i've been counting down since last Dec 26 ... are you ready? me neither!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

it makes me smile

when he reads my mind and remembers that today is Wednesday, goes out of his way ...

{even if it's not} and buys me the most beautiful bouquet of

and brings them home without a big show ... hands them to me with a kiss on the cheek and an

"i love you"

he's the best.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

hoopties and eternal families

my father-in-law's motto is:
use it up,
wear it out,
make it do,
or do without!
and what a blessing it is that he takes such good care of things! shoot, the man can fix just about anything - he and my dad ... if anything is broken or needs repair of some kind or another my kids know "papa can fix it!"
the past week+ i have been the recipient of my father-in-law's giving heart, patience, and unconditional willingness to go out of his way to help people. it's no wonder that andy always wants to help people!
as much as i was not a happy taurus driver, i am a happy daughter-in-law because i have a loving family that is willing to give me their second vehicle to tote my little brood around in. tonight when andy told me that my van was completed and they were headed to retrieve it ... i went out to empty the taurus of our bits and pieces. i started humming to myself, "my hooptie, rollin' tail pipe draggin', heater don't work and my girl keeps naggin' ..." as i collected the trash, got the vacuum out and started to clean it ... different words came to mind, "i have a family here on earth, they are so good to me, i want to share my life with them thru all eternity ..." we may be crazy but we certainly put the fun in dysfunctional! and when all is said and done - they're family and we love 'em!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

my baby is two ...

my baby ...
he's so sweet!

and it just so happened that the wallace's had their group birthday pool party on easton's day!
so we went swimming for easton's birthday!

we had chocolate cake with chocolate frosting at granny's tonight

and it was yummy!

he's getting so big ...

but he's still my baby

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

we're rollin' in the taurus

grandma and grandpa shaw let us borrow their '91 taurus 'til we get our van back!

it's fully unloaded: power nothing - we're learning why we say "roll down the window" ... we've got AM/FM radio - no CD, maybe a tape deck ... and no airbag - so abi gets to ride shotgun!

it's a sweet ride! i know you want to join us - but we fill every open seat!

honk and wave if you see us!

Monday, August 18, 2008

the much anticipated: Scavenger Hunt!

this was my assignment for the leo ford family reunion 2008. we spent friday (day 2) downtown and ended the day at alki!! view most of our pictures here.

what a fun way to tour the market and waterfront!

the teams were boys against girls and we gave ourselves 2 hours ... we didn't finish it all!!

AND we had a GREAT time!

you are what you listen to??

i was lamenting to andy all the things that have been going wrong in the last few days ... and he said,"sounds like a country song ... " let's see if i can put it to a tune ... or maybe song titles:

"my big sister lives in texas"
"work is slow, and money's tight"
"our transmission died ... "
"the house is a mess and i can't find the will to fix it"
"my kids don't listen, they talk back and sass me"
"my sister-in-law and her husband don't like me and come to find out neither does our niece"
"the boy won't use the toilet"
"i can't park in the garage again ..."
"i asked for flour tortillas and i got corn instead"
"laundry, dishes, scrub the toilets - a mother's work is never done"
"i'm trying to lose weight, but those peanut butter m&ms are just so dang good"

by now i'm sure you're NOT going to rush out and by the album ... but just let me tell you - it could be worse, so i'm trying to count my blessings!

let me vent for a minute or 2 or 9 ... (i won't be offended if you stop reading ... )

so, saturday was a BIG day for me ... it's been looming - staring me down from the wall calendar just inside my kitchen! for starters: my sister took her 4 darling kids and went back to texas - we sure do miss them and want to go see them soon, it's fun to have them here ... but they have a pool and we'd have them all to ourselves if we went there! then, we were supposed to get bread at 3:30, head over to the ward BBQ at 6:00, be at stephanie's wedding reception in seattle at 6:30 and then swim with the ward at 7:00. yeah ... not gonna happen!

after hugging, kissing and waving goodbye to our favorite texans, we loaded up in our van and put it into reverse ... no movement ... forward or backward - not good! while andy phoned our car guy, i called the hawkins and asked them to get the bread for us "our transmission died and we're stuck at my mom's!" luckily they were able to do it - phew!

andy called AAA and had the van towed to the shop ...

we called around for a rental van ... the only place open after noon on saturday was budget ... 20 miles away. andy's dad was able to go get the car ... but the rude lady said that we wouldn't be able to drive it because we wouldn't be authorized drivers! i called her back ... "are you the girl that my husband was just speaking to? ... you're not ... well whoever just spoke to him said that we would not be able to drive the van that we are renting from you if his father picked it up. let me explain the situation (she sounded a little flustered) my husband and i are stranded in kirkland with our 4 children ... you people are the only car rental place open right now and the only way for us to get the van that we are renting from you is to have my father-in-law pick it up and bring it to us - please don't tell me that we have to get a taxi to come and get the van ..." she said that we could be authorized drivers on the van for an additional fee ... but we'd have to come in and sign the paperwork tomorrow (sunday). "ok ... but it's ok for us to drive it until we get the paperwork signed?" "just don't tell me that you're doing it ..." she was a nice girl - we had a heart to heart ... she liked me. [this is turning into a very long and boring story ... let me cut to the chase] the van is awesome and has push button door opening and closing! we love it ... they can keep our windstar! ... no our van is going to get fixed and we'll have our dirty kid-mobile back in no time!

so we got a rental and headed home at about 5:30 - we had decided not to go to the BBQ and try to get a babysitter so we could go to the reception and dinner ... we needed a break!

remember how i mentioned up there that my sister-in-law hates me? shoot that's a story in and of itself ... condensed: their 17 year old daughter isn't allowed to be home alone while they go on vacation - she doesn't go with them because of her job and she doesn't like to camp - and so andy's younger sister (the one that usually babysits for us) is watching her and isn't allowed to tend our kids while she's supposed to be watching the 17 yr old. we weren't aware that she was watching the 17 yr old because when we asked her tend on friday night she was at andy's oldest sister's house watching her kids ... [holy crap this is turning into another long and boring story - even i am getting annoyed with all the details!] andy's sister called and bit his head off (the one that is the mom of the 17 yr old) and now i have even more words to have with her!

i called 8 different families in our ward ... and wasn't able to secure a babysitter. so i called my last resort (only because i knew how tired they were) my parents. they graciously agreed to come!

on the way to the reception there was a car fire on the northbound side of the freeway and we were headed south. andy noticed that no one had an extinguisher and so because he's andy - he pulled over and got his from the trunk ... the guy who's car was on fire said, seeing andy in his shirt and tie, "let me, i don't want you to get all dirty!" andy pulled the pin and off he went. i called 911 and they said that an engine was en route and so he said "keep it!" and we headed on down the road to the reception ...

we had told my parents that we'd be back by 9:00 we arrived at the reception at 7:30 and relaxed for a few minutes - mingled, hugged and congratulated the bride and groom and found our good friends and sat down to visit. before i knew it, it was time to hurry out of there to get home on time! we took some group pictures - 'the party' was in fine form! we waved and hugged goodbye - called la palmera for take out and hurried home! when we finally opened our dinner it was at least 45 minutes from when we had ordered it ... and our flour tortillas were corn!! BAH!! we ate it anyway ... watched michael phelps swim to olympic history and went to bed - determined to have a better day!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

family fun at granny's with 8 grandkids!

going on a treasure hunt, x marks the spot, 3 straight lines and a question mark,

a pinch, a squeeze, a tropical breeze, knife in your back, blood rushing down, blooooood rushing down,
spider bite!

do it on my back granny!
button, button - who's got the button!?

Monday, August 4, 2008

who are the cutest kids in town??

granny's in heaven! eight - count 'em (my 2 boys were there too ... just not pictured) 8 grandkids were at granny's house tonight!
our texas cousins came to town this morning!

and my little big sister brought them - all by herself (from utah) on the airplane!
she wasn't sure how this self-portrait stuff works ... we needed to practice and finally got a halfway decent one!

we're looking forward to 12 days of BIG FUN!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

saturday night date night with jennycook!

since she's in town and feeling a little better - we took her out on our date! don't worry we had chris on the phone for a while - and he was there with us in spirit! we went to olive garden (and unfortunately had the worst service we've ever had ... but they gave us some gift cards to come back and see if they can't make it up to us!)
i should have let someone take this for us ...

and of course - it wouldn't be a date if it didn't end at wal-mart!
we sure love having her in town! (now if there was just a way to get them to move back!)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

what did you do for the first day of august?

we invited katie and her girls over for a slumber party friday night (since our daddy was outta town with the boys at the high adventure) - but they had a better idea!
movie in the park "over the hedge" - these kids are all growing up too fast!
before the movie they played 'simon says' and abi won some m&ms! the show started at 9:25pm and we got home about mid-night! my workout for the day was carrying 3 of the 4 sleepy heads into their beds when we got home ... i made abi walk (but i still had to guide her - she's funny, walking and talking in her sleep)!!

the true test of a friendship - months of 'long time, no see' and we pick up where we left off with out even a hiccup!

recon work for our family reunion - waterfront

we headed downtown right after our last day of swim lessons for our final day of reconnaissance - just me and the kids! with easton strapped to my back we braved the waterfront and made it back home with everybody still breathing! actually we had a really good time! success!!

that seagull took a fry from abi's hand - she's so brave ...
although she thinks it may have nipped her finger a little bit too!

here's what's left of our $22 mcdonald's lunch.
note to self: BYO lunch when heading downtown!

beware - check the volume of your speakers!

have you ever danced to the player organ!?

we did!

Friday, August 1, 2008

swim lessons '08

last year McCollum park opened swim lesson signups mid-april ... so i marked my calendar so that i'd be sure to sign them up in time to get the time that i wanted and the classes they needed and everything on time ... well ... who knew they were going to open it up mid-MARCH this year!? BAH - we were on the waiting list and finally got a call from the pool a week before our classes were to start and we were in!

Here's a few highlights from this years swim lessons!

the last thursday class was parent participation day!
andy was gone on the high adventure so grandma and grandpa shaw came to help out!
they're GREAT!

and yup - i still know how to dive!
can i get a little wha-wha?!