Mostly just picture posts for the unforeseeable future. Blah but it'll have to do. Sorry, Texas.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


On Friday, November 13th I was fortunate enough to wake up to my sweet daughter saying, "Maawwwummm" at some wee hour far before sunrise. By the way, that was my best effort to spell out a long drawn out "Mom" by a whining child. You know the one.

I scramble to find my glasses and mad dash to her room. Ohhhh nooooo...It's the very thing I dread seeing the most in the middle of the night (picture of my findings not included). It's bad enough to have to deal with vile vomit at any time, but it's even worse when I have to clean it up all by myself when Nathan is out of town. This seems to be a pattern nearly every time he is gone.

The next morning she wants to eat breakfast immediately. Strange because she rarely eats before school. But since she's not going to school I guess she felt like eating. We get Cole off to school and shortly after she wants a snack. Ummm...Isn't your stomach supposed to be upset or something? While she's eating her "snack" and watching cartoons I decide to go take a shower. I tell her no jumping and to just rest on the couch. I get out of the shower and hear her sweet voice playing and having some elaborate conversation with something. I peek around the corner and see this giant display of cards. This took some serious time so she must have popped up off the couch right after I got in the shower. Wait, she is sick...Isn't she?

This is the 3rd time she's gotten a stomach bug in the last 3 months, but the 2nd time where she only threw up once in the darkness of the night and was perfectly fine after that. You have to keep them home though because it would be absolutely terrible if they got sick at school. I got that phone call when Cole was in kindergarten and it was not fun. He refused to let the nurse clean him up and just sat there covered in it until I came. Just imagine the look and soaked in smell of it...Disgusting.

Brooke was all smiles and bouncy all day long. Literally, she was bouncy as she jumped on the trampoline. What?! I was exhausted from getting little sleep and she wanted to do everything. I kind of felt like I had been played. Did she just feel like having a 3 day weekend or what?

I think she has missed 7 days of school already. I may be getting a questioning phone call from the school before Christmas break. Fingers crossed that I don't!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Lately, I have been trying to cook on the grill on my own. Nathan doesn't really care to mess with the grill so I either try to do it when he is out of town or when he is at karate with Cole. That way he can't talk me out of it. Usually it's either hamburgers or pork chops...I gotta start with the basics for now. I grew up with my dad always grilling really good food and that's just what I want.

Soooo...If you want something done, sometimes you just have to do it yourself. I kind of like it but I know it really annoys Nathan. He does have to cook out a lot at work for the employees as a reward for good safety and stuff, so maybe he just associates grilling with work and would rather not do it at home. Or maybe he just really dislikes it. I don't know.

One day I mentioned to the kids that it would be fun to roast marshmallows over the fire on the grill. They were excited about the idea so we secretly waited until Nathan went out of town. That way he wouldn't complain about it and the kids could just have fun with it all.

You can tell that Brooke was super excited. I think she had been smelling the marshmallows and got some of the powder on her nose.

Cole and Brooke thought it was so cool to see the marshmallows catch on fire. And now time to eat those yummy roasted marshmallows.

Well, they weren't quite as I remembered. Brooke wouldn't touch the burnt part. She doesn't like anything burnt looking on her food. Cole took a bite and thought it was good until he realized that the marshmallow was all gooey inside. He just about started gagging trying not to swallow it. He ran to spit it out and Brooke wasn't about to take a bite after Cole's dramatic display. I decided to prove to them that they are good and quickly realized that I was wrong. What happened? I know I ruin a lot of food when I cook, but I know I didn't mess up roasting marshmallows...Did I?

Maybe it was the campfire in the woods and the whole ambiance that made them taste better when I was younger. Even though it was a bust, I think they had fun doing it. I'm sure if they would've been smothered in chocolate for smores they would've tasted much better. After all, chocolate makes everything better!!

Monday, November 23, 2009


This is a random story about a random package on a random day.

A few weeks ago on a quiet morning the doorbell rings and my heart skips a beat at the surprise. I quickly sneak around to avoid being seen through the skinny windows by the front door. You can't see in if you're standing there like a normal, polite person waiting for the door to open, but if you stick your face as close as possible to the window like the annoying neighbor kid does, you can. I have no make up on and dare not scare off the unknown doorbell ringer. By the time I get to the big front window to peek through the blinds I notice the UPS driver getting back in his truck. Whew, I was able to avoid the embarrassment of opening the door without my face paint on. The big brown truck drives away and I find this random package at my doorstep. What could be in there? This box is so heavy that I just about get a hernia picking it up.As much as I wanted to look inside the mysterious box, I waited for Nathan to come home for lunch. After a few swirling thoughts, I finally remembered that Nathan said his work from his training was going to be mailed to him. My interests were just about lost at that point.

Below are the contents that put me in a brief panic with the sound of the doorbell. While there was nothing exciting inside, I was shocked at the amount of classwork Nathan had to endure while at his training. He actually packed the box himself and even stuck his leftover can of Barbeque Pringles in there. Mmmm...Even though they make your breath stink, it is so easy to eat the whole can in one sitting.Nathan also got this "talking stick" at his training. Supposedly, only the person holding the stick can speak. While it is a cute idea for a fancy meeting in a pretty corporate office filled with business suits, I don't think the guys in jeans and stained t-shirts at Nathan's warehouse will dare touch this whittled piece of processed wood.This annoying box continued to sit by the front door until just yesterday when I finally got Nathan to put it in his car. He said he would take it to his office, but I'm betting it will sit in his car for a minimum of one month.

So that was my random story. You're welcome. :)

Click here if you want to read about when Nathan went to training: OCTOBER 11th THRU 23rd- MAN DOWN

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


This is the day that Brooke finally got to get those horse riding lessons that she's been asking for since June. We made the mistake of telling her she could have lessons before we actually secured a place that would provide them. Oops. The equestrian center that looked awesome on their website went into hibernation or something. They wouldn't answer any of their numbers or return calls or emails. Nathan and I even drove out there one day and they had the gates locked where you couldn't even drive in to the facility. That was a serious waste of 45 minutes. Nathan asked people at work and no one knew anyone that had horses. What the heck?! How can that be since we practically live in the country here?

At this point we would have been happy for Brooke to just be able to feed or look at any random horse. Well, a few weeks ago at Brooke's parent/teacher conference I mentioned our situation with the horses to her teacher and she said she would look into it for me. The very next day she sent me an email with a name and phone number! Turns out she approached one of the first grade teachers that had a bunch of horses and a teenage daughter and pitched the idea of lessons to her. They thought it would be a great idea, too. Karley (the teenager) needed company with the horses and a little extra money, the horses needed exercise, and Brooke needed something special just for her to do. After a couple of phone calls, we set up the informal lessons (basically just brushing and sitting on the horse). It didn't really even matter what they did.

Oh my goodness, Brooke was over the moon with excitement.
We drove about 20 minutes to get there and the closer we got the more suspect the area became. Uhhh...I hope this is still a good idea. All of a sudden we turned into their long drive lined with beautiful trees that led to a sweet country house surrounded by nature. I could spend hours out there taking pictures and trying to capture all of the beautiful scenery. They have so much land and it is all just so peaceful in a strange country-like way.

The sun was so stinking bright that it was hard to get those crystal clear pictures. But that didn't stop me. I only took 100 photos/videos trying to capture theses sweet moments. I'd say that's not too bad. :)What was that loud noise? Oh, just a shotgun. It happen to be opening day for deer season, and much to our surprise, you can shoot anything anywhere here. What?! That's just not right. In fact, Karley's dad is a taxidermist...Yikes! He was actually in Illinois hunting because he thinks the many deer that come on their land are too small. Oh my...I'm so glad Nathan doesn't care for hunting.

Brooke said she was a horse whisperer. It wouldn't surprise me. She is fairly shy to most people but has a special love for animals. She will talk or sing to a dog or a horse with no worries at all.

The male brown horse is Eli and the female white horse is Sugar. Sugar is actually pregnant right now. Matter of fact, they said she gets pregnant about once a year and that 4 of the other horses are their productions. Geez...Poor Sugar. Here's Rambo. He is one of the only horses there that doesn't mind giving rides.
Brooke was standing on the other side of Rambo, and all I could see were her little pink boots. So cute. And they're off! To a slow walk, that is. Evidently, slow is Rambo's favorite speed.

I don't know what all they were talking about, but I think Karley got an earful. When they would round the corner by us they would both smile and get real quiet.On top of a horse with the wind in her hair...Pure happiness.
Finally, Cole was having to watch Brooke do something. She has sat through so many basketball and karate things already that he is due his share of watching and waiting. I'm sure the amount she'll endure throughout her childhood will far outweigh the amount he will. I know this because I speak from experience as a little sister of older brothers...It's just the way it is.
I lost count how many times they went around in a giant circle, but Brooke was so happy the entire time. It was simply adorable. She didn't want to leave and can't wait to go back!

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Well, well, well...What can I say about Halloween? I just don't really care for it. And neither does my husband. I don't see why it is so wrong for us to have our own opinions about it. I don't like scary movies or the darkness where something or someone can jump out at me. I'm on edge enough in the dark because I can't see my hand in front of my face without my contacts or glasses. So, if you try to jump out and startle me I'm probably going to scream and I might even punch you. And then I'll be freaked out for a while and not happy with you to say the least.

Besides all that, I just feel like it is rude to walk up to a stanger's door and expect them to give you candy. I would rather just spend the money on tons of candy myself than on a costume that gets worn once. Nathan doesn't really even like candy and never has so he really thinks Halloween is just plain stupid. He didn't care if we did anything at all, but he went along with my idea to buy a bunch of candy to hide around the house for the kids to find. And if the doorbell rang, then we already had some to hand out...Even though he wanted the porch light off. Cole was just fine with this idea because he just wants candy. However, Brooke didn't quite understand it.

Well, I should have known it was going to be a full moon on Halloween night with the threats I got about not taking the kids trick or treating. And you know who you are. You couldn't just leave well enough alone and let Nathan and I skip the Halloween traditions. You had to voice your opinins through phone calls and text messages and make me feel guilty. And I hate it when people make me feel guilty because it generally always works.

Then, my beautiful daughter says she wants to go ring doorbells, bats her pretty little eyes, and flashes a smile. Alright, alright! Oh my...She is just so beautiful!
I say we'll go to a few houses on our street and then come right back. We wait about an hour after it gets dark and no one, not one person comes to the door. I check outside real quick and every house as far as I can see has their porch light off. You mean to tell me that our neighbors didn't care about Halloween either? Grrr...So I decide to go to a nicer, nearby neighborhood. Nathan tags along but refuses to get out of the car and does the creepy drive by thing. I know she was secretly thinking...Sucker! How could I say no to such a sweet face?Cole wore this outfit that was his cousin Christopher's actual dirt bike gear years ago. He said he was the motocross superstar Travis Pastrana. Nobody knew who that was and would ask if he was some Nascar driver. Brooke was a bonnareena. It doesn't matter if you say ballerina...She still says bonnareena.
Look...They are standing in front of a stranger's door waiting.And they got their candy...You happy now people?!This guy had Guitar Hero set up in his front yard. He didn't want to stop playing to hand out candy so, he would just tell the kids to take whatever they wanted from the bucket. I have to admit...It was pretty cool. Brooke wanted to keep going even though it was 45 degrees, and we were all cold. I had no idea it was that cold and felt bad that I didn't dress her warmer. Cole was ready to go long before she was but I think it was because his head was starting to tip over from the very heavy helmet. One last picture at the end of trick or treating. Cheese!
Here is the actual video evidence to prove that the kids went door to door.

Mmmmm chocolate...I absolutely adore you. That's my girl!

I think Cole has already downed about four pixie sticks at this point. Great.

Brooke was saying that this candy is what Grandma had when she took her to the movies one time. Grandma is known for her serious love of Twizzlers. Yes, we are so proud.

I think all in all it was a Happy Halloween...At least for the kids.

Now if somebody would just get this sweet, yummy, irresistible candy away from me...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


The school carnival rolled around and guess who got talked into working it? Yep, me. Brooke's class was in charge of the face painting booth. Excellent, since I've never painted faces before. The teacher said they would have a chart of simple things for the kids to choose from so I thought it would be easy enough. Of course, I walk up and have to start right away. No practicing on my hand or paper or anything first. And this kid wants a rocket ship with a window and fire blasting out of it. What?! Boy, that's not on the chart! You don't want a football or a heart? He insists, I try my best, he critiques it in the mirror, the line of kids builds up, and I finally have to tell his mom that this is the best I can do so she'll move him along. For crying out loud! I had a couple of other kids like that and one father who kept getting too close to me trying to tell me how to make an official Naval anchor. Get out of here! That's NOT on the chart! At least Cole and Brooke chose something simple and didn't complain.
Since Nathan had just been gone for two weeks, he was guilted into going to the carnival and taking the kids around to play the games. The whole carnival was pretty cheesy and not at all what the teachers made it out to be. There really wasn't that much to do and you had to prepay to go. The kids wore a bracelet to show they had paid instead of toting around tickets. That was a good idea but there weren't near enough activities to make the price worth it. Oh well, I think the kids enjoyed it.
The evening turned out much better. We went over to a friend's new house to watch the fights. They have stairs and all the kids went up and down those things over and over again like they'd never seen them before. I guess our kids don't really have memories of our two story house from when they were little. I know it's shocking that I don't have pictures to relive the night, but there were several other people there, and I didn't want to be that weird stranger taking photos of everyone. Maybe next time. It was a good night though and we all had a good time.