Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday Update

Today I woke up at 6:00am and drove Afton to the church to catch her bus for camp.  Just like last year, she will be away at a Christian Camp for one week.    One week without my Afton?  I miss her already!

Funny thing happened -- well, not so funny, actually -- but when I got back into the car after dropping her off this morning, I quickly noticed that my wallet wasn't where I left it (on the seat in plain view and I know, how dumb is that?!!)  and so  I searched all over the car and then assumed it had been stolen.  So I called and cancelled all of my credit cards, my ATM card, put a stop on my checking account because my checkbook was in there, and then called Rich to tell him about it.  He told me to get back to where it was stolen and look around in the surrounding bushes, trash dumpsters, etc. because usually the thieves will quickly look through a wallet for cash and then toss the wallet away.  So I woke Tony up because I figure two looking around for the wallet is better than one, and I wanted him to come with me.  He woke up from a sound sleep at 7:30am, got into my car and immediately hands me my wallet.  I hadn't even started the car yet!  I said, "What? Where??!!!"  and he tells me it was right under the passenger seat, tucked waaaay back there.

1)   I am SO relieved.
2)  I am SO confused.  I looked everywhere!!  Yes, I checked under that seat!  How did it get there??
3)  I am SO frustrated, as now have NO credit cards, NO atm card, and NO checks that are valid to use.  I had cancelled everything thinking it was stolen.  Ugh!!

Okay, so that was my morning.  Fun stuff, huh?  But it all worked out okay.  Afton is off to camp, and nothing of mine was stolen.  All is good.

I should have known it would be a strange morning, anyway, when we woke up to this:


Rain at the end of July?  Really? That's not our normal weather.  Yep, something was up, all right.

The kids didn't put away their bikes last night -- who knew it would rain?  So now we need to wipe them all down or else they will rust.

Some highlights of the week:

Afton got her driver's license!!  She was so excited she could hardly stand it.  She has been looking forward to driving since she was about four years old.

 Added to that excitement....her birthday iPhone.

Oh yea, she's sport'n the iPhone now.  But she has to pay her own monthly activation.   That was our "deal" -- because a smartphone is more expensive than a dumbphone.

Thanks, Mom & Dad!!

A.J, Aislynn, Andrew and Aria are very into the backyard lizards lately.  They find these things in our yard and keep them for a while then set them loose.
Check out the size of this one:

The poor little thing is probably freaking out.  
Can you just image getting picked up by a giant hand?

We spent 3 days vacationing with our good friends in Palm Springs.   It's our annual trip!

We take this picture every year.   Now, that's a lot of kids!  
When we leave the pool, people say, "Hey...where did everybody go?"

Audriana had her last Girl Scout meeting this week.  Their troop has officially ended, and they had been together since the 1st grade!!  

The original members of Troop 2302.  The troop added members over the years, but these same girl scouts in this photo remained in the troop until their senior year of high school.  They are all such close friends.

Audriana at her "pinning" ceremony in 2001

This is a chapter in Audriana's life that has come to a close.  Her Girl Scouting days are behind her.  I'm a bit bummed about that.  Didn't think I would be, but I am.  My girl's growing up, and it's bittersweet.

Troop 2302 ~ all grown up!  Can you pick out the six original members?

Audriana will miss  her Girl Scout troop, but she's planning on keeping in touch with all the friends she's made.  She also plans on volunteering as an assistant leader for a younger troop, so hopefully she will keep active in The Girl Scouts.  She's made many wonderful memories over the years.

Finally,  I took a photography workshop this weekend!  I learned how to shoot my camera in the manual mode.  I haven't perfected it, and I have a lot of trial and error before I get it all figured out, but at least it's a step in the right direction.

One of the things we practiced was stopping motion.  So our instructor twirled around and we had to set our camera to the correct settings to make it so she isn't blurred....

How did I do?  Her hair looks pretty cool.

and the mid-air jump -- frozen!

Anyway, the workshop was very informative.  Hopefully you all will be seeing some better photos on my blog soon :)

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his eyes

For years I have been trying to get a picture of Alex's eyes in their true form.  Normally the lighting just doesn't do his eye color justice, but this day at the pool...

I finally did it!!  I took the perfect picture of them.

THESE are his eyes, the eyes I look into every day and wonder just what color are they?

If you look closely, you will notice that both eyes are brown at the top of the eye, blue at the outer edges, and green on the inner edges.  It's like they are cut into 3 equal parts, divided by color.  Very, very cool eyes for a guy to have, don't you think?

Since his eyes are three different colors, what is he supposed to put on his driver's license?   I would think he'd put "hazel" down as his eye color, but what exactly is the color hazel?  is it supposed to be a yellow-ish brown color?  or a blue mixed with green mixed with brown color?

If it's not a Crayola Crayon, it's not an official color, right?  I Googled it, and there is no Crayola Crayon of the color "hazel".  So how can Alex's eyes be hazel?  I don't think such a color even exists.  I think people just use this term to describe eyes that they can't decide what color they are!

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

blue hair ain't just for old ladies

                                    My blue wig is getting a lot of use around here!

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Baby No More

You requested a "Dora" birthday - you just loves Dora the Explorer.

I took you shopping at the party supply store, and you picked out your own special Dora cup, some Dora cupcake decorations, Dora party hats and plates, and even Dora wrapping paper.  You were so excited, planning your birthday party!

You wore your favorite party dress (you picked it out, of course!) and big sister Afton did your hair with a pretty flower in it.  She even helped you put on some lip gloss.  You looked so amazingly precious on this special day!

You were a bit shy when opening up all your gifts.  You kept asking me which one you should open.  "This one?" you'd ask me.  And when I'd say, "Go ahead, open it!"  you would stare at it for a few seconds and then ask again, "This one?"   Once you started opening up a gift, you took your time with the wrapping paper, ripping it off piece by piece.  I don't know if you were just being shy and timid, or if you were trying to savor the moment! 

Mommy made you a special "Dora" Cake!  You watched me make it,  and when it was done I squirted some left over frosting into your mouth. That made you happy!  Later that day at your party, you were very serious when everyone was singing "Happy Birthday" to you.   And then it took you five tries before you finally blew the candle out.  

I closed my eyes and made a wish for you.

Sweet baby girl, you are such a gift to me.  God sure blessed me when He chose me to be your mama!  Your birth was such a special day that I will never forget. You were born in a pool of water, in our home, after a very quick  labor at just 1 hour 30 minutes from start to finish. When I grabbed you up from the water and placed you on my chest, you lifted your head off my chest and and looked me in the eyes.  It was so sweet the way you did that, just seconds out of the womb. It was as if you were saying, "Well, hello, mommy!"   I was the one to cut your cord.  You weighed 10 pounds 7 ounces ~ my biggest baby.   You and I stayed in our bedroom for 9 days without leaving it. Nine wonderfully, peaceful days. I had nothing to do but stare down at your beautiful face, count your fingers and toes,  hug and kiss and nurse and bond with you all day and night.  Your siblings would come in the room from time to time to say hello, and daddy brought me food and would hold you sometimes.  But for the majority of those nine days it was just me and you.  I loved every minute.

I can't believe my "baby" is three years old!
::::sniff, sniff:::

Happy Birthday, Aria!  

Mommy loves you so much!

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Friday Concerts

Tonight Rich and I packed up dinner, grabbed a bottle of Merlot, and piled the kids into our van for the 30 second drive down the street to our town's "Concert in the Park".  This annual event happens every Friday evening in the summer months of July and August.  These are seriously a lot of fun, and they're FREE!  You know, in our family, we are all over anything free!  Admission per person just about kills our budget, so whenever we hear the word FREE, we are there!

I'm telling you, just about everyone in our little town shows up to these concerts on Fridays.  Apparently we aren't the only family who likes FREE.  Which is a great thing, of course.  Community support and togetherness is great.  But take a look at this park:

That is the view from all sides.  There are so many people!  They all start setting up their "spaces" as early as 7:00 in the morning, to reserve their spots on the grass.

While it's great that such a crowd gathers, it's also scary for me because my kids see their friends here and they want to run around, visiting everyone.  Which means I have to "trust" them to stay in the park and to check in with me often.  I let all but Andrew and Aria run around.

This means Aislynn, my six year old, is running around with her BFF's.

Six is a bit young to be running around a huge crowd like this, don't you think?  Or am I just being a paranoid mom?

Avery thinks I'm just being a paranoid mom.    Of course she'd think that.  She's only ten years old.

A.J. spends his time with his best friend.  Yep, his best friend is a girl.  They have known each other since they were infants and have always been the best of friends.  I always say they are just like peas and carrots - they just go great together.

And while the kids are running around having a great time, us parents are enjoying our wine and good music.  They have a different band each time.  Last week was an Irish band, and tonight it was a band called "Led Zep Again"  or something like that, that played all Led Zeppelin songs.

Oh, they were awesome!  I'm a huge fan of Led Zeppelin.  Hearing this band play tonight brought me back.  Good music always does that.  Of course I didn't have my awesome zoom lens with me tonight (figures!) so this is as close of a shot that I could get of the band.  Lame, I know.  

The Concert in the Park was a good way to end our day :)

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Friday, July 22, 2011

what color are her eyes?

Aria has amazing eyes.  Photos do not do them justice.  One day I'm hoping to catch her eyes in a photo where they look just as they do in real life.  So far, no luck.  But I'm working on it!

What color would you say her eyes are?  Hazel?  Green?  I think sometimes they even look yellowish-brown.

Tiger eyes.

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