Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Christmas Countdown is on!


Well, I missed a couple of months, but here I am. September was spent getting back into the swing of the school routine. I had to convince Ryan that he has school every day now. He loves kindergarten, but is ready to be at the "big school" all day. September also brought us a new experience...soccer! This was Ryan's first year for being on a team. He sure had a great time playing and running around with the other kids. The coaches were awesome, and we can't wait until spring to get him going again.

October brought a new experience for Lenae, swim team! She does such a great job too. It amazes me how many laps they do at practice. I think I'd be dead after the first 10 minutes. She was supposed to have her first meet Nov. 20th, but after arriving we found out it had been cancelled. That was pretty disappointing. She spent most of the day in a funk until she and her other team member got together in the evening for a movie at the theater and a sleepover.

Mom had back surgery in November. I spent 4 days in Wichita with her, and have been trying to help out Dad as much as I can now that they've been home since the 10th. She's recovering quite well! I know she feels slow, but I can see how much better she moves now then pre-surgery. She still has several weeks/months of recovery since it was a pretty invasive procedure. I'm excited for the summer when we'll get to do so much more together with my kids. This year we had big "dreams" but nothing came to fruition because of her pain.

Mom and I did Thanksgiving together. She'll tell you that I did it all, but that's not true. She helped a ton! The only rotten part was I got sick the night before. I started out with a headache and fever and then it went downhill from there. I ended up with the flu, bronchitis with developing pneumonia. YAY! I've got one more day of "drugs" then my treatment will be complete. I ended up being down with a fever for 10 full days, and missed a week of work in the process.

Monday, the 7th was my first day back, and then yesterday and today were snow days! At least I've gotten some extra time to recoupe. I took a much needed nap today.

Now it's time to get in the shopping mode. With being sick, I haven't done a darn thing. I have a feeling I'll be out at the last minute this year, which I hate, but I guess I gotta do what I gotta do. Don't want to let the kiddos down. :) Hopefully I'll have another post over the holidays, but if not, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Summer Accomplishments

I have officially 4 days left of *MY* summer vacation, and I got to thinking...we've really done a lot this summer! So, I thought I'd see if I can remember what all we've done.

1. Traveled to 8 states: Oklahoma(twice), Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, Utah, and Colorado.

2. Visited 4 National Parks: Petrified Forest, Grand Canyon, Zion & Arches

3. Watched Lenae overcome her fear of diving off the block into 5 foot water - something the swim team has to do to compete.

4. Finally convinced Lenae that she's needs to join the swim team. Well, actually someone else made a comment that he thought she had some budding talent and that she should join. Thanks Doug! I owe you!

5. Hauled in 9.5 tons of sand to make a pad for our pool. Doggone it, this year it's gonna be level!

6. Saw Ryan finally JUMP into the water, allowing his whole head to go under, and LIKE it!

7. Sold some of our backyard stuff on craigslist so I can get my patio back to how I want it. It's great for BBQs and entertaining now!

8. Listened to Kerry's doubt on what he didn't think was going to be a successful garden. I've harvested TONS of cucumbers and tomatoes. I've also gotten 5 canteloupe (so far), many peppers on the way, my carrots are getting good sized, and the 2 watermelons are almost ready. Oh, my sunflowers were HUGE!

9. Painted Lenae's room.

10. Re-finished Lenae's wood floors after we ripped out her carpet.

11. Watched Ryan watch Lenae diving...he wanted to do it too. HE DID, and he does a great job too! Now, to learn to swim without his life-vest. :)

12. Almost forgot - We went camping for the very first time! Well, Kerry has camped before (in the army) and has always said he'd never do it for "fun". His cousin can get him to do just about anything though. So she invited us camping, and we went! It was so much fun!

That's all I can think of for now. If I remember more, I'll come back and add to my list.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Ryan doing the hula hoop!

video

Friday, June 26, 2009

Summer Vacation

Wow...what a trip! We left for Arizona early on May 24th. We arrived in Gallup, NM that evening and spent the night at a hotel. The next morning we drove to the Petrified Forest National Park (probably 30 min. to an hour away from where we were). We decided to do the "drive through" tour, and figured we'd be through the park in about an hour or so. THREE hours later, which could have been a whole lot longer had we taken some of the trails, we finished our tour of the park. The kids earned a Jr. Ranger badge and were pretty proud of themselves.




Off to the Grand Canyon! We drove up through Flagstaff and then headed to Grand Canyon National Park, the south rim. When we arrived, we unloaded our stuff at the Yavapi Lodge. Of course we were greeted by ELK roaming just feet from the door of our motel room!




The Canyon was beautiful! The pictures we took don't do justice to how huge and majestic this place is. It is so incredible how vast and deep, and yet it is so still and quiet. The kids had a great time, and they earned their 2nd Jr. Ranger badge. After our two night stay, we headed further west to Lake Havasu, AZ.



We stopped briefly in Kingman, AZ so Kerry could introduce me to some of his co-workers there. Let me do a little back-up for a second. Kerry works as an "Information Technology Manager" in the office at PizzaCo. Inc. which has 24 (I think) Pizza Hut restaurants mostly located in Central Kansas, but 7 are in Arizona. Each year the name's of the office staff & managers get put in a hat to win a trip out to Arizona, or for the AZ people - a trip to KS. Kerry won last year, but we were busy with his parent's house remodel we didn't get to go. So this year we made it our family vacation.

Okay...back to the trip. After our stop at the dine-in restaurant in Kingman, we drove on to our "main" destination in Lake Havasu. We stayed a week and a half at Kerry's bosses' house. She lives here in McPherson, but also has a home there (and a couple other places too!). The house was beautiful & we had a great time. Kerry put in 40+ hours working at the various Huts while we were there. This is the main reason we were gone so long. It was getting up to 110 during the days, but humidity was pretty much nonexistent. The same goes for mosquitoes! ABSOLUTE HEAVEN! I love the palm trees & cactuses, but I really missed green grass!




We left Havasu and headed for the Hoover Dam and Las Vegas. I've seen pictures of the dam before, but until you see it, I didn't realize just how big it really was! They are working on the construction of a new bridge & road that goes around it. Once it is done you will no longer be able to drive across it, how sad. Terrorism at work in our country! We reached Vegas in the late afternoon and found our hotel in the Old Downtown area - Fremont Street. We stayed at the Fremont. When the sun went down we loaded up the kids and drove the strip. WOW! When we returned to our motel, we decided to walk up and down Fremont Street and take in the outdoor shows going on. There were three live bands playing at different areas, and an FANTASTIC LED light show that goes on over head. It was pretty cool!





The next morning we headed for Zion National Park in Utah. We didn't have a lot of time before we had to be in Moab to meet up with my friend from college, so we took the shuttle tour of the park. We got off at the furthest point the shuttle takes you and did a little exploring on the "Riverwalk Trail". The scenery was breathtaking. The kids had a good time walking in the river and climbing around on the rocks. Unfortunately the requirements for the Jr. Ranger program at Zion would have taken too long to complete, so the kids didn't earn a badge there.




We loaded back up and headed to Moab, UT. The drive there was gorgeous. It seemed as if the scenery changed every five minutes or so. It would go from mountains to canyons to buttes and mesas to cliffs and back again. I think it was one of the most beautiful drives that I have ever taken. We arrived in Moab just before sunset, and met up with my friend Karen. We stayed at a motel and got everything ready for our adventure the following day at Arches National Park.

In the morning Lenae had to get a little swimming in at the hotel. Afterwards we got all packed and ready to head just outside of town to the park entrance. If you've never been to Arches, you can drive through the park and stop at the various "points of interest" along the way. There are also tons of trails that you can use to go exploring even more. We were able to take a mile hike behind the north and south windows (famous arches). The kids did pretty good. Again, pictures of these natural rock formations just don't do them justice. If you ever get a chance, you have to go!






That evening we headed back to Karen's home in Glenwood Springs. We stayed with her for two days. While we were there we did a lot of catching up. We also drove to Aspen and to Independence Pass. Going from over 100 degree weather to 50s while on Independence Pass was a little shock to the system! We even saw some snowflakes.



We headed to Aurora, CO (Denver) to visit Kerry's cousin four a couple of days before making our way back home. We had a good time as always. We were able to go out on the lake, and the kids got to go swimming at the pool in the sub-division where they live. Of course Kerry had plenty of fun harrassing Beth too. We are planning on going camping with them in OK over the 4th of July. Ought to be fun!

We arrived back home on June 12th. I was so glad to finally be sleeping in my own bed. Vacations are a great break from "life", but make you realize how wonderful "home" really is!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Quick...I have but a second

Not really, but I do need to get some things accomplished today. Only 4 days left to go for school. Lenae will be old enough to be in my classroom the year after this coming school year! ACK! Where does the time go?

We are heading out for a family vacation soon to Arizona and Colorado. We'll be staying in Lake Havasu for two weeks, then slowly making our way back through Colorado. We hope to visit the Grand Canyon, The Arches, Hoover Dam, and some other place. I need to purchase one of those tether strap thingies for Ryan. I don't think I'll be able to do the Grand Canyon trip with out it. Either that, or I'll bring a roll of duct tape. I don't think he'd appreciate that much. LOL!

My garden is going well this year. I started by planting seeds, Unfortunately, with all the rain I wasn't able to get them in in time, and they got too big for the seedling tray and started to croak. Some of my cucumber seedlings made it and they are doing well! I ended up buying plants and got them in the ground about two weeks ago. We have 2 cantaloupe hills, 1 watermelon hill, a bed of carrots (from seed) and another of lettuce (from seed), 4 cucumber hills, 1 jalepeno plant, 1 chili ancho plant, 2 bell pepper plants, and four tomato plants. I've also got a nice row of mammoth sunflowers (from seed) growing along our fence. Oh...Lenae's class is competing in a 50 lb. cabbage plant contest, so we have one of those too.

I suppose that's all for now. I've got to make a trip out to the grocery store. Ta ta for now!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Spring Break! It's been an awesome week so far, and it's only Tuesday. I've gotten tons done around the house. The kids and I have worked outside and cleaned up a bunch leaves left over from fall, and we've got the garden about 3/4 of the way ready for planting. Today we took a break from all the "work" while I prepared a special St. Pat's day meal. We invited some friends and their daughter (who is leaving on Monday to volunteer in Africa for 6 weeks at an orphanage) for supper. Lenae cleaned off the patio table and we ate outside. It was BEAUTIFUL weather for enjoying family and company! Enjoy the food photos...of the leftovers! LOL!


Mmmmmm....corned beef brisket with carrots & cabbage (no leftover potatoes)


Ramen noodle & cabbage salad....YUMMMMMMM!!!!!


Lemon Meringue Pie with a twist - it's green! It was refreshing!


Gotta have some shamrock cookies!

Tomorrow I plan to head back out for some more yard work. Kerry cut down one of our big Austrian Pine trees this past weekend, and I need to finish raking the pine needles and twigs. Unfortunately with the "pine wilt" disease making it's way through our area, we've now lost 2 trees to the disease. We'll probably take down a third tree in the near future. It doesn't have the disease yet, only "tip blight". However it won't be long until it will succumb to the disease. Bad news is that there is a fourth tree right next to it that will need to come down eventually too. :( I guess on the good side we'll get rid of those darn pine cones and needles that cover everything! Oh, and our red maple tree will be able to really spread! We also need to pick out some replacement trees. Exciting...but planting trees are a lot like caring for newborns. LOTS and LOTS of work.

And speaking of planting here is a quick picture of my gardening stuff for this year (including Lenae's new gardening gloves that she coerced me to buy-LOL). I'm going to get the seeds started tomorrow I think. Yay! I've got two flats with 72 peat pellets each. Ought to be plenty. *I hope* ;)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Can I back date?


Okay, so I never said I was a regular blogger, but I really didn't plan on going this long between posts. LOL! Maybe I'll make a late New Year's resolution: post something at least once a month. There it is, in print. Now, let's see if I can keep it up.

I suppose since I last posted, a lot of things have happened in life, including mine; but nothing that is really monumentous. Well, in my life anyway. I suppose having our first African American president is pretty important, but I don't agree with him much anyway. I will however to continue to pray for him, and particularly for God's guidance in his decisions.

As far as our family, we took a much needed vacation over Christmas break to Branson. We stayed at our timeshare for a week and had a great time. Kerry and I cringe now that we purchased the thing some 10 years ago. Knowing what we know now, about how they are such a rip off, we definitely won't be "upgrading". However it is now paid-for, so we'll keep using it. Our condo was comfy, and just being away from home and the hum-drum of daily life was such a nice break. My parents came up and stayed with us as well.

The only bad part of the whole trip was when we thought we were going to an "update" type of meeting and it turned out to be another blasted sales presentation. They really didn't like hearing that we do not borrow money, nor do we use credit cards (GO Dave Ramsey!)for any type of purchases. I don't think they thought we were serious. I mean really, just how many times did we have to stop them and say we were not interested? It was nuts! It was fun being educated though on "sales pitch techniques" through our Financial Peace University class and then watching them all being used in their stupid sales pitch. Right down to the exit interview/quality control lady that was supposed to fill out a survey with us. She asked us ONCE if we were treated nicely. Then proceeded to talk us into buying. Um, NO! Oh, and just incase you are wondering - I'm referring to Wyndham Resorts. However we bought into it when it was Fairfield Vacation Resorts. Oh the beauty of sales people finding young, in love, and totally clueless people!

Dang...I don't harbor any bad thought's about that do I? LOL!

Today is Valentine's Day. I need to go take a quick snap-shot of the beautiful flowers Kerry had delivered to school and upload it with this post. I'll do that here in a bit. While I'm doing that, I'll get one of Kerry's balloons too. He likes to embarrass me when he can, so I made sure to get him back yesterday. I sent him a HUGE balloon that plays "Wild Thing". Of course I sent it to the office where all the people he works with would get a kick out of it. He said it got played quite a bit, and sent me a text that said I was bad. Heck, he got a KU windsock and chocolate & nuts too! What more can a man want?

Well, I'm glad to be on the down slope of winter. I'm so ready for spring, even though we've had a very mild winter this year. I suppose I can't complain too much. I'm starting to decide what I'll be planting in my garden this year. I'll be buying seeds and all the stuff to get the seedlings started soon. I've also got to get the ground worked up and find out what I need to add to my soil to have a good harvest. I'm really excited to get started on time this year! I hope the kids will enjoy watching everything grow as much as I will.

Off to take a couple snapshots, and post some pictures here in a bit.

*update* Incase you didn't notice, the added pictures are at the top. :)