Wednesday, October 21, 2009

This and That

We had a fun family weekend. On Saturday, after naps we drove up to Lockett Meadow for a campfire, hot dogs and s'mores. Somehow after living in Flagstaff for nearly sixteen years, I have never been up there (though I did bike to the Inner Basin one year). It was near perfect timing as far as the colors go. A good number of leaves were still clinging to the trees and the rest made a beautiful golden floor to walk on.

Then on Sunday after naps, we finished up our Apples lesson for school. We had 11 different apples to measure and sample, 10 that we bought at the store and one from our tree. It was a fun and tasty experiment. In the end, Tom and I preferred Fuji and Honeycrisp, Livvy liked the Red Delicious, and Sammy liked Granny Smith and Ambrosia (mostly because it was the biggest apple that we bought).

This week has been fairly uneventful so far. We've done school in the morning, AWANAs on Monday night, and that's about it. Today we went to Sam's club and loaded up on all sorts of crunching, salty and sweet things for me to nibble on throughout the day...warding off morning sickness. At night after dinner I usually end up curled up in a ball on the couch. Last night we plugged into to pass the time and take my mind off of wanting to puke. I think I'm really going to like high-speed internet.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Road Trip: Going Home

No matter how fun and wonderful vacations are, going home is always such a treat. Sunday morning around 10am we loaded up our mini-van once again and headed for home - this time without Oma (she and my dad, who flew in on Fri, drove up to WY to visit a cousin of my mom's). We made excellent time and the kids did really well! We made it home around 11:15pm with three very asleep kiddos.

We made a couple of stops along the way. The first being the side of a mountain/hill that was all sand across from Arches Nat'l Park. The kids had seen it on our way to CO and had wanted to climb it, so we stopped and let them at it. They had so much fun climing up and running/rolling down the red sand. Sammy spent a considerable amount of time rolling/pushing a rock down the hill. He was so proud of himself. Livvy just got absolutely filthy. And Ben just had fun trying to stay upright.

The last fun stop was at Wilson Arch just outside of Moab. It looked like a rock that was just begging to be climbed. So...Tom pulled over, and he and the big kids happily scampered up. Ben was just thrilled to stay at the bottom and dance around.

Road Trip: Estes Park, CO

The morning after we arrived at our cabin I awoke to kids running down the hall yelling, "Oma! Oma! It's snowing!" Sure enough big white fluffy flakes were falling softly to the ground. Oma couldn't be found because she was outside...with some mule deer about 50 feet from our front door. She, as per her norm, got up early, saw the snow and went outside to enjoy it. While she was out there she saw 4 mule deer nibbling on some grass. They came right up to her.

We got the kids dressed in what winter clothes I brought, which wasn't much (I trusted the 30-40% chance of snow) and sent them outside. They were both able to see and even touch the deer...well, Livvy was able to "pet" the mama deer's neck and Sammy got scuffed on the cheek by the mama deer's front ankle - she apparently didn't think he should be that close. After I got both he and I calmed down, Sammy was out the door again, he wanted to pet the baby deer.

Saturday October 10th at 10:30 in the morning was the wedding of Marc Barnwell and Mandy Bricker. It was a wonderful ceremony! Everything came together so nicely and beautifully.

It was a total family affair. I was so honored to be Mandy's maid-of-honor and only bridesmaid. Sammy was a ring bearer, and Livvy was the flower girl. Tom was the "heavy" at the reception, helping things move along smoothly. And Ben...Ben just looked sharp and got a lot of, "Oh, he's such a handsome little guy".
The week before heading up to CO we had been practicing in our hallway how all of us were going to make our way down the aisle. First me, then Sammy, Livvy, and lastly the bride. The deal was if they made it down the aisle, I would give them a tic-tac - just a little incentive. I think the practice paid off. The kids performed their respective duties beautifully...Sammy got a little shy and had the pillow covering his face, but he made it down to me for his treat. Livvy had the sweetest smile on her face as she sprinkled fake fall leaves down the aisle. She had told Mandy months before when Mandy asked her to be her flower girl that she had always wanted to be a flower girl.

It was so much fun to be there and see my best friend getting married. I'm so excited for how God is going to lead them in the future. Marriage is a wonderful adventure.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Road Trip: The Way There

Last Wed at 3:45 in the morning, we (Tom, my mom, and I) snatched the kids from their cozy beds, strapped them into their carseats, and headed for Estes Park, CO for my best friend Mandy's wedding. The plan was that the kids would not even wake up, sleep for the first 3 hours, we'd stopped, have breakfast and be on the road again. Then we would stop half way through the the 11.5+ hour drive, stay at a hotel, swim in a pool, and then finish out the trip the following day. know what they say about plans (not that anything went wrong, I just thought that that sounded like a funny thing to say). Instead of barely blinking an eyelid, the kids, all three of them, woke up. They were so excited to be getting on the road that they were chatty and making all kids of fun awake noises. Thankfully that only lasted for about 30-40 mins and they did go back to sleep...for about 40 mins. They awoke with the sun. Upon seeing the sunrise and the beautiful desert landscape Livvy said, "My eyes are so happy".

Then, somehow through driver or navigator error, we made a wrong turn, heading down instead of up. But hey, the lady at the gas station where we picked up some breakfast burritos said that a lot of people make that I think we'll blame the state for poor road markings. It only cost us about 40 mins in driving time.

After passing through Moab, we decided to stop at Arches Nat'l Park, Utah to let the kids get out and stretch their legs (and the adults too). We didn't actually go into the park, we just parked along the roadside entrance, walked over to the mountain, and started climbling. It was just what we needed. So much fun!

We were making such good time, Fruita, CO by lunchtime, that we decided to push on through and get to Estes Park that day. We thought we'd be there by 4 or 5pm. Well, we stopped for this and that, and eventually made it to YMCA of the Rockies (Mandy's dad so graciously paid for a three-bedroom cabin for us to stay in, and even got us in a day early!) by 8pm that night.

Even though it made for a long day, we were all glad just to get there that day. Sammy might have preferred to have stoppped somewhere sooner, around 5pm Sammy said, "Are we in Colorado yet?"- even though we'd be telling him for the last 4 hrs that we were in CO; "I don't want to live in here."
As far as the drive went, the kids did extremely well. Well, Ben could have been better, but for only being one, he didn't do that bad...and thankfully we had Oma sitting back there with him to keep feeding or entertaining him. We loaded the big kids up with different activities that were introduced at timely intervals that gave them time to play alone, time to play together, time to sit still and do nothing, time to be entertained, etc. It was a beautiful thing.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Poor Ben

This morning after breakfast, Sammy and Ben were chasing each other around the kitchen. Ben fell into one of the kids' stools and smashed his bottom tooth/gums and upper tooth/gums (his bottom left tooth came in when he was 13 months old, and his upper right tooth just popped through last Sun - he was a very cute little pumpkin). There wasn't that much blood and I thought at first that he just got a little cut. And then I saw his didn't look like it was in the same place that it used to be in. I called a pediatric dentist and she saw us immediately. Unfortunately, she had to pull his little bottom tooth and there might be damage to the other teeth still forming. He seems in very good spirits and doesn't appear to be in much pain. I think I'm more shook up than he is; this is our first major medical incident with any of our kids...we haven't even had a sick child needing to go to a dr. in 4 years.

We'll go back in 2-4 weeks to see if there's any damage done to his other bottom front tooth that hasn't popped through yet (there was too much swelling to see today). Pray for Ben and for his little teeth, that there isn't too much permanent damage done.

This is what his little smiling face used to look like:

This is what his little smiling face looks like now: