Friday, December 3, 2010

Wisconsin Dells

This Thanksgiving, my whole family traveled to Wisconsin Dells for a long weekend! We had a very traditional Thanksgiving dinner of wings, stuffed mushrooms, cheese dip, and all kinds of other really healthy food. :) It was delicious and we didn't even miss the turkey.
Austin is always thinking up something brilliant. He is constantly getting Graham into trouble or making Elle cry or harrassing Reese. Don't be fooled...they dish it right back. My mom always had stories of her brother and the "horrible" things that he did. My kids will always have fond memories of all the things the "uncs" did to them! One of those things just happens to be Austin putting Graham into the sofa bed.

Ha! We all thought it was cute until...
he let Graham and Zach put him in. It took 3 adults to pull the big lug out of the dumb thing. Why are boys so smart?
Brian sporting Mom's sunglasses! Unfortunately, we have to go in public with him sometimes!
"Uncle Zachy" is always up for something fun with my kids. They think he has "Zachy magic" and that he can do ANYTHING!!
Elle's new trick of swimming while doing sign language :)

Having issues with sideways pics! My dad at the pool...

Graham got a moustache at Bingo!

Austin and Reese in the kiddie pool

Reese was so tired from a long weekend of fun!

We had such a fun time and I am thankful that we will have these memories!

Monday, November 15, 2010


My little Reese is 3! I can't really believe it is true. The only thing that she has ever been into is Dora so that is all she has gotten for gifts for the last couple of years! We have Dora purses, and backpacks, Dora toothbrush and toothpaste, swimming Dora and sleeping Dora and Big sister Dora with the Super Babies and dancing Dora, and the whole Dora house and a Dora playhose with a tunnel and Dora stickers and markers and Water Wow and pj and shirts and shoes and socks and hats and swimsuitsand books and movies. We now have a sleeping bag and cd player and CD and 2 DS games and a caslte for the bathtub and a huge vanity where you can do Dora's hair and a hard doll that you can change her clothes. If it comes with Dora on it, we probably own it. All this and the girl has hardly ever watched TV in her life. I can now get her to sit about 20 min maybe 2 times a week if I am lucky to watch Dora on the computer. I don't know why she is so obsessed but at least it helps make gift ideas easier. I am also thankful that they make all sorts of things with Dora on it so that some of the gifts are a little more practical! :)

We hid the Dora vanity in the closet and I found Graham in there playing with it.

Quite unfortunately, my children haven't discovered that people have really creative mothers that make really great cakes. And the fact that you can BUY a cake has never entered their mind!! So every year, I make a flat cake and decorate it quickly! The truly unfortuate part is that they love it and I am actually quite impressed with myself that you can even tell who it is!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Mexico 2010

At the beginning of November, we had the priviledge of traveling to Playa del Carmen, Mexico with Jon's parents and sister and bro-in-law. We felt blessed all the way around but especially to be able to travel with family and REALLY enjoy each other!
Adin would wait on us all day long as we basked in the sun or sat under the umbrellas he would bring out to us. He made us little grasshoppers out of a palm branch.
Wal Mart is always a comfort. It is supposed to be about the same anywhere you go. For the most part that was true but they also have some VERY different things I have never seen around here!! This bread was HUGE and then we gathered that you must cut off a chunk and buy it. It was just sitting right on a table for everyone to touch.
Octopus anyone? The exchange rate was about 12:1 so for under $5 you could own one of these fellows!
Kate and David beside...well...something...
Besides the rather large chap wandering through, this was the gorgeous view from the beach-side restaurant.
The boys ventured out to scuba dive while the ladies stayed on the beach for another day of relaxation. They had a great time and according to Dad, if you start in Cozumel, you are starting at the top! The snorkeling was AWESOME so being down there had to be spectacular!

Jon took us to all kinds of sketchy restaurants where the locals eat. At this place, you got a 1/4 of a chicken with all the fixings and some lime/pepper sauce that no one in their right mind would have touched...we, of course, had to try it and it was REALLY good!! No one got sick all week either!

This restaurant was a meat shop with some tables out front by the road. It was possibly the best food I have ever eaten!
Yummy chorizo with queso!!
Adin, our faithful pool boy
Dad paid for a mariachi band. Look how into it he was! They were really good and it was fun to stand in the street and listen!
Unfortunately, these glasses didn't make the cut! But they did end up with some nice "fauxkleys".

Thank you Dad and Mom for spending your 35th anniversary by taking us on vacation!! I can't wait til your 40th! :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Lately, I have been a little overwhelmed by the SHOULDS in my life. It is really quite dumb actually and some days I don't think about it at all. But sometimes, the SHOULDS really sneak up on me and I have to take a step back and evaluate my life. Sometimes these expectations come from myself and sometimes from and "expert" on the matter. Do any of these hit home with you?

*I SHOULD read to my kids everyday and play educational games and never let them veg out in front of the TV.

*I SHOULD have a wonderful bedtime routine where we read and giggle and snuggle instead of just getting the job done and feeling ok that the prayers were said after yelling at them that IF I HEAR ONE MORE WORD THEY WOULD ALL DIE!

* I SHOULD brush my teeth and floss twice a day and rinse with mouthwash and get check-ups twice a year like clockwork and get fillings and caps and crowns and root canals and not eat foods high in acid b/c it wears away the enamel or drink coffee for staining reasons and my kids should get sealants and floride treatments and I am supposed to do all this gladly despite the bill for a gazillion dollars waiting for me.

*I SHOULD exercise daily and and I SHOULD buy the right tennis shoes for the activity that I am doing and maybe the right video and the right equiptment and the right outfit...

*I SHOULD wear sunscreen anytime I am outside for more than 5 min and I SHOULD then wear the right make up for my skin type and know exactly what shade of eyeshadow would look right and then buy it for $25 at the dept store b/c there is a whole host of reasons it is better than the $3 on at Walgreens.

*I SHOULD pluck my eyebrows everyday and take a shower but don't forget to put on lotion within 5 min or your skin will already begin to dry out.

*I SHOULD do my Bible study with bright eyes and an open heart before the crack of dawn so my kids don't disturb me and then have time to fall on my knees and cry out to God in a powerful way.

*I SHOULD stop to smell the roses which also means I SHOULD stop to plant the roses in the first place.

*I SHOULD eat healthy foods that don't raise my cholesterol, are good for my heart, help clense the colon, low in sugar, salt and flavor with plenty of fluids to wash it down that don't include coffee, tea, caffeine, pop, sugary juices or anything else that is tasty.

*I SHOULD read books that educate and improve myself rather than giving me glorious time to zone out.

*I SHOULD give to the elderly, orphans, and needy with my time and resources.

*I SHOULD have time to have my house look like a magazine and accomplish perfect organization AND be the perfect mother and wife if I just follow this simple plan...

*I SHOULD have scheduled time for my husband like date nights and trips and just fun moments when somehow the kids are occupied and dispite exhaustion and hormones and motherhood we can share a love that can with God's help, survive all of this!

*I SHOULD take a multivitamin and minerals and fish oil or at least flax seed and of course any other medice from a doctor for whatever ails me at the moment.

*I SHOULD not get frustrated when the dog peed on the floor, which made be notice that the 2 year old spilled Kool Aid all over and my 8 year old somehow put his homework right in it and the 5 year old is playing school which includes cutting paper to a million pieces and the supper is boiling over and Jon is late and the house is DESTROYED!!!!!!!

*I SHOULD have the perfect outfit picked out for my kids the night before and definitely I must look smashing myself which means shopping for hours and of course hitting perfect sales with the latest fashions that are totally modest and my color.

*I SHOULD stop wasting time writing this and clean up my house but since I did what I SHOULD last night and went to church, I think I am going to sit here and eat my lunch and catch up on Survivor!

Monday, October 4, 2010


Jake had his first vet appt this morning! He did great! He is now 4 lbs 12 oz. The doc said everything looks good. He got a vaccine and he will be tired and might run a fever today. I would like to know how on earth I am supposed to check if he has a fever!! I am a nurse but there are just somethings where I have to draw the line!!!!! I also recently found out that he will lose his baby teeth and get adult teeth! Are you joking me??!?! This is nuts. I can't really believe how much I feel like a first time mom again. I also can't believe how much I have fallen in love with this little guy. He comes running up to me and puts his little paws up and my heart just melts. When I pick him up, he nuzzles in and gives me a doggy hug. It is really quite pathetic. I think this is something on the list of things that I would NEVER do in my life. Never say never.

Monday, September 27, 2010


This a tribute to Pops, the best crawdad around. He passed quietly in his tank around 3pm on Friday, September 24th, 2010. He was loved by all who knew him and will be missed dearly.

Graham was simply devastated. He held it together well for a while and then cried and then just sat around depressed. He cried during nightly prayers and then later we heard him sobbing in his room. He said he just couldn't stand to sleep in there with the empty tank. He ended up in a sleeping bag in our room and things looked slightly brighter in the morning. He made this tombstone for him. (Notice it says "paps" not pops! :) )

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


The first day of school, Reese was convinced that she could go. When the kids left for school, Reese said, "I am five, I go to school" I said, "You are not five and you cannot go to school" She said, "fine...then I go to preschool" Unfortunately, you are not even old enough for preschool yet! Poor girl. She has a long wait ahead!!

Grandma, Auntie Ali, and my kids and I had plans to camp out at Comlara. It was a stormy night so we ended up at Grandma's house instead. It was much nicer conditions and we had a great time anyway! Reese and Grandpa...
Ali helping Reese with an art project
Grandma bought HUGE marshmallows. Grandpa started a fire and we took out camping chairs. As soon as we were set up, the storm blew in and we ran for the house. We accomplished roasting at least a couple marshmallows and enjoyed s'mores INSIDE!

Each year for science class, my mom finds a monarch caterpillar. She takes them to school for the kids to watch. This year we found extra so we got to watch some "hatch" from the chrysalis at our house. The caterpillars ONLY live on milk weed plants. If you catch the caterpillar and get some of the leaves, the little guy will eat and eat and eat and poop and poop and poop and won't be so little any more. They then travel up to something they can attach onto. He hung in a "J" shape for about 12 hours and then in a matter of minutes he spuns a clear cocoon around itself.
After a few hours, the chrysalis turns bright green with brilliant gold dots that are breathing holes. While in the chrysalis, their DNA breaks down and changes and forms into...
a beautiful butterfly!!!! God is so amazing!!
The flower that I let him go on is a mum. I planted it and within 5 min this is what it looked like. It fell victum to Reese riding the Gator. :(
But ya gotta love her...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Amazing thing

There is a family that I don't even know trying to adopt from China, not 1 but 2 darling boys. They already have 4 boys at home!!

I am a HUGE fan of adoption but do not feel God has lead me in this area as of now. I do love to support others where I can. Here is a link to this family's blog. If you give, you get entered into a drawing for some great prizes and will help change 2 sweet boys' lives!

80's night

I love a good humiliating party. :) I thought it would be fun to host potluck 1980's style. All were great sports (except TARA :)) It brought back a lot of great memories and many ridiculous fashions statements of the era! Thankful to be past some of this! Unfortunately, most of this stuff is coming back into style!!
Remember caboodles?!?!?

Paul was a great sport and let Ari cut a mohawk and stripes into his hair! Hopefully he got it fixed before work this morning!!
Doug and Erin

Philip and Becky--Yes those are stirrup pants and YES they were actually her's from the 80's!! So is the lovely heart belt!
Paul and AriAndy and Amber
Jon and I-- I am pretty sure I owned these jeans in the day
Candice and Michael--as Bret Michaels and fan
Tony and Amanda

I would be very frightened if I met this group on the street