Sunday, June 23, 2013

i like you just the way they are

Last week was our WO-JO family reunion with Courtney's family.  We had a great time.  One highlight was when the adults and some of the older kids gathered for Aunt Alyssa's unveiling of Top Gun.  An oldie but goodie, that one.  All of us children of the 80's had a chance to reminice about all that good music, hair, etc that we lived through.  That decade was so rad. 

Alyssa had to do some pretty good censoring of a few scenes.  Oh, and some of the aunts (and teenage girls) might have been dying over a certain volleyball scene.  Because, you know.  I think it was the music?

So that night I was almost asleep when Courtney cuddled close, grinned and said, "I'm sorry I don't look like those guys in the movie."  Good old me, wanting to reassure him that I didn't need any of that when I had my own stud muffin to admire, woke up just enough to let this slip out of my mouth:  "Babe, I like you just the way they are".

I'll tell you this much.  I'm never gonna live that one down.

Friday, June 14, 2013

never a dull moment

I've got a little bit of catching up to do!  I've been going through our old pictures and here are a few that made me smile. . .

Claire and her pal Reese

One of the kids took this with my phone while we were driving.  Loved it.

It's beginning to look like we just lock this kid a cage all the time!

Emmy and Halle went to cousin Mathew's "mad scientist" party and had a great time (my favorite part of their outfits were the moustaches drawn by Mathew's older brothers Jeremiah and Brayden!).  Later I found out they had been putting these fancy outfits to use by conducting science experiments in our garage.  Thank you, Aunt Kerri!

 Claire came home from preschool panicked because she didn't think she had anything green to wear for St. Patrick's Day.  So, like any good mother would do, I set out to put her fears to rest.  I think we rocked it, don't you?

 Redneck fun at it's finest.  I'm impressed with the helmet, though.

 One of my friends brought Sam over a little pair of cowboy boots.  Cowboy boots + Sam = happy boy!

 His sisters loooove dressing him up.  I'm pretty sure this will come in handy as blackmail material some day.

 Kate is the best sleeper ever. 
She and her friends set their hearts on getting together and braiding each other's hair in tiny little braids and beads.  She was so excited and was a leeeeetle bit upset with me (thus the look on her face in this picture) when I made her take them out for church the next morning.  I'm such a party pooper.  Since then, she has been asking me no less than two times a day if I will braid and bead her hair.  One of these days I'm going to get on that.

 I walked into Ryenne's room one day and found this design.  Made out of candy.  Ever the artist, that one.

 The kids have something they play with their cousins at Grandma Jones' called "Kids World".  It's pretty awesome, actually.  They have an economy set up, complete with a monetary system, little shops (everyone has a different type of service they offer), and homes.  Also, there are policeman, a mayor, etc.  Most everything is made out of rocks, etc.  This has been going on for years.  A month or so ago, Emmy and Jonathon (her cousin) were married.  I smiled when I saw the invitation!   Ahhhhh, love.

I hate it when kids say they are bored - it drives me crazy. 
Because really?  Find something to do, then!  My kids can attest to this.  I often tell them, "Only boring people get bored!" 
After looking through all these pictures, I've concluded that we are not boring people.  Crazy maybe, but not boring. 


So, it's a little late to be talking about Easter, but whatever.
This is what I remember:
1.   We had a great one.  ("We" being the kids, because I was really sick that weekend.) 
2.   The Easter Bunny brought lots of chocolate and money!  Gold dollars, silver dollars, and 50 cent pieces were favorites. 
3.   The bunny was pretty tricky about hiding the baskets this year.  Dad might have been paid in Reese's Peanut Butter Cups to help the older two find theirs. 
4.  Sam thought the whole idea was AWESOME.  Chocolate everywhere, man!
5.  Everyone looked really smashing in their Easter attire.  I especially loved my little Sam in his bow tie.  Did I ever mention that I used to dream about having a little guy with longish hair and his dad's blue eyes?  It makes me pretty happy to have him here in real life.

ready, set, go!


ummm. . .our dog is getting pretty big

So, what they said is true.  Our dog is going to get big.  Really big.  With almost another six months of growing to do, he is already a giant.  A gentle giant, thankfully!  Samuel, especially loves him and uses him as a rug frequently.  Jordan is a great sport.  And the girls have found that his size comes in handy when it is their turn to take him on walks (more like he takes them on walks?).  They have figured out a great trick:  they put a harness on him and hold onto his leash while they ride their scooters.  They call it "taking Jordan mushing". 
Wow.  I can't believe we're dog people.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

our redneck homecoming (this one's for you, kelsey)

After a long flight and a loooooong drive (nothing beats an 8 hour drive after a red eye flight), we finally arrived home.  Just minutes before we arrived home, Courtney announced to the girls that everyone needed to pitch in and help get the car unloaded.  Exhausted, and knowing he was too, I suggested that we let everyone get to bed and worry about unpacking in the morning.  He agreed.  (Leaving paradise and dealing with a foot of new snow was enough for one day!)
We pulled into our garage and before we even opened the car doors we could smell something awful.  Really awful.  Upon entering the house, the horrible smell multiplied by about a thousand.  I commented to Courtney that it smelled like a hundred mice had died.  We couldn't figure it out.  Until we came into the kitchen, that is.  The pool of dried blood coming from the freezer was our first hint.  When we opened the door, I literally started throwing up.  Turns out, a refrigerator/freezer full of food doesn't smell too great after being warm for a week or so.  Wow.  You can't even imagine.  

Because he is so nice and I'm such a wimp, I got everyone situated while Courtney emptied everything into the garbage.  Luckily, he had remembered a recent conversation with our firefighter friend who had told us about using Vick's vapor rub in their nostrils on really bad emergency calls.  He was right- it worked like a charm.  (But it still was really, really stinky- even with that little trick!)  We filled our noses with Vick's and tied bandannas around our faces.  Oh, and sprayed Febreeze like crazy.  Courtney was in the middle of his awful task when he said, "Go up town and get some Febreeze!  The commercial says that it "works so good you won't even know you are in this mess"!  I bought three cans, and I will tell you what.  They are not lying on those commercials- that stuff saved our bacon.  (Except not really, 'cuz we had to throw all of that away).
The girls opted to go stay at Grandma and Grandpa's house down the road.  I couldn't say that I blamed them, and Courtney and I might have chosen that route too except Samuel was already in bed, lucky guy.  So I got them settled, and then returned to our stinky abode and proceeded to spray every inch of our house down a hundred or so times with our new favorite "spring meadow in a can" spray. 
(No, this post is not sponsored by Febreeze, but MAN.  That stuff is awesome.  And believe you me, we gave it a good run for it's money.)

When all was said and done, we opted to duct tape the fridge shut and get that thing outta there.  It was the only way.  And so it was that three hours after we got home from our 24 hour trip home, we found our exhausted selves heaving our stinky fridge out onto our
front porch.  Which reminds me that I have to post that first "home sweet home" picture once more, just so you can get the full effect.
I know you'll want to pause for a minute to take in the magic of it all.  You know, there is nothing that says white trash like a front porch that welcomes it's guests with particle board, a duct taped, smells-like-death-appliance, and Christmas lights hanging (literally) from the eaves two full months after Christmas.  (Courtney thought we could find an old couch to throw out there to complete our look, but you know.  I was too tired.) 
 Welcome home, family.

In case you were wondering, we opted out of the appliance company "we can pick up your old appliance when we drop off the new" program.  'Cuz we would have had to scrub it out, that's why.  And we weren't even going to open the doors of that thing, ever again.  It was that bad.  After a quick phone call, Courtney decided to take it to the recycling company.  He thought about running it through the automatic car wash on the way, but decided against that.  He backed up his truck, slid that bad boy out at the recycle place, and moved like lightning to shove the shelves back in and slam the door shut when it flew open as it hit the ground.  'Betcha he never moved so fast in his whole life. 

And you know what else?  He got sixty bucks for it.  Now that is a deal if I've ever heard one.

books on the road

Funny enough, one of our favorite memories of our Hawaii vacation were the books we read as a family.  On long road trips, I usually try to find a book or two to read aloud.  This time, our good friend had recommended a few of their family favorites, The Pink Motel and The White Indian Boy.  The girls loved both of them, but especially The White Indian Boy.  Courtney had downloaded an app to our phones that made them work as a microphone and so everyone in the car could hear easily while I read the book.  It worked like a charm.  There were a few times when I was reading that everyone almost wanted to keep driving so I would keep reading!  We would definitely recommend both books and hope to purchase them so we have them for keeps! 

Another fun memory is when Kate and Emmy decided to voice record some books for Claire that she could listen to on the car and plane rides.  We had brought a collection of Curious George stories, and so the girls used our phones to make videos of the stories for her.  We laughed at this sign they would hang outside their bedroom while they filmed!

leaving hawaii

Well, you know the ol' saying, "All good things must come to an end"? 

'Tis true.   After a fun ten days, it was time to pack up and go home.  Of course, we had to take a few farewell shots of our little house on the beach. . .

(We love to make our girls squirm!)

Since we didn't fly out 'til late that night, we decided to spend our last day at Pearl Harbor.  Wouldn't you know it, the rides out to the memorial were closed due to the wind (which had died down by the time we got there, but the decision had been made for the day.  Darn Navy, anyway.)   We were pretty bummed about this, because the girls had really been looking forward to seeing that and we knew we may never make it back.

(Claire, who had been such a trooper for the entire trip, finally had enough by this time.  She was pretty tired, and we didn't have a stroller, which made for a lot of shoulder rides for dear old dad.)

The girls liked the submarine tour, and we still laugh about our very energetic volunteer who wanted us to take a hundred pictures of the girls in just the right position.  She was quite determined! 

The air museum was also pretty nifty, but we were super bummed that we missed that last tour for the battleship.  Basically, we were Pearl Harbor tourist failures that day.  Oh well. 

After leaving the harbor, we headed into the city to find some dinner before heading to the airport.  The girls wanted Mexican food, and we had a pretty good chuckle when our handy GPS guided us into Chinatown to get our rice and bean fix!  We had a great dinner, and the girls even got a compliment from a couple who had been watching them through the meal.  The woman said she had grown up with three sisters, and watching the girls interact with each other brought back such good memories.  She also complimented the girls on not being attached to any electric devices while we waited and ate.  See girls, there are perks to having old fashioned parents.  (And boy, were we happy that someone actually caught everyone happy at the same time!  Now that's something to remember!)