Saturday, June 30, 2007

It was a HOT day today.....

Rich and I took the kids to our neighborhood pool today. There are quite a few to choose from, but today we picked the one that has the water park area, the baby pool, and the big pool. That way, every child had something that they would find fun. Of course the big kids mostly swam in the big pool, and the little ones stayed most of the day in the baby pool. Every now and then we would all go into the water park area.

Here is Andrew playing for the first time in the water park. There are posts and beams with water shooting out from them, and water shoots out from the ground at different places. Andrew loved it -- and it was especially fun to watch him toddle around because he just learned to walk and he has that cute 1-year-old gait (where you walk right behind him with your arms extended because it looks like he's going to tip over any second)
...and this is what the bigger kids do at the water park -- they just "hang" around.
Afton spent a lot of time playing with Aislynn in the baby pool. We call it the "baby pool" because it is only 1 and a half ft deep.
...and here is Avery. She is swimming really well this summer. She only wears her life jacket if the pool is really crowded.

Day at the Pool

Aislynn loved getting pulled around by her big sister Afton
This is A.J. flopping around in the shallow baby pool
Aislynn watches as A.J. practices swimming in the baby pool
Here's Alex
....and here's Andrew, who loves the water! He will be one years old tomorrow!

My Husband

Top Ten Reasons Why I Love My Husband....

10) He always fills my gas tank even if it's at o'dark-thirty before he leaves for work
9) He draws me a bath, complete with floating candles and a glass of merlot.
8) He sends me to Burke Williams Day Spa on a semi-regular basis :)
7) He can take eight kids anywhere, alone without my help, and make it look easy
6) He brings me breakfast in bed for no special reason
5) He proudly wears my name in a heart on his left shoulder
4) He looks tough, acts tough, but deep down he isn't so tough at all.
3) He supports everything that I want to do
2) He always wants another baby :)
1) He saved Audriana's (our oldest daughter's) life

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Our Backyard

Aislynn on her bike in our backyard.

Here's Andrew wanting to get on the teeter-totter

Afton(11) and Andrew

Andrew walks around the cement path in our backyard. I designed the path so that it goes all around the perimeter of our yard so that the younger ones can ride their bikes, Razors, skateboards and rollerskates without having to be out in the front yard near the street!
Andrew was playing with Milo's stuft animal...and then Milo came along to repo it. They played Tug 'O War with it for about 8 seconds....and in the end, Milo ran off with it, and Andrew screamed in frustration. Milo is a BIG bully for such a small size dog. He's SUPER fast, too. We can never catch him. He's five months old and needs training badly...but do I have the time to train a dog? Not hardly.

We've been at this house now for 5 years and our backyard is STILL unfinished! That's what happens when you have a husband who can do it all...but yet doesn't have the time to do it. Hiring someone to do something that he can do himself (such as put in plants and trees, cement the side yard, etc) is something that Rich will not do. People will tell me, "Oh you are so lucky your husband is so handy" and while that might be true, there's a downside to that as well. We have a house with about 10 unfinished projects!!! <>

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

an "Oldie" but a "Goodie"

Avery and Aislynn are cleaning up a "Barbie Dream House" which was my sister's when she was a little girl. When my mom moved last month, we got this down from her garage rafters. It was very dirty and dusty, but once we washed it up it was as bright as they day my sister got it (back in 1980!) It still had all the furniture, too! The girls were so excited to have this Barbie house! They must have played with it for two hours straight on the first day it was here. Since my sister only has boys (so far!) this will be theirs to play with for a while. (In the top picture you can see our new dog, "Milo")

Monday, June 25, 2007

My Alex

Alex is seven years old now and taking on all kinds of "bigger" boy activities. He is out there trying to "surf" with his big brother, he does the skim board -- he's not afraid to try new things. At home his new thing is going out front to play with all the boys in the neighborhood. He likes to play basketball with them and ride his bike. I get nervous that he's out there without me, but we have a lot of kids down the street that he gets together with and our neighborhood is full of stay-at-home moms who poke their heads out the door often to check on all the kids. Alex just joined a homeschooling basketball clinic that he goes to on Thursday mornings. It's a hour long and the mixture is boys/girls ages 7 to 14. There is usually about 15 kids there, and the older ones are paired up with the younger ones. Everyone plays so well together. Alex will be going to soccer camp in August and will start his regular soccer season in October. The above picture was taken at the beach the other day.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Andrew is walking

It's hard to believe that in just a few more days Andrew will be one years old! He is walking everywhere now, and trying to run. It's so funny when he tries to run away from me, because he can't get his legs to move as fast as he wants them to and always ends up falling. He's been so much fun lately -- such a fun age where everything is new and exciting. People will ask us if he is our "last" one. I guess having eight children it is expected that he is our "last". I always answer that we don't know if he's the "last" or not. Which is the truth, because we just never know. Only God knows, and we like it that way. Children are such a blessing and so worth the chaos and busy days and sleepless nights. Both Rich and I would welcome more into our family in a heartbeat -- always curious to see who the next little one will be. Our only dilemma -- trying to find another "A" name!

Playing at Grandma's

Here is Avery and Aislynn being silly. Aislynn does everything her big sister Avery does.
Avery and Aislynn sitting together in Grandma's swing....
Avery and A.J. spent time exporing Grandma's yard. They used these "tools" to dig for buried treasure as they pretended to be pirates. I love their imaginations! These two are 23 months apart and play well together.
Avery is six years old and such the Big Sister to Andrew. She carries him around for me all the time and is a big help!
And here is A.J. playing in the dirt, just like all boys should be allowed to do!

Visiting Grandma

Here is a picture of Aislynn with her Grandma Barbara (my mom). We went to her house yesterday to eat dinner. The kids had fun exploring her backyard, and I even climbed the apricot tree to help pick all the ripe apricots. There were a ton of them, and we went home with three bags full, which is what the kids are snacking on today. It has been so different visiting my mom and what has always been my grandmother's house to me. For the past 37 years I have visited my grandmother at this house, and now my kids are visiting their grandmother there. I'm so glad my mom decided to live there. I miss my grandma, and it's comforting to know that my mom is now living in her house. Now we can carry on the tradition of having family get-togethers there, and we will always feel my grandma's presence around us. My mom is going to do a lot of updating at the house, which will be a good thing. It's going to look so nice once it's through!

Friday, June 22, 2007

A new carseat for A.J.

 We ordered three Britax Regent carseats -- one for Alex (7) one for Avery (6) and one for A.J. (4) but so far only one has arrived at our house. So we fitted that one to A.J. and today was the first day he used it. He LOVED it. It is much more comfortable (and safer!) than his old booster seat. Thank you to the Miller family for opening up our eyes to how unsafe booster seats can be! If you haven't already, please visit Kyle David Miller Foundation and watch Kyle's video. The other two seats will be here soon, and then both Avery and Alex will be safer in our car, too!

More Beach Pictures

Four year old A.J.
Here's Tony doing the "skim board"
Andrew loves the sand!
Pretty Avery
Aislynn sitting pretty, while Andrew crawls around in the background!

A Day at the Beach

I told the kids that if they cleaned the house for me today that I would take them to the beach -- no sooner than the words came out of my mouth, my house was spotless! Hey, a little bribery never hurt anyone. Both Audriana and Afton brought a friend along with them, so instead of the usual eight kids in tow...I had TEN. What's two more, right??!! Rich was working, of course, so it was just me watching them all. I kept life vests on Avery, A.J. and Aislynn "just in case" and to give me the peace of mind. Tony (16) was a huge help with setting everything up for me and toting it all to and from the car. He spent most of his time surfing. He also tried to teach Alex (7) how to work the skim board. Alex spent his time out on his boogie board right next to Tony. He wants to do everything his big brother does. Andrew (who will be a year old in just 9 days!!) was all about the sand -- he had sand all over him. I spent most of my time chasing Andrew around.