Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Heading to Disney!

I'm so excited! This will be my last post until we return next Tuesday. I really am so excited to tell the kids tomorrow when we get to the airport. I got a couple of fanny packs and stuffed them full of Disney trinkets and then I put a shirt in each one. They will have to stand side by side with them on to figure it out. I'm anxious to see if they actually get it. Chad is going to hand them a gift bag with the fanny packs inside when we get to the airport and tell them he got them a little something before he gets on the plane to go to his game. They just think we are driving to Memphis to take him to the airport so he can fly to his game. I'm really excited to see their expressions.
I can't really talk much about Easton. I start to cry every time I think about leaving him. I know he is going to be in wonderful hands with Mom and Dad and he will have a fabulous time. Mom has lots of things planned for them and my older brother, Rusty, and his family are coming down for the weekend, so that might keep Easton occupied. I know everything will be fine. It's just the GUILT.

I'll be thinking of all of you while I'm riding Space Mountain and hugging Mickey Mouse! Pray that Hurricane Gustav holds out in the Gulf or even better, heads out to the Atlantic and that we have a safe trip and everyone stays healthy and safe!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Animal Planet, Webkinz and Mating????

You probably already get where I'm going with this one. It was just funny, yet a bit disturbing, when I walked in Landon's bedroom to see what the kids were doing.

Webkinz have been the "hot" toy around our house for a few months now. Everywhere I look...a dog, a frog, a leopard, a snake, a monkey, a pink dragon, I could go on for several lines. Anyway, the kids often group them into categories like: Britton's, Landon's, Easton's or prey and predator or in today's case, boys, girls and babies. When I walked into the bedroom I asked what they were playing, Britton casually said "The webkinz are mating". What? Easton said, "Yeah, the boy ones are kissing the girl ones." What do you say to that? When I questioned them further it appears that Animal Planet has many shows that talk about animals mating, which doesn't surprise me, but for the kids to take that and act it out with the stuffed animals is a little concerning. I left the room, but hid around the corner to listen and peek to make sure there wasn't anything more than "kissing" going on and never saw any hanky panky, thankfully.

Those of you who know me know how I monitor the TV shows that my kids are allowed to watch. PBS and Disney Channel are about it. I don't let them watch Cartoon Network or Nickelodeon, not even Spongebob that was so popular or maybe still is. Britton went through a spell where she loved watching "BirthDay", so she knows how babies come out, just not how they get in. When my animal loving kids discovered Animal Planet, other than some parts of Animal Cops, I have never had a problem with it. I guess I need to monitor a little more closely.

Be watchful if your kids have Webkinz and watch Animal Planet, you may have 'Lil Kinz running around all over the place!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

First Day of School

Landon with his teacher, Mrs. Jackson
Britton and Mrs. Moore

Back to school! I don't know who dreaded it more, me or the kids. We have really enjoyed our relaxing summer, staying up until 1 or 2 in the morning and sleeping in until 9 or 10. It's really been nice. Then having to get up yesterday at 6:15 was a bit of shell shock for us. We made it though. They were both a little nervous, but no tears. This has been the first year for Britton to not shed any. I can't believe she's in 4th grade! Landon was more nervous and fussed about having to go, but once he got all of his supplies in their proper places, he felt a little more at ease.

Mom, Easton, and I then went shopping, so I didn't have time to dwell on my kids growing up and shedding tears, which I usually do. We had a nice day out and didn't get back until it was time to pick them up. I did miss having "breakfast with the girls" though. Did my El D. friends do that this year? I miss you guys!

I hope everyone has a great year!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Need Suggestions

My wonderful husband, who has 13 college games to officiate every weekend this fall, has been awarded his first game in Orlando! How excited am I?! So we put off a family vacation this summer in order to go to Disney World while he is there officiating. We have known about this for about 2 months now and have booked flights, rooms, tickets, etc. Now here is the amazing part........we have not told the kids! (If for some reason any of you see or talk to my kids, please don't mention Disney. They think we are going to go next summer.) We decided to keep it a surprise, just in case something happened and Chad wouldn't be able to officiate, but it looks like everything is going to be fine. I love surprises, actually coming up with surprises, so has not been as difficult as it might seem.

I know this sounds terrible, but we are not taking Easton. I have fretted over this decision from the beginning and have had a few sleepless nights just thinking about leaving him behind. There are several reasons that led to our decision not to bring him, mainly that he is terrified of going. He screams and cries anytime he sees someone dressed in a costume. He doesn't like to go to Chad's arena games because the mascot, Radar (who looks like Cookie Monster), absolutely petrifies him. I just don't feel like he will enjoy himself worrying about what character is going to be coming around the corner at WDW all the time. Also, Chad will not be with us at the parks for a couple of the days and I want my big kids to be able to ride and do all the stuff they want to and Easton won't be big enough to do most of the stuff they can do. I will need to stay with him and I don't feel comfortable letting the other kids go by themselves without Chad or myself with them. Anyway, with all that said, we aren't taking Easton, as heavy as that makes my heart.

Suggestion time: Since we haven't told the kids we are going, I need a fantastic way to surprise them with the news. I'm drawing a blank. We will be driving 2 hours to the airport and then on to Orlando from there. They know that Chad has a game in Memphis(they just don't know it isn't until Sept.), so they will just think we are going there to stay in a hotel and go to Chad's game. They have never been on a plane, so the plane ride itself will be as exciting as going to Disney for them. I'm not sure if I should tell them once we get to the airport, or after we are in the air, or maybe even before we get there. I debated on making shirts saying "I'm going to Disney World" and having them put them on at the airport, but I would love a better idea. Chad wants to wait until we get to Disney and let them figure it out themselves once they see the signs, but we won't arrive in Orlando until 10:30 pm and I just thought that would be way too much excitement before we need to get to bed. There's a lot of imagination out there, so give me your ideas! If you have more than one idea, give all of them to me. I might use a combination of ideas. We leave in less than 2 weeks! Thanks!!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Best Friends are Great!

What a fantastic 4 days! Britton and Landon are so blessed to have the 2 best friends in the world. Britton and Loren have basically been inseparable since they were 1 when we moved to El Dorado and the boys were destined to be best buds being only about 4 months apart. Loren and Jared were able to come spend a few days with us and we had such a wonderful time. Thursday we finished up VBS at grandma's church and then Friday we got up and spent the entire day at the local waterpark. The kids had a blast and of course, Easton kept everyone entertained everywhere we went. Saturday, we woke up early (5:00 am) to get ready for the kids first triathlon. What a great time (at least for us parents since we weren't actually doing any physical activity other than cheering on our kiddos). The kids started out swimming down and back in the pool, then racing outside to get their shoes and helmets on and jumped on their bikes for a 2 mile ride. After returning from their ride, they then took off for a 1/2 mile run. We were all so proud of them. Everyone finished and although really tired, were pretty proud of themselves. I'm hoping this will be an annual tradition for not only my kids, but their wonderful friends who they love so much. Thank you, Loren, for keeping Britton going. The girls finished side by side. The boys were in 2 different heats, so they didn't compete side by side, but Jared can ride a bike like the ground is collapsing behind him. I'm just so proud (did I say that already?). They had trophies at the end and gave away some other stuff like balls, gift cards, bikes, etc.

Of course, when Loren and Jared's parents came to pick them up, my kids were heartbroken. It was so difficult to leave them when we moved last December and each time they part I think it brings that back. Landon shed some tears and Britton just tried to focus on all the fun they had over the weekend.

It was a great weekend!

Thank you, Clint and Jen for letting them come up to visit us!

Best Buds
Best Friends
Kids eating Britton's birthday cookie at Wild River Country
Landon and Jared Before the Race
Britton and Loren Before the Race
Is it just me or do they look a little nervous?

Run, Landon, Run
You're almost there, Jared
Two tired, but proud triathlon finishers
The girls rode and ran side by side except to pass this girl.

You go girls!
It feels so much better at the Finish Line

Monday, August 11, 2008

Happy Birthday, Chad!

He has the greatest smile!
A college football star

He loves to fish, even as a kid.
That's him on the left in his cowboy boots.
His mom in the middle and brothers and sister on the right.

Look how handsome at 8 years old

I love the hair!
I am so blessed to be married to such a wonderful man! He has an amazing personality and is the center of attention wherever he goes. There is not a place in North America that we have ever been that he has not known someone there. He loves football (and all sports really), fishing, anything outdoors, and adores his family. He is one of the hardest working people I have ever known and will do whatever it takes to provide a great life for us.
He was a college football star and got drafted to play in the NFL for the Pittsburgh Steelers when he was in college. Although an injury prevented him from playing very long, he has a great love for the game. He currently officiates football for AFL2 (minor league football for those who aren't familiar) and college football. He currently works for L'Oreal and makes makeup. It takes it real man to go from football star to making eye shadow!
He has 4 brothers and 3 sisters and some of the most outrageous childhood stories you have ever heard. He and his brother, Hugh, could talk for days on end on the phone about the good old days and laugh for hours.
His favorite color is orange.
We have been married 10 wonderful years (maybe only 9 1/2 of those were wonderful, though, just kidding:)) and he has grown into such a strong, responsible Christian man. I am so proud to be his wife.
Happy Birthday, Honey! I love you so much!

Friday, August 1, 2008

A Great Babysitter

I have to admit, when my parents mentioned a couple of years ago about taking a vacation "out west" to seach for gold, I thought they really needed to find a hobby. I mean, people really go out into the desert or an old river bed and actually "pan for gold"? Isn't there some sort of machine that does that these days? After many questions, however, it appears that many, many people do this not only for fun, but for a living. Now you could have asked me a year ago about the price of gold and I would not even know what you are talking about, but now I have discovered that it fluctuates just like stocks and currently is around $900 per ounce. Why am I blogging about this? Because as it turns out, this has become my kids favorite thing to do! You can actually buy a "bag of dirt" off ebay and dig through it and find tiny pieces of gold. My children love this along with my parents. My dad has high blood pressure and this "panning for gold" really helps him relax. When my kids go to visit, Mom will give them an aluminum pan of dirt and they are busy for HOURS! Britton is by far the most interested and can spot a fleck of gold like nobody's business. In fact, for her birthday she asked for a "bag of gold". Needless to say, she has been sitting at the kitchen counter every evening searching for her treasures and has found some significant sized pieces (possibly planted there by Mamaw who gave her the bag of dirt for her birthday). Easton and Landon also received bags of dirt and have been searching for their treasures as well. Easton loves finding "diamonds" which are actually peices of crystals and Landon likes the rubies and emeralds. Although I can't imagine them ever finding enough to sell, they have some great memories and who knows, maybe even a future geologists will come out of all this dirt that has spilled onto my counter and floor!