Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Help, I'm another year older!

Today was the day that I turned twenty-eight. That's all I have to say about that! Today was completely normal for this year. I did loads upon loads of laundry and I am battling whatever I have in my head, sinus pressure something awful with a touch of nausea! I did take two naps today, I hate to yucky on any day, but I kind of feel jipped when it's my birthday on top of it! Anyway, my sweet husband brought home a cake for me, it just happens to be my favorite, which is, for future reference, chocolate with raspberry filling and butter creme frosting. I dealt with all the normal "Mommy" things today, no day off for me! That's okay, I didn't expect that.

I feel a bit disappointed in myself this year for not doing our traditional "Christmasy" things, like sending cards, it just did not happen this year, and rather than kicking myself for it, I am coming up with another time to send cards to everyone we love.

I heard this poem on KLOVE today and I felt so much better about things this year.

Dear Children:

It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks
are taking My name out of the season. Maybe you've forgotten that
I wasn't actually born during this time of the year and that it was
some of your predecessors who decided to celebrate My birthday on
what was actually a time of pagan festival. Although I do
appreciate being remembered anytime.

How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most
easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with
children of your own. I don't care what you call the day. If you
want to celebrate My birth, just GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

Now, having said that let Me go on. If it bothers you that the town
in which you live doesn't allow a scene depicting My birth, then
just get rid of a couple of Santas and snowmen and put in a small
Nativity scene on your own front lawn. If all My followers did
that there wouldn't be any need for such a scene on the town
square because there would be many of them all around town.

Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a
holiday tree instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all
trees. You can remember Me anytime you see any tree. Decorate a
grape vine if you wish: I actually spoke of that one in a teaching,
explaining who I am in relation to you and what each of our tasks
were. If you have forgotten that one, look up John 15: 1 - 8.

If you want to give Me a present in remembrance of My birth, here
is my wish list. Choose something from it:

1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way My
birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to
soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this
time of year. I know, they tell Me all the time.

2. Visit someone in a nursing home. You don't have to know them
personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.

3. Instead of writing George complaining about the wording on the
cards his staff sent out this year, why don't you write and tell
him that you'll be praying for him and his family this year? Then
follow up. It will be nice hearing from you again.

4. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can't afford
and they don't need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of
My birth, and why I came to live with you down here. Hold them in
your arms and remind them that I love them.

5. Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.

6. Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take
their own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless?
Since you don't know who that person is, try giving everyone you
meet a warm smile; it could make the difference.

7. Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town
calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give
them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren't allowed to
wish you a 'Merry Christmas' that doesn't keep you from wishing
them one. Then stop shopping there on Sunday. If the store didn't
make so much money on that day they'd close and let their employees
spend the day at home with their families.

8. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary--
especially one who takes My love and Good News to those who have
never heard My name.

9. Here's a good one. There are individuals and whole families in
your town who not only will have no 'Christmas' tree, but neither
will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don't know
them, buy some food and a few gifts and give them to the Salvation
Army or some other charity which believes in Me, and they will make
the delivery for you.

10. Finally, if you want to make a statement about your belief in
and loyalty to Me, then behave like a Christian. Don't do things in
secret that you wouldn't do in My presence. Let people know by your
actions that you are one of mine.

Don't forget; I am God and can take care of Myself. Just love Me
and do what I have told you to do. I'll take care of all the rest.
Check out the list above and get to work; time is short. I'll help
you, but the ball is now in your court. And do have a most blessed
Christmas with all those whom you love, and remember I LOVE YOU,

JESUS

Instead of all my normal "Christmasy" things, I have spent a tremendous amount of time with my kids this year, and I have helped others in need and I have been there for those that needed me, so while I did not check the things off my list that I ordinarily do, this year has been anything but ordinary. At our house there are no gifts under the tree yet this year, and previously, I would have panicked by now about so many things, but taking a deep breath, I know that blessed we are, and God is in control!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Grace's Boldness


Grace is not afraid to tell it like she believes it! Her most recent is a paper she wrote on Egypt. The first half goes like this...

Egypt
by Grace Cole

Back in the time of ancient Egypt they would bury their kings when they died in pyramids with ancient possessions such as gold, silver, and bronze pieces and royal robes and necklaces and jewelry, and people now in times today go and search for the bodies and preserve them in exhibits and museums. They also would make shrines for them where people can only see the possessions not the person, and the Egyptians also would worship him instead of God and the people would call them Pharaohs and they would bow down to them. People that believed in God would call Pharaohs, idols, which meant evil one.

...she then goes on to describe how the Pharaohs living an evil life would die and be tossed into the lake of fire. I can tell you-she can preach it, can't she? The parts about idols, and the lake of fire, she learned from bible stories, she felt she needed to tell the whole truth in this report! And not just what her history book and her teacher told her. I love her boldness!

Previously this month she had written a letter to her music teacher as an appeal for a Christmas Music Program, she came up with it on her own too! She stated that she was "confident that the third grade class could get this together in time before Christmas and with God all things are possible". She included a list of her favorite carols, including Silent Night and Away in a Manger.
I would like to tell you that her appeal was met with an enthusiastic "yes", but we do live in America where we have "freedom of religion", and Grace was informed that they would not be singing about God in her school, and her request was denied. They did have a program earlier this fall, all about Thanksgiving, with songs about turkeys and cranberries, I think I got the picture, there will be no discussion about the real reason for anything in America!
Our nation, where the first Presidents and most of our forefathers were actually Pastors before they were in Congress, each men of faith and full of the Holy Spirit, yet please do not attempt to tell the truths related to these facts, we may offend someone, or, I don't know, introduce them to God, their Father (would that really be so bad?).

Thursday, December 13, 2007

MVP in the Making!

Keith got to stay home one more day with Zach and me! This is something that Keith has been working on with Zach, it is so cute. I didn't realize that you could blog video until a friend of mine made her girls movie stars, so her it goes! You'll probably see lots more of this now. It's wild how good at football and soccer Zach is already, very good eye-foot coordination! video

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Snow Days!

On a serious note, I know that a lot of people have lost power and still don't have power, well, it maybe only by power of prayer we did not ever loose power. We did loose some good size limbs but no damage, praise God! Even with all the damage to the trees, I can not describe in words the beauty all around us. The trees look like beautiful glass sculptures, and everything glistens, the few leaves that are left look like they are made of copper. The picture is the view from our front living room window. I don't know about you, but I have REALLY enjoyed the past two "snow days" the kids have had from school. I know I'll be lonely tomorrow when they go back. Have you ever heard of a mom praying for a "snow day"? What's not to love? We had to stay home and we even wore pj's all day yesterday and we played games. I taught Ethan how to play Chinese Checkers and Grace, Ethan and I played Chutes & Ladders, and we watched an American Girl Movie, Samantha together, oh, and drank hot chocolate with marsh mellows! Did I mention the Christmas Butter Cookies, yeah, I LOVE SNOW DAYS! Keith is such a wonderful big brother, he even let all his siblings in his "crib" for all kinds of "big kid" fun, which basically includes getting to look at his really cool football books, getting beat on the XBOX (and loving every minute of it!), or, getting to use his extensive marker collection or even better, getting to play with his finger boards, which apparently are miniature skate boards for your fingers (hey, I didn't know!). Grace and I were putting together puzzles tonight, we were missing the last two pieces though "OH, SNAP!", Grace said (I laughed so hard!). We all have found that we enjoy watching the occasional game show together, one that we have really enjoyed is Deal or No Deal, it's so funny to listen to the kids "coach" the contestants, they really get into it too, cheering and everything! Tonight, they were on their feet, yelling at the television! It was a hoot! A big part of today was spent at the Dentist's office, all three of the older kids had check-ups, thank goodness no cavities, and the very exciting event of getting a new toothbrush, Ethan got a red Power Ranger one, which was what he was for Halloween, he now thinks his dental hygienist is "the best in the whole world"! All this good hygiene was followed by a Spangles burger and fries for everyone, because, I, was out of my mind after 2 1/2 hours at the dentist office with four kids in an eight by eight waiting room! They actually did really well, PBS was on and with an audience of three other kids in the waiting room too, let's just say there was entertainment! Tonight it was Taco Night at our house, which the whole family puts away! Chocolate cake for desert because Mom is great, she feeds 'em chocolate cake! Sorry, Bill Cosby flash back! Now there are four very happy, exhausted kids in bed almost asleep, and I, their sorrowful mother, is not looking forward to a much quieter house tomorrow when they go back to school! Oh, well, 3:30 will not be far away, I'll just have to make Zach play with me till then!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Mommy's Favorite Things

This is the "Mom" version, it's just a few of my favorite things about being a Mom.
  • The first time you see them, all slimy and gross and perfectly beautiful, and you just can't believe "THAT came out of me"!
  • Baby "morning breath", the way their breath smells in the morning right when you get them out of their crib (they loose this delightful smell when they start eating solid food).
  • The "Ma Ma Ma" cry- it's just for me and that just melts me!
  • Snot on my shirt-this one is a weird one, I'll admit- but, it's like a badge of honor!
  • Breast-feeding, I REALLY love that one on one time that only Mommy can give.
  • Did you know that my kisses can actually heal the sick and the lame!
  • I love that I'm the "best" at so many things now!
  • When they are sick or hurt, all they want is ME!
  • Getting to call someone "Mine".
  • Even sometimes when it's frustrating, I love it when they act a little like me.
  • Being told by my kids that they are never getting married and will live with me forever!
  • Having one or more of my babes climb sleepily into bed with me for a morning snuggle!
  • Waking up any of my kiddos in the morning and getting to see that sleepy stretch!.
  • Being woke up in the middle of the night, and all they wanted was a hug and a kiss and they're back asleep.

Serious Fun and Games

Out of serious frustration of not enough family time, we kind of fell off the radar and buckled down to reconnect. We have been spending almost every evening together, playing games, watching movies, reading, just something together, we just kind of just quit going, going, going. We were gone almost every night and it was all good things, but it was also too many things! No more, since Rob has worked on first shift, for, I guess it's been two years now, he gets off at around 3:30, and we have made it an absolute, family dinner time at 5pm. We do this, so that we get that face time with the kids every single evening. I really love this, it feels early sometimes, but if there is something going on, it's usually at 6 or later, so we've already eaten and we're good to go. Kind of reminiscent of "Leave It To Beaver", I guess, but it really works in our house.Since we have been spending so much more time together as a family, we have really seen some significant changes in each of the kids, their attitudes and general behavior is different-good different. I don't know why it surprises me, the more time I invest in my family, the more important they feel, the more cherished, I think. I know that I feel that way when someone invests time in me!The games we play? Family favorites are UNO, and the other night we played BINGO, let me tell you what a hoot that was! It's funny to me that I never could see how much kids learn from playing games too! Rob was our "caller" and he declared that the prize would be a big wet juicy kiss from him! The kids all screamed and laughed, I offered the kiss if they would rather, but then I won the first BINGO! I claimed my kiss! Ethan was the second to BINGO, and he very sweetly asked if he could have the kiss from me, I, of course granted his request! Such a sweetheart! We played with Cheerios instead of the standard markers which was a lot of fun in itself, Keith declared that he would reward himself with a Cheerio any time he did not have the number called, the other kids followed suit. Funny, how they kept running out of "markers" before they had a BINGO!
In my family, when I was a kid, and even now, when we get together we play together. Cards, board games, pool, catch even, whatever, just to spend time with each other. I have always loved this, but I didn't see it as something so important till I became a mom. This is a great lesson I learned very young, and one I'm happy to teach my kids.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Grace's Locks of Love


It's contagious! Grace thought we had a great idea and decided she'd do the same! She had her nine inches cut of to give! I'm so proud of her, at her age, thinking of someone else, someone she doesn't even know! The kids at her school learned first hand about loosing hair from the treatment of a disease, their principle, Mrs Sheri Payne, died of lung cancer and the kids watched as she went through the process of treatment. She wore a wig after her hair fell out. Grace always felt sincere compassion and concern for Mrs.Payne and I think it helped her to relate to what the kids that would be receiving her hair were going through. After school I took Grace to get her hair shaped at a salon, it was her first time in five years at a salon, other than the one in our kitchen! Anyway, she thought the "hair bath" was so funny and that the spinning chairs that go up and down were really cool! She was the traditional talker while her hair was being cut, sharing her life story, as is customary, of course. She had a great time and I have to say that now she reminds me of someone, I just can't put my finger on it!

Thankful

This year, when our family lost all our possessions and our home in the flood, the estimated time for restoration was 6-9 months. Well, from the day of the flood to the day we were able to start rebuilding was six weeks, and from that day, to the day we moved back into our home was six weeks, only 85 days after the flood! Each of you were apart of that.
Every single work day, friends and family showed up, sometimes you could only stay for an hour, sometimes you stayed until late into the night, but everyone of you were such a big encouragement to us, you loved us, you cared! Everyone on your knees for us, you fed us, you clothed us, you helped out financially when you could, and you gave a place to call home again.
Thank you, from the depths of our hearts, thank you so much!

With so much love,
The Ball Family

Monday, November 19, 2007

Blessed

Have you ever looked out your window and saw something taking place that reminded you, you are blessed! Cooking dinner, I watch the kids through the kitchen window and the back door by the pantry and what do I see, all of the kids and my husband enjoying this gorgeous, "Indian Summer" evening. And what a magnificent sight indeed! All the colors of fall, one in the climbing tree, one playing catch with the football with his Dad, one riding their bike and the littlest one trying to imitate everyone in turn! I love this time of year, I love the baking and cooking of favorite autumn dishes. What an incredible time of year, nearing Thanksgiving, there is so much that I am thankful for and five them are right outside my back door!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Last Day

So, last night, Grace and Ethan up three times each, you guessed it, sick,sick,sick. I changed sheets and Rob changed clothes, and today more being sick. Zach and I were not 100%, nothing major, just kind of blah. So, all of us laid around, doing not much of anything, and actually enjoying it. We relaxed and watched football, napped and then tonight when everyone was feeling a little better we played Scene It, Disney Version and the grown-ups played Clue on DVD after the kiddos went to bed, it was really a lot of fun. Days like today really make me miss having my Mom and Dad in Topeka, when they lived there, the whole family would go to their house after church and just hang out all day, eat, play games, nap, football, whatever the day brought, those are some of my favorite times, it was nice to get a little taste of that again today. So a day full of driving awaits us tomorrow, HAPPY TRAILS!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Jam-Packed Sight-Seeing

This day was a week in one day! We went to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo first thing this morning, which is incredible and a must-see for anyone and everyone. It's in Colorado Springs, on the side of a mountain, which made the view amazing and the terrain a little rugged, which made it feel even more like an adventure. I have to say the best part was the giraffe exhibit, petting and feeding them, WOW! I was amazed, we were SO close to them! The kids really loved that, us adults were just as excited as the kids though, that was sooo cool! Other great parts of the zoo were the hippo exhibit and the meerkats exhibit. Really neat to watch, both actually, the three hippos were so close and active, and the meerkats are just so cute to watch, each with their own little personality. We also saw a baby ape and a baby orangutan, soooo sweet. After that we went nearby to the Seven Falls, which is way cool, and Rob and I thinking that we are somewhat in shape decided to go up all 224 stairs to the top of the falls and less than half-way up we both regretted that thought, but forced ourselves up the rest dragging behind our three SKIPPING children! Nana and Papa waited at the bottom with Zach and I know why, they do not deceive themselves, we made it though and it was a beautiful site to see those falls so close. Did I mention that then you have to walk back down, yeah, that was a good time! I'm sure it was just the altitude! Of course, always in high altitude it is important to drink a lot of water! Here's our "water boy"! He's really cute!Next we went to the Garden of the Gods, which is very cool, especially if you like rock climbing, which all my kids LOVE to do! They were covered in red dust and a little sweaty, but, did I mention we had 65-70 degree weather again! Yes, it is beautiful! We didn't visit the Visitor Center there because I read about the explanations of the rock formations and thought it did not give credit where credit was due. When the kids asked me what it was that we were going to see, I told them, you know how you go to an art gallery and there are all kinds of sculptures that people have made, well, this is like one of God's art galleries, all one of a kind, hand made, by Him! Credit was due, it is a pretty incredible site to see. Next, to the Cliff Dwellings, again, the kids loved all the climbing and the exploring, so much fun to experience these things with them, I remember how much fun it was when I was there (age 7), and how exciting to see this ancient way of life. Well, after that, they were COVERED in red dust and we were off to a real cowboy dinner with all the fixins and some real cowboys to entertain us too, at the Flying "W" Ranch. We really loved that, it was so much fun. There is 55 years of history at the "Flying W", one of my fondest memories as a kid was going there, good, clean, very corny humor, with great music played by very talented musicians. We were very impressed and pleased with the evening entertainment. All in all a very successful, very full filling, very exhausting day, wouldn't change a minute of it!

Our Cowboy Adventure Begins

I have wanted to take the kids on this "Cowboy Adventure" for about a year now, but we just had to keep putting it off, till now. The name? Just because I like to name stuff! Right after school we took off in the truck for Golden,Colorado, to Nana and Papa's house for a late-night arrival. Our first full day was such a great success, we went on a trail, horse back ride, it was Grace and Keith's first time out of a corral. Ethan and Zach, being too young, rode in the corral, and Pat, from the ranch gave Ethan a lesson on horses. This was such a delight to Ethan, he did not mind at all not going on the trail, and he got two old horse shoes even! Ethan, of course came all geared up in his chaps and vest that Nana made him, along with a broken in pair of boots and a very broken in cowboy hat, Ethan takes this "cowboy stuff" very seriously! To start, the weather was a no wind, 65-70ish BEAUTIFUL day! Seriously, I mean, look at those BLUE skies! And, if that weren't enough, we saw around a dozen or more deer and a 10 point buck sitting in the tall grass, just watching us mosey on by, maybe 30 feet from us too! A truly awesome sight! And, if that weren't enough! We saw breath-taking views of mountains and a lake even, that was nestled between two mountains, we saw the skyline of Denver off in the distance, and even got to ride through a mountain stream. One of the best sights to see was our thirteen year old, city boy, on a horse wearing his skater shoes and his shades, looking like he'd rather be somewhere else, that is, until he got on a horse, then, the brooding teenager look was replaced with a huge grin on his face, loving every second of that ride! Keith insists that we will not be given in any grandchildren from him now, and Grace, enthusiastically, "always dreamed of this!" I have to agree, one of those things I've always dreamed about, it was a new and wonderful experience for us all! Thanks Mom and Dad!

Grace's Match-Maker Advice

I was overhearing my wise eight year old giving her younger, five year old brother a bit of marriage advice "You know, you'll never get married if you keep picking your nose!", to which my precious boy replied, "Yes I will, I will find a girl who picks her nose too!", without skipping a beat, not a flinch, Grace said, "Well, then your wedding pictures will be disgusting, both with your fingers up your noses!", well, this evoked the obvious response, "SO!". I am always in for an adventure with those two around! What's great, is that upon hearing this advice from Grace, my Dad told Ethan, "Well, Ethan, it's always good to have things in common with your wife to have a healthy relationship.", Papa, don't encourage him!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Locks of Love

A good friend of mine and I got our hair cut for Locks of Love yesterday! She cut off 20 1/2 inches, I got 16 inches off! Yes, that is a lot of hair, we both lost weight! It was really fun to go do it with a friend, but, I was more emotional than I thought I would be, it caught me off-guard when she put the pony tail in my hands. We, of course went through all the hair style possibilities, what would or would not throw our husbands into shock when they saw us! I had a gift certificate leftover from two Christmases ago (shows you how often I take time for me!), and it was just enough for two haircuts! I thought this was the best way I could think of to use the rest of it, it's a great cause too. The kids didn't mind much, Grace almost didn't recognize me when I picked them up at school, Keith thought it was pretty drastic, Zach didn't even seem to notice though. Rob, on the other hand, well, he didn't cry! Definitely it was a bigger deal for him because he really loves my hair long, but, it will grow again and it was something I have always wanted to do. I was very happy to do it and I really hope a little girl loves her new wig!

Friday, November 2, 2007

The Ball of Fall

This Zachary "Lion" (pronounced Zackawee Wion). Of course the "nickname" was given by a three year old Ethan who was told the name of the baby in Mommy's tummy would be. He thought it was a wonderful name, but still thought that the better name for the baby would be "Ethan", just like his, but when we explained how confusing it would be, he didn't care, but we still named him Zachary!

Our handsome five year old made a dashing Red Power Ranger! One of four I might add, in their small school of less than 200, that made it a very popular costume! No matter, he was "the best one", biggest muscles, all that, you know!






And here I am, the fearless lion tamer! Yes, feeling quite silly in my knee high socks. Zachary and I went to the MOPS Fall Festival at CBC, and had a great time coloring and dancing and watching the clowns. You can't really keep Zach in one place for very long, he's a bit of a "social butterfly" (wonder where he gets that!) and went from table to table visiting and stopped briefly to help the clowns, before going over to the "pumpkin walk" where he preferred to stand in the middle of the circle and spin around, laughing with delight at the spinning room and other kids in costume!

Grace had told her Nana that she wanted to be an angel and just assumed that Nana would take it from there, well, she even told me that Nana had it under control and then I found out that my Mom had no knowledge of Grace's plans for her. So Grace and I went on a hunt to find an angel costume, with no success, because she is a very tall eight year old and there were no 12-14 costumes! So, we put forth our best effort and through Grace's careful instruction of how an angel costume should look, we made our pattern, cut it out and sewed it while she was out of school on Friday and viola! The sweet angel costume she is wearing!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Grandma's Birthday

Last week was my mother-in-law's birthday, with Rob's crazy work schedule we didn't get to celebrate till last night, but what a celebration! We had so much fun! Linda a.k.a. "Grandma Linda", "Ma", and "Mom", came over for my infamous lasagna dinner and her favorite, chocolate marble cake with milk chocolate icing. After dinner we played UNO, one of our family's favorite games to play, and laughed and laughed! My wonderful mother-in-law has a great sense of humor, a playful spirit (which is what keeps her looking so young, I'm sure!), and such a giving and sweet spirit. She is always there when we need her and teaching me so much about being a Mom, patience and understanding. She stops in for a visit, and we love it, she is wise and supportive. She is an awesome cook (keeps me on my toes!), and stores those recipes up in her head too! We love her so much and she is such a blessing to our lives. Happy Birthday, Ma!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Decorating Sense

I have done something wonderful in the kitchen and it isn't cooking, but it is RED HOT! Okay, that was HORRIBLY cheesy, but kinda funny too! This is a picture of my kitchen before, white, white, white. Not no more-it's RED! The white was depressing me, and since I was hoping to be building and post-flood it's gonna be awhile, I made this space my own again. It was orange before the flood, pumpkin spice actually and Rob really liked it that color, and he hates change, but I got him to go for red instead, and we both are crazy about it (I'm so glad he's not seeing red about the red!(again horribly cheesy, but kinda funny too!)). I had seen on a decorating show that you could buy the scraps from a drapery fabrication shop really cheap, so I scoped it out and found the gorgeous fabrics in the picture for $7 for the lot of it, and this is the good stuff as far as fabrics go. I found the paint when I was at the hardware store for something else and it was sitting there calling to me, and I could not deny, it was the perfect red, I had no idea though how perfect. Upon returning home I found the red to be the EXACT color of my sheets that I made my chair slipcovers from! I kid you not! I did even get a "cool" from Keith when he got home! I think the red makes everything else pop in the room. Okay, so my "hot kitchen makeover" has cost me a total of $28.60. Here's how it broke down- $7 for fabrics, $12 for paint, $3 for a skinny roller (much easier for between cabinets), $4 for rods and $2.60 for buttons to cover for the valances. This decorating when you're broke can be done, and I know one thing for sure, God does care about my wants, because He knew how much I wanted to make this house look like home again, and what do you know, the perfect paint and the perfect fabric, right there waiting for me! The "little" things are not lost on me, I know that my faithfulness is rewarded, and He is always faithful. You can see in the second "after" picture that my "office" is in the kitchen, where I am blogging to you from! I have my autumn screen saver, which just happens to match my kitchen , I know! I think my sister has a gallon of green paint in her garage that might just be the perfect color for my dining room, seriously, I'll let you know! And, of course you gotta know there's something laying around somewhere that I can hang on those big 'ol french doors that are so white and plain right now! Maybe some branches out back, or I may weld something iron-KIDDING, wouldn't it be cool if I could though, the branches, I mean (HA!). Okay, each your heart out Miss Martha!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Have YOU ever kissed a goat?

Today was a wonderful family fun filled adventure to the zoo. We took a picnic and enjoyed the cool fall day. Rob had a day off and the kids did too, so it was perfect for family time. Because of the cool weather and the time of day we went, the zoo was practically empty and they had just fed the animals, we had quite a show from all the tenants there! It was Zach's first experience there since he has been old enough to really care and he loved it, every animal there was a "Dog" though.The orangutans baby and mama put on quite a show for us as the baby hung from the fence upside down and pulled the hair of the mama, she gave him that look. I laughed so hard, even orangutans give that look to their babes!
The tiger was making all sorts of noise today, which delighted all four children and especially my sweet hubby who LOVES tigers and even has a tattoo of one on his thigh! The hippo was out of water eating her lunch and the birds in the rain forest were quite friendly too. A look at one bat, and I was outta there!
At the petting zoo, which is not my favorite, okay, see, I carry anti-bacterial "stuff" in my bag at all times and for the zoo, I bring out the "big dogs" of clean, my whole canister of Wet Ones anti-bacterial wipes and I mean business! So the kids feeding and touching the farm animals is really something I don't particularly love, but today, Zach, who really loved this part was petting a goat a little too rough and loving it, was told by his daddy that he needed to be sweet and gentle with the goats and sweet little Zach leaned in and kissed the goat on the nose! Oh, for a picture of that!
One new thing for us was the Bald Eagles new habitat, it's so close to the walk now that you can really see them well, and we all were excited to get a really good look at them. One of them was even tearing apart a fish it was eating, very Discovery Channel!
I absolutely love, love, love days like this, just fun-filled and family oriented, PERFECT!

What a Looker!

Fairy Princess

Under Construction!

Hazel -Eyed Beauty

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Adventures

I can't believe that I didn't blog about my license plate I got recently. I really love it, it was my first choice, and I think it's really cool. As I seem to decorate EVERYTHING in my life, including my vehicle of choice, it seemed very fitting. Come to think of it though, I never even mentioned what I ended up with after the flood and our search for a replacement for "Lucille" began! Well, lots of thought was put into this choice and here's what I got. A 2003 Yukon, bells and whistles included, it's a pretty "sweet ride" I've been told. It carries our whole family and still has room for two more (babies, I wish!), mainly with my nieces in mind that we love to tote around with us! So far, I do like it's "kid-capacity" and the leather, and the sunroof, and Rob really likes that it can haul a trailer. One of his dreams is to have an enclosed trailer that he can keep all his tools in and take with him on mission trips here and there and have everything he needs to do the job right, I'm on board, I would love to go on more mission trips, hopefully we will head off to Great Bend in the spring for a church renovation (prayers please!) The other day Rob surprised with a new family of stickers for the Yukon, yeah! I was so excited (cause I'm a geek like that!!!). I love that he knows that about me and even encourages my geeky tendencies!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Decorating for Fall

I have finally decorated for fall! I have been very depressed over the state of our house right now and I really have not felt like decorating anything. So, today I sewed my red slip covers for the kids chairs out of a $3 sheet, and I felt so good about how they turned out that I just went nuts decorating! I love how it looks and I actually feel better now about having no trim or some walls undone still!
Thankfully all my decorating things for the holidays were in the attic, so all dry! I took apart all my flower arrangements from last fall and made new, fresh ones, from the all the old stuff and I think they look great. I am thinking about stenciling something on the slip covers too. We'll see when the mood strikes me! I really like to have basic things to work with so I can dress them up for the holidays and have a clean simple look when I'm not going to be entertaining. Now, I need to have someone over for dinner!

BIG BOY!

Zach is learning to use a spoon, he HATES to get his hands dirty when he's eating, so, I am beginning to grow tired of having to feed him pretty much everything, that I gave him a spoon and let him at some Mac 'n Cheese, and you know, just holding the spoon makes the food on his hands tolerable and he actually did get the spoon with food on it in his mouth a couple times!

Worlds of Fun

Every year Frito Lay has a company picnic at Worlds of Fun, this year though was the first year we took all the kids too. Grace and Ethan were finally both tall enough to ride so rides and we brought Zach along to make it a family affair. We really had a great time, the kids were more daring than I thought they'd be and Zach even rode a ride for the first time! He loved it. Grace and Ethan both love the rides that spin you in circles really fast, like the barrel that the floor drops out, okay, that was the first ride I rode with them and I almost threw up, no more spinning for me! It was the first weekend for the Halloween stuff going on there, so the kids got to go through a very mild spooky house, well, Grace didn't go, she really does not like to be scared, and then they got a bag of candy though and saw a magic show. I really just love to watch my family laughing and having fun together, that day made me want to do more things as a family just to see their eyes light up that way!

Royals vs Indians

A wonderful friend gave us some tickets to the Royals game last Friday and we went and took the kids and Rob's Mom. It was buck night and Friday Night Fireworks too! Pop, peanuts and hot dogs were $1 each, and since it was the Royals last at home weekend, the fireworks were awesome! The boys had been to a Rockies game with my Mom and Dad in Colorado, but Grace had never been before, and I hadn't been in years. We had such a good time as a family and Grace even said that it was the best night of her life! I asked how it could be better than Disney World and she just grinned and said "it just is". All the kids just really love spending time all together as a family and so do we.
This is definatly one of those things we will try to do again. In the picture of the score board you can kind of see the moon between the poles, but in person it was so spectacular. Just a little reminder of how truly awesome God is. The weather for the evening so perfect, just right. The only thing that could have made the night better was if the Royals won, but you know, 3-5 was an edge of your seat kind of game, so it was fun!