Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Photo 2008

Okay so here is our 2008 Christmas photo. It was so hard finding the time to do this, with everyone's different schedules. We would have to wait until Rich was off work, and then Tony wouldn't be here, so then when Tony was here, Rich got two overtimes back to back. Or one of the girls would have an activity to go to -- it was always something. So finally we were all together and we took this shot. For the Christmas card I cropped it so that you don't see all that background. The actual card picture looks better than this. It's getting really hard to fit us all in the shot, now that the kids are getting bigger...and we keep adding on to the family! Not that Aria takes up much space, but still....

It's been extremely busy this past week, as you can tell because my blog hasn't been updated in so long. We finally got a Christmas tree last night at 9:30pm...and it was me who got one. A first. Usually it's Rich who gets our tree, or he and I will go. But for the first time in 16 year it was me who drove to Home Depot, picked out a tree, threw it in the back of the truck, drove it home and lugged it into the house (a 9 foot tree) and set it up in the stand in our living room. The kids helped. Rich has just been working so much lately and I didn't want to put it off any longer. We will trim the tree on Sunday evening, when he is home. In the meantime, at least we have a nice tree and the smell is in the air...and it feels more like Christmas now.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Good Point!

To hear this message, be sure to scroll down and mute my playlist first!

Alex's Birthday

Alex at his 9th birthday party! He invited his entire soccer team -- plus a few other friends! We had quite the crowd. The party was from 6pm to 9pm so that we could have it dark outside for a "spider" hunt (plastic, of course!)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Benefits of older siblings

During our home schooling days, Avery will read to Aria when I'm working on a lesson with Alex, and then Alex will read to her when I'm working with Avery. I love this system for 3 reasons: 1) it gives me one-on-one time with each of them 2) it gives Aria an introduction to books and reading, and 3) it gives the older kids confidence in reading.

Even A.J. and Aislynn, who both cannot read yet, will "read" to Aria with picture books. In fact, two-year-old Andrew's favorite book right now is Snow White. That has been read to him so manyt times that he can flip through the pages and tell the story himself, doing the "voices" and everything. It's so cute to see him doing this while sitting next to Aria.

One lucky girl -- it's nice being the youngest of nine!

Halloween pictures

Finally...some pictures from Halloween! Yep, I'm a bit behind, as always.

Here is a group shot with our friend Katherine and her two girls.

Andrew was a pirate!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Life is a Highway....

Remember how I was working towards the Arbonne incentive trip to Cancun? Well, I DID earn that trip, I'm proud to say. But...I decided not to go. I just wasn't up to leaving the kids behind (it cost too much to take them all) and Aria was just a few weeks old and so traveling to Cancun with her wasn't something I wanted to do when it came down to it.

So, instead of taking one vacation, we decided to plan for many vacations... and we bought a motorhome last Tuesday. Yep, bought one. It's soooo nice! We got a smoke'n deal, too...because right now they just aren't moving many of them due to this economy. And so, we got the price down, and down, and down. Rich is good like that. It's a new 2008 "super C" International. 34 feet. Deisel engine. It sleeps 10 and has two pop out sides. It's huge. We already camped out in it at our local camping place near the ocean. We did that on Wednesday, then drove it to Las Vegas to visit Rich's side of the family.

Before we bought it I was like, "Sure, I'll drive hard can it be?" but after traveling in it, I'm now thinking....NO WAY am I driving this thing. I mean,'s the size of a semi-truck. (Well, not really, but still.) How the heck Rich makes those turns in that thing, I'll never know. I guess because he's used to driving a fire engine? Me, I'm used to driving a pretty big passenger van, but it no way compares to this motorhome. Rich says I'll learn how, that it's not that hard, but I'm thinking....uh, well only if you are injured in some way and I have to take the wheel in order to get us home. Other than that, buddy, you are driving!!

Would YOU drive this thing??? Seriously, it's very intimidating. Nope, not happening anytime soon.

The photo above was taken where we slept on our first overnighter -- just about 20 minutes away from our home, but hey, it still counts!! We left our house after it was already dark, and it was pouring rain, too. Rich had to back it into this tight space in the dark with me behind it guiding him in. Yeah, can you picture that? Me, waving my arms to direct him... a little more to the left, now more to the right, okay now come back straight....okay STOP! STOP!" the pouring rain. But, I will say that Rich did a darn good job parking it, and I did a darn good job at guiding him in. We then set up for the night by popping out both slides to make room.

Here are some shots of us inside our new "home".

Parked in front of our house -- see our van in the driveway??!!!

Aria is saying, "Where's my hair!!!"