This Just In ...

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Great Wolf Lodge

Well, we had a really fun time at Great Wolf Lodge in Dallas! It's kindof one of those "one-time" vacations, but it was really fun! The waterpark had lots to do for everybody! Eli and Brynne rode every waterslide they were allowed to be on! My days of sitting in the baby pool at Big Splash are over! I'll be spending my time at the big slides now! Seriously!

It was fun to spend a few hours at the waterpark and then be able to head to the room for some down time. The room was really big and the kids really loved it! It had a cabin in the room where they slept and had their own t.v. The rest of the room was large so they had plenty of space to play. And it had a fridge and microwave so we could eat most of our meals and snacks there.

Dawson played a hotel-wide game called MagiQuest that kept him occupied. Without that, though, I'm afraid he might have been bored after awhile. There really is only so much waterpark you can do in a few day period. I'm glad we only decided to stay for two nights. I think we would have been sick of it if we would have stayed any longer. What we did was SO much fun, but we were exhausted and everybody was a little cranky by the end of the trip! And then we had a 5 hour trip home. It's amazing how the trip there is so lively and exciting and the trip home is dreadful! Why we let our attitudes get in the way and almost ruin a perfectly fun trip is beyond me! I know we are not alone in this, that all families do this, but it sure is a shame! That's certainly not what I want the kids to remember about a family vacation. I sure hope the fun times outshined the cranky ones.

Kyndal, Brynne and I took off on the second day and went to Grapevine Mills for some school shopping. It was really fun and we got some great deals on clothes! And, if you know how it is to shop with a picky teenager, you know that it can be grueling! But, Kyndal was in the mood to buy some clothes so we got most of everything she needs for school. That's a relief! Brynne picked out some fun stuff for herself, too, and I can't wait to see her in her new school outfits! Of course the boys could care less what they wear, so I had carte blanche in picking out their new clothes which is AWESEOME and fun! They'll be a stylin' group when school starts! And that's in two weeks and one day ... can you believe it???

Overall this was a really great trip! I think it's the first trip Eli will really remember and it was Brynne's first vacation with us. It's hard to plan vacations that everyone from ages 13 down to 3 will enjoy, but this was definitely a place where that was possible! We all have great memories that we will carry with us for a lifetime!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

We're Going on a Trip

We are getting ready to leave for a little trip to Dallas, Texas, to stay two nights at Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine. It's a big hotel with an indoor and outdoor water park. Everyone is very excited! So, we'll see you in a couple of days. And, I'm sure to have pics!! Have a great couple of days!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Kitties and Kyndal

When I was little, we used to play "Pockets" with Tim. He was Pockets the puppy and we would put a leash on him and feed him food and water from a bowl on the floor. He loved it! Yesterday morning Brynne came to me and said that Clifford needed milk. Then she decided she needed her own bowl, too. Here they are, enjoying their milk! We have so many pets lately I hope that my children are not mutating into animals!!

Kyndal is home! She arrived at about 7:30 this morning! It's good to have her here ... Eli and Brynne are thrilled! I am going to reward her by having her babysit all afternoon! Welcome home, Kyndal!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Life with a Boy

You know, life with a boy is just interesting! It's extremely easy in a lot of ways, not much on the drama side. But, dare I say "gross"? You just learn things you would rather not know. Dawson is taking a Field Biology class at the zoo. One of their projects yesterday was to dissect the vomit of an owl!! Apparently they have bowel movements through their mouth and what they cannot digest they expel. The kids digested it to see what they found. Dawson found a mouse's skull. Totally didn't need to know that! But, I have to say he's having fun and it has continued to peak his interest in animal science!

I guess it's because I see how quickly the kids grow up, or because this is the first summer we can easily do this, but we have just run and run and run all summer ... and school starts in 3 weeks! We have had some kind of activity almost every day. I am so completely worn out! I know it's my fault for scheduling all of these things. But, we can't say we've been bored. And Eli and Brynne are of the age now where these things are interesting to them and they have had fun. There have been numerous trips to the library, the zoo, swimming, Big Splash, the movies. But when I sit back and watch them all get books and sit at a table quietly at the library, or sit and laugh through an entire movie, it just makes me feel really good as a mom. They have actually learned some lessons in behavior this summer, too! I remember times when I would be envious of a mom with her kids at the library, with them being quiet and looking at books, and I was running in two different directions looking for both of my two and would find one climbing through the library shelves. Or a time when I couldn't even think about going to the movies without getting a sitter for at least one child. And who would have thought the day would actually come when I could SIT at Big Splash and watch them play. And to do all of these things without a double stroller!!! They are growing up so fast! Kyndal in the 8th grade ... Dawson in the 6th grade ... TWO JUNIOR HIGH KIDS! Eli in the pre-k program ... Brynne in preschool two days a week ... MY LAST TWO BABIES ALMOST IN SCHOOL FULL TIME! Wow.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Busy Busy

This has been an incredibly busy few days, although I don't feel like we have done anything out of the ordinary. I'm just tired! On Friday evening we had our Sunday School class over for dinner. There were about 20 or so people there and we had a really great time! It was one of those "parties" where you really don't have to do anything because everyone just chats amongst themselves. I think everybody had a good time. I know that we did! We look forward to doing that more often!

Then on Saturday Deidra and I went to the Affair of the Heart expo in Tulsa and out to dinner. That was nice to have some time away from home doing something I love ... SHOPPING! Rick thought, up until the time I got home, that we were going to some kind of seminar. He had no idea what he was funding! I think that's funny!

Yesterday Dawson was in a Field Biology class at the zoo, so Eli, Brynne and I walked around the zoo from 9-noon. It got up to 100* yesterday, so it was HOT! But, it was fun. We hung out mostly with the lizards .. big surprise, huh? We rode the train and the carousel. Then we came home and I took a nap. I was exhausted! Dawson had Boy Scouts last night and I ran some errands to get ready for our trip to Great Wolf Lodge in Dallas. We leave on Sunday and are really looking forward to that. I think the kids will have a really great time!

This morning the kids and I went to the dollar movie to see Veggie Tales. That has become a really fun thing for us to do this summer. We go once a week, and the kids really seem to enjoy it ... especially Brynne. Eli doesn't care for the dark theatre and gets really upset if a baby starts crying. Since that happens often, he spends a lot of the time with his head buried in my chest. I still feel like it's really good for him to go, though. Rick's in New Orleans today so the kids and I are just hanging out tonight. Like I said, I am just really tired. I'm looking forward to putting the kids to bed a little early tonight and curling up on the couch to watch t.v. after they go to bed.

Now, I just feel like I have to make a comment that I am sure will make me unpopular. But, since I often do that I'll just go for it!! I don't know about anyone else, but I am to the point that I can hardly watch Jon and Kate Plus 8 anymore! Now, I don't have 8 kids, have never had 8 kids, never will (God willing), and have no idea how stressful it must be. However, I am not sure I can continue to watch the show when Kate spends so much of her time treating Jon like a useless dog, if that. And she really makes no excuse for it but to say "that's just the way she is." On this week's episode they were revealing their best and most embarrassing moments on the show. Every embarrassing moment was her treatment of Jon and her response every time was ultimately that it was Jon's fault that she treated him like that. Then she would go on to lecture him about it. I've been getting kindof annoyed with it, but on this episode it really started to wear me out! Sure I don't talk to Rick like I should, always. But I have enough sense to know that a lot of times when I talk unkindly it's my fault, and not his. I feel like she uses the kids as an excuse to being a jerk to her husband. I don't expect her to change, necessarily, because we all have faults that we wish we could somehow overcome. But she doesn't even admit that she has a problem, really. She just blames him and uses the kids as an excuse. She has such a forum and people tend to worship her (I know I have been guilty of it). But this just reminds me that I have to be careful about who I look up to. Bottom line, I just need to remember that she is a woman who really tries to be a good mom, who appears to treat her husband like crap most of the time (and maybe that's just editing, I don't know), and just because she endorses something or says you should so something one way, doesn't mean I should follow it or do it. Why am I rambling about this, I don't know. I'm just starting to have feelings toward her like I have toward Oprah. Oh boy.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Eli at the dentist

Eli had a big day today! He went to the dentist for the first time! Denise McVey was his assistant and he went right back with her, without me! I could hear him laughing back in the chair. Then he came running out to show me his white teeth. They didn't take x-rays because his mouth is too small. But, they cleaned his teeth and everything. He was so big I was about in tears!

Bandit and Camo (the mama??)

Here is a picture of Bandit.

Now, when we got home from the dentist today, Dawson learned something about his little Camo the anole. Apparently, he's a SHE! She has laid an egg! She was really stressed and dark brown all of last weekend, remember? Then all of a sudden the last couple of days she has been all over the cage, neon green (which is her happy color), appearing happy ... but all of sudden skinny. No wonder! Hopefully the picture I try to download will come out. She's on the plant and the egg is on the ground in the bottom right part of the picture. You'll have to look closely. Dawson is trying to learn how to care for the egg so he can hatch some babies. She is supposed to lay an egg every week or two for about 10 weeks. Then in 30-45 days we should have babies. We'll see.

Defending my angry outburst

I would like to personally thank those who supported me in my fit of rage yesterday! Yes, Kim and Wayne, we LOVE you! Wish you would have had a nice little lot right next door so we could have built there! You and Big Daddy come on down here anytime you want!! I thought I was out of Junior High. Rick was quick to remind me, however, that I should be thankful I am an outcast to these snotty gals ... if I was "one of them" I'd be in trouble with God!!! But I like my naughty little friend from the Ozark's suggestion that I just put a ratty old couch on my front porch to show them how trashy we really are!!! I love my friends!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Minding your own business

Why must people be nasty? I just don't get it. We've lived in our neighborhood for just under a year and some of our closest neighbors have formed an opinion that they "can't stand us", even though they haven't spoken but about 10 words to us since we moved here. (They don't realize how their voices travel!) They don't know us well enough to know whether they can stand us. I try not to let it get to me, but come on!! We received a letter from our neighborhood management company today saying that we had violated our covenants by having a trailer parked in our driveway. We have NEVER had a trailer parked in our driveway. Our address could have been reported by accident, or someone could be reporting us to be mean. I'd like to think it was a mistake, but I have to wonder. When we were building, we got calls and a letter about the "condition" of our corner lot. It was overgrown, etc. Through some investigation I think I figured out who it was ... one of the same neighbors who "can't stand us." I think it's ironic, however, that the neighborhood used our lot as a dumping site both before and while we were building, and didn't seem to have a problem with it. And then all of these same neighbors stored their broken limbs on our lot after the ice storm and we gladly allowed all of the limbs to be burned on our lot. They sure didn't seem to have a problem with that. And some of these same neighbors have had workers' trucks driving on our lot to complete work on their property, and didn't seem to have a problem with that, either. I guess I'm just sick of stuck-up people who think they are better and above everybody else. I probably shouldn't be voicing such opinions on a public forum. But, what the heck. Our neighbors already don't like us, so I doubt this will make any difference to them. It makes me so eternally grateful for the good friends we do have ... and you know who you are. There are many of you. And, I'm sorry to say, not many are in this neighborhood (I'm not talking about the Bonds or Hamricks or Gardners ... you guys are great people!) I typically try not to be so negative ... but I'm angry and don't like being treated like I don't fit in, especially when I never asked to in the first place.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


I'm already falling down on my job of posting!! It's been two days! Not an exciting two days, but two days none-the-less. On Sunday Dawson got home from, yet another, Boy Scout camping trip. This time they went caving. He had a really good time! Then at about 4:00 p.m. he received his new baby ... Bandit. He is a 4-year old Bearded Dragon. I need to take a picture of him so you can see him. He's not quite as cute as little Camo the green anole gecko. I don't think I'll be touching him anytime soon. He is pretty big, about 10 inches, so he's in a 50 gallon fish tank. It was SO much bigger than I thought it would be, so it's sitting in our upstairs t.v. room on the floor. Clifford, our cat, just sits and stares at him. The TOTALLY disgusting part, was that the owners that gave him to us also brought him a little "farewell" treat ... a newborn baby mouse to eat. Thank God I was downstairs. But Dawson was traumitized. He said it squeked when he ate it. There will be no such treats for Bandit now that we are owners! We will put a hot dog at the end of a chopstick and wiggle it at him for a treat. It makes my stomach turn just thinking about it. I took good care of little Camo this weekend, but could not get him to turn green ... his "happy" color. Seriously, once Dawson got home and picked him up he turned neon green. I guess he just missed his daddy!

Yesterday we made our weekly trip to Big Splash. We didn't get to go last week because of the rain. But we had a great time yesterday! The temperature was perfect and there was hardly anybody there! Brynne and Eli played so good together that I really just got to sit on the lounge chair and talk with my friends. It was really nice. Then we were off to Boy Scouts where Dawson passed both his Scout Master Conference and Board of Review which completed his first ranking of Tenderfoot. I was told that was pretty good considering he just started.

I haven't said much about Kyndal lately because she's still in Missouri. I think Grandma is having a difficult time with her "teen" stuff. Better get used to it, though ... she has another budding teen to raise herself! I will be glad when Kyndal gets home, though. I've actually had to pay a babysitter 4 times while she has been gone. That't not the only reason I've missed her though ... seriously!!

Today is Walmart grocery shopping day. Oh joy! Gotta take the good with the bad, I guess!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Robots and Reptiles

Rick and I took Eli and Brynne to see Wall-e, at the movies today. If you didn't know it, there is hardly any dialogue in it. It was cute, but not a Pixar best. And I think it was a little difficult, if not impossible, for a 4 and 2 year old to follow. They were mildly entertained, but just didn't seem to get into it.

I don't know how it has happened, but I think I may be slightly attached to Dawson's green anole, Camo. Maybe it's just fear that something will happen to him this weekend while he's in my care, since Dawson is at a caving campout. I've gone upstairs several times to check on him and mist his cage. I even spent $1.00 of my money to buy live crickets to feed him. Weird.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

My Life is a Zoo

It has rained for two days straight, so most of our plans have been ruined. Finally the monsoon stopped at about 12:30 today, so Dawson, Eli and Brynne and I loaded up and went to the zoo. I love the zoo! I know some moms dread it, but I really love it! I love to see the excitement of the kids when they see something cool! There were only about 50 people there and we experienced some new things today! A zookeeper was throwing bananas to the chimps outside. We stood and watched them catch and eat bananas. The babies (now toddlers) are so cute! Dawson talked to the zookeeper who increased his interest in animals. At one point one of the babies put her arm around her mama, with their backs to us. Dawson took a picture with his camera. It was the sweetest thing! Then the polar bear was swimming and came right up to the glass and looked at the kids. They loved that! All of the animals were out, which is a rarity! It was just really nice!

Tomorrow we are going to Steph's to scrapbook and swim and then we're going to the Breese's for a night out. I am really looking forward to it!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Play share

I just love 3 year olds and their new vocabulary! It's a rainy day here so our swimming and/or zoo plans were ruined. So we're playing inside today. That has it's ups and downs depending on everybody's moods. Eli and Brynne were playing upstairs with matchbox cars. Eli brought down a different car that they hadn't played with before and I heard Brynne say, "Eli, do you want to play share?" I just thought that was sweet!

I'd like to make a "Happy Birthday" shoutout to my niece Rylee! She's 11 years old today. HAPPY BIRTHDAY RY!!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Back em up!!

Oh, girls!! The hard drive on my Mac "crashed" this past weekend. Rick took it to get it fixed on Monday and was told that there was a 99% chance I would lose everything. Of course that included every photo I have taken in the past year!!! I had printed Dawson's whole year and our family photos up to Christmas. But, I was going to lose Kyndal's entire 7th grade year, including her surprise 13th birthday party, and Brynne's entire 2nd year!!! Rick made a bargain with God that he would give up everything golf if God would spare my photos! If you know Rick, that's quite a sacrifice! I don't know if God is going to take him up on his bargain, or if He just decided to bless me with some extra grace and mercy, but they called today and my photos were saved!!! Thank you God! I was so sad to think of losing those precious memories! I would have even lost this last Easter's pictures! I couldn't imagine the blank pages in my scrapbook!

So, BACK UP YOUR PHOTOS RIGHT NOW! GET OFF THIS BLOG AND DO IT IMMEDIATELY! We all say we'll do it later, but what if there's not a later? What if you lost your baby's first year, or your child's baptism??? I shudder at the thought.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Bloody Noses

Who knows something about bloody noses? Rick and I were discussing this yesterday how he gets bloody noses this time of year when he is playing golf. He assumes it is associated with the heat, but noticed that he doesn't ever get them when he is mowing the yard and is sweating profusely. We were discussing how Brynne sometimes gets them, too, and there seems to be no rhyme or reason to them. Then, low and behold, she woke up this morning with a bloody nose! I realize just a teaspoon of blood looks like a lot, but she seriously looks like she is in the middle of a crime scene. Does anybody know more about this than we do? They tend to stop pretty easily, we just don't know how to try to prevent them.

Sorry I have nothing more exciting to say. My computer is not working so I have no pictures to post, not that I would be posting pictures of a bloody nose ... well, knowing me, maybe I would. I guess you can just call yourself lucky then!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

4th of July

I LOVE 4TH OF JULY! We have the best time in my hometown of Windsor, Missouri. Farrington Park has been the host of the 4th celebration for over 100 years. It's one of the only rock-solid traditions my family has and the kids love it! They won't let us go on vacation or anything during that time because they don't want to miss it! The kids made t-shirts a couple of days before ... aren't they cute??!! They participate in frog and turtle races, egg races and tosses, water balloon tosses, watermelon eating contests and cardboard boat races. Even the adults get involved! Dad and I won the egg toss against about 50 other couples. We had to end up throwing the egg about 50 yards ... seriously! Eli got 2nd in the egg race. He was so excited! Brynne and Eli hopped in the sack race, and were the last two across the finish line, but they were SO CUTE!! Kyndal won most of the races she was in, as always, and was in the finals against all boys in most events. The highlight was the cardboard boat race Kyndal and Rylee were in this year. Papa made them a boat that looked like an outhouse (since he has a port-a-potty business) and they called it "The Poo Canoe". They didn't win in fastest times, but in the heat they raced in they were neck and neck with another group of teen girls and beat them by just a few seconds! It was exciting! Kyndal was a monster out there ... rowing like crazy! They kept their boat afloat and were able to maneuver it to the finish line! There were about 200+ people there to watch it, so it was exciting!

We spent our whole week relaxing and swimming and just having fun, like always when we're here! I even managed to read TWO novels! It was an awesome week!