The Best Laid Plans

November 5, 2010 at 3:18 pm (Family, Fun Stuff, Road Trips)

Doug has been wanting to see a shuttle launch since they announced the retirement of the shuttle program. Originally there was a launch scheduled for September 15th. That launch got postponed in August, and so we started planning for the November 1st launch. The launch was set for a Monday and we were leaving on Thursday. We were heading to the panhandle to visit with the Crestview Roberts for the weekend. We were all going o head down to Orlando on Sunday night, do a little Disney visit on Monday morning and then head to Cape Canaveral on Monday afternoon. We would then head back  to Crestview on Monday night and head for home on Tuesday morning. This allowed us to miss only 3 days of Samuel’s school. This is important because at 4 days the school can file a misdemeanor complaint against the parents for truancy.

So, we left Thursday morning at 10:00, which was only a half an hour behind schedule. The GPS said that we should arrive in Crestview at 10:30 pm. This was obviously very optimistic and didn’t include any stops for gas or bathroom breaks. We did pack a cooler of lunches so that we wouldn’t have to make extra stops for fast food. We had sandwiches at a rest stop, which only cost us twenty minutes. We ran into some traffic in Houston because of an accident, but that was the only snag. We made excellent time to Baton Rouge where we ate with Doug’s grandparents. I made a quick trip to Walmart, because we weren’t going to make it very far without the diapers! Then it was on to Crestview. I think with the Baton Rouge stop we ended up in Crestview at about 1:30. Mike and Ingrid were up waiting for us, and Ingrid served us ice cream on a tray (she’s very much the Italian hostess in that way!).

On Friday morning we found out the launch had been delayed by a day. We were still planning on staying because we had scheduled in one day of cushion, but Ingrid and the kids weren’t going to be able to come because of school commitments. At this point though we were still all planning on Disney on Monday morning.

On Friday the cousins all played and then we went to the Air Force Armament museum. This was a lot like the Air Museum that we went to in Shearwater last year, but they had way more planes outside. The kids loved it, and we were having a great time with Mike and Ingrid. After the museum we had a little Wendy’s picnic at a park while Ingrid went to a Symphony rehearsal. We took the kids home, and a sitter came so that we could meet Ingrid for a late dinner in Destin. THe boys were super excited that their cousins get to watch movies at night, which meant that they could stay up past their normal bed time.

We ate at what I think is Emeril’s favorite restaurant in Destin. There was live music and snails, plus some very yummy dessert. We then went home and fell asleep watching the Mentalist!

On Saturday there was tie dyeing, Halloween carnivals, a performance of Madama Butterfly, and a late dinner at Applebees. I don’t know how we stayed awake, because it felt like non-stop action! On Saturday we also found out that they delayed the shuttle until Wednesday, so we decided not to make the trip to Orlando. We decided to start the trip home on Sunday night.

Sunday we had church and then Ingrid threw a fancy party for Samuel’s birthday since we kind of ignored it! There was hula- hooping, parachute marshmallows, eyeball spaghetti, cake and ice cream. Then there was a second feat of roast! We got packed and left their house a little after 9:00, which meant that we didn’t get in to Baton Rouge until after 2:00am. Everyone crashed hard! We had a great visit with grandma and grand-dad on Monday morning, and then we headed home. Except for the rain the drive was smooth. So far we haven’t need a dvd player. The kids are great in the car.

We even made it home in time to watch Dancing with the Stars … if only we hadn’t canceled the cable!

Thanks Ingrid and Mike! Hopefully we didn’t wear out our welcome too much, because we might be coming back in February!!

p.s. Just so I don’t forget, there was chess and a panini press and probably a million other wonderful things that Mike and Ingrid did for us.

pps The shuttle got rescheduled again!

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Back to Raising My Own Children

October 20, 2010 at 3:07 pm (Family, Fun Stuff)

My Dad and stepmom were in town last week and it was utter bliss … well for me anyway! I’m pretty sure it doesn’t count as a vacation for Bill and Ellen! My dad had a long list of things he wanted to do while he was here, which included:

  • 5 Guys Hamburgers
  • Lunch with Samuel at School
  • 2 meals at Popeye’s
  • Sonic
  • Birthday Shopping for the kids
  • Combined birthday party
  • Date night for Doug and Sarah (!)
  • Krispy Kreme
  • Movie Night with the boys
  • Steak Dinner
  • Chuck E. Cheese

 

If you know my dad at all, it’s not surprising that most of this list is food related! I’m happy to say we got the entire list done plus a lot of extras! My dad got up and made Samuel’s lunch and took him to the bus stop every morning. He also picked him up every afternoon. There were football games and practises, plus he changed almost all the diapers and did almost all the laundry. I cannot express how unexcited Doug and I were to get our kids ready for church on Sunday. I don’t know why my dad doesn’t want to live closer so that my kids can enjoy this bonding all the time!!

Thanks Dad and Ellen for an awesome week!

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Back to School

September 7, 2010 at 7:48 pm (Family)

Well, I don’t know where the Summer went, but Samuel has been back in school for a couple of weeks now. Welcome to 1st grade! So far so good! I was a little worried that there might be some adjustment issues in the classroom, but he seems to be settling right in. Unfortunately there’s been a little grumpiness at home, but I think that’s on its way out! Samuel loves school so much that he was protesting Labor Day! Hopefully this year goes as well as last year.

Back to School Cake

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Girls’ Week-end 2010

August 31, 2010 at 9:51 am (Family, Fun Stuff)

The whole group the night before the cruise.

Before my sister left for BYU we decided to have a fun girls’ week-end. There were a lot of hours spent deciding where to go and how to get there, but in the end we decided on a 4 day cruise to the Bahamas. Hello relaxation! You’re probably asking yourself why I needed relaxation time after my trip with Doug, but I actually considered this a charitable thing. Everyone else needed relaxing! My life is relaxation all the time; I was just going along to show them how it’s done!!

That's right, we're famous for this!

Attending this adventure were me, Christina, Jessica, my sister-in-law Julie, my Mom, and my step-mom. It was quite the group. I don’t want to go around tooting my own horn, but we were recognized all over the ship for our mad karaoke skills (Christina and I were back-up dancers!). There was snorkeling, touring, shopping, much eating and dancing, and so much laughing. It was a great week-end. I was always jealous of those girls who could go off for week-end trips with their girls, and now I know I was right to be jealous!!

Did I mention there was rock climbing?

I could not have done this trip without Doug being so happy to let me go, and also my friend Diane who watched all the kids so that Doug wouldn’t have to take any time off work. There was even a day where the AC broke. They were troopers! So, I highly recommend girls’ week-ends. Feel free to invite me along if you need a relaxation coordinator!

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A Summer With Aunt Jessica

August 27, 2010 at 2:55 pm (Family, Fun Stuff, Uncategorized)

I know you’ve probably been wondering where I’ve been, and I want to tell you! I have lots of things to post (actually, I probably only have about three things to post), and I’m starting with my little sister’s month-long visit. We were very fortunate to have my little sister, Jessica come nanny for us this Summer before she headed off to her freshman year at BYU.

The boys had so much fun with Jessica every day. She played Mario with them and helped them build their train tracks. Probably the biggest help to me were the daily visits to the pool. The boys got so much stronger this year, and that was because we went to the pool every day that we could. I could only go to the pool so much because I had someone to help me watch the kids.She was a huge help to me, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that she won’t have a better job next Summer. She’s been gone less than a week, but the house feels much emptier!

Thanks Jessica! We all miss you here.

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Better Late than Never

August 2, 2010 at 9:37 pm (Family, Kids, Makes me Smile)

I’ve been going through Picasa trying to organize the photos and I came across Samuel’s last day of school. I can’t believe how much he grew this year. I also can’t believe that 1st grade starts in three weeks! I don’t know if I’m ready for sack lunches every day. I just hope that he love first grade as much as he loved kinder.

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Ben Turns 3! + # 2 Crossed of the Summer List!

July 30, 2010 at 9:38 am (Family, Kids)

The Birthday Boy!

 

 Monday was Ben’s 3rd birthday. I don’t know where the time went, but I cannot imagine our family without our stealth operator! Ben is still pretty quiet, but that allows him to sneak around much more efficiently! We didn’t do much during the because I was hosting a different birthday lunch, but we partied hard in the evening! We made Black Forest cupcakes and then we went to a showing of Toy Story 3 (thanks Dad!). 

Watching Toy Story 3

 

As a side note, my little sister is staying with us for a month before she heads off to BYU. She has been a super help watching kids and styling photos for the food blog! Unfortunately, she has also been in very close proximity when all the children have vomited at some point during the last two weeks! The worst one might have been Monday night. She was cramped between the two younger boys on the way home from the movie when Ben got sick. I know it’s really not funny, but it made me laugh …. just a little bit! 

Opening the presents

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Pioneer Day 2010

July 29, 2010 at 6:13 pm (Family, Texas)

Ah… the annual tribute to my pioneer heritage … snow cones, kettle corn and breakfast tacos! Now I don’t actually have any pioneer heritage, unless you count my Delta flight from Halifax to Salt Lake City, but the kids still like to go ride the ponies. (Actually, I like to take pictures of them riding ponies, they couldn’t care less; all they want is coton candy!) This year we got there first thing and we only stayed an hour thereby avoiding the insane heat that was last year’s experience. Perhaps I would have more fondness for this event if I was from Utah … or if they held it in November, but as things go it’s not a bad way to spend an hour on a Saturday.

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Swimming Lessons ’10

July 28, 2010 at 12:53 pm (Family, Kids, Uncategorized)

This is our third year doing swimming lessons with Miss Joni. This year Ben joined his brothers and as an added bonus, the lessons took place at our neighborhood pool which meant there was lots of shade and plenty of chairs!

I think this was probably Samuel’s big year. I don’t know how much William advanced. Ben had a lot of fun, but we’re clearly not done with the lessons! Samuel might qualify for swim team next year, or we might just consider swimming a fun activity. The key is to go to the pool every day to practice. We’re usually about three times a week, but we might have to step it up a bit!

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Another Week-end in Baton Rouge

July 15, 2010 at 5:56 pm (Family, Food, Road Trips)

After some snowballs!

You know I love me a road trip!! I just wish that we could do these for five days instead of just the week-end. We had to leave before the shrimp boil this time, and it was a little sad! Of course, 4 out of 6 people got sick on this trip, so it was probably time to head home!

Andrew at the Country Club

This was by far the best drive we have ever had through Houston. I was grumbling a little bit about having to leave at 4:30, but everything worked out really well. We even went to the Houston Aquarium for dinner. If you’ve never been, I highly recommend it. It’s right off the freeway and it’s outside of the Aquarium so you don’t have to pay admission, but there are huge tanks in the restaurant. If only we had known that Doug’s sister and family were also in Houston that night, we could have made a group trip!!

Doug and his Mom

We arrived in Baton Rouge on Friday morning and hung out with the family and grandma and grand-dad’s house. We went for a swim in the pool and then checked ourselves into the hotel before dinner at the BRCC.

Afton with the absolute favorite toy at the great-grandparents

Ah… the country club. I have oft lamented that we didn’t get to go to the country club very much, but now I know why. My kids do not do particularly well in that environment! We had our room because there were so many of us, and there were children doing somersaults on the dance floor, hiding under the piano, knocking over giant divider screens, and throwing up (the last two were mine, in case you were wondering!).

Ben blowing out someone else's candles

After dinner my darling husband took the kids, and the ladies and I went to go see whatever Twilight movie is out right now. A shout out to my brother-in-law, Dan who knew someone at the movie theater and got us passes! I’m just going to say that these movies make me feel old and unromantic, but am I the only one who says go with the hottie werewolf instead of the slightly creepy 150 year old vampire?! Also there were a couple of guys in the row in front of us making fun of us while texting on their phones. I think if you’re two teenage guys going to see Twilight by yourselves on a Friday night, maybe you shouldn’t be making fun of other people!

All the kids and great-grandma waiting out the lightning

On Saturday we had a fun birthday celebration for my niece Julianna and all the other July birthday people. There was lots of yummy food and an almost swim party. Unfortunately it started to thunder and lightning once everyone got their swimsuits on!

I know it's blurry, but I just want to show that I do brush my hair sometimes!

Saturday night some of the group went to see the Sound of  Music and some of us stayed back to visit. After the play Doug and his brother Mike went to see the Last Airbender while Ingrid and I chatted in the hotel hallway. I’m trying to convince Mike and Ingrid to move to San Antonio, but so far I’ve come up lacking!

Cousins working on the craft that Aunt Ingrid organized

On Sunday we had church and then a quick visit before we started the drive home. I had just read about a BBQ place in Houston, so we stopped to try it out. It was a little out of the way, and Doug still hasn’t found a place in Houston that he likes better that Goode & Co.

The birthday girls

So, now we’re home sweet home preparing for the next adventure, which will probably be sometime during football season!

Afton's newest skill!

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