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Sunday, August 24, 2008

A week with Steve

Well this past week Steve came home to be with us before he ships out. We didn't really do anything spectacular. We really like to just hang out as a family. But here are some pictures of our time as a family.

Here is Steve in the duffel bag that he bought. He was able to get in it, do you think it's big enough?

It's even big enough to pack up a couple boys... I'll keep that in mind.
James was asking for a fish tank, and Steve has been looking for a reason to get one (He just gets joy out of seeing it all together) So we have 6 new pets. This is what the boys named our fish. 'Stinky feet', 'Bala Shark' (that's the name of the one that is NOT the Bala Shark) 'George', 'Susan', 'Up', & 'Down'. I think this is why we don't let 3 and 4 year olds pick names!
Here is one that I got of James and Steve. Steve is showing where Afghanistan is on the map that James is holding.
Here is James at swim lessons. He did really well! He is fearless in the water, so it was time. I know the old fashion way is to just throw the kid in and hope they figure it out.... we'll I'M not that brave, and I've already seen James do that, and he just sinks. Isn't this a great picture?! The swim teacher took it for us.

While I was taking pictures of James swimming Tommy wanted me to take pictures of him so here are some of the pictures of Tommy.

He kept wanting me to take pictures of him laying down. So this one is for Tommy. I have to tell you that Tommy has turned into my hero! There was a fly in my hair and it wasn't flying. Tommy brushed it out of my hair while I screamed, and then got a tissue and picked it up and threw it away while I was still being grossed out that there was a non-flying fly in my hair! He has since picked up and gotten rid of the few random bugs around the house, and enjoys it! (yeah for boys!)

This is my favorite picture of my boys. The little boys wanted dad to come down and watch cartoons with them. It was really cute, and the boys couldn't get enough of him. Isn't this just priceless?

We went to the Zoo, and this time it was really good (not like the Kansas Zoo) and here is James showing Tommy the bird map to find the birds in the aviary area. This was a cute moment between the two of them.

Here is Tim while the other boys are making smooshed pennies. Which, by the way is the BEST souvenir, and you can't beat 51 cents!!! So we have been getting these where ever we go that have them.

Here is one last picture that we got at the Zoo. We were all tired (you can see it on the boys) but it was a good day!!

Here was the quote of the week....Steve and I went to get a new bed. We went after we took James to school so we had Tommy and Tim with us. Steve told Tommy that we were going to get a new bed...

Tommy: Are you going to get a bunk bed?

Steve: No, bunk beds are for kids.

Tommy: Oh, you're too big for the top bunk -huh?

It was really fun to have Steve home. It's just weird to think that I'm not going to see him again for 6 months (and then another 6 months after that)!! What comes after that? My best friend is going half way around the world and here I am... again. I guess we'll start counting down and waiting for that 2 weeks R&R time.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Having a good week...

Well so far this week has been a REALLY good one! No major disasters to speak of. Not sure how long that will last so I wanted to make sure it gets recorded. Not really much going on just busy with life. James is in school 5 days a week half day, and Tommy starts in September. I'm looking froward to the time I'll have just with Tim. James is also in swim lessons in the afternoon for two weeks, so we are in and out of the car a couple times everyday.

We've been watching the Olympics during the day and cheering on the Americans with the events that they are in. James saw one of the swimming events and said he wanted to swim in the Olympics. Well, later that day, after his swim lessons, I asked him how he liked it, and this is what he said:

J: "I liked it mom, but it wasn't like the Olympics"
Me: "Well, all the swimmers started out like this, with learning"
J: "Oh, okay.... well I want to do my arms like this" (showing me the strokes)
I guess he's into the Olympics too.

So here are some other things that I've been up to lately.
Some of you might recognize some of these kids (the ones that are not mine)

They are Amy and John Caldwell kids. You have Tommy, Jayden (9), AJ (11), Tim, Josh (3) and James. Amy surprised me by coming by when she was here in Sierra Vista. It was so nice to see her. I met Amy way back in 2002. She called me to see if I wanted to go out to South Carolina with her to see our husbands that were in bootcamp together. Then they lived with with us for a month in Monterey before moving across the street. Then I staied with them while I was waiting for an apartment out here in SV the first time we were here. So needless to say they are great friends. I remember her kids being so little (I remember when she was potty training Jayden) and now look at them! Time flys!! Now John is getting ready to graduate from chiropractic school, and ready to move forward. By the way if you ever are going to Portugal, I know some people you can stay with....

Oh... and the other great thing that is going on.... is that Steve is coming home eon Friday!!! He is actually going to leave earlier than what was thought so he is coming home for a week before he leaves for over seas. The good thing about this is that the sooner he is over there the sooner he comes home. I've been clearing the calender for next week when he'll be here. I'm so looking forward to seeing him!

Saturday, August 9, 2008


(you have to listen to the song too)
The other day while I was watching kids (my own and others) I get a knock at the door. So as the kids are running to see who it is, and the dog is barking at all the commotion, Tim trying to eat the dog food (when will that end) and Calab (the neighbor boy) trying to escape...I open the door to this! Steve sent me flowers.

So this is for him. Sweetheart this is what I could put in words for why I love you, the rest is in my heart.

*You are my best friend,
*You are a phenomenal Dad and an incredible person.
*You are a GREAT cook
*You are a very hands on Dad who changes diapers and plays with the boys.
*You makes me laugh.
*You are handsome!
*You helps me get the house ready for functions and keeps the kids out of the way when I am hosting book club or other functions at the house.
*You are patient.
*You are teaching our sons how to be caring, loving, thoughtful young men.
*You always puts the family first.
*You put up with me and that is not always easy to do!
*You are smart.
*You are nurturing.
*You makes me feel safe and secure
*You makes me feel beautiful and so loved!
*We have so much fun together
*We could sit and talk for hours, or not.
*I love just being with you doing anything or nothing.
*Along the talking lines.... You will sit and just listen to me talk.
*You have a great sense of humor
*I can totally be myself with you. (All 12 personalities of me (isn't that right sweetheart?))
*You are always trying to better our family.
*You makes everyplace that we have lived a good one.
*You encourage me to reach my dreams and goals
*You help me be a good mom
*You are always willing to help others
*You make it easy for others to want to be friends with you
*You honor your priesthood
*You help with house work
*You are kind
*You are honest
*You are just wonderful!

You really are the sweetest husband. And you are my best friend and I'm so lucky to have you in my life. I know our life is crazy and but I like it like that, it always keeps me on my toes. And as long as we are in it together (whether you're here or not) we'll always come out better on the other end.
Thank you Sweetheart for making my day, and life, a wonderful one! I love you forever!!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I Survived!

So yesterday was James' first day of school. (we got back from vacation just in time!!) He is just in a kinder-step program because he misses the dead line with his birthday being in December. But I take him to the elementary school, with all the "big" kids and he goes half day while kindergarten goes full day. So I dropped him off and he went and stood in line with all the other little kids. I got a quick wave as he walk away. Now I thought I'm not going to be the mom that cries when she sends her kids to school.... I had to run errands I didn't have time to cry. Well have way to the gas station I had a panic attack and started crying. I called Steve and he made me feel better. But my heavens!!! I guess I'm a typical mom. My baby is growing up!

Can I tell you how happy I was to pick him up at 11:30!!!

I just wanted you all to know that James was fine, and I survived his first day of school.

Friday, August 1, 2008

States, Stats, and This and That.

My heavens, we are back!! Finally! It was fun but man I'm so glad to be back to my house, my space, my things,my mess. Here is a recap of our vacation.

We left home early... ok, at a good time and headed out. After 2 hours we stopped for breakfast and about 6 hours later we made it to Nevada.
*For those that don't know, the state line for Nevada is crossing the Hoover Dam. For what ever reason it was REALLY busy that day. This picture was taken while I was still in the car because traffic was so slow, due to all the people.

*Don't EVER try to find a gas station on the strip. Pointless!

Then it's a short drive through Arizona.
I think we were only in the top corner of Arizona for about 30 miles... nothing exciting happen during this time.

After that we were in Utah.
*We spent 3 weeks in Utah with friends and family.

(Now at this point if you are wondering YES, I took all these pictures. Stopped on the road and took them. I have a great camera and was able to enlarge them with out it being to blurry.) (Now I also know my dad is shaking his head at this)
*The boys got to help wash Grandma and Grandpa's Harley's, boy that was a highlight for them!
*We spent the 4th of July with the Hunsakers, and James loved the fireworks.

*We enjoyed time with Steve's family for a reunion.

*More time with family, and friends. We got to enjoyed a trip to the temple.

Then one Thursday morning we got up and started our trek out to see Steve.
*Because we got up so early we stopped for breakfast. I packed some stuff for us to eat at a rest stop. Well the one that we stopped at had a little playground!! GENIUS! So the boys got to play for a bit. And we saw buffalo!

*Wyoming is a whole lot of nothing, and the roads are very straight, and the signs that tell you how far you have to go, they are no where to be seen!

*Don't speed in Laramie, Wyoming the tickets are VERY expensive. Yes I got a ticket. (my dad, again shaking his head)

That takes us to Nebraska.

*So because we were making good time (speeding again?) I decided that we'ld meet Steve in Omaha. So we drove all the way across Wyoming and Nebraska in one day.

*The Highway Patrol are around and alert here too. (I know dad!) I only got a warning this time for swerving. In my defence I swerved because Tommy shrieked. do you want to know about what? A bug? No. James did something? Nope. He dropped his raisins!!

*I got lost in Omaha. What a joy that was.

*The PayPal building is in Omaha. (just if you wanted to know)

So the next day we caravaned to Missouri, but before that we go through Iowa.

We were in Iowa for about an hour. Fortunately no tickets here.

Ok, so we made it to Missouri!

(boring sign)

After spending the night in Omaha with Steve, it was nice coming to a bigger hotel room.

*We had tons of fun with Steve, and the boys just couldn't get enough of him.

*We went to a children's museum, had Family Home Evening, and lots of other things.

*We decided that we didn't like the Kansas City Zoo.

*We found a way to have more privacy in a hotel room with 3 boys.

*And we went to see some of the Church history in the area. (if you didn't get a chance to see this post take a look)

*The freeways in Missouri are like someone though spaghetti at a map and said..."Hey that looks good, let's build the roads there" No logic what so ever.

Unfortunately we were only able to stay a week, so here we go again. Back in the car to set out again. Hop skip and a jump later, we were in Kansas.

*Kansas is a big state and it took us a long time to cross it.

*Just so everyone knows there is a little town in Kansas called Liberal and as you are driving down the main road through town (that is a whole mile and a half of it) the speed limit is 30mph. Want to know how I know this.... the officer told me! (My heavens! I had to get out and see if someone put a sign on my car that said "Look at me.... I'm probably speeding") The cruse control and I became best friends after this. Fortunately the officer just told me to slow down.

*Every city in Kansas claims they are the one in Wizard of Oz

Next stop...

*There is a road in Oklahoma called 'Bazaar Cattle Crossing' Did nobody think this through?

*We stopped for the night in Guymon Oklahoma which smelled like stinky shoes.

*I'm boycotting (and would like all of you to do the same) the Taco Bell in Guymon. The service was horrible, and I won't be going back.

*Even though the service was bad at Taco Bell, we met a guy who was on cross county motorcycle ride and let the boys sit on his bike. The boys told him all about grandma and grandpa's motorcycles.

We left bright and early and made it to Texas in no time.

*Not a whole lot went on here (fortunately). Just drove right on through.

On too..

*Got stuck in traffic.

*There is a city in New Mexico called (are you ready) Truth or Consequences. I'm serious. Wouldn't you love to live in that city?

So that would bring us too...


We made it in one piece. Over 3,000 miles of the road. The boys were great, and did a great job in the car.

Here are a few random stats about our trip.

One or both boys peed on the highway of 9 out of 11 states that we went through. (Aren't boys great!) Tommy loved swaying in the wind telling me that he was making mud.

I can do 61 butt flexes in a mile going 75 miles an hour.

It takes 78 miles to listen to "My Turn on Earth" all the way through.

Wendy's is definitely better than McDonald's.

Missouri was the only state that when they had a "Men at Work" sign, they were really working.

We listen to an Omaha radio station 120 miles away from Omaha.

Got pulled over 3 times, one ticket, two warnings, only one was written up.

We now get counting down the days before Steve has some leave to fly out to Arizona. He'll be shipped out not long after that. Then it's one year "boots in country"

So that was our trip in a nutshell... Hope you enjoyed.

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