Monday, April 19, 2010


My brother and his family came to town again this year for Easter. It is so much fun seeing them and getting our children together! Many of you know how much Rilian LOVES balls! He saw this huge beach ball on the trampoline in my mom's backyard. He was trying to climb up the ladder to get the ball. He couldn't quite figure out how to climb up. Granted, he still hadn't figured out how to walk, at this time. He could take a few steps, but a full out walk? Nope! His cousin Allie was trying to help him. Allie LOVES babies about as much as Rilian LOVES balls, so she pretty much stuck by his side. I like how they kinda match. Neither I, nor her mom planned this.
I ended up getting the huge beach ball down for Rilian. Do you see how big it is compared to him? Rilian doesn't care what size the ball is, just as long as it is a ball.
Rilian was trying to use the ball to help him walk. Unfortunately, I think the ball kept rolling too fast for him to keep up and I think he gave up.
Here he is standing. He has gotten pretty good at standing. He sure was trying this day to take some steps and walk. I mean, all his cousins and siblings were walking, so the poor little guy was getting left behind. Jeremy and I and my brother and sister-in-law went out for lunch while all six children, ages 5 and younger, stayed with my mom and step-dad. Thanks Nanny and Papa Bud! Papa Bud said Rilian took seven steps while we were gone. Every time I had my back turned and Rilian would start taking steps, Papa Bud called my name and Rilian stopped and plopped down to the ground. That silly boy sure won't preform! Not even for his Mama!
Mabrie and Piper were sitting in the yellow car, waiting for Uncle Punk to push them. This little car doesn't have an engine, but the kids sure love for Uncle Punk or Papa Bud to push them in it!
Now it is Seven and Finn's turn to ride in the yellow car. Uncle Punk got a workout that day!
Later on, everyone came over to our house to dye Easter eggs. Piper drove them around in her jeep. We thought Uncle Punk could use a rest after that morning. We love to pile the kids onto the jeep. Allie and Finn are sitting on the back. There isn't a seat there, but they sit there anyway. We pile all four of our children onto the jeep quite often and it doesn't slow it down at all! None of them are looking at the camera. The sun was in their eyes.
Allie got to drive Rilian around. We had to add an extra seat belt for Rilian. It is a bungee cord around his chest. When we first started putting him in the jeep, he had just learned how to sit up. But when Piper would start to drive, or stop, his head came forward and hit the windshield. He did not like this, so Jeremy made an extra seat belt for him. He'd be fine now, but we continue to use it.Piper and Mabrie take some of the cutest pictures together. However, Piper isn't smiling in this picture. But Mabrie sure looks cute in her sunglasses! She wore them the whole time we dyed eggs.
Finn was really concentrating on dying his egg!
Seven's favorite color is green. He made alot of green eggs.
One of Piper's eggs as she pulled it out of the dye. Mabrie looks like she was deep in thought, unless she was concentrating on getting her egg the perfect shade.
Seven and Allie dying eggs. Look at Seven's fingers! He had a hard time using the wire to put the egg in the green dye. He thought it was easier to use his fingers. Uncle Punk was helping Allie with her egg. He said she wouldn't like it if she got dye on her hands and couldn't get it off.
I thought this was a cute picture of Piper. She doesn't always cooperate when I try to get a picture of her. Plus, she was proud of her two toned egg!
Jeremy took it a step further and dyed an egg with three colors on it! Way to go Jeremy!
I mentioned earlier that Seven's favorite color is green and he dyed alot of his eggs green. I also said he had a hard time using the wire to put his eggs in the green dye. As a result, his hand started to turn green.
I asked him to hold up his hands so I could take a picture of how green they were. The dye had started to run down his arms.
He held them up higher for me. But he was starting to become uncomfortable with the greenness of his hands as you can tell by the expression on his face. We tried to tell him he was turning green like the Incredible Hulk. It didn't help. So we tried telling him he was green like a frog or an alien. Not any better. You are probably wondering if his hands were still this green for Easter the next day...They were still a little green, but not half as bad. One year, we had some blue fingers and some smurfs. Oh, the memories!
Mabrie got to spend the night again. Piper looks forward to this and I'm sure Mabrie does, too. Although after what Piper did to her, I don't know if she will want to spend the night again. Piper has a trundle bed that she is just so excited to have anyone sleep on! We got all the kids tucked into bed and about an hour later Mabrie was very confused and making some noises. Jeremy goes to check on her and what do we find? Mabrie had toothpaste all over her face and arm. What in the world? How did this happen? Well, my five-year-old daughter became possessed by something and decided for some reason to put toothpaste all over her cousin. This is one of those times when you seriously wonder what went on in her head to make her think to do that! I felt so sorry for Mabrie. As I was cleaning her off, I had to try so hard not to laugh as she said, "I don't know how my sister could have done this." I told her that it wasn't her sister, it was Piper and it wasn't very nice. Allie, Mabrie's sister, was about 15 minutes away, sleeping at Nanny's house. Piper had given Mabrie a couple of barretts to put in her hair. Mabrie wanted to sleep in them. She kept one in all night. You can see a pink shiny thing in Mabrie's hair in the picture below. I thought it was a defect in the picture until I remembered the barretts. They were all eating donuts before getting dressed in their nice Easter clothes. Mabrie's mom came over in the morning to get Mabrie dressed in her pretty Easter dress and Mabrie asked her mom, "Piper wanted me to spend the night, why did she do that to me?" She was referring to the toothpaste. Her mom said, "Because she is just like her mom and your dad." I guess Piper got mine and her Uncle Punk's "prank genes." Look out world!
My sweet children dressed in their Easter clothes before going to church. Finn was being "Finn" and he was not in a good mood that morning. So, he didn't have a very cheerful look on his face. After church there was an Easter Egg Hunt. Rilian wasn't very interested in picking up any Easter eggs. He decided it was more fun to pick the flowers and put them in his Easter basket.
Nanny, the infamous Uncle Punk, and Papa Bud. My mom, brother, and step-dad.
My family...All my boys, including my husband, are wearing ties. I don't care if they wear ties any other time of the year, but as long as my little boys will let me, I want all my boys to wear ties on Easter. Don't they all look so handsome? Finn's pose cracks me up! I think Rilian was trying to kick Finn in the head. Since he was a newborn, anytime he felt something by his feet, he would kick it. I think he was born a soccer player.
Cousins...My brother and I took turns having children. So, the oldest two, Piper and Mabrie are five years old. Mabrie was born 5 months after Piper. Finn came 13 months after Piper. Seven came 21 months after Finn. Allie came 6 1/2 months after Seven. And Rilian came 22 months after Seven. It may be a little confusing, but you can see how it worked. Finn looks like he is trying to be angelic with his pose.
Now we have Finn, the thinker. Today was a day where he was just full of different faces! Allie was right next to Rilian. She had to stand by "the baby". She sure loves babies!
We also had an Easter Egg Hunt at my mom's house. There were so many eggs, it looked like her front yard threw up Easter eggs! There were both plastic eggs and hard boiled eggs that the children dyed the night before. The hard boiled eggs had been taken out of the fridge right before we put them in the front yard, so they were cold and sweaty. Seven said he didn't like the cold eggs. So, he only had plastic eggs in his basket. If he picked up one of the "cold" eggs, he put it back down. This one was a plastic egg. I am not sure why he is looking at it with such interest.
Finn and his Easter basket. You can't see the eggs in it, but they are in there.
Like I said, Finn was full of faces this day. He had picked up these dyed hard boiled eggs and for some reason decided to make this face. Piper's hand is in the picture, holding a jelly bean egg.
Granny Joyce and Dadabe bought special eggs for each of my children. Piper is holding one of the dinosaur eggs. There were princess eggs, dinosaur eggs, sports ball eggs, and bug eggs. They were so cute! Piper thought the dinosaur eggs were funny.
Rilian found one of the sports ball eggs. These were the ones bought for him because of his love for balls. There were soccer balls, baseballs, basketballs, and footballs. He looks so proud! He would pick them up and put them in his Easter basket and then throw them out one at a time and repeat.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Spring Break in Ruidoso, New Mexico

For Spring Break this year, we decided to take a vacation and visit some good friends that live near Ruidoso, New Mexico. So we packed up the kids and the car and headed west. We stopped in Roswell, New Mexico, for lunch. If you have ever been to Roswell, you know it is filled with aliens. They are EVERYWHERE! No, they are not real. It is quite humorous! If you have never been to Roswell, if it is on your way to somewhere or near somewhere you are visiting, you should go see for yourself. The mannequins in the stores are all aliens. The signs all have aliens on them. The street lights are all alien heads. Why? Supposedly several years ago, a UFO crashed near Roswell and the town has decided to take advantage of that in their "theme". There is even a museum that tells all about it. Here's a fun fact...I was at that museum the day Piper was born. And as you can see, even McDonald's bought into the alien story. My kids loved eating at the UFO McDonald's!
When we got to Ruidoso, there was a little bit of snow left. It is in the mountains, if you didn't know. Ruidoso is at about 5500 in elevation. It is so beautiful there! Piper, Seven, Tripp, and Thatcher had fun playing in the snow.
Bonita Park is where we stayed. They recently got a "petting zoo" that includes snakes, a frog, a chinchilla, a cockatiel, doves, a ferret, and a hedgehog. My kids really enjoyed holding the animals, well, Piper and Finn enjoyed it. Seven looked, but didn't want to touch. And Rilian wanted nothing to do with the animals.

I think it made Piper's day to hold the chinchilla. She really wants one, but we have enough pets for now.
Piper then decided to pet the ferret.
The first animal Finn held was the ferret. But we had to put it back in its cage shortly after since it wanted to get down. We could not let it down. Ferrets are really fast and believe it or not, they kill snakes. I did not know that, but thought it was very interesting. Since there were two snakes in the "petting zoo", so we could not let the ferret down.
This is the smallest snake that they housed.
Finn held the cockatiel and I was surprised how much bigger she was compared to Fluffy.
Piper held the cockatiel for a really long time.
Jeremy even got into the whole holding of the animals action. Do you see how big this snake is? Can you believe the ferret could kill a snake this big? Believe it or not, it is true!
Finn is such a cool kid! This is the same snake that Jeremy was holding in the above picture. How many of you parents reading this can say your 4 year old, or any of your children, whatever age they are, would hold a snake like this? Yeah, I'm proud! He's brave!
Finn also held the chinchilla. The chinchilla was incredibly soft!
One evening, we went to the indoor climbing gym. Look how excited Piper is! She has on her climbing harness and is ready to go! She is ready to do what she was naturally made to do...climb!
There she goes, up the climbing wall. She is a natural.
She is almost to the top! I guess I didn't get a picture of her as she touched the top, but she did make it. I'm sure you weren't questioning it, though, if you know her.
I like how Piper is using the wall beside her to climb higher.
A cool close-up of my 5 year old natural born climber.
I wish there was a place closer by so she could go rock climbing more often. This was her first time and I wasn't surprised at how good she was.
I managed to catch her on video so you can watch for yourself. If you have been reading my blog for awhile, you may also remember this video that was taken a few years ago of Piper. She hasn't lost her mad climbing skills.

Finn also got a turn. He doesn't look as excited as Piper was. I think he might have been a little nervous.
There he goes...
A close-up for your enjoyment.
And up...Finn made it to the top, too. He did a really good job!
Piper tends to get ahold of our camera when we don't know it. She took this picture of Finn. It is a cute picture, so I had to include it.
Now it is time to watch Finn in action!
I also climbed the wall. What fun! I hadn't been rock climbing since before I had kids. So it had been at least 6 years, but I still had it in me and made it to the top! One summer, we went a couple times a month with some friends to Mineral Wells and rock climbed there. We have also been a couple of other places. Jeremy said he took some pictures of me climbing, but I guess they were on his phone because I didn't see them on the camera. That's ok, I don't mind not posting them here because I am pretty sure it isn't the most flattering view of me.

Jeremy had his turn on the wall, just like the rest of us. This is at the beginning of his climb.And there he is touching the top. Go Jeremy! He still has it in him, too. I think it has been just as long for Jeremy as it has been for me to go rock climbing. If you look to the left of Jeremy's feet, you can see an overhang. After he came down from this climb, he did the climb with the overhang, and yes, successfully made it to the top.
Rilian wasn't quite walking when we went on our trip. When a baby doesn't walk, he crawls. This means that their hands are constantly touching everything that their feet touch. This can make their hands dirty. Sometimes, it makes their hands REALLY dirty. Rilian was crawling all over the gym and this is what he left behind when he crawled over to the mat laying below the climbing wall. But I am proud to say that at 14 months, Rilian finally decided that he could walk. He is our last child born and last child to walk (he walked at a later age than the others). Go figure.
I think I mentioned earlier how beautiful Ruidoso, New Mexico, is! This is the view we had from the playground near town where our children were playing. Even if you are not a big fan of mountains or the snow, you have to admit, the snow-capped mountains are beautiful! God is awesome!
We had a little bit of a problem with sharing. But I guess that is what happens when there are 7 children ages 5 and under and there are not enough of the same toy for all of them to play with. We took a trip to Walmart and bought some more buckets and shovels so ALL of the children could play happily in the dirt and gravel.
It started to snow Friday evening. I didn't think it would snow very much. So, I was very pleasantly surprised when I saw this Saturday morning when I stepped outside!
Do you see how the road is sloped downward behind our van? Well, there was ice underneath the powdery snow. When we backed out to go to our friend's house, our tires would only spin when we tried to go forward. We were stuck! Jeremy was able to back the van up far enough to get enough momentum to make it up the mountain, so we could go back down the mountainside to our friend's house.
After that little "adventure" we decided to stay one more day and head home Sunday instead. It didn't take too long for the snow to melt that afternoon when it stopped falling and the sun came out. We didn't mind, though. We got to enjoy one more day hanging out with our friends!