Monday, July 30, 2007

Shiny Happy People. . .

19 layouts. . .DONE!

Unbelievable I know, but true! I cannot express how happy it makes me to be COMPLETELY caught up. I have come close before, within one or two layouts, and thought that I was truly happy with that, but this, this is a whole new level of joy. Pure JOY!

It's a Big Big Bed. . .

Annie has moved. . .to a Big Big Bed! She slept in it last night for the first time, and did great! She was excited and a little nervous. She tucked Big Lulu ( a giant lamb) in on one side of her, and trusty ole' Woof Woof on the other side. This morning she told me that Big Lulu "got a wittle (little) scawed (scared)" but that she took care of her. How sweet!

It's a Big Big Car. . .

The long long process of finding and buying a new car is finally over. This has been one exhausting and frustrating experience, but it does have a happy ending. Hubby finally slept well for the first time in weeks, with our shiny new Suburban in the driveway. Yes, it's a great big all american SUV. We went for the giant SUV over the minivan, mainly for the extra space and the 4 wheel drive. Not because a minivan would be social suicide! (lauren!) Afterall, ALL my good friends drive a minivan! We drove to Kansas City and back on friday to bring it home. It was a happy, happy day. To make the day even better, just before pulling in my driveway my cell phone rang and I heard a voice on the other end say "I like your new ride!" Thanks Janelle! So far we really like the car, hubby has said "I never knew I could love a car this much!" I'm glad your happy honey, and I'm glad your sleeping again.

We are a house of shiny happy people!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

I must choose my other hobby for a bit.

I am scrapbooking this weekend.

This was my original hobby, well, unless you count cross-stiching, but I gave that up long ago.

Scrapbooking has taken a back seat to blogging lately, not that I did much of it at home before I started blogging.

After several mishaps that involved some or all of the following: my children, drinks, siscors, markers, my layouts, my pictures, stickers on top of stickers. . .

I have resorted to only scrapbooking outside the home.

But today I shall return to my first love of hobbying, for a while anyway. I am off to a "scrapbooking retreat."

It's just down the road.

I really do enjoy it. It gives me an outlet for my "artsy" side, and it allows me to preserve my memories in a way that I enjoy.

It's also quiet, with lots of chocolate and coca-cola. Ahhhhh.

I will return to bloggy land soon, just as soon as I finish 19 more layouts.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Thursday 13

I am posting this on Thursday at 12:36 am.

I am breaking Alana's rule by posting after midnight, gasp!

I feel that I must do this, though, because I don't think I'll have time tomorrow (actually, today.) and I really want to do this list!

13 things I'm loving about Annie!

1. Her incredibly vibrant personality. (that would be water from the hose dripping from her chin!)

2. Her humor, she is always being funny to get me to laugh, and it works!

3. Her beauty, she is gorgeous.

4. Her love for Dora. Cute!

5. Her love for family. (here she's putting lip gloss on great grandma Ellie.)

6. Her incredible tan.

7. The way she talks and talks when I'm tucking her in. I know it's a stalling technique, but it's so darn cute how she doesn't take a breath as she tells me thing after thing. It makes me realize how much is going on in that little head of hers!

8. Her sweetness with Austin. She adores and dotes on him.

9. Her patience with Ellie. She doesn't like to be bossed, but she puts up with it so she can play with her sister.

10. Her dancing and singing. She makes me dance and sing too.

11. The way she loves her daddy.

12. Her love for "Woof Woof", her favorite stuffed dog.

13. Every tiny inch of her little body. (my own "mini me!" look at the screen :)

Annie is growing up. She'll be 3 soon, and I'm seeing her change right before my very eyes. She is looking and acting like a "little girl" instead of a toddler. She is amazing and I love her so much.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

this one's a keeper

The fabulous and famous BooMama has introduced me to a new and now favorite group...Monk and Neagle! Thanks to the fabulous BooMama, I received one of their not even available to the general public CD's. How cool is that?!!! The awesome BooMama (i realize that I'm going a bit overboard, but just in case you read this BooMama, I wanted you to feel proud!) has asked us to write a review, if we so wish, of the CD. So, without further ado, here is my very first, incredibly hard hitting, album review.

The Twenty-First Time by Monk and Neagle:

Track 1 - Beautiful You:
What a happy song! I love that God has a "beautiful voice" and that he "taught the stars to shine." This song has wonderful wordplay's.

Track 2 - The Twenty-First Time:
This is a song that truly makes me think. It makes me want to stop and pray for those I see that are less fortunate, or who are having a rough time in life.

Track 3 - Hallelujah, Jesus:
A fantastic praise and worship song! This song makes me want to close my eyes and lift my hands, and I'm baptist!

Track 4 - Stars would fall:
I really like the chorus on this song, and to be called a Queen by the one who loves you is something special! Whoever this song was written for should feel incredibly loved.

Track 5 - What Soldier's Do:
This song makes me cry. I think of all the families that are missing each other. I picture the 10 year old boy waiting for his daddy to come home and tuck him in at night, and I picture the daddy, sitting in the dessert, but dreaming of taking his little boy fishing. . .tears.

Track 6 - Yours Forever:
I love the percussion and the great upbeat tempo in this song. It's a great song to wake-up to!

Track 7 - More Than That:
Poignant lyrics that really touch my soul. My favorite "I'm ready to be who you made me to be."

Track 8 - Wonderful Angel:
This song has that "Island Feel" and I love it! It makes me feel warm and fuzzy and young and in love with my fabulous hubby!

Track 9 - Fallin':
A song with a beautiful melody, it relaxes me.

Track 10 - Into Orbit:
A great song with great energy.

Track 11 - What Soldier's Do (The Remix) see above, track 5.

Thanks again BooMama and Monk and Neagle. I love free stuff, but I would have paid good money, I'm talkin' full price, for this one!

If you wanna check out Monk and Neagle you can click on their banner below.

Baby Steps

Ok, so now i am realizing why i haven't been doing much cooking lately, (well, at least one reason!) we seem to be busier than i realized! Since posting that I would cook 7 meals in a row, We have not eaten dinner at home, as a family ONCE!

Monday: we had a family birthday dinner.

Tuesday: we had a business meeting + dinner out. I did cook dinner for the kids last night, before hubby and i went out though.

Wednesday: (tonight) we have T-Ball! I am planning on cooking before T-ball, mainly because if I don't the fresh basil i bought will go bad!

Thursday: (tomorrow) the girls will be spending the night at Grammie's house, and therefor eating dinner there.

Friday and Saurday: the girls will be at Grammie's too, Have I mentioned that my mother is a saint?

Sunday: as of right now i am planning on making Rotisserie chicken with grilled potatoes and grilled zucchini.

So, i am not counting this as a total failure. We haven't had fast food since monday at lunch, and i'm going to try to make it the rest of the week too. And tonight's menu is Chicken Quesadillas and Summer Squash with Fresh Basil and Grape Tomatoes.

Baby steps, people, baby steps.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Seriously, tomorrow!

Ok, first of all, Thank you all for your wonderful food suggestions and comments. Not only did ya'll help me (mentally) get out of my cooking rut, but you were also VERY supportive!

I have to confess that I forgot when I wrote my post yesterday, that we're going out for dinner tonight for a business meeting. BUT, I will not make a liar out of mysef, so I will be cooking for my kids!

They will be dining on the little smokies wrapped in crescent rolls (thanks janelle!) and green beans! They also had turkey and cheese roll-ups for lunch (thanks dawn!) and they've had grapes, banana's and pretzles for snacks! They have had all their food from home today! It's miraculous!

We also have a menu for the week, and I plan to stick to it! I'll keep you updated on the recipes we've tried and if we liked them or not.

Thanks for the help!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Tomorrow, I promise.

I just have a minute, 'cause I'm pretty sure Austin is eating cat food. So. . .

Thank you for all the great meal ideas! They really did inspire me!

This morning I went to the grocery store and spent $120 on Real Food!

Yeah me!

And soon my family will be saying, Yeah mom! (i can dream!)

We'll be cooking tomorrow night. I know, I know, I said staring Monday, but Michelle and Chris are having us over for dinner to celebrate Jason and Chris' dad's birthday. So, tomorrow, I promise.

And I'll let you know how it goes.

Hopefully I'll still be inspired tomorrow!

Oooo! I almost forgot (gotta love that Edit button!) I got my Monk and Neagle CD today! I feel so COOL!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

I'm a wanna be Rachael Ray

I like to cook.

Well, at least I used to.

I have something to admit.

I haven't done much cooking lately.

I have felt uninspired, lazy, tired, and unmotivated in the cooking department.

It's just so much WORK!

The planning, the preperation, the clean-up, especially the clean-up.

I cooked dinner tonight, and it was pretty good. I made fajita chicken and cheese quesadillas. The thing is though, that the girls weren't here. When they are here, which is almost all the time, of course, I don't feel able to cook. I am consumed by them, and drained by them. I love them, but they don't make preparing a meal easy, or sometimes even possible. We've eaten more frozen pizza in the last few months than i care to admit. We've also spent WAY to much money at food establishments. At the beginning of this summer, I had every intention of preparing yummy, healthy meals for my family. I had lunch, snack, and dinner plans. I'm not sure where those plans are now, or what has happened to them, maybe the new puppy ate them.

At least he had food.

I'm feeling very convicted (by God and my hubby!) about our poor and expensive eating habits. So, I have decided to issue myself a challenge. Make dinner 7 nights in a row. Real food, not frozen, pre-made dinners. Shocking, I know, but necessary. I plan to begin my week of cooking on monday. Like I said at the beginning, I do like to cook. I'm a huge Rachael Ray fan. So, hopefully I can channel her and actually enjoy cooking for my family this week.

My other problem is lunch. I just don't enjoy lunch at home. But i'm not enjoying spending $15+ a day at fast food places either. Not to mention the fact that it is sooo not healthy! I do make my kids get the apple dippers most of the time, but I'm thinkin' thats not enough. So, I'm asking for help! What do you and your kids eat for lunch at home? When we do eat lunch at home it's usually peanut butter or turkey sandwiches, or mac-n-cheese, sometimes we have soup. I'm just bored! So, now I've sent out my SOS, and hopefully tomorrow I'll have some ideas and inspiration so I can make a grocery list!

monk and neagle!!!

how cool! when i checked my email this morning (which is the first time i've checked it in like 3 days 'cause i've been WAY to busy) i found an email saying that i'm getting a monk and neagle cd for free! i was surprised because when i went to boomama's blog the other day and tried to get one, they said they were all out. however, they said to go ahead and sign up just in case they could give away more, so, i signed up. of course i totally did not expect to get one, i mean, they can't give them away to everyone. or maybe they can! anyway, that made me a happy mommy, i love good music. i can't wait to get my new cd, thanks monk and neagle, and thanks boomama! below is monk and neagle's link, check it out!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

our day

Oh my goodness, I am EXHAUSTED! Our day went as planned, except we left home 20 minutes late instead of our normal 10. And instead of falling into bed shortly after 9 (what WAS i thinking!) It is now 11:43 and I just finished putting everything away, and catching up on my chores. I have to brag a bit on my kids before I close this post. They were troopers! They hung in there ALL DAY, without much fuss at all. Ok, I gotta get some sleep now, I'm really gonna try to be at Bible school early so I can be at the new Gymboree outlet when it opens at 9am! Goodnight.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

It's 11:12 pm do you know where your husbands are?

I'm assuming they're still at Rich and Alana's. And I hope they're having fun, they deserve it! I think I'll go to bed in a little bit. Right now Austin is playing at my feet while I type. Yes, he's up, and it's now 11:15. Hey, He's #3. Goodnight.

tomorrow, tomorrow, i'm scared of tomorrow. . .


Wanna know why?

I have a list of over 30 things that need to go with us when we leave our house at 8:45 am tomorrow.


This will be our day:

8:45: Leave home (ok, let's be realistic, we'll actually leave at 8:55) to take Ellie
to Bible school. Drop Ellie off at Bible school 10 minutes late. She'll be
wearing her favorite jersey so her Bible school team can earn
more "points." May I just take this moment to say Thank You God
for Bible school! It has been a much needed activity for Ellie this week!

9:15: Take Annie to gymnastics. We'll probably arrive 5 minutes late, since
we were 10 minutes late to Bible school. For the next 40 minutes I'll
wrestle with Austin while watching Annie and talking with friends.

10:00: Honestly, I'm not sure what we'll be doing from 10-11:45, the options
are almost endless. Go visit daddy, come home for a bit, Go to Target,
Go to the outlet mall. . .Take a nap, Oh wait, I was dreaming there for a

11:45: Drop Austin off at Nana's. I decided to call her for help so that the next
phase of our day might go smoother. Here's hopin'!

12:00: Pick up Ellie at Bible school.

12:10: Drive thru fast food restaraunt of choice, probably Mc. Donald's, for a
quick lunch. I WILL NOT confess to how many meals we have eaten out
for this week, don't even ask!

12:30: Arrive at White Water, the local water park.

1:00: Meet up with the greatest group of friends ever known for a few hours of
Summer fun! Proceed to change myself, Ellie and Annie into swimsuits,
and get us sunscreened so we don't burn to a crisp!

1:00 - 4:00: Have lots of FUN!

4:30: Head back to Nana's to get Austin, and change myself and the girls into
T-Ball appropriate clothing.

5:30: Play Ball! The team is SO cute!

6:30: Drag our exhausted selves somewhere for dinner, possibly with equally
exhausted friends.

8:00: Change kids into pj's after dinner and drive home.

8:20: Arrive home with 3 sleeping children.

9:00: After placing sleeping children in their beds, and unpacking the 4 bags of stuff that got us through the day, we fall into our own beds!

Wish us luck! Since most of my readers will be with me, you're probably preparing for your own crazy day! At least we're crazy together!

Monday, July 16, 2007

your only newlywed's once. . .

A couple of years ago I heard the phrase. . .

"You're only newlyweds once, but once you have kids, you're parents for the rest of your life."

I don't remember where I heard it, but it stuck with me, probably because I had just had my second baby!

Shortly after I heard this phrase I was with a group of friends, all mommies, at a restaurant. Our waiter was a sweet young man who commented that he was getting married soon. Now, if you want a good tip from a bunch of sentimental mommies, just look young and sweet and mention how much you love your fiancee. . .we melt! My dear, sweet friend Janelle decided to give him another kind of tip, and sweetly started to try and explain to this young man why he should wait to start a family. After several attempts at wording, she blurted out. . .

"Kids can just suck the life right out of you!"

The rest of the mommie's gasped, not because we didn't agree mind you, (we DO live in the reality of motherhood!) but because Janelle is usually very sweet spoken and eloquent and I have never seen her lose her cool with her kids. I spoke up, remembering the phrase I had recently heard and said something like "what she means is. . .You're only a newlywed once. . ." The nice young man then quoted the Bible back to us about "children are a quiver in your heart " or something like that, and then moved on to his next table. I wonder where he is now, and if he has children, and if MAYBE, just MAYBE now he knows what we meant!

I mean, kids are wonderful! I adore mine and I thank God for giving them to me. But Mercy they are a LOT of work! That got me thinking on some of the differences in our lives since we became parents. I already posted on the differences between having 1, 2, and 3 kids, (read that here) I suppose I should have done this post first, but oh well!

BK (before kids) : We would go on weekend getaways at the drop of a hat.

AK (after kids) : We go on about one getaway a year without kids, and one with kids (you can read about that here!)

BK: We drove a small car that was kinda sporty.

AK: We drive a SUV and we are shopping for a Suburban!

BK: When I dropped something in the small sporty car, I reached for it with my hand.

AK: When the kids drop something in the SUV, I reach for it with "The Claw." It's a device that allows me to have "Super Hero Mom Arms" and reach into the depths of the SUV to retrieve lost items, all from the driver's seat!

BK: We would have quiet evenings at home where I didn't hesitate to spend an hour or more cooking something yummy I saw on the Food Network.

AK: Our evenings are punctuated by screams and giggles, and if it can't be cooked in 30 minutes or less, i don't even try!

BK: We would go see a movie at least once a week and I watched whatever I wanted on TV.

AK: "Movie Night" is a special event now, and I watch a lot of "Dora the Explorer" and "The Suite Life of Zach and Cody"- while nursing a baby.

I thought about the bodily changes from BK to AK, but let's just say pregnancy and nursing have taken their toll!

BK: I exercised an hour a day.

AK: I constantly exercise by chasing kids and picking up toys! (and yet i'm not skinny!)

BK: I stayed up late and slept in.

AK: I stay up late and wake up with the kids.

BK: During the night I would dream about my future children.

AK: During the night my children wake me up from my dreams!

BK: It was just me and hubby, and sometimes it was boring.

AK: It's me and hubby + 3, and it's NEVER boring!

BK: I thought I had a great hubby.

AK: I KNOW I have a great hubby!

BK: I got about 3 hugs a day.

AK: I get about 23 hugs a day.

There are many more, but you get the idea!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

we painted the town with fried goodness!

May I just say that yesterday I thought I was tired, today I have reached a whole nother level of tiredness!

I love my friends.

We are not your normal crowd. We have been know to close restaurants down, have slumber parties, and roast marshmallows until 3 am, all WITH kids in tow! (kids ages almost 10 months - 7 years) We've gotten many a dirty look, and I'm sure a few "under the breath" comments in our ventures.

But boy do we know how to have FUN!

Take last night for instance. . .Celebration City and then dinner afterwards. . .at 11pm. All but one (we missed you Dixie!) were in attendance for the Celebration City part of the evening (24 total). We rode rides and played in the fountains until we were forced to leave. (i actually think they closed the gates right behind us!) We lost 7 members after the Park closed down due to the fact that some had no dry clothes to continue on in (honestly I think Mr. Jim was probably glad to have a good excuse to cut out early!) and some were just way to tired to continue on. The remaining 18 (we actually added one for dinner!) went on to IHOP for dinner. When we were told that we would have to wait an HOUR for seating at IHOP we decided to move on to. . .Deno's Fried Pies. Thanks to Janelle's hubby, they stayed open for us! I think that Janelle, Jennifer, Alana and I wanted to be like BooMama and have us some Fried Goodness! However, after arriving we lost 4 more members, I can't blame them, they had one sleeping child. So, we (the LOYAL ones! :) just kiddin' ya'll!) finally sat down to our Fried Goodness, 7 kids at one table, 6 adults and a baby at another! At 11:30pm. After a lovely and nutritious dinner we finally parted ways just after midnight.

I love my friends!

Friday, July 13, 2007

bloggin' on

Ok, I'm running out of time because I've been reading everybody elses wonderful posts from the last couple of days.

Oh, and Ellie has interrupted me about 216 times!

Anyway, I have lots to say, and not much time, soooo. . .Here's the world's longest run-on sentence!

I'm tired, we've had late nights and early mornings for a few days now and we are all tired, well except for annie, 'cause she's napping now, and austin 'cause he can sleep anywhere, but me, i'm tired!

(oops, new sentence!)

we went car shopping yesterday, i'm not sure how many dealerships we actually visited, but it felt like 269 or so, and did we buy a car, after hours of looking and haggling and driving and haggling some more. . .nope, we didn't buy squat, except of course for the tank of gas we burned through, and some really not-so-good chicken for lunch, and some pretty good Chinese for dinner! Ok, enough with the run-on sentence thing, i just can't keep it up.

Did i mention that yesterday was my darling hubbie's 30th b-day? Yep, it sure was, the big 3-0! He's not so happy about this one, and that's an understatement! I think his friends are planning a little "guy time" and I think that that is a VERY good thing. He needs it! And lest you fear that I might be spoiling a surprise by posting this, don't worry, He rarely reads my Blog. Only when I ask/beg him to do so, which I won't this week so he won't see this!
Annnyway, So we went fruitlessly shopping for a car on hubbies birthday, had a terrible lunch and a pretty good dinner, and then went to a birthday party.

But, not for him.

For Richie! Our dear, sweet, 6 year old friend! And to tell you the totally honest, true-as-can-be, truth of the matter, Hubby had more fun at Richie's party than he would have at one of his own! He played Jedi Smackdown with the little boys and the big boys, and had a BLAST!

So, our day ended well after all. I love happy endings!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

After Effects

Last night I was feeding Austin his dinner of green beans and mango's at 10:00 pm, and wondering when the last time he had a bath was. Life with him is so different than it was when we just had Ellie. Sweet baby Ellie, our first baby. The differences between having baby #1 and having baby #3 are pretty significant! Some things are the same, but most are quite different, and rather blogworthy!

Here are some of my observations:

Bathing and Personal Hygiene:

Baby #1: Was bathed (at the least) every other day, hair scrubbed (even though there wasn't much there!) toe jam cleaned out, ears swabbed, teeth (or gums) brushed. She always smelled sweet and clean.
Ellie looking sweet!

Baby #2: Was bathed approximately every 3rd day, occasionally stretched out to 4 days. Hair scrubbed, toe jam cleaned out, I rarely got to the ears, and the teeth (gums) got brushed about once a week. She usually smelled sweet and clean.

Baby #3: Gets his bath every 7-9 days with a few '"baby wipe baths" in between, hair scrubbed (when he has a bath), no ears, no teeth (gums). He usually smells like spit-up or baby wipes.


Baby#1: At 10 months old, she ate 3 meals a day with the proper number of servings of fruits and veggies, whole grains, and protein. She was still nursing and had never had formula. Nothing "questionable" went into her mouth, at least not long enough to be swallowed.

Baby#2: At 10 months old, she ate 1 - 2 good meals a day, mostly veggies or fruits, and a lot of cheerios. She was still nursing, but was occasionally supplemented with formula so we could have a night away. She didn't pick stuff up and try to eat it much, so nothing "questionable" went into her mouth long enough to be swallowed. Oh, except that summer that she might have eaten goose poop.
Annie with breakfast! (compliments of Ellie)

Baby #3: At (almost) 10 months old he eats when we eat, if he's awake. So far his favorite foods have been BBQ pork and french fries. He does occasionally eat baby food. He eats LOTS of Gerber baby snacks and cheerios, and also lots of frozen peas. He still nurses, but has a bottle of formula about once a day for convenience sake. He eats "questionable" things off the floor quite often, and I'm constantly digging stuff out of his mouth.
Austin looking cute on the floor
(where he will most likely find something to eat)

Dressing and Diapering:

Baby #1: We changed her diaper when it was slightly wet, or at the first sign of poop. She was always dressed Super Cute, and we changed her outfit at the first sign of a spot.

Ellie's first Christmas, looking Super Cute!

Baby #2: We changed her when she was fairly soggy, or at the first sign of poop. She was usually dressed Super Cute, but if she got something on her outfit she just wore it anyway.

Annie's first Christmas, looking Super Cute!

Baby #3: We change him when he's leaking, or when the poop smell gets too bad to take. He has lots of cute outfits, but he's usually dressed in a onesie of some kind, so that it can be used for pj's too. He usually has several spots on him, but that's ok, he's still Super Cute!

Austin looking Super Cute!

One thing that has stayed the same is their baby books. I am obsessed with fully completing each of their baby books. Everyone told me that I wouldn't keep them up, and the rebellious side of me has to prove them all wrong.

So, there you have it, proof that life changes significantly with each child. That's ok though, they're all doing pretty well, even if they're not always "perfect" looking! I'm letting go of the expectations that I used to have of how my life should "look", and trying to embrace the reality of what it actually is. :-)

Monday, July 9, 2007


Ahhh the sounds of a happy home:

"mommy! come here Right NOW!" (Ellie)
"ARRRRGGGHHHH (scream) I want my WOOF WOOF!" (Annie)
"mommy cut the tag off!!!" (Ellie)
"Ellie won't let me jump on the washcloth." (Annie)
"I'm Hungry!" (Ellie)
"Mommy come look at me!" (Ellie)
"I let the puppies in!" (Annie)

Saturday, July 7, 2007

The Effects of Blogging

don't worry, he's in his bed now!

Friday, July 6, 2007

song for the day

(sung to the tune of 99 bottles of beer on the wall.)

46 loads of laundry on the couch
46 loads of laundry
take one down, put it away
47 loads of laundry on the couch.

(no, that wasn't a typo, and at least they're all clean!)

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Thursday 13 with Pictures!

How cool, this is my 50th post! Here's my Thursday 13!

13 things we have done this week while Daddy had vacation time, and 13 pictures!

1. Thursday we went to White Water with Lane, Karlie, Dixie, Tessa, and Baron. We had a great time swimming with friends!

2. Friday we picked up Ellie from Marketplace (VBS at my mom's church). She had a wonderful week learning about the miracle's of Jesus, and she got to sing on stage for us with her class on friday. Annie also enjoyed her week (3 days) at marketplace. The girls both spent 4 nights in a row at Grammie's last week, WOW! They had a wonderful time, and I really enjoyed my break!

3. Friday night we drove to St. Louis for our "mini vacation". A normally 4 1/2 hour drive took closer to 6 hours because of many extra stops due to the need to potty, the need for something mommy couldn't reach, too much fighting and the need for discipline! We finally made it though, and the girls were very excited to "camp out" in the hotel. You shoulda seen that room, 1 king size bed, 1 queen size air matress, and a pack-n-play! not to mention the loads of other stuff crammed into every corner we could find. I wonder what the hotel staff thought as we wheeled our cart, loaded to the top, with one girl hanging off each end, and a baby hanging from my arm at 10pm! The theme song from "The Suite Life of Zach and Cody" played in my head as the girls ran in circles through the hotel lobby!

4. Saturday morning we had breakfast at Mimi's Cafe (thanks Jen!). It was wonderful and we almost went back but we ran out of time! ( i can't imagine why we were short on time, i mean, it only took an hour to get in the car and an hour to get out of the car every time we stopped.) Then we went to Purina Farms with our friends Matt and Gina. This was a wonderful place that you must go to! The girls got to play in the barn, help milk a cow, see goats, horses, donkey's and other farm animals, pet piglets, chickens, and bunnies, see geese and ducks, watch a dog show, pet the dogs and cats (i don't think the nice lady who ran the dog and cat house had ever met anyone quite as insistent as Ellie - i doubt she'll ever forget us!), see some fish, and walk the beautiful grounds. This was all completely FREE! Not even a charge for parking! We'll definitely be doing this place again!

5. Saturday for lunch we went to Fitz's Rootbeer and Bottling Co. It was yummy, and a fun atmosphere, but quite a drive into the heart of the city, and then an hour wait. It's in a, well, alternative part of town, if you get my drift. We definately saw some interesting people. I was just waiting for one of the girls to say something like, "Mommy, why does that man have a chain hanging from his ear to his nose to inside his pants. . .?" Thankfully they were too busy trying to out do each other by jumping higher and farther, and they didn't notice Mr. Body Pierce America. If you go, try it on a weekday, i think it would be less crowded and maybe less, um, diverse. Saturday evening we went to the Zoo, which is always wonderful. Then we ate at a chinese place i wouldn't recommend. We were told it was sooo good, very authentic chinese food. Come to find out, very authentic chinese food kinda looks, well, gross. I'm sure it's wonderful. . . if you're chinese. So we ate sweet and sour chicken and shrimp fried rice (we're such risk takers!) and headed back to the hotel for swimming and bed for 5 very tired people!

6. Sunday we went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast, where in true vacation spirit, I let the girls get GIANT lollipops for dessert! Yes, we had dessert after breakfast!

7. Then we went furniture shopping. I seriously wouldn't recommend doing that with 3 VERY tired kids that are now hyped up on sugar! I did get new end tables though! It was totally worth the hour and a half of chasing the girls down isles of couches (which they climbed over), and recliners (which they flipped every single foot rest up as they ran away from me hysterically laughing.) and a blow out diaper (that was Annie) to get two fairly well priced end tables. At one point the sales lady said "Every time I see you, you have another kid with you!"

8. After that we went to our friends' house for lunch. There's nothing quite like taking your 3 kids to your kidless friends' house. They were very gracious, but after another dirty diaper, a spilled drink, and several jumps off their furniture, they didn't argue when we said we had to go. And when we questioned them about their possible plans for children in the future. . .they changed the subject! We then headed to the Magic House. I agree with Janelle and Michelle that it is a Must see! Even though they were so tired (the girls fell asleep on the way there!) they had a blast! We plan to go again next summer and leave more time to thoroughly explore it. I didn't go for the boob shot like Janelle, but Jason had fun posing in the "impression wall". Ellie's faves were the pneumatic air chute and the ATM (that made me a bit nervous), Annie's fave was the slides, Austin's fave was the baby area and the balls, and My fave was the thingamajig that made my hair stand up!

9. We headed towards Rolla about 5:30, and towards our new puppy! Ok, the farm where the puppy lived was incredible! I'm talkin' like "Charlotte's Web" incredible! The lady, Brenda, and her 15 year old daughter Kelly were SO nice! They had a beautiful farm where they raise horses, pigs, sheep, dogs, cows, and even a duck! They showed us around and let the girls pet the horses, Annie even sat on one! We were so excited to get our puppy which Ellie named Chester! (so sorry we didn't go with all ya'll's wonderful suggestions, i was personally rooting for Harley.) He was very excited to meet us too! In case you're wondering where the name Chester came from, well, he's named after a cat! Ellie has a book with a cat in it named chester, and we had just stayed in Chesterfield, so it just seemed to fit! After almost 2 hours of farm fun, we loaded back up and headed home, finally! Jason and I were a bit nervous about the van ride home with 3 tired kids and a puppy, but miraculously they all fell asleep within 15 minutes and stayed asleep the whole way home! (love the blanket over Ellie's head!)

10. Monday the fun continued. We slept in and then went to the lake with some out-of-town friends. We took Chester along, but let him nap in his kennel while we went out on the boat. The girls LOVED the boat ride! It was the first boat ride for Annie and Austin, and the first one that Ellie remembers. I got into the fun and went "tubing" for the first time in a looooong time! After 6 summers of either having a baby in me or on me or a broken bone, I was determined to go wild! I even tubed on my knees! I am a wild child! I had a blast, but I'm still sore 3 days later!
11. Tuesday we spent some much needed time at home, the girls had swimming lessons, and I flew to target and back to get a much needed starbucks fix. Then we headed to Ozark for dinner with my Grandpa and Dorothy, and my parents. I mean, why not take our kids who've been sleep deprived for days on end out to dinner? What's the worst that could happen? Actually, they did pretty good. I think the "do we need to take the puppy back?" threat worked well. We went to Grandpa's after dinner for awhile where the girls helped drive the BIG tractor. We played outside in their beautiful yard with Chester and had a lot of fun! Then we spent the night at mom's house.

12. Wednesday we went to the Springfield Zoo. We'd never been there before (at least not in my adult life) and I guess we were in a "zoo mood" so off we went! We enjoyed it for awhile, but then it got really hot, and when I'm hot, giraffe's and hippo's don't appeal to me much. So, we went to the Nixa pool, which is a lot like the RecPlex, and cooled off. We swam with the 10,000 other people who thought going to the pool was a good idea too, and Annie fell asleep on grammie. We ate dinner at a place called Bumsteads (i continued my wildness and ordered hot wings!), which was really good, and then we bought some fireworks (wild!) and went back to mom's. Jason had fun playing with fire, as I think most men do, or at least the one's around here. Ellie wavered between being a little scared to being a lot scared, Annie loved it all, and Austin liked the lights, but the noise scared him so he got to go to bed.

13. We drove home late last night to the lights from the man made fireworks and God's fireworks (lightning), and we fell into our beds. This was one of those moments that I really don't think I could have moved even if the house was falling down! Vacation time is over. We had a ton of fun, but i think we're all ready for a little "down time". And I've missed my friends! So, we'll rest today and maybe tomorrow, but be expecting a phone call, 'cause we're gonna be needing some "friend time" soon!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

we're (kinda) back!

this is just a quick post to say hi! we're kinda back. jason is still on "vacation" for today and tommorow, so i won't have much "blog" time for a couple more days. we're trying to cram as much "family time" in as possible! so here's my super fast update, i'll tell you more detail later. st. louis was great but exhausting! the new puppy is wonderful and his name is, (drum roll please). . .Chester! so far he is the world's most perfect puppy. everything else is great. I came home to find several of my friends blog designs updated and AWESOME! so now i am shamelessly begging their signifigant others to do the same for me. because i am sooo not computer savvy! anyway, i'll blog more soon! glad to be (kinda) back!