Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas Lights

Saturday Chris and his "little brother" from Big Brothers Big Sisters set out to put up the outside Christmas lights like they have together for the last three years.  Growing up, watching my father do the same task, I know there are a few key steps in the process.  First, you take them out of the box, plug them in, test them, and THEN hang them up. 

Chris and Takoda took a different approach this year.  Ladder up, lights up, plugged in (it's daytime so it's still a little hard to tell which lights are on and which are off).  Then I asked why they didn't test them first - inside.  Hmmm.  They weren't sure.  So they left the ladder up thinking once it was dark they could then replace the bulbs that weren't working.  How do you think that went?

The ladder was left out but nobody climbed back up.  At bedtime, I suggested the ladder not be left out all night, so it is now safely put away in our garage.  I'm guessing our burnt out bulbs will remain through Christmas, but we'll see. 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

One small step for man...

Today we took the girls to the Kansas Cosmosphere.  It is such a great museum to take kids too, though, in order to really take the time to read everything,  we would have had to go without the kids!  Sometime Chris and I will go back just the two of us.

I had bought 1/2 price tickets on Groupon several months ago and they were about to expire. We made a fun day out of it after dropping Sam off to play with Papa.  We ate at McDonalds (because, where else do you take three girls) and then headed over to the Cosmosphere.  After checking out the museum, we went to the IMAX theater.  With four young kids we don't go to a lot of movies.  Sophia has been to 3 movies, but Anna and Isabella had never been to a movie theater before.  Going to an IMAX for their first time was quite an experience. 

We were watching the movie about the Hubble telescope and the final space flight up to fix it and make modifications.  Very cool. 

Isabella looked at me and said, "Mom, they should have fixed this before they sent it up to space."  Very true!  Pretty smart for four. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Since they always come in threes....

# 1  Alternator died in van.
# 2  Ice maker broke in 9 month old refrigerator.
# 3  Can't wait to share with you what happens next. 

Hope you have a peaceful and financially pleasant day!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

On The Road Again....Another (expensive) adventure in Motherhood

Last weekend we loaded up the kids and headed to Colorado. It wasn't for a vacation, but a funeral for an aunt that died suddenly and entirely too young.  Saturday we attended the funeral and then loaded up the van to head south to Chris' family cabin.  We were emotionally drained and tired from spending a night with 6 people in one hotel room and the day before in the van.  We knew the kids couldn't endure another day of travelling back home.

It was going to be a 2 1/2 hour drive.  We decided not to change all of our clothes before the drive.  We knew snow was coming and wanted to get on the road and to the cabin before dark.  When we got in the car we saw our first snow flakes.  This is how my cuties were dressed!

And these were my adorable new shoes I was wearing. 

As we headed south and left Denver our "voltage" light came on.  Normally Chris ignores these for a while, but we looked in the owner's manual and it said to get help immediately.  Great.  It was Saturday afternoon.  We started looking for some place to stop and everything was closed.  We finally found a mechanic in Aspen Park that was open.  It was not our battery as we had thought, but our alternator was dying.  Fast.  We started saying some prayers.  As he looked at the car, you could hear it  dying.  He first said he couldn't help us until Sunday night if he could get a part in.  Our alternative was to drive back to Denver and try to find some place that was open.  He said he could charge our battery, but we still might not make it.  Awesome, "have you seen our four children in the back seats?" I wanted to ask.

The mechanic went in to see if he could track down a part and we said a few more prayers. He came out and said we were in luck.  He could get a new alternator, and could work late to help us out.  He told us he could have it ready by 7pm.  Yeah....except that it was 3:45 by then.  He said he could drop us off at a local family restaurant and said they'd "take care of us." 

If you know Sam, you know he's a typical two-year-old boy.  Sitting in a restaurant for 30 minutes is a struggle at best.  We had 3 hours and 15 minutes to kill.  And we were not even a little bit hungry.  You know you're not hungry when you completely ignore the free bread they set at your table at an Italian restaurant.  But, we ordered dinner.  Luckily the restaurant had a small basket of toys for the kids to play with and crayons to draw on the paper laid out on the tables.  We ate, we stalled, and then we asked if there was anything within walking distance.  A grocery store.  Well, not my first choice, but I can kill a lot of time wandering around in a grocery store.  We got directions and headed out.  By then it was dark and very cold.  The sidewalks were covered in snow.  Remember what we were wearing and those shoes.... Not ideal for this adventure.

The streets weren't lit well and the sidewalk ended, and really it was much too far for our kids to walk.  We headed back the way we came.  There was a gas station there and I thought maybe they'd have a booth we could sit in.  Nope, closed on Saturday afternoons.  Really?  Our only choice was to head back to the restaurant and hope they'd understand. 

Looks like fun doesn't it?

We had an amazing waitress who was very accommodating especially since the restaurant was filling up with the dinner crowd.  We ordered hot chocolate, we colored, we played with little toys and we waited.  The clock ticked slowly that day.  We were so tired and emotionally drained.  At 7pm, the mechanic came back and picked us up.  We paid for our newly fixed van, checked the weather forecast and finally headed south.

We were exhausted, but we were safe.  If we hadn't found that mechanic exactly when we did we would have been broken down on the side of a mountain road with four kids in the car.  It could have been very bad.  If he wouldn't have been so generous in staying late to help us - it could have been worse. 

We said some more prayers of thankfulness.  And we all slept hard that night.  I'll try to share some pictures of the fun we had the next day.  We just love visiting Colorado, but hope we don't have another adventure like this for a while. 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Family Pictures and the *Almost* Broken Nose

Every November we go in and take our family picture.  For several years, it seemed like we had a new baby each time we went.  It's fun to look through all of them and see how much the kids have changed from year to year.  Saturday we were scheduled to go in for our pictures.  It's never a lot of fun.  And we never expect to get all of the kids smiling at the same time.  We just want them all looking at the camera.  That's good enough.  A picture without one of them crying -- even better!

But, 45 minutes before we were supposed to be out the door we had an accident.  Not a car accident or anything major.  But it felt major to me.  I had just gotten Sam out of bed.  He was so excited that Chris was still home (he usually leaves for work before Sam gets up).  Chris was about to get into the shower.  So I wanted to rush Sam in to see his Dad.  Major mistake.  I grabbed him and ran through the house.  I started to fall. 

But as any mom knows, if you're tripping or falling while holding a child, you protect the child first.  That leaves nothing to stop your own fall.  So, as I fell, my face slammed into the side of the couch.  Graceful I know.  That caused my back to snap backwards.  Nice.  We landed and I just yelled for Chris to come help Sam.  I thought he could be hurt and luckily he was fine.  I, on the other hand, was not.  My glasses were broken and my nose began bleeding at an alarming rate.  I dragged myself over to the linoleum floor and just laid there.  I was in a ridiculous amount of pain.  And 2 1/2 hours later, my nose finally stopped bleeding.  Seriously.

We dropped the kids off at their grandparents and Chris drove me to immediate care.  I thought my nose might have been broken.  Luckily the x-rays showed I was fine, just badly swollen and very sore.  My nose, forehead, teeth, back and arms were killing me.  All from falling in my own house.  Completely embarrassing.  Doped up on pain medicine, I quickly left because I was in charge of the elementary school's parents' night out and 58 kids were eagerly waiting for a night of fun. 

The doctor said by Monday I should start to feel better.  Here's hoping she was right!  We never made it to the portrait studio so I'm going to have to reschedule those family pictures.  Maybe after I pick up my new glasses.    It's never dull around here!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Nose Running Away....

Our family has been battling colds this last week. Chris and I were not doing well this weekend and found ourselves falling asleep on the couch at the drop of the hat on Saturday.  I started getting better, but Chris is still miserable.  I think he's got a cold and the flu - and since he is the only one in our family to not get a flu shot -- well, it's possible.   He spent most of Monday in bed with our dog, Sadie. 

Sam has had a small cold too.  Usually, when he wakes up he says two things to me.  "Done napping, Mommy," and "eat."  Today, he said, "Nose running away, Mommy."  Too cute!  When his nose is running, it's always running away.  Makes sense I guess. 

Here's hoping the two men in my life feel better quickly! 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween 2010

Sophia is in to all things bugs. For some odd reason she asked if she could be a cricket or a grasshopper for Halloween. Really? I just didn't think I could pull that off. So I suggested a butterfly. Luckily she was okay with that. The girls LOVE to coordinate or match each other.  Last year they were all superheros. So, this year, Anna was a ladybug and Isabella was a bumblebee. Sam still had a cowboy costume that fit him from Dodge City Days this summer. So he was pretty excited to tell everyone he met that he was a cowboy. He even said it with a draw that only a two-year-old could produce. Very cute.

I told the girls to turn around so I could see the back of their costumes.  Sam turned too. 

Izzy the Busy Bumblebee
 Cowboy Sam
 Sophia the butterfly
Anna the ladybug

We went around our neighborhood and also drove to the kids' grandparent's and great-grandparent's houses.  We even ran into my sister and her kids, twice.  Strange timing. 

Emma is a rock star and Kaitlynn is a pizza zombie.

Unfortunately for us, four kids can amass an alarming amount of candy.  So, in a few days Chris' co-workers will be receiving the bulk of it.  Mainly because I can't seem to exhibit any sense of self-control over my own desires for the chocolate.  Specifically Reece's Peanut Butter Cups.  They are soooooo good!