Monday, December 17, 2007

Our Christmas card tree

We have the neatest Christmas card holder. It is in the shape of a tree - just a round gold wire that wraps up around and around in the general cone shape of a Christmas tree. It has stars on the wire all around the sides that hold our Christmas cards. I am so pleased to say it is very full already - and I love it!!! It is so good to hear from our family and friends at this special time of year, so to those of you that have already sent cards, thank you very much!! If you haven't yet, keep us on your list! (Ours should be in the mail no later than Thursday...getting pictures done first.) We've also gotten several e-cards, which are great as well - we just print them out and add them on the tree. It is a nice visual reminder for me of all the people that are loving/praying for us as we head towards the finish line in this crazy graduation game - MAY 10, 2008!! :)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Update on Az5

Some of you know that we have struggled with Az5 since her first birthday - she has not ever been able to take regular whole milk. While it doesn't make her sick, let's just politely say that since she's still in diapers, you don't want to be around afterwards.... Anyways, we have tried off and on to switch her from soy milk (which she tolerates) to whole cow's milk and it just hasn't worked. We have done several stool samples to rule out rotavirus, etc, which have all come back normal. We've finally concluded that she is lactose intolerant. We've gotten to the point where we are checking ingredient labels for milk, and have noticed two things. One is that sometimes when it says it contains milk, it is just the whey from milk, and she can handle that without a problem. However, if it says lactose, then it bothers her. Fortunately for us, we have been able to find lactose free milk, cheese-free pizza, and other lactose-free items. My hope and prayer is that she is able to outgrow this as she gets older - closer to 4 or 5. If not, we definitely have more options for her than from even when I was growing up. Bon appetit!

How was Thanksgiving?

Ours was very nice - very thankful too. We stayed here and went to my parents house, where my brother, sister, and my brother-in-law joined us. Everyone arrived on Wednesday, and we came over on Thursday. Of course we had our Thanksgiving morning traditions: all the pumpkin bread we can hold, as well as the Macy's parade on TV. Then it was over to GrandMommy's for cooking/snacking/football. We ended up eating around 4ish I think, and one of the first things we did was go around the table, stating one thing we were the most thankful for. We started with the kids, and both of the older two mentioned very nice things, like family and friends. Then it was the baby's turn.....and she said,"Uuummmm....." and then got down (from the kids' table ;) ) and walked over to our table, to Az1. She outstretched her arms for him to pick her up, and said,"My daddy!" Break out the kleenex!!!! It was a wonderful day, full of good food and being around the family, and also SNOW. Can you believe it? It was bitterly cold, and started snowing before we ate that afternoon. Nothing that stuck past the next morning, but it was very pretty.
Of course the next day we were in for our annual Holiday Urgent Care visit. Honestly, every year since Az3 was two years old, we have visited the Urgent Care place on some holiday during the year for someone. This year Az5 decided to have strep throat the day after Thanksgiving. Fortunately it didn't ruin any shopping plans for us, just delayed getting our tree and decorations up. However, she has since shared nicely with her siblings, and we have completed now 4 rounds of antibiotics between the 3 of them since the day after Thanksgiving. Joy! ;)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Yes, I know...just a tad bit late. But better late than never, right? (Besides I've just now seen some of your kids' pics in email anyway....that's what brought it to mind.)

This year, we are proud to present Zorro, Sleeping Beauty, and Raggedy Ann. Each has a special memory to it - Zorro started out wanting to be Scooby Doo, then a Ninja Turtle, then the Masked Rider (go TECH!), and then we settled on Zorro. Especially with such a cool hat!! Sleeping Beauty was very proud that she didn't have to wear a wig - she "had Sleeping Beauty hair already". LOL!

The best part to me about this year was Raggedy Ann. This is a very special costume to me. My grandparents gave me a Raggedy Ann doll that was about 3 feet tall when I was 4-5 yrs old. I loved that doll to pieces, literally!! My sister wore the costume when she was 3 too. The doll really is gone, but it is such a special memory for me - and what a precious gift too, to have my daughter now wear that. (getting teary now....better just post the pictures...!)

Az3's Bday Party

We had a blast! It was at a local workout place that has an indoor waterpark area - as a mom I was soooooooo pleased to give that to him, because he had been asking almost since his last bday to have his party there. We invited a few church friends and a few school friends, so he had about 7 there; he was so cute too - very insistent that Az4 should come, but not Az5, as she "was a baby, and this was a big kids' party." LOL! They played their little hearts out too - there was a huge bucket at the top of the structure, that would fill with water and tip over every 5 mins. At the beginning, all of the kids would run away when it tipped over, but by the end of the party, they weren't even paying attention. They had over an hour to play too - by time to eat cake, Az4's lips were blue. (It was an indoor water park, but not heated!?!? Explain that one to me....) Anyways, he had a blast that day, so did his friends, and he STILL (over a month later) talks about what a cool/awesome/fun bday party that was. Yay for Mom! :)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Soccer Drama Continues...

This soccer season has started off interesting, that's for sure! Our coach is very nice (we are on the same team as last year) but he can't give the team the commitment they need. Practice has now been cancelled more than it has been held for the 3 weeks we've been in the season, because his job takes him out of town more than he is here. For example, after Saturday's game (which we lost pitifully due to one practice this last week with 4 players) he announced he would be out of town all week, and there would be no practices AGAIN. Daddy and I have had enough of this, so we announced we would hold practices Tues/Thurs. We'll see who shows up; one player has already transferred to another team. We've decided to hold out this season on the same team, and then we are probably done. Az3 is enjoying it, but not LOVING it. Plus, we really think he has much more of an aptitude for music, so we'll probably get him in something along those lines in the spring.

Speaking of Mr. Az3, he turns 8 tomorrow! Can you believe it?!? Where has the time gone? Where did my baby go? I can still remember the first few times I held him in the hospital, and all the wonder we had for eachother. One thing that hasn't changed: all the love I have for him in my heart. Tomorrow we are going to go to the fair after school, which will be a big treat. Happy Birthday, Mr. A!!!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

First Soccer Game

We had our first soccer game today. We're with the same team from last spring, with the same coach. (Have to get all new uniforms though - GRRRRR!) The coach is the same as well, but doesn't seem too organized this year. We are "supposed" to have practices on Tues/Thurs at 6:30pm, yet we did not practice at all this week. Oh, and then coach called Friday night at 5pm, and asked if we could make practice Friday night at 6:30pm. Um, no. The game went well though, considering the lack of practice. I was really proud of Az3 - he was so aggressive during the first quarter he played. He yelled to his teammates when he was open, and even passed the ball to assist in a score. The second quarter he played, he was a little slower - definitely not as much energy, but that little boy still hustled his little heart out. The team we played was not the best sports either - very physical and really kinda beat up on a few of our guys. I even hollered once at the ref when their player started talking "smack" to one of our guys up in his face! I think we ended up winning - especially after seeing the other coach's behavior.... We have two new players on our team this year, so it should be an interesting season.

Friday night, Daddy and I went to a work party. It was a management appreciation event, with a "casino night" theme. It was okay - we did have a good time, but I learned something very important. I HATE to gamble. Really I do. Honestly even though it wasn't my money (everyone received $10,000 worth of chips, and then used their winnings for the auction at the end). I don't know what I am doing, and seriously, what's the point of playing a game that is designed for you to lose? However, we did dress up, and I got a new clutch purse, jewelry and shoes out of the event! :)

Sunday, September 09, 2007

You know it's fall when....

Football games start (GO BRONCOS!!!) and we have the annual Balloon Festival here in town. It's always the first weekend after Labor Day. We've gone every year (except the first - that's when we went to the UNM game...remember that one anyone?) and the kids love it every time! This year, the temperature was really warm that morning, and it had poured the night before. Unfortunately, that is not the best hot air balloon weather - they could really only go up and down. There was no wind (which was a HUGE surprise considering where we live!), so most got up in the air, and then landed in the field across the street from where they took off. We did get there around 7am though, and the kids loved every minute. The great thing about this is that it is not very crowded at all, and you can get up close and watch the balloonists from the very start to take-off. The kids loved to see how big the balloons were, even as they were just being unfolded, and thought it was cool how the guys would walk inside the balloon as they were using the fans to start opening the balloons up before they even turned on the hot air.

We went later to the Apple Butter festival at a nearby town with some friends, but it was slightly disappointing, from a grown-up standpoint. The kids had a blast - they met Johnny Appleseed, got a hayride, had lunch outside, and even got to feed the animals in the petting zoo. However, there was one thing missing - APPLES!! Apparently a late spring frost had gotten all the blooms out there, and the apples they did have at the festival, the farm had to import. Too bad - that is one of our favorite things to do with our friends. But again, the kids had fun, and we had a little grown-up time, so it was worth it to head out. (Especially since everyone took a 2+hr nap when we got home - even mom and dad! Hurray!)

And then we started preschool...

Az4 started preschool on Tuesday, and Az5 also started mothers-day-out on the same day. They will go Tues/Thurs at our church, from 9:30am-2:45pm, while Daddy is in school. It has been another blessing, as we were already considering this for Az4, and all of Daddy's classes worked out in this time period. Az4 loves her teacher, Mrs. W, and she comes highly recommended from another mom whose son already had her. Az4 is doing very well, even without naps on those days, and can't understand why she doesn't get to go every day like her brother! Az5 seems to be doing well - the latest note from her teacher stated she was even napping fine on the floor, along with her class. (Shocking to me, as the only time we tried a toddler bed, it lasted approximately 5 seconds....)

Plus, Az4 started ballet this week also. She has class on Friday afternoons, for 30 minutes, and there are four other little girls in her class. (It's pre-ballet for 4-5's.) She loves this too! We've enrolled her actually at a local ballet school - it's not just a studio, but a nationally known school. They do wonderful productions every Christmas of the Nutcracker, and always have alumni come back from exotic companies from New York/Los Angeles, etc, to dance in it with them. I'm very pleased, as she is really learning ballet skills and poise and positions, etc, even at this age, but her teacher does a great job of keeping it relevant for the age and attention span. (or lack thereof!)

Thursday, September 06, 2007

On the second day of second grade, I'll tell you what he did...

(Name that tune! Email me/post a comment if you know where the title of this post is from!)

Az3 started second grade this year. Time flying doesn't even begin to describe. He is so excited and has had a good couple of weeks so far. This picture is from the first day, with his teacher, Mrs. T. (She taught last year, but was Ms. M - got married over the summer) She is a wonderful teacher, and I am so pleased. I prayed long and hard this summer for her, even before I knew her name. She is the youngest teacher he's had so far, "possibly" even younger than Daddy or I. LOL! She is also (I think) in only her 2-3rd year of teaching, and is very enthusiastic about everything. She is also very organized - had a signup list for us parents with classroom parties for the entire year at the open house - before school even started. Plus, she sends home a million notes - which I LOVE! - about everything they are doing, how we can be involved as parents, what to sign, etc. Az3 seems to love her too, and even has a few friends from his first grade class in there. His first grade teacher did have to love and hug on him just a bit at the open house and on the few couple days of school - I still thank God for how blessed we were to have her for his first year of public school. And how thankful I am now for the teacher we have this year too - God not only has provided, but again blessed "above and beyond what we were able to ask or imagine"!

Beach Bums

We had a blast on vacation - just what we all needed: some low-key, family time together without any stress, theme parks and their animals, and no where to be any certain times. We did get to see my sister, her hubby, and my aunt, but just at the beginning. That ended up being a good thing, as we just all stayed and played together the rest of the week. We loved our little house, and it was perfect - just the right size, and just exactly what the name said "Close Enough" to the beach that we could walk over the dunes, but far enough away that we didn't have to pay the really expensive beachfront rates. We made sand castles, the kids jumped the waves, the baby dug in the sand (but hated it on her feet - lol! go figure!), we found "real" hermit crabs, and watched the people around us fish for bait fish, and a few sand sharks. The water was very shallow - Daddy and I had to go out about 20-30 feet to get any deeper than our waists. We did go into "town" and cross the ferry back into tourist-land on Friday, to explore the island a bit. We ate at the Rain Forest cafe, which was fun, and would have been more fun if we had explained it a bit to the kids!, and also found a few souvenirs. But we decided our beach was muuuuuuuuuuuch better - so less crowded as well as cleaner, and better shells. Tropical Storm Erin did come in on Thursday, but pounded my sister with 9 inches of rain, while we only got enough to keep us indoors for the day. We lost count of the sea gulls, hermit crabs, fish, pelicans, sand pipers, and even the dolphins frollicking in the bay as we crossed on the ferry. The kids had a blast, and even Daddy and I found ourselves saying "when we come back...." I'm only posting one picture because a) you're not going to see me in a swimsuit, and b) it was that kind of vacation - we were there to be together and play hard, not take pictures. I miss it already! (and not just because we've eaten almost all the fresh shrimp off the boat we brought home!)

Hi there again!

How are you? I hope doing well. We are finally really in the swing of things here - every one has fallen into their routines. I apologize for the delay in postings; we are currently looking into more reliable internet service. (I'll make more comments about why our current provider is um...unreliable later). So let me get to work catching you up, and posting some pictures and stuff. :) By the way, Az3 lost another tooth today....he'd been wiggling it soooooo much the last few days, and even got some blood on his new tshirt this morning, working on it while brushing his teeth.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Going on Vacation...

(and hey, still one post a week so far! yay for me!) We leave on vacation this weekend, and we are soooooo excited!! We are going to the beach, for a WHOLE week! I think the best part is going to be just to see eachother for a whole week - no school or work to interrupt. We're taking sand toys from the sand box in the back yard, as well as 2 swimsuits a piece. The house we're staying in comes fully furnished - furniture, dishes, etc - all we have to bring are linens. We will also get to see my sister and her husband while we're down there too, and hopefully my aunt. I've posted two pics of the house - the front of it, and then you can see how "far" we have to walk to get to the beach.... lol! I hope you all have a great weekend, and we'll see you in about a week!

Friday, August 03, 2007

And then there is us...

The wedding was Saturday July 28, at 2pm. We all had a blast, with the normal wedding jitters and stresses, but so worthwhile. The kids were wonderful too - behaved so nicely both at the rehearsal and dinner, and then during the ceremony. I wish you could have seen Big Brother holding Middle Sister's arm as he escorted her down the aisle - so cautious, and definitely guiding her down the aisle. I was so proud!

My sister is MARRIED!!!

And I'm so happy for her. The wedding was great, and Az1 and I were so pleased that our little family could be part of it. I know she got exactly what she wanted, and that was what was important. Az1 was the usher, I was the Matron of Honor (and what an honor it was!), Az3 was the ringbearer, Az4 was the flower girl, and we all decided Az5 was "the baby". Look at the pictures yourself - I think they speak for themselves! (Top is K and my Daddy - as handsome as he was the day he walked me down the aisle!! - right as they walked into the chapel, and the bottom is K and her hubby M as they are in his truck, leaving the reception)

Hi there!

I noticed this hasn't been updated,!!!!!! Yikes! Sorry about that - can you tell when I went back to work full-time? Lol. Anyways, going forward, I'll try to catch you up a bit on where we've been and what's going on now. For example, since then, we've been to both mine and hubby's 10-yr high school reunions, celebrated the best 4th of July ever, become a caterpillar haven, and my sister has gotten married. Going forward, my goal is at least one post per week - I figure that will help keep us posted on what's happening now. That's all I will guarantee though... ;)