Sunday, July 24, 2011

Summer FUN!

Wow it has been an eventful summer! It is sickening that the end is in site. Lots of fun stuff has happened since I last wrote. I turned 40, Haylee turned 16, we attended a great dance competition, had a surprise party for Haylee and I, the family went on a lovely mountain vacation, and probably things that I can't even remember.
I spent my 40th birthday at the Gaylord Texan resort in Grapevine, Texas. Tim chose not to go to this event. The girls had a dance competition at the Gaylord so the kids and I went. My sister's family joined us there. It was really great. The girls danced the entire time. I got up each morning put on my swim suit, grabbed a muffin and coffee and headed down to the pool. That is my idea of a GOOOOD time. Jake watched TV in the room or he and I spent time together at the resort water park. We celebrated my birthday dinner at the Cheesecake factory. I love the white chocolate raspberry cheescake there, it is simply divine! It was a fun weekend. I wish Tim and the kids could've joined us.
Haylee's birthday rolled around we got up that morning and headed to the DPS. We left disappointed. She did not pass the driving test the first time. I think her nerves got the best of her and she mistook a 4 way stop for a 2 way stop. Just a mistake, no biggie, we went the next day and all was well. I had my first child driver. She has had a ball driving!
The Saturday after Haylee's birthday my sister, Lacy, and Tim gave Haylee and I a surprise birthday party at the Lakeridge pool. It was so sweet!! The decorations were precious; over the hill black for me and pink for Haylee. We snacked on cupcakes (my favorite) and cookies. Lacy went all out! She is so great at making everyone she loves feel special. We are very blessed to have her!
The very next morning we left for our Colorado vacation. Haylee stayed behind. I just hate it that she is getting to the age that she wants to stay with friends, but it is reality and I can appreciate that. Besides what newly 16 year old wants to leave town 2 days after starting to drive? Our vacation took us to the precious Diamond J ranch near Aspen Colorado. It was truly a testament to the amazing beauty that God created for us. I planned 6 days worth of meals and snacks for us which I cooked daily in our sweet cabin. We had pancakes for breakfast a few days, eggs and toast a day or two, and breakfast burritos one day. Tim was actually our fantastic breakfast chef. We had sandwiches for lunch with the exception of our lunch on the Aspen day at the pizza resturaunt. I took ground beef patties for a hamburger steak meal with instant mashed potatoes and jar gravy with mac and cheese. We also used the hb patties for hamburgers. We had fajitas made with John Souls chicken fajita meet available at Sams. We also had hot dogs. I tried to be strategic in my meal planning which is fun for me, I have no clue why.
I read a book and magazines and played solitaire and took naps. We played Skipbo at night. Tim tried to fly fish but the river was moving too fast due to the massive amounts of melting snow. We had a hiking day where we hiked a mile or so up. I thought I was going to die the first 10 minutes but it got better. Then I was scared of bears. I just felt so vulnerable, just us lil ole people in that big ole forest...bear bait. I remembered later after the hike that bears are usually nocturnal. Tim and his kids loved it and were always ahead of us. I guess my off spring and I are just not athleticy, adventurous, outdoorsy types, but we did look good doing it! I don't know that I will hike again, but I'm glad I did it this once. I was really glad that Tim was enjoying himself and I tried not to complain and ruin his fun. The next day was our return to civilization for a day. Aspen...what a cool little place. Neat shops, good food and it is really a place for those a little more fortunate than we. I did overhear a few women discussing a recent trip to the Hamptons. I thought the Hamptons was just a fictional place from Sex and the City. Our final day we had the most awesome horseback ride. I loved my horse, Spike, he did just what I told him to do with the reigns! It was a beautiful ride and I felt much less vulnerable being up on a horse and I did remember that bears are usually nocturnal! I am sure that this enough about our lovely trip! It was a beautiful place and we had a lovely time! Don't get me was not all humingbirds and pine trees. It was a 14 hour drive and there were 7 people crammed in an Armada and 3 room cabin naturally there was fussing and fighting, cussing and shootings(with and air soft gun) but it was a family vacation something would be wrong with us if there wasn't!!!!
I have spent the week back doing the never ending post vacation laundry, organizing my closet, I created an organization scheme for our 2 fridges and 1 deep freeze...aaannnddd....PINTEREST! My new addiction! I love Pinterest. I can not begin to tell you how cool it is to find things interesting to you and pinning them on your self-created cyber bulletin boards. I have made all kinds of progress with ideas for my new house. I have also come up with recipe, fashion, and classroom ideas. It is so amazingly fabulous! Try it!!!!
When I was in Wal Mart the other day and say school supplies I was in denial! There is a whole world out here and I am not ready to give it up yet! I hope that I have at least one more cool story to tell before I go back!
Oh yeah...being 40 is not nearly as bad as I thought! I have decided to be 40 and fantastically and fashionable fabulous1

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Planning the next phase....

Last week was a great week! Two desires of our family (or certain members) were fulfilled! In no particular order a house plan for our new house and a car for, soon to be 16, Haylee.
I will start with the house plan. We have been trying to sell our house since the new year began. We haven't had any luck. But we have decided that we will build "our" house as a spec. This is kind of complicated in the banking and building world, so lets just say I am finally very excited to see my "dream home for now" materialize. I say, "dream home for now" because this is what I want to meet our needs for now. As our life changes so will my dream home. Tim and I have searched and searched for a plan that will fit our family and fit on a weird shaped lot. Let me just tell you my criteria....1) pretty staircase in the entry(I love the movie, Gone with the Wind!) 2) two story living room and entry 3) isolated master with a bay window and a big bathtub in the middle of the bathroom with a fancy chandelier hanging above. So to find those things and accommodate a family of 8 is no small task. Well after many many hours of searching the web I found it and to top it off there is a model of the layout in Southlake, Texas. So Tim and I took a trip to the metroplex to view said model home and it is great! We are not so stupid as to build a 7 bedroom house, but with creativity everyone will have their own really cool space. Next step is to get it to the architect and make it work on our lot. Yay!!!
Okay, the car....we just so happen to come across, from my uncle who lives in Bedford, a great deal on a Toyota 4 Runner. Years ago Tim promised our kids to match what ever they made when it came time to get a car. Haylee came up a little short but we worked out the perfect plan. And.... remember earlier in the story we were heading to the metro, well everything just so happened to be in the same area. So we flew in, looked at houses and picked up the car.
I was so excited I couldn't sleep my mind would race back and forth from house to car, house to car. The things that pop into your mind when your first child is about to turn 16 are unbelievable, so many scenarios of our life is going to change. I will have to blog my thoughts later.
Its seems the next phase of our family journey is underway and I am certain there will be bumps, but every single person/family on this planet has their issues, so we are just going to enjoy this journey! Can't wait!!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

One of "those" Mondays

Yes, Yesterday was one of those Mondays where I questioned whether or not I would rather be in school. It was really our first Monday at home since school's been out. The pool is closed and Monday is just really a good day for laundry and chores to prepare for the rest of the week. "Prepare" is the key word here! Which we weren't today when a realtor wanted to show the house.
I have a chore chart on the fridge which I think is the most fair way for each person to be a responsible member of our household. Basically we have 3 full time kids and 3 part time kids, but we are a family 100% of the time. Still, fairness is always an issue which you can imagine. Fairness is actually an issue in any situation where two or more children is involved. Anyway...I feel that I have created a chart that gets our house in order and ready for the week. The heavy chores and laundry take place on Monday and just freshen things up during the week. Chores have to be done by 3 P.M. I should just start by saying that I felt gross all day I think because of allergy medicine. We have my 3 kids only this week and 2 of them have extra chores to pay for the data plan on their phones. So I had 2 kids who got their chores done but needed to be touched up and redone and one who complained(about fairness) all day and never finished. I had to ask several times for laundry and one child never brought theirs down. So we showed the house today with clothes all over the laundry room and bathrooms that never got cleaned and someone got their Iphone taken away. So to sum it up it was a day of much nagging by me, complaining by others and we topped it off with that panicky unprepared feeling when we showed the house this afternoon. All of these things my brilliant chore chart is supposed to keep from happening. I'm sure there are other versions of this story, but mine is the one we will stick with since I am the Queen of this household!
This may not be one of my more positive posts, but we are blessed with the same imperfections as any other American family!!!

I will write a blog about cell phones, chore charts, fairness, etc...sometime when I am feeling a little I am sure toes will be stepped on and judgments will be made!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Summer has Officially Begun!!

After our road trip to Sea World, I spent last week getting ready for our annual family reunion at Lake Tenkiller in eastern Oklahoma. The week also marked the beginning of countless dr., dentist, etc... appointments that we put off until summer. The girls also had dance camp to prepare for competition in Dallas later this summer.
Our trip to the lake in the Ozark Mountains of Oklahoma began Friday Morning. Tim couldn't go this time so it was just my kids and Haylee's friend Taylor and I. We made great time (9 hours) and got to Snake Creek Lodge just in time for dinner. We have stayed at Snake Creek for the past 8 years. My Uncle Eddie (dad's brother) always plans the reunion and we get the central meeting room to gather for meals, games, fellowship. It is truly one of the highlights of our summer. We spend time on the lake floating around and the kids tube. We also go to my great grand parents farm about 45 minutes away from the lake. My uncle Eddie owns the farm now which is great. It is just beautiful and there is a creek with a swimming hole. We love the lake but I honestly think that going to the creek the entire trip would suit everyone just fine. It is so cool for my kids to get to swim with their papa and his brothers in the same swimming hole that they swam in as boys.
It was a great weekend and I always dread the trip home. It is so far and we are usually tired, sunburned, and malnourished from sweets and lots of other food. We got a surprise extra hour this trip because we had a blow out just before we got to Oklahoma City. I called Tim and he was able to google a road side repair service who came out and got us back on the road. Sure it was tiring but no one was hurt, so it just gave us one more memory.
So, now we are home and it seems like summer has really begun. I have a very long to do list. I also want to catch up on my reading and movie watching and work out allot. I would love to get this house sold, too! I have the chore chart made up for the kiddos and our June calendar is kidding.
We will see how it all goes!

Monday, May 30, 2011

A road trip to Sea World!

It all started when I got a couple of emails with a link for teachers to get a free season pass to Sea World. What possessed me to actually try this? I haven't a clue! Anyway, this was Thursday. I half jokingly texted Tim and told him I had a season pass to Sea World and we should go. He wanted to know how many. I told him just me, but they could wait in the car. As the conversation went on we decided to leave Saturday, go to Sea World on Sunday(yesterday) and come home today, Monday. Most of our kids hadn't been to Sea World. So I got online and tried to find one of our favorite hotels. Our favorite hotels are the ones with breakfast. We also consider favorites the ones that we know that the layout will fit our family, like two double beds, a pull out couch and room on the floor for a blow up mattress. I have to say that we really have outgrown that format and need 2 rooms. There wasn't much availability on Memorial Day weekend with vacations, graduations and all so I found one of our favorites, Homewood Suites, reasonably close to Sea World. Homewood Suites is one of our favorite favorites because it has 2 rooms which gives everyone more freedom with TV and such. I have to say that this time it was a little disappointing as they were a bit understaffed. I feel like we got the very last room it seemed a little more run down than usual and when the toilet stopped up and they seemed to be satisfied telling me there was no one to take care of it but they could give me a plunger and some towels I said reluctantly, "OK." So they never sent them up and called and asked if they expected us to come down and get them and he said that there was no one to bring them, I told him fine but my husbands coming and he is not going to be happy. We wanted to get away from this kind of thing! Any how we got towels and a plunger and my handy man husband saved the day.
OK, so back to the story, we set out on Saturday morning after I had to report to work. We arrived around 5:30 and ate a Joe's Crab Shack which Tim insisted would be cheaper than my beloved Pappsitos. I did not and still do not agree, but just let him believe he was right, just in case I happened to be wrong. Which I wasn't but at least things are more peaceful, which is easier on me in the long run. So that took crazy long mainly because it takes so much work to eat crab legs. But let me tell you each tiny little bite was delish and our kiddos got a new experience.
I haven't mentioned yet that Haylee chose to stay behind. Which really made me sad but I know she is getting to the age that hanging with her friends is more fun than a trip to an amusement park.
So we were a family of 7 with an extra seat in the car....weird!
Before we left I searched and searched for cheap tickets to Sea World. The best a came up with came from the Sea World website. I did come across a meal plan, however. It was an all you can eat wrist band that allowed you to eat and drink at any restaurant in the park for $30 each. Now this sounds like allot, but if you think about it...if you are staying all day it is roughly $10 for lunch $10 for dinner and $10 for drinks and snacks at least! I mentioned it to Tim and we decided to go for it! VERY smart idea!!! Anytime we were hungry or thirsty we did not give a second thought to popping into a restaurant and grabbing a meal or snack and a beverage! Let me tell you the strangest could get a cup of whole strawberries they were huge and the most delicious strawberries I have ever eaten!!! My new mission in life is to find out where Sea World gets their produce!!!! This alone was worth the $30 each for wristbands!
So the day went well, we stayed from open to close. We went to the water park early because I do not do lines and I was not going to wait in line to get in that water park. It was fun,but we did loose Jake as soon as we got the kids sun-screened. He thought we said he could just take off, so he did. Crazy kid! He also fell in love with roller coasters. They went over and over and over. Toward the end they were timing it where they made funny faces at the coaster camera and they were funny!
Aside from missing Haylee it was a great success!!! I will stick in my few pictures. It was to hard to stop and pose everyone and who wants a bunch of pictures of random dolphins anyway!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sunday, February 6, 2011

This was a pretty uneventful weekend. The whole family was home Friday night and that is pretty rare. Haylee set up a Scentsy business. I am really proud of her. I know its hard for her when all of her friends are getting cars and other things given to them and we want our kids to work for them. I will write about this another time.
We showed the house today. While we were out we went to A Cup of Yo. I had a $10 gift certificate which I paid only $5 on Living Social. If you are not a member I highly recommend you join. We also went to Ashley Furniture to look around and get ideas for the new house. I am not sure I will find anything I like there, but its fun to get the kids excited. I hope we sell our house soon I hate to see them so excited while I know that it can take a very long time to sell a house. I have never bought new furniture aside from maybe a recliner many many years ago and a sofa and love seat at Sam's that I had to sell my travel trailer to buy. I was always so financially dependent( I guess I really still am) from mistakes I made early on that all I have ever really had were hand me downs. This is the type of bondage I hope to spare my children.
Tim and the little boys and I stayed in for the Super Bowl. We had a couple of invitations to parties but did not want to leave Jake and Jett alone. I think I napped through the entire second half and that suits me just fine!
Its Sunday night and Sunday nights are always depressing to me. But as stressful as my job is and as frustrated as I am with it I do find that I miss my students and I'm always anxious to see them.
One final thought...In Sunday school this morning we discussed how we place to much faith in ourselves and stop putting our faith in God. I have been very guilty of telling my children lately that the only person they can count on is themselves I must stress that they need to put their faith in God and use that to be independent and to serve others.