Monday, April 27, 2009

Great visit

My mom and dad have been here for a few days. It was so nice to have them here and the kids loved spending time with them. I know my mom always worries about any inconvenience they might cause, but I can honestly say it is never the case. I love having my mom and dad at our house. I love the time my kids get to spend with them. There are many days I wish we lived closer so we could enjoy all the get-togethers and cousin time, but there is a selfish part of me that loves when my mom and dad come, they are all ours for a few days. I think it is more of an inconvenience for them that they have to come so far to see us. Either way, we had a great visit and enjoyed every minute. I am sure my kids would say the highlight was their Christmas present. What, you say?! Christmas is April? Well, for Christmas this past year my parents told the grand kids they would take groups of them at different times to a hotel for an overnighter and find some fun things to do. So while my parents were here, they took our kids (minus Ruby) to a hotel and had a serious party. My kids were SO excited! And I will admit I didn't mind the quiet house for one night either. So it worked out for everyone. I am just glad it will be only be a couple of months before we get to see them again.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Camping trip gone south

Brian took Friday off and we were going to leave on his birthday after work to go camping. The kids were so excited to be missing a day of school and we were all just happy to have Brian captive for a couple of days and get out of town. Well, Wednesday we started hearing rumors of rain. By Thursday morning, it was no longer rumors and they were talking about thunderstorms and possible tornadoes. I don't know about you, but camping in that kind of weather is beyond extreme, I just call it stupid, just my opinion. So we decided we better not leave Thursday night and I was really pushing to still go down Friday and camp for one night. Brian thought that was a bad idea, all the setting up for just one day and the fact there would be lots of red clay mud all over. I finally relented and agreed with him. But we decided we would still go down to the canyon and check things out and possibly go hike a bit. So we packed a lunch and left. We got down to Palo Duro Canyon about noon and found out that our campsite was inaccessible due to flash flooding from the night before. There was a flood gauge on the bridge and the water had gotten to 2 feet above the road! From what we heard from others there in the canyon, it had gotten pretty crazy during the storm. One guy told us there were some people who had been in tents who had water and mud all over the inside of their tent and all over their stuff. Good thing we didn't go! Luckily, we were able to find a good trail that wasn't too muddy and we hiked for about 2 hours. With five kids, that amounts to about 2 miles total. But the fact that Kash walked the whole time by himself and Ben only complained a couple of times, we are calling it a very successful hike. Jake of course, being the expert hiker he is, was explaining to all of us the best way to climb rocks and traverse the many cacti when we got off the trail a bit to climb rocks. Ruby loved the backpack and was very happy the whole time. Little stinker wouldn't leave her hat on though and she got a little sun kissed, but is looking fine today. We all had a great time!And the best part of all...I found something beautiful. Amarillo is still the ugliest place I have ever seen, (sounds so mean, but should see it before you call me mean) but Palo Duro is gorgeous and it is only 30 minutes away.

I caught Jake with the camera while he was jumping from one rock to another--he LOVES to climb rocks--and he really does believe he is an expert. I love his confidence--even if it does get him a broken leg at some point.

Really, a very pretty place.

All the kids minus Ruby up on a rock.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Oklahoma, birthdays and Easter

I have lots to post, things I should have done a week ago and didn't get to it, so I'll just have a big random post. And I can do that because it is my blog and if you don't like it, you just don't have to read, right?! :)

A couple of weeks ago, my Bonnie from NY was going to be in OK for her son's Army graduation. I would NEVER pass up a chance to see Bonnie and I thought I would really like to see a military graduation. So I packed up myself, Kash, & Ruby and we headed to Fort Sill. It was WONDERFUL to see Bonnie but now I just miss her so much all over again. And I was SO impressed by the graduation. Nolan, (Bonnie's son) has grown up so much and I was so proud of him and all those other boys (it really was all boys). I am a patriotic girl anyway, but these soldiers were something to truly be proud of. It was a very nice ceremony and just a great couple of days.

Saturday was Kash's birthday. He is four. And he tells me all the time how big he is. But he really is getting big--so hard for me to believe--he will always be my little boy. We took the kids to Mr. Gatti's (like Chuck E Cheese) on Friday night, minus Jake. Jake went to a birthday party/sleepover where he stayed up ALL night--I remember thinking that was fun--vaguely. The pizza was average, but we had a great time. The kids loved the bumper cars and Ruby loved the Merry-Go-Round, she wouldn't get off. And of course they all love the tickets they can redeem for prizes.

After we left there, we went shopping for a bike. Kash has outgrown his tricycle and said he wanted a new bike for his birthday. He picked the bike and has been riding it lots ever since. He loves anything with wheels. Don't look past the awesome Spiderman boots Kash is wearing. When we had the snow storm a few weeks ago and we had to find some boots for Kash to wear, these were the ones that fit him. He was SO thrilled! So now he keeps them in his closet and wears them all the time. I think it is cute.

Kash wanted me to make a John Deere tractor cake. A friend told me she had a tractor mould and I said "no thanks"--I know my limits and that is beyond them. I was just planning to make a green cake and stick a tractor on top. You know, I consider myself a fairly decent cook, but decorating a cake is truly just not my thing. I will give it my best effort and still, it just doesn't work right. It is a great thing Kash is just 4--he thought the cake was great. Brian and I just laughed. For starters, I got too much batter in one of the pans and it was spilling all over the oven and getting really uneven. Neither cake came out of the pan right and I was left to try and put it together with frosting. This plan didn't really work out either. The cake was literally falling apart. I bought a little John Deere tractor to put on the cake and as I set it gently on top, it started to sink because there was so much frosting on the darn thing trying to hold it together. But again, Kash thought it was "AWESOME", that is what he said! :)

So after we ate a late dinner (the cake took forever), we colored eggs at 9 pm and sang Happy Birthday at 10 pm. Brian could see this cake was not going to cut well, so he said, "Kash, wouldn't it be fun if we all got forks and just started eating?" Kash smiled big and said, "YEAH!" So we dug through all the frosting to get to the cake and enjoyed. Not a conventional way of doing things, but when have I ever been conventional?! :) And once again, Brian had the fanciest eggs. He loves to complain, but the guy is just plain creative! He comes up with the most clever ideas. I tend to go for the plain eggs with bright colors, maybe a two tone here and there. But BRIAN, his eggs have faces, designs, all kinds of stuff. I always look forward to what he will create.

So we finally got the kids to bed and still had to make sure the Easter bunny stuff was taken care of. Needless to say, it was a VERY late night for us and I was thrilled to get a nap Sunday afternoon. We had a great Easter although there is more candy in the house than I would like, but less than last year. We did quarters and half dollars in the eggs instead of so much candy. The kids thought that was great. And we were only 5 minutes late for church--AMAZING! Easter is always such a great holiday. I love to celebrate Christ's resurrection--such a hopeful event. And the anticipation of spring is so exciting as well. Just a great day all around.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Cadillac Ranch

One thing Amarillo is known for, Cadillac Ranch. We hadn't been yet, but Brian wanted to get out of the house yesterday after we had been inside watching conference all day. So we took the kids to the "ranch". Luckily we had a few cans of spray paint--the kids were excited! Brian, of course, had the best looking graffiti. He really is so creative. I think the kids would have stayed longer, they were having a great time, but the wind was blowing and making it a bit chilly. So we were there for about 30 minutes. Enough to make our mark, just to have someone come along today and cover it up. The story behind the ranch...there is a wealthy eccentric man here in Amarillo who loves unique art and he owned some land and for 10 years buried a Cadillac in the ground each year. He has signs all over Amarillo that look like regular road signs but say weird things. There is one that says something like "I am a scrappy fighter". Seriously really random, but they make you smile. Maybe that was his idea. If so, I like it. Anyway, here are some pictures from our few minutes at the Ranch.

Brian helped Kash with his and then did his big "B".
All the cars at the ranch.
Sally freezing by her golden name--she was SO excited we had gold paint!
My two boys who think anarchy is really cool right now--they have no idea--oh to be innocent!