Friday, May 21, 2010

Retiring the Family Blog

I've decided to simplify my life. From now on, I'm going to be a one-blog woman. For years, I've kept two blogs. This "family" blog that I would update occasionally when there was a special occasion or whatnot....and a "journal blog" that I would post in daily with mostly boring details of my life and the occasional triumph or tragedy thrown in to keep it interesting. Well, the family blog is going to be retired and I'm only going to post in the daily blog. The address is if anyone cares to know what's going on...that's the place to find out! I just updated it with details of nursing graduation. That was kind of a big deal for me...:) Peace out family blog!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010


I let my son Gage's FOURTEENTH birthday come and go with out mentioning this important milestone on the ol blog. In fact, I just realized this is the ONLY picture I got of him on his special day....and now that I think about it this picture was actually taken a couple days BEFORE his birthday. Whoops a daisy. In my defense, the computer had a virus and was non-functional for awhile. I have no excuse for not taking two dozen pictures like I usually do. I can only say that even though the kid is stuck with a mom that is highly distracted and stressed out lately....his mom still loves him dearly and wishes he would just stop growing up. Literally...STOP growing because it's weird to have a son so much taller than me. It's going too fast! Just stop all ready! Happy B-day Gage!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Turning EIGHT is GREAT! ...(mostly)

I can hardly believe my Avy is turning eight years old! That really snuck up on me! A couple days ago, she and I were discussing her upcoming birthday and how she wanted to celebrate it. The thought of planning and executing a birthday party right now gave me a mild case of hives. Not really, but it did elevate my anxiety up a notch. I just don't have it in me right now... what with the three huge tests and one huge presentation that I have to do in the next three weeks. So she and I had a went like this....

Me: "Hey, would you feel about spending an ENTIRE day with me doing WHATEVER you want instead of having a birthday party?"
Avery: "A whole day? Could we go to Build-A- Bear?"
Me: We can do whatever you want! Just me and you...all day."
Avery: "But then I don't get a party?"
Me: "That's party...but we could see a movie and go and get your ears pierced!" (I was getting desperate at this point because I didn't think she was going for it.)
Avery:" Really!? Ok! That's way better than a party!"

Yay! I was so relieved that I didn't have to figure out a birthday party! Not that it's hard mind you... I just don't have time....and I didn't feel like it. So yesterday was our big day. She had a list of things she wanted to do. We left first thing in the morning.
First stop...Krispy Kreme... for a Chocolate Glazed donut. Nice way to start the outing.

Second stop...Circle K to get a beverage. We knew we'd work up a thirst so we started the outing off right with a Cherry Slushy and Diet Dr. Pepper. So far...the day is going awesome!

Next, Avery wanted to go to the comic store to get the new Archie comic. She loves those comic books!
After the comic store, we headed over to the mall. It was just opening so I asked her if she was ready to get her ears pierced. She kind of hesitated...which was surprising. She's been begging to have her ears pierced since she was four years old. If it was up to me she would have had it done when she was a baby but unbeknownst to me, I married a man that has strong feelings about piercings on little girls. It's one of those things that don't come up while you're dating. I had no idea he had such ridiculous...I mean strong...beliefs about pierced ears! :) I've been working on him for years to agree that there's nothing wrong with a little girl wearing earrings. When Avery turned four she started working on him, too. Finally, we wore him down and he agreed that 8 years old is a reasonable age to have your ears pierced. Avery was so excited...till it came right down to actually doing it. I could tell she was having second thoughts so I decided not to rush her. We did the next thing on the list..which was Build-A-Bear.
She picked the Brittany chipmunk. No surprise there. Next, she wanted to go get a Happy Meal from McDonalds.

After she ate, we just wandered around looking in different stores. She still wasn't ready. I called my mom and sister who came down to meet us for moral support for Avery. As soon as they showed up, she put on a brave face and said she was ready to do it. So we quickly went to the store and she picked out the cute pink flower earrings. This is her waiting while the lady gets all the stuff ready. Bless her nervous heart.

One final picture of earring-less lobes!
At first...all went well. The girl did the first ear...and Avery was fine. She didn't seem bothered at all.

So, before we knew it, the other ear was done as well.

She handled it really well and looked so cute in her new earrings! She was happy...all was well. Until it wasn't.

The girl wanted me to practice cleaning the earlobes so when we got home we'd know what to do. No problem....until the right earring back popped off and the earring started to come out. So the earring lady ( should have got her name) had to put the earring back hand. This is when Avery started to go down hill. It really hurt her. I'm not sure what happened next. I think Avery just started thinking about what just went down combined with the pain of having her try to put the earring back in.... those two things didn't sit well with her.

She started to cry..She said she didn't feel so well......

Then she started sweating and got REALLY HOT!!!!

Then she turned white as a ghost and seemed kind of out of it. I left her in good hands with my mom and sister and I went to pay at the register. This is when all heck broke loose. She sat there for awhile and then she got up to leave. Next thing I know I hear a CRASH and see Avery walk smack dab into a display case full of earrings. I yelled "Avery! You need to sit down!" so she turned around and walked STRAIGHT into a different display case full of bracelets and necklaces, crashing into it and sending jewelry flying in all directions. This is when I grabbed her and walked her to sit down against a wall. I could tell she was about to pass out. She had a weird look on her the lights were on but nobody was home. She told me that she was blind!! I told her she wasn't blind but she was about to faint. After sitting for a few seconds, her vision came back but she still seemed kind of out of it. The girl that pierced her ears said "I've never had anyone do that before!!" In all the chaos of trying to get her on the floor so she didn't pass out we didn't get a picture of the aftermath and the jewelry all knocked off the displays. Thankfully, Tia cleaned up the store while I finished paying and getting Avery back on her feet.

Well, the whole thing really put a damper on our fun day. And it was going so well! Avery was NOT happy.We kept assuring her that her new earrings were SO cute but she wasn't having any of it. She didn't even want to look in the mirror and see them!We bought her a Cinnabon to try to cheer her up and to get some sugar in her system. I thought that would do the trick because let's face it...there's not a lot of things that can't be fixed with a good Cinnabon cinnamon roll.

She ate the middle out of the cinnamon roll but was still feeling sad. We also noticed a bruise forming where she hit her face when she ran into the display case. Oh, so sad. So so sad! We couldn't help but get the giggles. That made Avery even sadder. What kind of mother laughs when her daughter almost blacks out in a jewelry store and knocks earrings and bracelets every which way!? A bad mother...but I couldn't help it. It was funny!Next stop on Operation Cheer Avery Up was to look at the puppies. I thought for sure that a cute puppy would do what a cinnamon roll could not. And it did...sort of. She started feeling better in the pet shop.

Then she announced that she would feel even BETTER if she could get the new Barbie mermaid that she's been wanting! So to save our special day, we parted ways with Bommy and Tia and we went to Target so she could get her Barbie. After we left Target she said that she was feeling MUCH better. Thank goodness! Barbie saved the day.

The last thing on Avery's list was to go and see How to Train a Dragon in 3D. I asked her if she wanted to skip this and just go home. It had been a rough day after all. She assured me she was feeling fine and wanted to go. So we did.....

What a cute show! I loved it! All in all it was a GREAT day. Just me and my special Avy. In spite of the mishap with the piercing Avery told me that it was "the greatest day of her life!" So I call that a success. We managed to do everything on her list. On the way home she said "Mama? Why didn't you tell me that you go blind when you get your ears pierced?" She cracks me up! Even though she was serious! I had to laugh. Happy Birthday, Avery!

After my day with Avery, I came home and got cleaned up to go and celebrate with another birthday girl. Yesterday was my sisters birthday and she wanted to go out to eat at Benihanas for dinner. That place is fun! Good choice, Tia!

The birthday girl who may or may not have turned an age that starts with a 3. I would never out her like that and actually say. That would be wrong. ( Justin's finger...pointing to my lovely scar)
Our chef was hilarious..even though I think he was faking his accent. He entertained us the whole evening and he cooked up some amazing I'll forgive it.

We had the funnest night! We'd never been there before and I was pleasantly surprised! Happy Birthday to Tia...a girl that may or may not be entering a new phase of her life that starts with a "3".

Monday, March 15, 2010

Off-Roading Adventures in Box Canyon

I've been sick this last week and feeling pretty sorry for myself. I can't lay in bed another second or I'll go crazy so I thought I could at least sit here at the computer and upload pictures from our trip last weekend! So I did...lots and lots of pictures!!

It's been about 18 years since I've been off-roading. I think the last time was in college and it ended badly with someone getting hurt. So I wasn't really in a hurry to do it again. When my sister told me about this cool place they had found up in Box Canyon, I decided to load up the kids in the car and take them on "an adventure!" (That's what Delly calls anything new that we do.) None of the kids have ever done anything like this and it definitely was an ADVENTURE! The girls all loaded into the back of the Samuri (a.k.a. Benny Ninja) while Gage thought he was pretty hot stuff since Eric allowed him to drive the Rhino.
The girls let me squeeze into the backseat with them ...
There were some tight spots where we weren't at all sure that the Jeep would be able to make it

I mean some REALLY tight spots! I remember thinking "no way...this is where we stop cause there's NO way!"
Even when Justin let the air out of the tires I still thought it was NOT gonna happen.
It was pretty hairy but somehow they made it through and we continued on up into Box Canyon. O ye of little faith....
Another tight squeeze....

We did see an eagles nest high up on the side of the cliff. The kids got a kick out of that. Mindy and Eric said they saw it flying around last time they were up there. The kids all kept a sharp eye out for it but we never saw it....

Gage surprised me with his driving skills...he really did a good job! I'm still glad he has a couple years before he can get a drivers licence, though.

Drey wanted so badly to explore the cave behind him but unfortunately it was FULL of bees and beehives. The kids crazy but not THAT crazy!

We took a break at the Natural Bridge and someone got the idea to climb up there. (It wasn't my idea. I'm a smidge of a worry wart and I was so afraid someone would get hurt!)

Despite my natural tendency to imagine the worst like someone falling off a cliff or something, I agreed to the climb. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Nobody fell and cracked their head open or slipped and fell or anything of the sort.
Even my mom with her man-made knee was able to make it to the top!

Coming down was a bit scarier..especially for Delly. Thank goodness for big brothers who'll carry little sisters that refuse to wear their tennis shoes and insist on wearing their Wizard of Waverley Place slippers which have no traction! Seriously.
Safely at the bottom.....
There are lots of places in Box Canyon where you can find geodes. Eric came prepared with a ladder because some of the places are hard to get to.
We found TONS of GEODES! Here's some pictures of just a few...

My mom found the biggest one by far! It was huge and it was heavy. She wanted to take it home to give to my dad who loves this kind of thing. The was HEAVY.
Luckily, she has a grandson who can be bribed with the promise of a trip to Famous Daves if he'll carry the huge thing out of the canyon.

We found a nice little spot in the shade to have a picnic lunch. We had packed up sack lunches for everyone to make it easy (way to THINK, Mindy!) Why are picnic lunches so much tastier than a lunch eaten at home!?
The boys found some geodes in the rock wall by where we had lunch. They did their best to hack them out of the side of the cliff with their screwdrivers and hammers.

Where's Avery???
Justin's neice, Joslyn came along for the ride. She chose this over going to the mall. I have to admit this was WAY funner than hanging out at the mall. Then again, I'm not a cute teenager.
Time to head home. On the way out, we were in the rear so I got a different viewpoint.....
All the places where it was hairy getting IN were still hairy getting OUT. We managed, thankfully. Especially since a rainstorm was coming in.

One last group picture at the bottom of Box Canyon. A big THANKS to the Richards for inviting us on such a fun adventure. Surprisingly enough, there was not one injury throughout the entire day! We did get rained on a little on the way home but nothing disasterous! My kids thought it was the greatest day ever and can't wait to do it again!