Sunday, July 26, 2009

4th of July

This year on the Fourth of July, we went with our friends, Robert and Lauren, to the Moody's house. This is our second year to go with them there. Each year the Moody's send out invitations to their friends to come to their house for the Fourth of July. They allow their friends to invite friends. So, Robert and Lauren invite us. It is all free. They feed us a wonderful dinner of brisket, beans, and lots of other yummy stuff. Then when it gets dark, they shoot off fire works. This is not just a back yard fire works show. It is as good as the city's fire works show, if not better. It lasts for an hour. And it is right there! Everyone has front row seating. Other than being incredibly loud, it is very enjoyable. This year they announced that they had 180 people RSVP.

The Moody's have quite the set up. They have a volleyball court and a miniature golf course. They also have a blow up jumping house for the children to play in.

This year, Rilian and Reagan spent most of the time in their strollers. It was nice because they were containable this year. Next year, that will not be the case. Barbara will have to find a way to be there next year to help Lauren and I wrangle our children. She was there last year and was a GREAT help! We missed her this year. She had to go and get married AND move to Boston. What was she thinking?

Piper had decided it was a good idea to take all the golf balls and put them all in the same hole. It is a good thing no one else wanted to play a round of miniature golf!

Finn, Lindsey, and Seven were playing in the sand on the volleyball court. They had gotten cups somewhere and were putting sand in them.

I am sorry to say that these are the only pictures I have of our Fourth of July. We did have Finn's Birthday Party on the fourth, so I guess I could count those pictures. As we were finishing up dinner, the wind started blowing REALLY strong. A storm was supposedly nearby, but was not going to hit us. We had to hang on to our plates of food so they wouldn't blow away and cause our food to fall on the ground! Mr. Moody made an announcement that he was sorry he had to call off the fireworks because of the wind and storm. I was really disappointed. What is the Fourth of July without fireworks? Turns out the city also called of their firework show due to the wind. I guess I would rather be safe than have the fireworks cause a fire. So, we packed up our chairs and invited our friends over for ice cream. And I have to thank Keenan and Clarissa for buying the ice cream! Thanks!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Finn's 4th Birthday

On July 7, 2009, Finn turned 4 years old. He will start pre-school in the fall, three days a week. He is really excited about it. The other day, Piper got a back pack (a cat pack) in the mail from ACU since she will be starting kindergarten this year. Finn was very upset that he didn't get a back pack. So we went to Walmart and let him pick out the one he wanted for pre-school. Then when we got home he said, "Do I get to go to pre-school now?" It was pretty funny.

Originally Finn wanted to have a Spiderman party. One day last month I decided to be brave and take all four of my children, 5 years old and younger to a few stores. We first went to Old Navy, then Children's Place, and last Target. The kids were good in Old Navy and Children's Place. I should have called it a night then, had I known what Target was going to be like, I would have. They were arguing with each other and fighting and crying! Every mom's worst nightmare! We were on the birthday party aisle looking for Spiderman stuff. Finn was crying because he and Piper were fighting. I looked and did not see any Spiderman stuff, so I told Finn, " I guess we will have to go to a different store, because they don't have any Spiderman stuff here." As he was crying, he looked at the birthday stuff. He saw Yoda and pointed and immediately started laughing. I asked him if he wanted to have a Yoda birthday party. He said he did. I asked him if he knew who Yoda was. He had no clue who Yoda was. Sorry, I am a bad parent and had not educated my children in the Star Wars area. I, myself, do not care for Star Wars. I am not a big Sci-Fi fan. So, I bought the Yoda stuff and before Finn's birthday party, Jeremy watched some Star Wars with him. Jeremy even rented Star Wars, Clone Wars, for Finn to watch. What a dad!

Birthdays for our children mean that Jeremy will be up all night the night before making their birthday cakes and getting no sleep. I had great hopes for this one. It was looking like he might get alot more sleep than he had on the previous birthday cake making nights. Not the case. Jeremy and a friend, Robert, took our children to see Ice Age 3 that afternoon. Which caused a delay in the earlier than normal cake making time. I can't forget to mention Zach. We happened to see him at the mall for lunch, so he joined Jeremy and Robert and the kids for the movie. Lauren and I (and Reagan and Rilian) got to shop at the mall, while they were in the movie.

Here is a picture of Finn's birthday cake. Isn't it funny? May the 4's be with you. Jeremy almost didn't write that. I guess he didn't think people would think it was as funny as he did. I am glad I encouraged him to write it. Of course Finn didn't get it. But us adults did.

Here is a picture of Finn driving his truck around the back yard. His birthday party was a pool party, but I guess he just didn't feel like getting in the pool yet and wanted to drive his truck. It was his party, so whatever. I have to apologize for his hair. Yes, he does have a mohawk, but it looks pretty funny when it is not fixed. Jeremy had not fixed it since he would be getting in the pool and getting it wet which would cause his hair glue to get wet and make his mohawk flat anyways. And the fence in the background looks pretty shabby. It is our neighbors fence. The other two sides of our fence are brand new, but I guess this neighbor did not want to fix their side. You will see the brand new fence in some of the other pictures.

Here's a cute picture of Piper in the pool. I love when I can get a good picture of her. It is not very often she will smile nicely for the camera.
Finn, Seven, Lindsey, and Piper in the pool.
The night before Finn's birthday party, Jeremy and I spent way too long filling up 100 water balloons. It is more complicated than I remember it being. The kids did not quite understand the concept of water balloons at first. They were just throwing them and watching them pop. Look how high Piper threw hers!
We tried to explain to them again to throw them at each other so they would pop and get them wet. They still didn't quite understand. So Jeremy and Robert ended up telling the kids to run around so Jeremy and Robert could throw them at the kids. The night before when Jeremy and I were filling the water balloons up, Jeremy thought it was probably a good idea that my brother was not able to come to the party. I am not quite sure why Jeremy thought that. Mark would never do anything mischievous with a water balloon...Bwahahaha!

The grandparents chillin' in the shade as the kids enjoy the pool.
Jeremy, Robert, Lauren, and my empty chair, as I got up to take pictures.
Reagan was sleeping when the previous picture was taken, so here is Reagan, and Lauren.
Time for cake! I am not sure if Finn realized he still had on his goggles. Piper and Lindsey waiting on their piece of cake.

Present time! I didn't want to bore you with alot of pictures of Finn opening his presents. So I just put in a couple.
Finn is digging to the bottom of the bag to get out all the gifts. There were a few in the bag. And there is Rilian on Dadabe's lap.
This picture isn't very good, but it is the only one Finn would let me get. Granny Joyce made him a king robe and hat so he has his own dress up clothes and doesn't have to wear Piper's princess dresses anymore. It is beautifully made. It is brown and furry. And the trim looks like a cheetah print. So cool!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Rilian is 5 Months Old!

Another month has passed and Rilian is now 5 months old! He sure is growing! At 5 months, he weighs 17 1/2 pounds. Piper only weighed 17 pounds at a year old. She was tiny. Rilian weighs more at 5 months than Seven weighed at 6 months. I'm so proud of my BIG boy! He can wear 6-9 month clothing and is only one diaper size smaller than Seven, who is 2 years old. In fact, they wear the same size swim diaper! Here he is again on the dragon blanket.
Sweet, happy smile.
Seven was napping when I took Rilian's 5 month pictures, so he isn't in any of the pictures this time. I almost forgot to take his 5 month picture! So I didn't want to wait any longer when I did remember to take it and risk almost forgetting completely.
Mister blue eyes. I took too many cute pictures of Rilian to not include them in this blog post.
It had been a couple of weeks that Rilian had been sleeping in his crib when I realized I hadn't taken a picture of him in his crib. Doesn't he look so sweet?
Awe, how precious! Aren't they all until they wake up?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

First Cereal

I got out the Exersaucer for Rilian. He really likes it. This was when I put him in it for the first time. He is learning how to play with the toys on it. He is also able to push himself around a little. It has one leg that stands stationary and two legs that have wheels, so it could go in a circle if he chose to push with his legs enough.
When Rilian was about 4 1/2 months old, I gave him some rice cereal. Do you like the look on his face? He seems to think it tastes funny. I'm not sure why, because if you have ever tasted baby rice cereal, it is really bland. After a few bites he stopped making the "sour" face.

He has now had rice cereal, oatmeal cereal, wheat cereal, and barley cereal. He is growing up!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Mays Farm

A few weeks ago we went to Mays Farm for a MOPS playdate. Mays Farm is about 15 minutes from our house. There are many different farm animals the children can pet and feed. There is even a beefalo. Anyone ever seen a beefalo or even know what one is? It is part cow and part buffalo. And it looks just like that. Looking at it, you can tell it is a cow and a buffalo. May will even load the children on a trailer and take them for a fast, fun filled "hay" ride. She calls it a hay ride, but there isn't actually any hay.

Rilian did not touch the animals or feed them, but he was there.
Here is a picture of Finn feeding a goat. Finn enjoyed feeding all the animals.
Piper feed the animals too. She was a little reluctant at first.
Finn wanted to pet the horse so Daddy picked him up so he could reach the horse's face.
Seven cracked me up! Look at him in the stroller. Do you notice how his feet are all tucked up under him and not on the foot rest like they should be? He was really unsure of all the animals and did not want them to touch him. He did not want to touch them or feed them. He was pointing to one, but did not want to get close.

There were some animals the children could hold. Each time we have gone to Mays Farm, Piper wanted to hold a bunny. So, here she is holding a bunny.
Seven wanted to hold a guinea pig. Once the guinea pig was on his lap, he didn't want to touch it. Do you see his hands on the arm rests of the chair? Funny boy!
Finn is holding a baby chicken. Each time he has come to Mays Farm, he has wanted to hold the peeps.
Here is a big pig that the children could feed. Neither of my children fed her. They were more interested in feeding the goats. I saw this beautiful turkey at Mays Farm. Can anyone say Thanksgiving dinner?
Piper found a tire horse swing to swing on. I was very thankful she decided to smile for me so I could take a picture. That is not always the case.
Seven wanted a turn on the tire horse swing also.
By the end of our time there, Seven had warmed up a little to the animals. There was a baby sheep wandering around and Seven decided it was okay to touch it. He put his hand on its back and just walked where ever it walked, with his hand on its back.

Friday, July 3, 2009

You Taste Like Lemon

For those of you who don't know, Jeremy is a youth minister. Today he decided he was going to have a Movie Marathon for the teens in the youth group. What is a Movie Marathon, you ask? A Movie Marathon is an entire day of watching movies. They usually have a common theme. Today's Movie Marathon was Johnny Depp. All the movies were movies in which Johnny Depp starred in. The first movie was the newer version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Then Sleepy Hollow. And finally the three Pirates of the Caribbean. This Movie Marathon took around twelve hours to watch all the movies. I was there for lunch. Then I had to take Seven home for a nap. Piper and Finn wanted to stay and watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with Jeremy. I was more than happy to let them. When Seven woke up, I took him and Rilian back up to the church so our family could eat dinner together.

The youth group does not consist of only white teens. Finn walks up to one of the black girls in the youth group and licks her. He then says, "You taste like lemon, not chocolate." We all thought it was really funny!

What do you say to that? You've gotta enjoy the innocence and naivety of children.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Our 10th Anniversary

On June 5, 2009, Jeremy and I celebrated our 10th Wedding Anniversary! WOW! It is really hard to believe that we have been married for 10 whole years. It sure does not seem like 10 years! We have some friends, Todd and Annette Woods, who have a cabin near Las Vegas, New Mexico. They have named their cabin, The Wood Shed. They let us go up to their cabin and spend the week there. It was really nice. We had a very relaxing time. Their cabin is on the property of Blue Haven's Camp. It is the last cabin before the actual wilderness. Piper, Finn, and Seven got to spend the time with their grandparents, in Abilene. Rilian had to come with us, he'd be quite hungry if I left him for a week! The weather was wonderful! It was cool during the day and cold at night. We had to turn the heater on at night. One day it rained. It cleared up in the afternoon, so we decided to take a hike. That is the one thing that I wanted to do before I got there. On the 2nd day there, I finally got to do just that. I carried Rilian in a Snugli on the front of me. It limited my view of where I was walking worse than when I was pregnant. We got to a point on the path that with Rilian, we could go no further. There were huge rocks to climb over and a creek to cross a few times, and so we decided to turn around and head back to the cabin. I was satisfied with the little hike and I knew Jeremy didn't really want to go hiking in the first place, so I decided we were done.

On the way back from our hike, I saw this sign and could not resist taking a picture. I thought it was cute!
We decided we needed a picture of the three of us. This was a rock we found on our hike and thought it was a good place for a picture. Jeremy set the camera up with the self-timer and ran to sit beside me so he could be in the picture too.
This was the view off the front porch of the cabin. On the way to the cabin, we had to drive through this creek. The day that it rained I was worried we would be trapped at the cabin because the creek might have rose too high to cross with all the rain we had. That was not the case, the creek didn't look like it had risen more than an inch where we had to cross.
How beautiful! This is what the drive up to the cabin looks like. I took this picture from the porch looking towards the road. There are a few cabins along the way, but for the most part nothin' but trees, dirt, and nature!
Here is the front porch...nice, big porch with a porch swing to swing on. We tried out the swing some. It was so relaxing swinging and listening to the nature that surrounded us. One morning I woke up to the sound of something banging around on our front porch. I was really scared to think that it might be a bear. The Woods' have said they have seen bear up there and there was even a young one on their porch once! I laid there in bed wondering if I should look to see if it was a bear. I then thought to myself that if it was a bear, I really didn't want to know. If it was a bear, I would be terrified! Do you know where the front porch is located? Right outside of the master bedroom, where we were sleeping!!! I wondered if I should wake up Jeremy. While laying there for a few minutes trying to decided what to do, I did not hear it making anymore noise so I went back to sleep. I told Todd when we gave him the keys back to the cabin and he said it was probably a raccoon. He said a bear would have been really quiet. Good to know!

The cabin! Doesn't it look like a lincoln log cabin? Just like it was described. So beautiful!
This is how the cabin looks from the other side of the creek, along the path that we hiked on. Secluded! Nice!
Rilian! I just had to take this picture! Isn't he adorable?!?
Now for the inside of the is part of the living room, looking at the front door. The window looks out onto the front porch. When we walked in, I was not expecting it to be as nice as it is! We were pleasantly surprised!
More of the living room...this was taken standing at the front door looking in. A fireplace. We did not use it. You can also see the dining room table. You can see the inside of the cabin walls are also the outside walls. It has the same lincoln log look. So beautiful!
Here is a better shot of the dining room table. If you look at the window behind the dining room table, you can see the wooden shutters. We closed them up at night. Who knew what was lurking out in the dark forest? Oh, sorry...I guess I've watched a few scary movies.

The kitchen was great! It had everything you could possibly need in order to make meals. Dishes, pots, pans, cups, etc. There was also a dishwasher, microwave, and a washer and dryer. Jeremy and I used the kitchen for two breakfasts and two lovely dinners. One breakfast, he made french toast and bacon. The other breakfast he made eggs, toast, and bacon. For dinner one night we had baked chicken, baked potatoes, rolls, and broccoli. The other dinner we had pork chops, delicious mashed potatoes, corn, and rolls. The meals were so good, thanks to my handsome chef!
Master bedroom...above the bed you can see how the windows look with the wooden shutters closed. I mentioned them earlier when I was talking about the living room and dining room table. They close and latch. All the windows have these shutters as well as curtains. had a really long counter with the sink, which was nice. There was also a shower/bathtub. You can see another window above the toilet with the wooden shutters closed.
Here are the stairs, going up to the loft. They were really neat. It looked like they were made of the same logs that made the walls, just sliced in half. There wasn't a railing, so you had to be careful.
Upstairs were three double beds. Here is a shot of two of them.
And here is the other half of the three double beds upstairs.
This is called Hermit's Peak. It can be seen on the way to the cabin before you get to Blue Haven's property. One of our teen girls said she has hiked it. The section on the left is the forehead, in the middle is the nose, and on the right is the mouth. Do you see the face now? Pretty cool once your eyes see it!
Santa Fe is just about 60 miles from the cabin in Las Vegas, New Mexico. Jeremy and I took a day to spend in Santa Fe. There are alot of shops to look in. Alot of walking to do. After going into a few shops, we came to the conclusion that they pretty much sell the same thing. After we parked the car, we started walking and heard some beautiful music. We looked down one of the streets and saw them playing their bells and drums. We stood there and listened for a little while. If Jeremy were here right now, I'd have him help me put some of the video on that we took of it, but I'm not sure how to do that, so here is a picture.
If you are familiar with New Mexico, you know that there is a pretty good population of Native Americans living there. There are quite a few reservations there that they live on. At the Plaza in Santa Fe, they sit under this covering and sell their jewelry. Each piece of jewelry is inspected by their tribal government to make sure it is authentic and of good quality before they are allowed to sell it. So if you buy it, you know you are getting the real deal. It was kinda neat to walk through and look at it. They were just sitting there all along the wall all the way down, with their jewelry displayed on blankets.
This was one of the Catholic churches we went in. Interesting that there was a gift shop when you first walk in. They also had scaffolds up in the auditorium because they were doing construction. There was a service in progress. You could look in through glass windows and see it in progress. I am not sure if they always have services, or it we just happened to be there during service. Well, come to think of it, I think a lady was singing and people were sitting there listening to her. I guess it might not have been a service. I am not sure.
Here is the outside of the building.
These are the front doors. Each of the rectangles on the front doors was a picture of the history that happened in the Catholic church. I am not sure the beginning and ending of the time period in which this history happened. But thought the doors were pretty interesting.
This sign was in the lobby of the church. Very interesting. I thought it was funny that they had to actually tell people not to throw coins in the baptismal font. I guess some people would? Wouldn't it be easier if all churches had their rules right there when you walked in?
I could not resist taking this picture! How many times do you see an orange safety cone hanging from a flag pole? This was to the side of the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi. It reminded me of the time after 9/11 when we had terrorist alerts. I guess this day was an orange alert. On this side of the church, there was a courtyard filled with young people. They could have ranged from teens to young twentys. They were just hanging out. It looked as if they were either homeless or backpacking somewhere and had just decided to hang out there for a little while. Not being from there, I do not know their story. I also was not a very good person and did not talk to them to find out. I don't know if Santa Fe is a place for transients to stop through. It sure did seem as if there were several people playing music, whether instruments or singing and instruments, for money.

Loretto Chapel was the next church we went in. It is not a church that has services today. You can rent it out for weddings and other events. This is the church with the miraculous stairway. It has been on Unsolved Mysteries. The story was that the church needed a stairway to go upstairs and there was not alot of room to put one. Out of nowhere a man appeared and built a stairway for them. Once the stairway was finished, he disappeared without a trace and was never seen again. They think he was some kind of saint. What makes it so miraculous is that he built the stairway without supports. It is just stairs.
Here is the front of the inside of the church. Very elaborate. As you sit in the pews, this is what you would be looking at. It is a Catholic church, so there were candles lit for loved ones up front too.

Here is the miraculous stairway. You can see there is not any support for the stairway, just stairs. We were only allowed to get so close. I guess they were trying to preserve it.
Below the miraculous stairway was a picture of what the stairway looked like before they put a railing on it. If I was to go up the stairway, I would much rather have a railing to use!
The last church we went in was the oldest church in the United States of America. They still hold services in it today.Very neat to be able to go in and see what it looked like. It too was a Catholic church.
Here is the outside of the oldest church in the USA.
This is the inside of the church. It was very small. There might have been 10 pews on each side. You can see Jeremy sitting in one of the pews reading the history of the church. He is the man sitting behind the lady wearing a white shirt.
Across the street from the oldest church in the USA was the oldest house in the USA. It seemed more of an alley than a street. We were not able to go in the oldest house in the USA because the sign said it was closed indefinately. Kinda disappointing.
This is the outside of the oldest house in the USA. The walls were neat because there were pieces of what looked like hay in it. That shows how old it is. We sure don't build like that anymore.
For dinner, we ate at a restaurant called the Ore House. Do you know why they chose that name? It used to be a whore house. It did have good food, if I might add.
We also went to the mall in Santa Fe. It was a decent sized mall. There was a carousel for children, or adults I suppose, to ride near the food court. Not very many malls have one of those. I had to take this picture. It was the view from outside the mall. I just thought it was beautiful! I love this style of house and with the mountains in the background, it made it so much more beautiful. I am not sure what this neighborhood was. They were really nice houses, but all the roads in the neighborhood were dirt roads.
And that my friends is what we did to celebrate our 10th Anniversary!