Sunday, August 31, 2008

Baby Celebration in BA

Me and the girls headed to Broken Arrow on Friday after Meredith got out of school.  On Friday night a bunch of the family met at Ricardo's to eat Mexican food which was yummy.  However, the service was quite slow this time which is unusual for that restaurant which, of course, makes it trying with my little ones and my two nieces.  Nevertheless, we survived it and headed back to my parents' house.  On Saturday the girls and I all met Aunt Carrie at the beauty shop so she could cut all of our hair.  Bless her heart for being our personal "stylist" because we certainly needed help in that area.  Carrie, my mom and I then took all of the girls to the feed store to visit the little petting area they have their with the miniature horses/donkeys, goats, bunnies, etc.  There was also a little kitty that Carrie's parents have adopted at the store and for some peculiar reason, it kept running away from the girls when they tried to attack, I mean pet it.  Anyway, it was a good day for the little cousins.  Also, I wanted to let you know that my sister-in-law, Carrie, has started a blog and I have added it to my blog list on the right.  Enjoy!

That evening I then headed to the Cheesecake Factory to meet my high school/college friends for my friend, Christy's, second baby celebration.  It's always so great to see all of my sweet friends again.  Shannon flew up from Houston, Beth drove from Memphis, Emily and I drove in from the great state of Arkansas and then the rest are from the Tulsa area.  How lucky am I to have such a strong group of Christian women I can count on for anything.  Needless to say, we had a super time eating at the restaurant and we all then headed over to Ida's beautiful house to eat yummy cake and she relax and talk and laugh together.  Christy already has a handsome little boy and now she is welcoming a little girl in October.  Congratulations Christy!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

First Day of Preschool & new van

Alli had a great first day of preschool and her class mascot is the monkey.  She enjoyed staying for "lunch bunch" and playing with her cousin Will who is in kindergarten at the same school.  Last night she when Michael was taking her to bed she thanked him for letting her be a "monkey" so I think that's a good sign.  Granted, she has been exhausted all day today and has been a bear so hopefully she'll get used to the new busy school schedule and will adjust.  We really need to get the girls to bed earlier but that's not easy either as most of you already know.  

Oh yeah, out with the old and in with the new!  While Alli and Meredith were in school yesterday we headed over to Tulsa to get our Hail damage repaired new minivan!  Yes, it's another white Odyssey but it's fully loaded (minus the TV) and we got it for the same price as we got our other Odyssey for in 2003!  We'll take the hail damage and all!  I really wanted a small SUV this time so I could be a cool mom but when you compare the same options you can get in a minivan and gas mileage it pays to be cool and I'm not willing to pay it (yet).  Just wait, my next vehicle in another 5 or so years is going to be so cool you all will be jealous and maybe I'll even get a red or black vehicle!  Talk about wild and crazy!  Anyway, old Betsy (other van) had over 100,000 miles so we invested in a new one and Michael's mom Patty is going to drive our old one when she and Tommy aren't going somewhere together.  The girls named our new van "Mini".  I guess they get their creativity from their parents, poor girls.  They first suggested "mini-van" and "white mini-van" and we then shortened it from there.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Chris' 30th Birthday

My little brother finally turned 30 on Saturday.  It's hard to believe.  Staci turned 20 in a month so it's easy to remember that they're a decade apart in age.  Me and the family headed over to Broken Arrow just for the day on Saturday to celebrate the big 30 with my family and with Carrie's parents at their house.  They were kind enough to host the event and let the girls all go swimming.  We were all about carried off by mosquitoes though so we didn't stay outside very long.  The rain beforehand must have really brought the bugs out and Carlee even got bit by her eye when she was in the pool.  We all had a great time at the party and Chris got some great gifts I must say.  Oh yeah, in case you're wondering why Alli appears to be blowing out the candles, Sandy (Carrie's mom) had to light Chris' candles 4 times so all of the girls had a chance to blow them out.

Alli was able to visit her new preschool class on Thursday to get a little preview before she starts on Tuesday.  She seemed to really enjoy her classroom and I know she'll love her teacher like Meredith did.  Here are some pictures of her playing in her new class.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Off to School for Meredith

I apologize for taking so long to post this time but you know how it is when school first starts up.  busy, busy, busy.  Meredith has had a great first week of school and loves the first grade as well as her teacher.  She wasn't crazy about her first day in PE because everyone was crazy and not listening.  She apparently likes order.  She also started soccer drills on Monday as well as dance (tap, ballet, and jazz).  I'm a little nervous about how all of these activities are going to pan bit the good news is that the soccer season is pretty short.  I started to regret taking her out of gymnastics this year as I was watching them on the Olympics because in another 4 years she would probably be eligible to compete if we lived in China (oops, did I put that in writing?).  Here's a picture of Meredith on her first day of school.

Alli has also started ballet and tap which I hope she enjoys.  Alli would just as soon not mess with any of it and just hang out with Mom which I completely don't understand.  She really likes the idea of a recital though so I guess that's what we're going to have to work for.  Alli starts preschool on Tuesday (I can't wait) and I think she's really going to enjoy it.  She will have the same teacher Meredith had as a 4 year old so it will be fun to hear her comparisons between Meredith and Alli's personalities.  Speaking of Alli, while we were at Sam's the other day buying an icee (bribery to get through the trip) she was sure to point out to me that the lady behind us had whiskers on her neck.  She didn't say it very loud so I'm praying the poor lady didn't hear her.  Of course, I never turned around so I wouldn't have to face her so I cannot attest to the whiskers or not.  I just pretended I wasn't there.  

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Fishing & the Great Outdoors

Yesterday Michael came up with the idea to take the girls fishing out at Grammy and Papa's pond so we did.  For those of you that know me well, you know that I'm not a super fan of the great outdoors and pretty much enjoy the city life.  So, I took my camera and took pictures of Michael hooking the worms to the hooks and then taking the hooks out of the catfish and then throwing them back in the water.  The girls seemed to have a great time and lucky for us the fish were biting.  Keep in mind they weren't large fish but it didn't matter to the girls.  They were just happy that there was some action.  Michael's cousin Chris came in town for the weekend from Memphis so it was fun visiting with him.  Here are some pictures from the day and I've also included a couple of pictures of Tom & Patty's dobermans, Lizzy (red) and Beamer (black).

Friday, August 15, 2008

Open House & PTA

We've had a very busy week in the household.  The girls and I took my sister Staci to Springdale on Thursday to meet my parents for the "trade off" and to eat at the AQ Chicken House which was very good as usual.  I had my usual smothered chicken breast which was quite yummy.  Me and the girls then quickly headed back to Fort Smith to Meredith's school to help get ready for Open House/Meet the Teacher night.  After a brief break at home I then headed back to the school in order to sell PTA Memberships prior to the event.  

Okay, I just want to get this out in the open for those who don't already know this information.  Just because you join PTA doesn't mean you have to help with a bunch of stuff if you don't want to.  Basically, it's good to buy a membership because a portion of the fee (a whopping $3.75 at our school) goes back to the school for the school's benefit.  So, in other words, if you can afford it, buy as many memberships as you can (one for each spouse, grandparents, etc.)  You also get a full years worth of access to the "members only" PTA website, not to mention you support the PTA lobbying group in Washington that looks out for our children and getting more money for them.  I guess I already assumed most people knew this but I was so wrong.  I heard many times last night that they don't have time to join PTA (Heaven forbid you actually get involved in your child's school even a little bit) and even though I tried to explain it to them, it didn't matter.  Thank you for letting me get that off of my chest.  

Back to the night.  Meredith did get to meet her sweet new first grade teacher.  This is her third year in teaching so she's young but I've heard great things about her and Meredith is very excited.  It looked like the two first grade classes had 30 and 31 students which is over the limit.  The 4 kindergarten classes only had an average of 10 kids per class, which is way under.  So, it will be interesting to see how many kids actually show up for the first day of class and what kind of shuffling will take place.  After the kids met the teachers I ran back to the cafeteria and started serving ice cream for the ice cream social/PTA fundraiser.  After we took out expenses we believe we raised about $80 but for as many ice cream bowls I fixed it felt like we should have raised $80,000.  Oh well, I guess that can be our goal for next year.

We're looking forward to the new school year and hope you all are as well!

Oh yeah, on a side note, my friend Chairee's baby that was waiting for the thymus transplant had the transplant surgery last week and so far so good but please still keep Chairee's family and the baby in your prayers.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

"Centsable Momma" blog

I want to let you all know about a new blog I've add to the sidebar of mine titled "Centsable Momma."  My friend, Corrie, who lives in Michigan started it.  She was my best friend in my grade school and middle school days before she deserted me and moved with her family to Florida.  Anyway, here's what she has to say in her first post in her new blog:

I've always tried to be a "frugal" person, but I discovered the land of frugal blogs about the middle of May where I learned even more techniques. God led me to those blogs, because about 2 weeks later I was unexpectedly laid off from my at-home part-time job. I didn't work many hours at home, but it was enough to earn some extra money for my family. So, now, I could save money for my family.

I intend to share what I've learned from playing the Drugstore Game (as it's for "free" items at CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid), and share some of the good deals that I happen to run across. I'll also share some of my techniques for earning college fun money, as well as extra money here and there (called snowflaking across the internet).

I am by no means perfect at this, but I hope to share some of my frugal journey with others and help link them to others that can help them too. I am trying to be the steward of our family resources that God wants me to be.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Aunt Staci is here!

Well, we met my parents at our halfway point in Gore to pick up my little sis, Staci. The girls were very very excited that their beloved Aunt Staci was coming to spend some time with them. I think Meredith, my little cuddlebug, was also very happy that someone would be sleeping in her room with her. My parents and Grandmother are heading to Indiana to visit my Great Aunt Lois and Great Uncle Bob for a few days so Staci elected to stay with me rather than make the long drive. On Friday night we all headed to Michael's parents' house to visit with them along with Becky, Patrick and the boys which was fun. 

On Saturday evening we headed to the Lightner's going away party at the Lee's house. It rained off and on all day but luckily the rain managed to stop long enough for the party which was great. All of the kids enjoyed the swimming and it's just great to all hang out together and fellowship. The latest I've heard from Trish is that Roger is heading to Nashville tomorrow (Tuesday) to start work on Wednesday and she will stay here until Labor Day. I'm just selfishly glad I get to spend a little more time with her before the big move. By the way, the picture of Addy, Katie and Meredith was taken by Leigh Ann in case it looks familiar. I want to give credit where credit is due. By the way, I must say the Lee's have the most beautiful backyard I've ever seen in my life. It makes me feel really bad that I can't manage to keep my three flower pots watered and alive. There's no telling how long Gary and Jenny spend keeping all of those flowers watered and alive, not to mention all of the hummingbirds fed. 

Today Staci was gracious enough to watch the girls for me all morning while I headed to Meredith's school to put packets together to send home with the kids on the first day of school. You would not believe how much paperwork is involved. It is unbelievable. Hopefully one day soon all or most of these forms and copies can be eliminated with electronic mail. After spending 4 hard hours there putting them together I will be all for it! Save the trees and some of our time!   The rest of the day we just hung out at home and hopefully tomorrow will be more exciting.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Steven Curtis Chapman Family on Larry King Live

A couple of days ago Michael and I just happened to be watching CNN for something or other and happened to see the advertisement that the Chapman family was going to be on Larry King Live on Thursday night. You have to understand that I very rarely watch CNN or any news show. I tend to stick with the very fluffy type television that really doesn't mean a hill of beans to anyone. So anyway, I set my DVR to record the show for tonight. Well, I just finished watching the recorded show and even though I knew and read the stories regarding their son Will accidently running over their 5 year old daughter Maria and I thought how terrible it was but I still felt very removed from it ( which of course, realistically, I am). But tonight watching their sweet family being interviewed about their faith and if they have anger towards God and other typical Larry King questions it just really hit me how awful and terrible and confusing it must be for this family. I cannot fathom losing a child but yet have one of your children accidently kill the other one is just beyond me. This family has no anger towards their 17 year old son and are still remaining strong in their faith. Our Holy Father must be so impressed with how this family is handling their grief. I'm sure many of you have heard Chapman's song called "Cinderella" and my girls love it so much when their daddy plays it for them and they just dance and dance. This song was written by Steven Curtis for his two youngest adopted Chinese daughters and he is still performing it at his concerts. He mentioned that the lyrics were changed from "the clock will strike midnight and she'll be gone to "Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight/But the truth is... The dance goes on." It truly brought many tears to my eyes and every time I hear that song I will pray for the Chapman family.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Meredith with Glasses

It occurred to me that many of you have not seen Meredith with her little glasses. She got reading glasses in the middle of last year and they all but virtually eliminated her headaches. We knew bad eyes were in the genes so we've been sure to take our kids to the eye doctor for check-ups. Hopefully Meredith will outgrow the reading glasses but she has an astigmatism so near sighted glasses will probably also be in her future. The doctor also thought Alli is already showing signs of being near sighted so we are to watch for squinting. Anyway, Meredith's kindergarten thought to have her wear her glasses in her spring school pictures and I'm so glad she did because they are just too cute, even if I do say so myself.

I also neglected to mention that Alli and I along with my friends Trish and Melissa and their sons, Jedidiah and Drew, hit the movies again and saw "Space Chimps." I must say it was pretty cute and a little more action packed then Wall-E so it kept Alli's attention a little better. Meredith played at a friends house while we were at the movie which is probably a good thing since she gets a little more scared at movies then Alli. Meredith is all about peacefulness and no monsters.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Meredith's Dance Recitals

Let me tell you, it's been so much fun going through these old videos.  Here's a video of Meredith along with her friends, Addy and Allison from church in their dance recitals.  In the very first performance in the red feathers Addy wasn't standing close enough to Meredith for me to get her in the video much but you can see her in the other ones.  I hope you get a kick out of them.  I did.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Wasp Venom in the Eye & Pictures of Meredith in OK

An interesting thing happened yesterday as the girls and I were jumping on the trampoline.  Michael came out and as he was getting ready to get on the trampoline as well he started covering his eye and was behaving in such a manner that would lead one to believe that he was very uncomfortable/in pain.  So, after a little while I managed to gather from him something about a wasp and how it sprayed him in the eye.  At this point I was like what in the world are you talking about.  I've never heard of such a thing.  So we rush him inside and he starts rinsing out his eye with water and the pain subsides pretty quickly.  He later explained that he felt a bug on his shoulder and looked down and saw a wasp on his shirt.  He then said he heard the buzzing and the wasp flew in his face and sprayed him in the eye.  A few minutes later he then looked on the Internet (what else would you do in this situation?) and sure enough some wasps aim their venom for your eye.  So, I guess the moral of the story is to keep your sunglasses on.

Anyway, here are some cute pictures Aunt Carrie e-mailed of Meredith during her stay in Broken Arrow and hanging out at the feed store.