it on public grounds, next door to a very public event...)Anyways, the older 2 wore their cowboy hats, and loved every minute of it.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Labor Day weekend

Can't believe I didn't post about this....but hey, I'm only about another month behind, huh? Well, let's see what I can catch up with while the girls are napping still.

Labor Day weekend, my sister K and her fiance M came into town. My brother T was also there, so it was a great weekend, as it was the first time since Christmas all 3 of us had been home. Also the first time for us to meet M, and I am pleased to say, he is absolutely a keeper!! Treats my sister as the princess she is, seemed to be getting along pretty well with the family (or putting up with us anyways!) and what I was most impressed with - really got along and played with the kids. Aiken played Nintendo to his hearts' content, and the girls loved having someone else to show off for. Plus Saturday night, K,M,T, and hubby and I went to a local place to just hang out, and really got to talk amongst ourselves - I thoroughly enjoyed it! (although I really hope T didn't feel like a 5th wheel...)

Funny story... Sunday night I had to work, and everybody was spending the night at my parents' house. Before my break, I had gotten 2 phone calls - one from my hubby, one from my mom. The voicemail from hubby said something like,"Don't worry, the policeman was great, and everything is fine, but you might want to give me a call when you have a minute." So I freaked out and called immediately. Turns out, Az4 found herself in GranDaddy's office alone, and started pushing buttons on the phone, happening to hit the preprogrammed one for the police. She had a lovely 5 minute conversation with the dispatcher that went something like this: "Hi, what's your emergency? My name is Ariel the little mermaid. How old are you? 3. What's your real name honey? Ariel. Okay, where's Mommy? At work. Where's Daddy? In the living room. I'm at grandmommy's house." The dispatcher figured she was okay, just playing with the phone, but still sent an officer out just to be sure. He rang the doorbell, and after someone opened the door, Az4 ran to hide, knowing exactly why he was there. After hearing the story, I died laughing!! And Az4 will tell you now that we don't call the policeman unless it's a "mergensee".

Pictures aren't working - will try again later.

Monday, September 11, 2006


Where were you when the world stopped turning?

I was at our apt with Az3 in our bedroom with me, getting ready for school/work. Daddy called right as he got to work, telling me to turn on the news - something had happened in New York. He didn't know all the details - something about the World Trade Center. (um, what was that? I sure didn't know at the time.) I turned on NBC to see the 2nd plane hit and hear Katie Couric comment on it. I sat down in shock, as they showed both buildings now, and then gathered my son up in my arms. I couldn't believe it - this was America for the love of pete! You don't do this in the US!! Then their Pentagon correspondent came on, talking about an explosion there. That's when my incredulousness turned to flat-out fear - like I haven't ever felt before or since. That's when the world stopped for me, when I felt totally out of control, when I suddenly realized that my precious little family (hubby and son at that point) was very much in real danger. So I did what any rational, red-blooded American woman/wife/mom would do at that point: I called my MAMA!! She was at work, with no tv, and I started blubbering: Mom, we're under attack! She quickly calmed me down to a coherent point, and then she proceeded to check in with the rest of family.

I sat down to watch more tv to see what else was going to happen that day, and talked with hubby again. Then I realized I was going to be late for class (if we had it that day) and that my 2-weeks-from-2-yrs-old son really needed to stay on his schedule. So I dropped him off at the sitters, marveling all the way at the expressions of people driving on the street. By this time, the nation had realized we were being attacked, and it was everywhere - every tv and radio station. You couldn't possibly have some form of media on and not know what was going on at that point. I stopped at my dad's office (to get some ground of reality) just to see the first tower fall. I continued to campus, where I went straight to the UC (university center, now student union building - center of campus). They were rolling out all the tv's they could find as students crowded around them. I went into the theatre, where they were broadcasting cnn on the big screen, just to see the second tower fall. They also announced that classes were cancelled that day, and the news people started talking about a missing airplane. (It would later be discovered to have heroically crashed in a Pennsylvania field.) I couldn't believe it, couldn't comprehend it. This was my generations' Pearl Harbor, and all I could do was sit in the theatre, trying not to cry, unable to move.

I went to work a few hours later in the University library, where again they had pulled out all the tv's they could find. This was both comforting and maddening at the same time: there was no more "real" news of the day, as it was now devoted to replaying coverage of the day, talking with people covered in ash, and they were just starting the rounds and rounds of the family members holding up pictures of the missing. That was what drove me nuts in the days to come: the media giving hope to the families of those who would never come home again by letting them show their pictures over and over and over and over. I did eventually have a moment of "losing it" on the evening of the 2nd day: I found myself watching the news literally 24/7 in my fear that something else would happen, and couldn't stand it any more that night. I remember a few days later, my fear turning into anger - intense hostility towards those who would dare DARE to attack my beloved nation. And how carefully it seemed to be planned - the date "9-1-1", the targets (economic, political, military), and the flat out audacity and disregard for human life.

Five years later, I sit here in my house, with my 3 kids watching a cartoon. Okay, my oldest is out early from 1st grade - he remembers nothing of that day. We talked about it today - bad evil people crashed planes into buildings, the policemen and firemen went to help, but lots of people died. We're okay though, because the soldiers are fighting the bad people where they live, instead of where we live. He (in a wonderful child's way of getting it) seems to understand, just in the way children understand death and other things we grownups worry about. My middle daughter is more concerned about wearing her jammies today than anything else. The baby is babbling and pulling up, and I sit here and think, what better way to commemorate today? Just to have a normal day - I think it's the best way to thumb my nose at them that wanted to destroy any sense of normalcy for us.

Az3's school had a very nice patriotic assembly this morning, followed by an indoor bike ride - he decorated his very nicely and enjoyed it! Then after picking him up, the kids and I went to the local 9/11 memorial - a field of flags, one for each person that perished that awful day. Pulling up it is an incredible reminder of the human life lost. It was also very peaceful - very quiet, hearing just the flap of the flags blowing in the breeze, reminding me of the Old Testament story where God speaks not out of the thunder or the wind, but of a gentle whisper. I took some pictures of the kids (Az3 spontaneously broke into the pledge of allegiance - drew proud tears to my eyes!) and then they started running. Running and laughing. This way and that, through all the flags. I couldn't see them any more, and at first I was worried it was disrespectful - this was a memorial after all, to our nation's darkest day. But then it hit me, that my kids were showing me hope: hope that while we must remember, we must also look forward. That as long as the Father is in His heaven, I have nothing really to worry about: any goodbye here is simply a "see you later". To watch them run and laugh in utter freedom - free to be kids, free for my daughters to be outside with no government mandated coverings, or restrictions, or anything. It was truly a beautiful moment.

Where were you on this date?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

This and that...

We had a wonderful weekend with my family!! It was great - got to meet my sister's fiance (he is spectacular!!) and spend time with everyone, and we got almost 4 inches of rain through the whole weekend, when I wasn't working, sigh....I've got some great pictures to post, as well as a story about Az4 and the policeman's visit, but I was just about to doze off and take a nap. Then Az5 woke up fussy, and she's had a long few days. Got a bad case of the runs (or, pardon the language, "gutter butt" as a fellow mom calls it ;) ) and it isn't giving up yet. Even through bottles and bottles of pedialyte. So now she's up, and I can tell by my ears, just has filled another diaper, so off I go...But truth be told, I wouldn't trade it for the world. It's a gorgeous day, so the windows are open and a wonderfully cool fall breeze is blowing through.

So I'm going to try and catch a 20 min cat nap, while she's playing happily in her saucer right now, as we then need to go pick up brother, try and catch the dairy cow demo at our library, and then off to wally-world (4th time in 4 days mind you...) for some MORE pedialyte and milk. Can I invest in it yet? At least I've gotten some laundry done today, right?

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Let's see if pictures work now...

Going to try for Az5's baby dedication and then Az3's first day of school....


It has been brought to my attention that I kinda skipped over the end of our summer. (love ya G - you know I'm just teasing!!) We really had a good summer this year - just fast and furious as usual. We went to library time most weeks, with our little play group from church. Usually that involved story time at the library, and then us all going afterwards to somewhere to eat (um, McDonald*s cheap happy meals on Thursdays?) and the kids to play as well. Plus, it was a good chance for the kids to get books to read - they both seem to really enjoy reading, which is a joy for their dad and I.

Then, we met Grammy in Albaturkey just before Az4's bday. She and Az3 then left to go to D-town to see Gran and Codfish for the weekend. They had a blast! They played golf, putt-putt, and Az3 learned how to play the clarinet...or so I hear. I know everybody really enjoyed that!! Then Grammy and Az3 headed back to her house for a few days as well. He had fun there too - got to ride horses with his friend Lane, and got a Power Ranger too. (Those were his highlights - I know Grammy enjoyed having him. It brought back special memories for me too - I used to go visit my Grandma for a week or so by myself during the summer. I so enjoyed that - especially having her all to myself. Her house in Dumas was so special to me - not just because that was where my mom grew up, but because it was so different. No dishwasher, a long lonely backyard, all the cool "old" toys to play with, and even relatives to visit there. Some of my favorite memories were going to see Sissy and Sharon (Grandma's sister and her daughter) at their house there, where we would talk collectible dolls (Sharon had a million or so), and Sissy always had ice cream for me!!! Very precious memories to me, as Grandma moved down here to our town when I was in 5th grade, so I'm glad my son can enjoy that kind as well.

By the way, the baby is crawling!! She's been trying this for about a week, on her belly, think army men crawling. It's pretty hysterical - almost like a snake with legs. But just yesterday and today, she's really gotten it down, to the point of crawling around the living room, and even trying to negotiate the step up into the rest of the house. I ran an errand this morning, and when I came back, the older 2 were out in the backyard. Daddy and Az5 were in his room...or so he thought. He had stepped into the bathroom for a sec while he got ready for work, and when I hollered down the hall, we discovered Az5 had crawled from our room into brother's room - waaaaaaaaayyyy more interesting and with toys!! Plus, she waved bye-bye (floppy wrist/arm movement) to GrandMommy last Sunday, and now does it as prompted. The neatest thing for me though is that today she signed the word for "milk"!!! I was so pleased...we've been calling her bottles milk now for several months, but I've only introduced the sign for it in the last few weeks. I've taught my kids all signs at this age - babies really do have the ability to process language at this age, but their physical motor skills with their mouth, tongue, etc, just aren't ready yet. That's why sign language works so well with babies - they do have more control over their hands and arms, and it really helps them communicate, cutting down on their frustration. So cool!!!

Have a great Sunday! We're supposed to be getting some rain here - and got some nice rain today. Really cooled things off here too. OH, and for a garden update....we've had 7-8 yellow squash that we've enjoyed so far. (Az5 loves it as baby food!) We also have 3 baby ears of corn that have started, along with 4-5 baby seedless watermelon that range in size from quarters to my first blooms on the bell pepper vines, along with our first tomato blooms. (They are doing really well - about 3 feet tall - I'm hopeful that we will have little green 'maters soon!) We have had our first zucchini too, and I'm probably going to dig up our first carrot this week to see if they're ready yet. Got several little baby pumpkins too, and our first cucumber will be ready this week. The baaaaaaaddd thing is, we have serious insect infestations - multiple varieties, from mites to aphids - plus maybe grasshoppers. (You name it, I probably got it!) So I went to a nursery today, and got some serious insecticide to start waging battle on Monday. Hopefully by about 3 weeks from now, everything will be back to normal.....

Monday, August 14, 2006

First Day of School

He was ready to go! He had a swimming party the night before, and I was at work. So, this morning was my first chance to talk to him about it. He woke up okay, and had breakfast at home. Then we had our morning devotional and prayer, he brushed his teeth and got dressed. He wore his new Lightning McQueen shirt, to go with his Lightning McQueen backpack and lunch. I had all his school supplies ready for him in his backpack - I hope they're all the right ones, as the school was picky down to the brand of crayons! We had to go 2 different stores to find them all, so I don't want to do that again.... Oh, and he even had his Lightning McQueen chapstick in his pocket today. (Can you guess the theme for his bday in a month or so?)

We all walked him to school, and it worked out pretty well for our first run. I think next time, we may leave a few minutes earlier, just to give little legs time to walk at their pace, not Mommy or Daddy's. I still can't get pictures to post, but when I do, I'll put the one up that I took of him in the same spot as kindergarten - he's definitely grown a bit! When we reached the door, he was ready to go in, but did decide to stop and tell everyone bye when I asked. We walked in together, and he goes straight to the cafeteria in the morning. (Did I tell you about his teacher? Again, a blessing from the Lord - someone I have known since I was in first grade, a wonderful Christian woman who was my next door neighbor, and hosted our wedding shower here!!) Anyways, he found Mrs. D at his table with about 7-8 from his class, and sat down. I gave him a hug and kiss, and walked out. (Yes I teared up!) The interesting thing is that his school provides breakfast for all the students, so he has to be there by 7:45 in the morning, late at 7:50, even though I don't think class starts until 8:10 or so. We think it may be due to the collective socio-economic status of the school being towards the low end. Nevertheless, we have decided to give him breakfast here at home each morning - I'd rather him have too much and a full tummy, rather than count on the school and us get there late or something.

So we'll see how his day goes. Az4 has already asked about him once, and the baby seemed to make a questioning noise (uuhhhh? Think Tim the tool man Taylor!) when we walked by his room. He gets out at 3, so we're going to walk down to pick him up again. I hope the weather is nice enough for us to walk to school most of the time - we really live close enough that by the time we warm the car up on cold days, we could have walked there. So we'll see - I know some of my friends on the East Coast walk no matter the weather, which is an interesting thought. It's kinda nice to be back on a "real" routine, although the break for summer was good for us too. Daddy is back in the swing of things too - he's already caught the bus to go to school to talk to advisors this morning, and will take it straight to work later too. I think it's kind-of a test run for him, as he wants to make sure he can take his last class and get to work on time. However it will make for long days - we won't see him til he gets home around 10 tonight, and I think on actual class days, he'll be leaving the house around 6:30am.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Disney Day 4

Going to try pictures here...Az3 with the green soldier, the boys and the girls "in New York City", and Daddy and I with the Mouse himself!

Disney Day 4

We spent the entire day at MGM Studios. I mean, the whole day here - it was probably one of our longest, as we never left for a nap, but did head back to the hotel around 5 or so.

We started out at the PlayHouse Disney show. If you've got preschoolers who have ever even seen one of these cartoons, this is a must do!! So cute, and much fun! There was Bear in the Big Blu@ House, Stanley, Winnie the Pooh, and Jojo's Circus. The kids loved it, and even the baby paid attention to most of the show. The best part for them was the bubbles from the ceiling! Then, while we were walking around, a policeman (stage character there) started following Az3 - sneaking behind a tree, reading a newspaper with eye holes, everything a snarky guy would from a '30's movie. Az3 wasn't sure what to do, until Daddy and I encouraged him to basically play along - I think he thought the man was a real officer! Anyways, he handed the kids each a badge and "deputized" them for the day at the park. Pretty cute!

We HAD to have lunch at Pizza Planet - really a hit with the kids! (It's from the first Toy Story movie) I think they were kinda in awe that it "really" existed. It was really loud, but it was so worth it for the kids. (You know how it is...) Then, we found Woody, Buzz, Jessie, and the green soldier from Toy Story. Az4 still wouldn't go near Buzz or the green soldier, but Az3 was in HOG heaven!!! It was pretty neat for Daddy and I - that movie came out right around when Az3 was born, and that was his second bday theme. Nice to see he still enjoyed all of that - just like a little boy should! Plus, we found the Power Rangers after that, as well as the Little Einsteins. (Little Einsteins are the basic continuation of Baby Einstein for older kids - it's really cute and still emphasizes classical music and art. My kids could watch it all day!) Plus we found Jojo and Goliath, Sorcerer Mickey (Az4 calls him Mickey Philharmagic - one of the shows at the Magic Kingdom), as well as Sully and Mike from Monsters, and a couple of "cars"....Lightning and Mater themselves!

While Az5 took a nap (and I sat down to rest), Daddy and the kids went and played in the Honey I shrunk the kids playground. They had a blast! I think the best part was when Daddy turned on the video camera and let the kids lead him where they wanted to go. They of course found the leaky water hose (came out soaked!) as well as the breathing dog nose - which was just hilarious! They climbed all the ant mounds and tunnels, and were tickled at the giant lego piece. We also had to visit the Coke stand over by the character trailers - it had a giant coke bottle whose lid would vent off every couple of minutes and spray you. It felt great, as the day was really humid and sticky.

We finished the day by seeing the Little Mermaid show (nice, especially b/c of the a/c!!) and the "cars and stars" parade. It's neat, as it is a parade of all the characters in the park in specially designed cars. For exammple, Aladdin and Jasmine rode in one looking like the genie. We all had a fun day, but were pretty pooped by the time we left.
Just really busy, as I'm sure you can imagine. Work is going okay for me - I really picked up/remembered things quickly. Everyone seems to be adjusting okay. The kids are staying on their schedule and at home, which helps them, and Daddy is doing okay too. I've really been trying to make things easy on him - having supper ready to dish out, letting him know what to do when, etc, so he doesn't have to reinvent the wheel when he's home with them. I'm just tired - which isn't surprising, as I worked 5 days straight my first week! Ack! I think I'll catch up this week though - I only work 2 days.

Az4 said the cutest thing the other day. I was tucking her into bed, and she was asking if Daddy would come check on her when he got home. After I assured her he would, she replied,"He's the best daddy I never seen in the whole world!" I couldn't help but smile, and told her what a nice compliment that was, and how Daddy would love to hear it himself from her. She stopped, smiled, and then sat up and looked at me, and said,"Mama, you the best Mama in the whole world I never seen!" and threw her arms around my shoulders. Yep, I had to keep myself from crying. And on my second day of work too - just what I needed!!

We are going today to register Az3 for school. Apparently we didn't do it right or thoroughly the first time - I dunno. Anyways, after Az5 wakes from her morning nap, we're all going to walk down to school and take care of this. (so I'll know how long it takes to walk there for future reference....) I think on Friday he and I are going school shopping - he wants a Lightning M*Queen shirt to wear the first day, and to get his supplies. We're going to make a date of it. We have story time on Thursday, and then to GrandMommy's to swim most of the day. I can't believe he's going into first grade in less than a week! Where'd my baby boy go??

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Disney Day 3

Should be Az5's shock at a kiss from Ariel, the kids with Jasmine, and topiaries of Snow White and the dwarfs

Disney Day 3

No, I haven't forgotten yet!! We started the day with family pictures - the whole group! Little Miss Az4 was a toot, which means we got none of just the 5 of us. Oh well - at least she cooperated enough for everyone else. We got some really good ones, so I think everyone was pleased.

Then it was off to Epcot - we had a reservation at the Akershus castle in Norway. Waaayyy too much fun for everyone! For the kids, there was normal food (pizza, etc), but for mom and dad there was Norwegian delicasies. I can still smell the seafood on the buffet, and my mouth is watering just thinking of the smoked salmon. Plus it was all the storybook princesses as guests - Ariel, Sleeping Beauty, Alice in Wonderland, Jasmine, and Belle. Yes, we'd just seen them the day before, but it was fun to be in a new place. Plus, I'm telling you these character meals are the way to go!! The kids always always ate a great meal, it was a/c!!!, and that was our one meal in the park - we had sandwiches and other snacks otherwise. Totally worth every penny!!

Unfortunately, our schedule for the day was kinda goofed up by the pictures. Instead of heading back for naps after lunch like we should have, we tried to stick it out, and ended up not doing much. In fact, I think the only ride we did was the Imagination Station. Fun, but not as much as I remember it being as a kid. Too bad...Anyways, I'm not sure Epcot was a big hit for my kids anyways - I think they'll enjoy it more when they're older. I was pleased to see that the Flower Festival that Daddy and I enjoyed soooooooooooooooo much on our honeymoon was going on while we were there this time! It was really neat. Oh, and we did do the big Spaceship Earth ride - Az3 really liked that one, especially when it turned around and went backwards. He and Az4 rode together in a car ahead of mom and dad, so they were big stuff to ride by themselves. :)

Monday, July 31, 2006

Happy Monday to you!

I am the only person awake at my house right now. Very pleasant. Just thought I'd bring you up to speed on some things going on around here...

We had a week long birthday celebration for Az4. She loved every minute of it!! We had a great party with her little friends from our playgroup one Saturday - full of Princess and princes running around. I had foam crowns for them to decorate, and we had a little coronation. Now, the game of "freeze" fell way short, but hey, we all had a great time!

Then on her birthday, we let her rule the roost...within reason I promise! Just don't tell anyone about the birthday cake for breakfast, okay?

Then this past Saturday, we had her shindig with family. We went swimming at GrandMommy's house, then had a great meal of chili/hot dogs, and she opened presents. The cake was fantastic - when I download a picture, I'll post it - GrandMommy took a Be11e doll and made the cake her dress - again, it was amazing!! Plus she had a blast opening her presents...the funniest part was when she was reading the cards - she'd open them, say "Happy birthday to you!", and then chunk them to the side. I still chuckle about it.

Az3 came back home Friday from Grammy and Papa's house. It was a nice break to have only 2 kids while he was gone, but I'm glad my little man is back. And just like always, any time he or I are gone for more than a day, he looks so much older! I can't believe he starts 1st grade in 2 weeks! Yep, on the 14th, he really grows up. See, kindergarten was only 3 hours, it was at our church, and I knew he'd be home for lunch, naps, etc. This time, I'm making him a lunch, he's gone from about 8-3, and I'm not sure I'm ready...again!....WaaaaahhhH!! Funny, how as parents, we so hope for our kids to grow up and be mature and good people, but then when it actually happens, we're like "where'd our babies go?"

Speaking of babies, Miss Az5 is doing okay. Her schedule was waaaaaaaayyy off after this weekend, so we're working back to get on it. I fear she is teething as well - very fussy, not so content all the time, chewing chewing chewing!, as well as constant diaper rash. She's still pretty cute though! She gives really good hugs - and wraps one hand around my neck to play with the hair at the nape of my neck. She says mama, dada, baba (which we think may be "bubba"), and ni-ni (night-night). She can patty cake really well, which she demonstrated during her baby dedication this weekend. The pastor was talking about how blessed she was to have parents who are committed to raising her in a Godly house, and she applauded! How precious!!

One last note and then I need to go to bed. I start work on Wednesday. Now, before you spew your drink against your screen or fall out of your chair, let me explain: this is a total God thing. Understand too, we're okay if I don't work...we just aren't getting anywhere fast. So I've been praying alot lately that He would reveal an answer - and allow me to still bless my family. So I'm going to work at a local grocery store as a cashier, the same one I worked at as a cashier my first few semesters in college. The great thing is, they will let me work around my hubby's schedule - meaning ta-da-da!!! No daycare!!!!!!! Hurray!!! Also, this means that I could only work 15-20 hours or so a week, and it is still worth my while - 100% take home. Plus, I'm as close to this store as Daddy is to his, for those of you that know. So while I'm still undecided about leaving the home to work at all, I know it is going to be okay - Daddy and I made this decision together, 100% support of both of us, and the kids are going to get to see him a whole lot more. Praise the Lord!!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

This and That...

We had VBS at our church yesterday. It was a blast!! We did it differently this time - a one day (from 8 to 3) as opposed to a week of mornings or at night. Our theme was a Day in Jerusalem (very interesting considering the news of the week huh?), and so the kids were divided into 12 tribes. We did not do by age this time (except for the 2 preschool tribes), so it was a random mixing, and seemed to really work well. Each tribe had a couple leading it, and their own home "tent". Then during the day, each tribe would journey throughout the city. They visited the jewelry shop, the market, the animal shop, the carpentry shop, the music shop, and the synagogue. Plus we served lunch during the day. It was so cool! All the tribes would walk around carrying their flag, greeting eachother with "Shalom!" (which sounds so cute coming from preschoolers!) and all the leaders were dressed in character.

The baby charmed everyone in the nursery - all day long! She was spoiled rotten by 3 of the wonderful ladies of our church, and I truly think they actually enjoyed it more than her! Az4 started in the older nursery room, but then was moved to the preschool tribe - honestly, I think due to her maturity and vocabulary. She loved it! But she did end up cratering in the last worship time of the day, so I moved her back to the nursery room which was better for everyone. But can I just brag as a mom and tell you how proud I am of her - she's still 2, and she hung out with a bunch of 4 and 5 yr olds for most of the day without any trouble?!?!

Az3 really had a blast, and I was so glad! He had a great couple for his leaders (she is in the church choir and very musical!!) and was in the Levi tribe. Every time I saw him he was smiling and waving. Plus, as I'm sure some of you remember, I've really been praying for his salvation since VBS last year. I actually ended up working registration, and then was a counselor in the "synagogue" during decision time. When it came time for the invitation, Az3 popped his hand right up that he wanted to ask Jesus into his heart. I let someone else go talk to him, and she came and got me later, saying there was no doubt in her mind that he was ready! So I walked over to where he was sitting, ready to listen to him pray, and he froze up! Nothing going - but he can totally explain it all to you. There's no doubt in my mind he knows exactly what to do and why, but just doesn't seem comfortable discussing it with me or Daddy. So I'm just going to continue praying (and would ask that you do as well) and trust that God will bring someone else into his life to help lead him to the Lord.

On a totally nonrelated topic, my garden has really taken off! I'm so pleased. Last year I did a container garden, and it was so-so, but okay for a first attempt. Well this year, I have a real garden - part of the backyard, fenced off with rows and everything. I'm growing sweet corn (3 plants), watermelon (4 plants), yellow squash (4), green beans (4), bell peppers (7), zucchini squash (3), carrots (several), peas (5), cucumbers (11), pumpkins (4), and tomatoes (7). It's quite a little endeavor, let me tell you! But I am loving it!! I started late this year though - didn't get seeds into the ground until after vacation, about mid June, so we're just now getting to the good part. The corn is growing well, getting tall. The watermelon is just now starting to take off, but man is it going! The yellow squash have a gazillion buds on them - I expect the blooms to open within a week or so. The green beans are just starting to vine, as well as the bell peppers, but the peppers are growing crazy! The zucchini I expect are on the same schedule as the squash, but I just don't know about the carrots. We'll see...the peas in the back of the row are doing well, but the ones in the front are being devoured by something. I don't know what, and I've sprayed a couple of times, but it doesn't seem to help. The cucumbers are doing wonderfully, and I'm excited - lots of pickle potential! The pumpkins by far are doing the best in the garden - I'm concerned they may take over their entire end. Next time I will definitely put them at the end by themselves with lots of room! The tomatoes are growing well too.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Disney Day 2

Should be the view out the front of the monorail, with Alice, with Ariel, and meeting Cinderella

Disney Day 2

This was going to be a big day for the kids, and we were all so excited. Our first day in the Magic Kingdom, which if you have little ones, is THE park to go to!

Starting out, we had so much fun riding the Monorail. GranDaddy had told Aiken about this type of train, and so hopes were high when we arrived at the station. Plus, Mommy had a secret plan: someone had told her you could ride up front with the engineer! So we asked, and indeed you can! They even have honorary "engineer" cards waiting for you on the seat - waaaaayyy too much fun!

Then finally we were there, inside, taking it all in. We decided to start first in Fantasyland, as it tends to get crowded quickly. We found Alice in Wonderland in front of the dizzy Tea Cup ride, and she taught Az4 how to curtsy! Too cute! Then it was onto a fave, the Dumbo ride, for Mommy and the older two kids. (Daddy had to change the baby....) After that, we divided and conquered: Daddy and the older two went to Mickey's Philharmagic show, while Mommy and baby waited in line to see Ariel - the Little Mermaid! This particular princess has been a fave lately of Azx4's, so it was a BIG deal to get to see her, talk to her, and get our pictures made! (She had her tail on today - we'd see her later on a different day with her "legs"...)

We also rode the Pooh bear ride, and played in the 100-Acre Woods playground. Then we met up with family, and "prepared" to go eat lunch all together in Cinderella's castle. Az3 was excited about it, but no where near as jazzed as his younger sister. She bought a new crown and wand in a shop before we went, so as to be all dressed appropriately. We had a ball! While you wait for your table, you are allowed to go in and meet the Princess herself and get pictures and autographs. While this princess has also been a fave of Az4 (they rotate!) I could tell she was awe-struck at actually meeting Cinderella, due to her lack of verbage. I mean, I haven't seen her totally at a loss of words in a while. We got some cute pictures, one of which is Az4's totally inpromptu hug of "Sinderslelly" right as we left.

The lunch itself was wonderful!! Many many many thanks to Grammy and Papa for organizing this for everyone - the food was great, the company better, and we all sure appreciated the air conditioning!! During the meal, we were visited by Snow White, who promptly plopped a big ole' red wet one on Az3's forehead...ala Dopey! She was followed by the Fairy Godmother herself, then Princess Aurora (wearing pink for those of you in the know), and finally Belle. I think the novelty had kinda worn off by then, as Az4 looks like she's eating in most of the pictures I got. Priorities right?

Then we ran back to the hotel for a nap, and came back to ride some more fun. Buzz Lightyear was great - I got to ride it with Az3 for the first time. After I explained it was like a huge nintendo game, he yelled my ear off with "oh got that one! Look out Momma!" After which, we actually met Buzz himself, and then played in the water at Ariel's grotto. Plus we got to do the Peter Pan ride, and one of my personal favorites, It's a Small World. Did you know there are hidden Mickey's on that ride? Then it was time to get seats for the Lights parade...not as good as the Electrical Light parade in my opinion, but definitely worth seeing! By that time, we were all exhausted, and headed home! But such a wonderful day - and totally worth it to see my kids' faces as they rode all these rides for the first time, or met Cinderella for the first time, and even just seeing the castle!!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Too cute!

While I've been sitting here tonight typing, Daddy and Az3 have been playing chess. Well more accurately, learning to play chess for Az3 and Daddy trying to play...Daddy got a great new set from Disney - it's pretty cool - all made out of legos. Plus the "dark" knight side has scorpions all on their pieces. Anyways, it's been precious to listen to their conversation: Daddy trying to teach him how to think strategically, Az3 just trying to remember who moves where and why. He's starting to get it, and I am so proud of Daddy and his patience. (He's tried to teach me once and it made us both mad. I am not chess compatible.) Daddy ended up winning, but Az3 put up a good effort. Plus, he went to bed with a smile on his face - he got some good quality time with his Daddy after the girls went to bed!

Seven months old already!

Can you believe it? She is getting so big - this is sister's 12 mos bathing suit that's almost too tight already! She jabbers alot now - mamamamama, dadadada, yayayayay, and looks at you expecting that you understand her. She also knows how to shake rattles to make noise, and gets the cutest look on her face when she shakes something that isn't a rattle - she can't understand why all her toys don't make that noise!

Happy Father's Day

We had a wonderful day! Daddy had a great meal for lunch: fresh shrimp, Alaskan halibut, rolls and a salad. Then a nice quiet time while everyone else napped, and then onto GrandMommy's and GranDaddy's house for swimming, brownies (yum!) and pizza. We didn't get home til 10pm!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Congratulations to my baby sister!!!!

Hurray for K!!!!! She got engaged tonight! She just called me on the phone and was all breathless and trying not to scream, and so I really can't tell you squat, other than she got engaged tonight!!!!

Disney Day 1 - last one!

The safari ride, the Everest one we never went on, and Daddy and I - we truly did go I promise! (Although as I'm sure you can tell, we're not the ones in all the pictures...) Since this has been a picture-heavy entry, if you can't see them all, just click on the "June 2006" link on the right - it will have everything so far in it. Enjoy!

Disney Day 1 conti'd

More Lion King show, Mickey

Disney Day 1

Should be us at Animal Kingdom, Goofy and the kids, and the Lion King show

Disney Day 1

Where to start? It was such a fabulous time, both for us as parents and for the kids, as well as all 5 as a family. So we started Sunday at Animal Kingdom. Which was great - we saw the "big" guys there, as well as we really didn't want to go back, so we had the rest of the week to work with.

We all went in together, and then split up - some of the big kids went to go ride the Everest thing, but we headed over toward the characters. We were a few minutes early, but it was worth it - just a short wait, and then here they came! It was just precious to watch my kids finally spy Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, and Goofy, and you could just see their excitment spread! We were first in line for Goofy, and he held their hands as they all walked back to his cabana together. I wasn't sure how well either Az3 or Az4 would do with them, just as they are so big and can be overwhelming, but neither ever hesitated. Plus we had an "autograph book" for each of them, so they had something to interact with everybody over. Oh, and we spotted the bears from the Brother Bear movie while we were waiting for the cabana characters, so that helped the wait.

Then, we decided to hit the Lion King show, as it was inside and a/c and already hot that morning! Thanks to Gran and her ecv, we were on the 2nd row. Very helpful, as Daddy was first picked to be in the show!! The main tribe leader asked him to lead our section in a giraffe call. Do you know what noise a giraffe makes? Neither do we, and we still don't to this day. But it was funny, and Daddy was a great sport! Then, the kids got in the action too - the zebra asked them to come be in the parade and do the shakers. It was so cute!

After a quick lunch of sandwiches, we said hi to Chip and Dale on the way to our next ride - and let me just say that when we finally figured out the fast passes, they were life savers! While everyone else waited in line for the Kali River Rapids, Az4 and I survived her first tantrum of the trip (trust me there were many more!) and went to go find somewhere to cool off. I was originally just going to go back to the hotel with her, but then Grammy and Gran/Codfish came along, and we all went inside the a/c pizzeria place for some ice cream. Just what she needed, and then we went on the Kilimanjaro Safari ride. What fun! We spotted crocs, vultures, giraffes, elephants, a sleeping lion, and Az3 even found a wildebeest right by the vehicle.

Next we stopped to watch Mickey's Jammin Jungle Parade (which Az5 slept completely through-even as loud as it was!) and then onto the dinosaur parts. Originally the plan was that Grammy and Papa would hang out there with the kids, while Daddy and I rode Everest, but that didn't pan out - Everest was kaput. But the kids loved the Boneyard - it's a huge playground with ropes, slides, climbing places, tunnels, etc, as well as water squirters. They walked out very happy and completely soaked!!!

Then we headed back to the hotel, and may I make a side comment here? Simply for convenience's sake, next time we have already decided we will stay on property. Free transportation everywhere, and much more convenient for those of us that have to come back and take naps at the hotel - it was a 45 min trip one way. (And we weren't that far, but considering that Grammy and Papa had arranged all this, we sure weren't going to complain!!!!)

That night, after everyone younger than 21 was in bed, Daddy and I headed to the Magic Kingdom, which was open til midnight. It was a great time for us - just a few hours to ourselves. We rode things we were sure the kids wouldn't - the Haunted Mansion (fun!), Splash Mountain (great!), etc. Plus we got to do the Buzz Lightyear ride without any distractions....

Slay Belles pictures

Should be one of all of us at lunch, and then with our bells...

So it's only about 2.5 months old...

but what a two month span!!! I'll try and update you on our trip to Disney by days (oh my goodness what fun!!!!) as well as fill in what happened between March 27 and now.

First of April, Daddy went to one of his good friends from high schools' wedding in big D. I think it was a nice weekend for him - the kids and I didn't go, and he was able to spend some time with just him and his parentals. From what he said, it was a beautiful wedding, and we are so excited for C & S to have started their life together.

Then it was Mama's turn to Kansas City for Slay Belles! This was a great trip, and let me explain it's origins. It was for all the females on Daddy's maternal side of the family. His maternal grandmother's maiden name was Slay, so that's where it all started. I was really excited to go, both to meet family I hadn't seen in years and to have some time just to me - the last total break I'd had from the kids was back when Az4 was only 6 mos old. Considering she's now near 3 yrs old, I thought I might be due up.

I flew out of my hometown to big D, and then was supposed to have a direct flight to KC. However, as we were boarding, they announced the flight was full, and was anyone willing to get there later in exchange for flight vouchers? Um, yes I was! So then after I was rerouted, I decided to grab some lunch, and sat down with my Bible study book. I was supposed to have a 4 hour wait til my flight to Tulsa, and then just a 30 mins or so wait til my flight to KC. Well sitting there, I noticed an earlier flight to Tulsa, and was able to grab that - breaking up my wait a bit. Still, just nice to be by myself for the afternoon. However, I will confess to noticing every baby, toddler, and cry for "Mama!" in that terminal!

The weekend was a blast! We all dipped in the hot tub, did some makeovers - nails, hair, etc, and yes, I do have blackmail pictures. We had planned to have a nice picture done as a group, and I believe we accomplished our mission at Sears Saturday morning. I'm not sure that photographer knew what she was getting into though! Then a lovely lunch at (Where? somebody email me)and walking around downtown for a bit of shopping. I learned all kinds of things about KC - both the Kansas and the Missouri parts. Plus, I really had a nice time getting to know everyone there. We all had a nice time that night exchanging our bells - which remind us to pray for our "partner belle", and I am so looking forward to seeing what next year entails!!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Baby's First Cereal

We started cereal with the baby Saturday night. As you can see, she was not thrilled about it! More of an,"Ugh! Mama what is this you're shoving into my mouth?!?" I think she spit out most of it so far. I'm going to try warming it tonight to see if that makes a difference. With time change this Sunday (Yes, it's this Sunday!!) I thought maybe she'd do a bit better with something a little heavier in her tummy the night before. We'll see - it may just crash and burn on me totally...

First game

Our Wild and Wacky weekend!

I was looking through old posts the other day (can you believe we've had this site for a year now?) and came upon one where I complained that Fall was always more busier than the Spring. Um, not sure what planet I was on that day - we're plenty busy now!!

Saturday we woke up and headed straight out for Az3's first soccer game of this season. We had to stop at a sports store to get him some new shorts, and ran into Cousin Sc there. He decided to follow us to the game, which was great, as Daddy had to work. I always appreciate an extra pair of hands with the 3 kiddos!! The game was good - a bit cool and windy, but great weather for the beginning of the season. The team did okay - as Sc observed, we seem to have a first and second string. (Since there's 6 on the team right now, everybody gets to play a full half.)
Az3 was on the second string, and they clearly struggled more. Struggled more to keep up with the ball, on defense, on scoring, everything. (Keep in mind the "first" string has coach's son and our tallest players on it.) For a first game, we did pretty well honestly. I told Az3 we'd get out his soccer goal here at home and work on some things with him, mainly I think not stopping during the game and his kicking - improving, but he still feels like he has to stop the ball and kick it perfectly to do anything.

Sunday, I was the only one who went to church - everyone else just stayed home to rest. It was much needed, as we had all been short on sleep since getting back home from our trip. Daddy played Frisbee, and then when he got home, we started work on my garden! Hurray! I'm so excited!!! Pretty much all we did was put up some stakes and fencing to keep the dogs/kids out. Now I need to hit it with the tiller, but I'm probably going to wait til after Easter to start planting. We always have a late freeze around here.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Gran and the munchkins

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

Once we got back in town, we hit the floor running. Tuesday was library and homework day at Az3's school. Az5 had her 4-month checkup, if you can believe that! Everything came out fine, and here are her stats:

Weight: 16.0 lbs (85%)
Height: 28 in long (99%)

She is HUGE! In that cute, chunky, roly-poly baby way. I think the height might be off just a bit (maybe half an inch) due to her squirming, but still! Anyways, she's as healthy as a horse, and was a brave trooper for her four shots.

Then we had an errand to run after picking up Az3 from school, and then his soccer practice started that afternoon. Yep, we're back in soccer session - first game is this weekend. Same team, same coach, and practices are on Tues/Thurs again. Should be fun!

Then on Weds, G & C were in town, so they came over that afternoon. The kids were glad to see them, and they were glad to see the kids! Cousin S came over with his girlfriend for pizza that night, and it was a blast! We all had a great time, great food, and to top it off - it snowed! For the first time this winter...

Our visit to H-town cont'd...

Saturday, Daddy went to A-tin to play frisbee, so we decided to hit the Museum of Natural Science and the butterfly arboretum. We started with the butterflies, and the kids loved it! Az3 tried to pretend he was scared of them, but kinda forgot about it halfway through. ;) I was wearing a black dress with a white leaf pattern on it, and as we were walking through the bottom level, a matching buttefly landed on my knee. It was so neat - I could feel his legs and antennae/mouth moving around on my knee. After a couple of minutes, I started showing him off to people walking by, particularly little kids, as it was apparent he was very comfortable there and not moving for a while. Then I started walking, and he just stayed on for the ride. All told, I think he exlored my right knee cap for a full ten minutes, before deciding the cantaloupe nearby would taste better. Then we hit the dinosaurs exhibit, and Az3 was in Heaven! After running an errand with Auntie K, and getting Az5's first birthday present, we grabbed supper and hit the hay.

The next morning we went to Auntie D and Auntie K's monster mega church. Seriously, it has as many members as most of the local towns here combined. I've never been a part of something that big. We ended up getting there in time for SS, missing the service, which I would have liked to have seen. No matter. I will say I wasn't impressed with their system of helping visitors - we went to a large desk and were given directions to the children's wing of things. Once there, a teenager asked for our information and gave us more directions to everyone's classrooms. Do you happen to know where Suite 14 is? I sure didn't. Now I completely understand that a monster church like that probably can't personally escort every single visitor to their rooms, but as a mommy, if I'm going to drop my children off in your care, it's not too much to expect someone to give me some guidance as to where they will be on the entire church campus.

Off my soapbox now...I went with Auntie K to the singles class she goes to and really enjoyed it. The lesson was on making decisions, and how even letting God direct the little ones can greatly benefit your life. The people were wonderful - very welcoming and friendly. I'm so glad my little sister has such a good group of friends in them. We even went out to eat with them afterwards, and I haven't seen a group of singles goo-goo over any kids, much less mine, like they did - it was very heartwarming.

Side tangent....we saw God's protection over us and our decisions on this trip! We went Friday night (instead of Saturday) to Chuck-E-Cheese's, and saw on the news that on Saturday night a couple of parents had an "incident". It ended with pepper spray and the entire restaurant being cleared. Plus, we decided to take a detour around another major metro area, and as a result, saved some time. We found out later that area ended up having its airports closed due to major thunderstorms we would have been stuck in.

Anyways, that afternoon we saw our friends K & R and their gorgeous house, and then drove back to the beach. It was beautiful - the water was waaaay too cold, but it was still 70-something degrees out and starting to get foggy. Just wonderful enough to enjoy walking along the edge of the water, smelling the spray, feeling the wind in my hair, listening to the waves, collecting shells. Then we went home, ate soup, and crashed. We got up the next day and drove home - after all having a wonderful time!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Even the baby's got on a St. Patty's day onesie - it says "good luck charm"...too cute! Oh, and the girls behind us are the only brave ones out in the deeper water, with their best "I came to the beach for Spring Break, and darn it I'm going to get in the water!" looks.

Our visit to H-town

was a blast! Fast and furious, but it was a blast! Thursday, we tried to get up and leave early, and managed a 9:00am leave time. We stopped in A-town to visit my friend Tiff and her son G-man, along with her mother, and have lunch, and spent over an hour there. Then it was onto Daddy's aunt and uncle's house (L & M) to say hi to them. It was beeee-you-tiful down there, and the funny thing was, Az4 kept saying they lived in the forest. It was cute, considering there are no trees where we live.

We finally made it to Auntie D's house around oh, 9pm. Yep, a 12-hour day in the car. Friday, we had a lazy start, and ended up at Moody Gardens. We only went to the aquarium, but it was wonderful! The kids loved the sea lions, especially when we went down below and could see them underwater. They would come up to the glass, swimming in the water, and slide up against it on their bellies as they turned to go up for air. We also loved the fish, the sharks, the eels, the giant sea turtles, and the penguins! Then it was off to the beach. What fun! Az4 couldn't understand why we didn't bring her suit - she just walked right up and into the water. Heh-looooooow! We are at the beach!! she seemed to say! Az3 had more fun trying to jump over the waves and splash the rest of us, and also enjoyed picking up shells. The baby wasn't too sure what to think - like she kinda recognized water, as she LOVES taking her baths, but didn't recognize this bathtub!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

A Gazillion Bubbles

So we got one of those "gazillion bubble" makers today...and it really makes a gazillion bubbles! It was lots of fun - the kids had played with one with their cousins up in Wyoming last summer at B & B's house and loved it. I thought it would be a good Spring Break surprise. The best part, that by far got the most laughs, was the goofy dog (our lab) that kept trying to eat all the bubbles - even jumping to get them, and then not understanding why there wasn't anything in her mouth afterwards. Az3 loved to smash them between his hands - typical boy - while Az4 loved to just barely touch them with her pointer finger. Az5 sat in my lap with a wide-opened mouth the whole time, with her eyebrows up as far as they could go - she was mesmerized!

We went to Lowe's tonight and I'm really excited to start my garden again this year. They had just received one of their first shipments of herbs and veggies to start planting - hurray! I've pretty much figured out how I'm going to do a fence around mine in the backyard to keep out little munchkins and big dogs, so we checked out that option too while we were there, and it's affordable. Yay! All we need to do now is to borrow the tiller from our friends and get going.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Ash on my window sill

I woke up this morning to ash on my kitchen window sill...inside. No, the house didn't burn down, nothing in my house has even been on fire. It's from all the wildfires around town and in New Mexico. Normally when the wind and dirt blow, we get a little inside the window and around the caulking near the kitchen sink. This morning, there was the usual little brown dirt pile, but this time with ash mixed in. Lovely!

We haven't had any significant rain (meaning more than a quarter-inch) since October. The beginning of October. Now where I live is a drier climate, but this is ridiculous, even for us. I hate it. I have exceptionally dry skin, and this sure doesn't help. Plus, everything is so brown and dry, it's like living in a matchbox - the slightest little thing can set off a wildfire that will burn thousands of acres. Like it did this weekend, resulting in ash on my window sill.

On to more pleasant topics, this was the first day of Spring Break, and we took it really easy. The kids watched a few movies, and we all just basically goofed off here at home. It was so nice to not have to go anywhere, even if Az3 did protest at the end of the day: "I'm ready to go to school tomorrow." It's so cute to watch him at this age - still excited about school and learning and seeing his friends.

Oh, and let me just tell you - don't ever turn your back on Az4 in the bathtub. She'll have standing water on the bathroom floor before you can blink, and you'll have to mop it up with a towel....twice!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

A busy weekend!

Whew! We blew around this weekend about as much as the wind - which, for your information, has been blowing between 50-60 mph today. Joy. Especially with the dirt blowing with it. It makes the sun look orange and the sky turns brown. What's really fun is when you go inside, shake your hair, and then your carpet turns brown...or you smile at someone and feel the grit in your teeth. Yippee.

So, Friday, the kids and I jumped in our car with my parents and drove to Wichita Falls to meet my brother from Oklahoma. He didn't know we were coming, so it was a nice surprise for him and his friend Ryan. We had dinner, then my dad left with them back to Oklahoma, while my mom, the kids, and I drove back home. My dad and the guys are currently in Arizona, on their way to Los Angeles, moving my bro and Ryan out there to seek their fortunes. Hopefully they will get there safely tomorrow - obviously any prayers are appreciated!

Then yesterday, I went scrapbooking - hurray! Adult time! Daddy stayed home with the kids, and they all went to see the new VeggieTales movie (Sheerluck Holmes) on the big movie screen at the $2 theatre. It was pretty cute - the local Christian station had several things organized, and Az3 even saw one of his friends there from Kindergarten.

Today was equally busy - we went to church, which was lovely as usual - just a positive wonderful way to start the week. Then we met my friends Jess and Jason and their baby Anna at lunch today - such a HUGE joy for me! Jess is one of my best friends from high school, we went to college together too, and they share our wedding anniversary, although they are a year ahead of us. Anna is their first and is 6 mos old, and looks just like her daddy! I can't tell you how wonderful it was to get to see them today - we keep in touch but to see them in person, after several years, with their baby - man it just made my month!

After crashing at home for a desperately needed nap for a few hours, we were back at it again. My friends C & P had a party for their daughter Elaina - she turned 3! We went over to their house and had a blast as well! The kids had plenty to do - playing with eachother, watching Toy Story 2, eating hamburgers/hot dogs/chips, etc, opening presents, playing some more...It was great for us grownups too - a chance to sit and catch up! Plus, we came home with 2 balloons, cups, and bubbles - what more do you want?

Well I need to get to bed...fortunately it's Spring Break for us, so we don't have to get up and go tomorrow. We are going to H-town to see Auntie K and Grand Auntie D on Thursday, but I'll let you know our plans before we leave. Good night!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

A Handsome Lil Cowpoke

Isn't he cute? Everybody in his class was dressed to the 't' today...the little boys in hats, jeans (and let me tell you how funny a 5/6 yr old behind looks in skin-tight Wranglers!!!), and for those who had them, boots. The girls were in skirts or jeans, with that cute red paisley pattern or pink frilly lace on said denim, with most of them sporting pigtails or braids with matching bows on the ends...It was precious! He had a blast, and I was so glad! Interesting thought here...I really hesitated sending him with his gun holster, with the gun in it. Yes it's totally fake, even having a plastic orange cap on the end to prove it, but it was just the way I know schools today have gone way over the deep end with this "no tolerance" for weapons, etc. Email me if you want and I'll send you the link about the kid being kicked out for (I kid you not) tweezers that had a nail file on them. Point to be made: his teacher made no comment, no look, nothing today, whereas he would have been kicked out of our public school without question for that little item. Sigh.................

Then things got really fun, as his friend C came over for the afternoon. They had eaten a hot dog lunch at school, so since the girls were down for a nap already when we got home, they watched Thomas cartoons. Then they proceeded to get all the Thomas engines and tracks out on the living room floor and played only with those...until Az4 woke up. Then I got a computer game going for her, to keep her out of their hair, but they decided that was more fun than Thomas, and wouldn't get out of her hair! We all had a blast this afternoon, but we are all worn out! The kids went to bed at 7pm joke, and no protest either! I'm heading to bed asadad, meaning as soon as the dishes are done...good night!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

What's the baby doing?

She's in the fun stage right now...just discovering and learning how much she can do. She found her hands a couple of weeks ago, but just this last weekend, figured out she can use them to bat at toys hanging on a bar over her chair. She's also becoming very adept at seeing something and purposefully reaching out and grabbing it - her favorite target so far is my hair.

She can also roll over from her tummy to her back - usually over her left shoulder. And drumroll please...........

She can sit up for about 2 minutes by herself!!! (She turns 4 mos on the 18th.) I know, I know, you don't believe me, but I have a picture to prove it. I was putting oil on her head last night after her bath, and she was sitting in between my legs. I reached back to grab her hat, and realized I wasn't supporting her, but she didn't fall over. Daddy had enough time to grab the camera and get a few shots, so I'll post one as soon as I get it off the camera. It's that cute, really leaning over but trying so hard to keep her head up type of baby sitting.

And have I mentioned that she hates being alone? I'm sure it's a 3rd-baby thing, but even for just a second - if I dash around the corner into the pantry for instance, she'll howl, even if it's not a full fuss, to let me know I need to come back. Both the kids love her to pieces, but I think she prefers Az3 right now - he doesn't try to lay on her. LOL!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Election Day

Today was primary day where we live - both parties holding primaries for everything from county clerk to governor. I took all 3 kids with me this morning to vote, just so they could see how it works. It was pretty amusing, especially through their eyes. Az5 screamed almost the whole time - she was sleepy and almost asleep until we got her out of the car. Az4 was interested in everything. My polling place is at our local elementary, so she had to investigate the cafeteria, the little courtyard, and she stopped cold to watch a class (of I think 2nd graders)walk by. She also entertained the election officials, most of whom were elderly, with her sweet smile and shy "bye". She's never had a shy moment in her life before!

Az3 was really interested in what I was doing. I had talked to him earlier about what a big responsibility voting is, and how not everyone in the world gets to pick who runs their country, etc. He was pretty fascinated by the computer screen and the curtain-thing around it for privacy. He was frustrated at me, that I wouldn't slow down to let him read every single name, but we did have to get him to school. He was so excited about the whole voting thing that he completely forgot his homework and library book. Mom to the rescue!

After Daddy got home, we decided to walk back to the school so he could vote. It was a nice little walk, and we all enjoyed it. Az3 rode his bike, Az4 was supposed to ride in the wagon, but wanted to "walk", and I pushed Az5 in the stroller. When the kids got back to the polls, they informed Daddy about how to vote - be quiet, don't ask people who they voted for, only use one machine! Quite a parade, but it's these little family moments that I love and will cherish forever!

Should be an interesting rest of the week - tomorrow is house clean day, Thursday is "western" day at Az3's school, so he gets to dress up, as well as having his friend C over for the afternoon, and Friday at noon kicks off Spring Break for us. Hurray!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Caught up...

on pictures anyways...I think that about gets you where you need to be now.

It was a gorgeous day today - just a bit of wind, too much to be a breeze, but 84 degrees! Woo-hoo! The kids and I played in the front yard for a while this afternoon, with even the baby hanging out in the swing the whole time. Too much fun, especially when I got the bubbles out.

Don't know if I've mentioned it or not, but our thing to work on better this year (not a resolution because those by their very name are meant to be broken) is to have more friends/family over to our house. It can be very tempting to just be a homebody with a baby, especially a 3rd one, so we're trying this, and so far it's working. In February, we had some friends over to watch the opening ceremony of the Olympics, and it was wonderful! The kids had an absolute blast, and so did us "adults"!

We went up to G & P's house the last weekend in February for some much-needed R & R and escape from our real life. We had a blast! Plus, they live near the CO border, so we were able to escape even their house up into the mountains for an afternoon of sledding! The kids had a blast, especially Az3! I'd never been before, but loved it...when I didn't fall on my elbow/shoulder/behind...

2/18/05 - Three months old

1/18/05 - Two months old, exact length as Brother, but 2 pounds heavier!

12/18/05 - One month old, all ready for her first Christmas!

Hey! I'm back!

We're here I promise! Just know that 3 kids is a WHOLE lot crazier than 2. But I do think the transition to 2 was harder than 3... Anyways, I'm going to try and get some pictures up to catch you up, and then just go from there - enjoy!