Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Family in Town

Tyler's Mom, Dad and Brother Trenton came to visit. They were here about a week. It was fun having company. We kept busy while they were here. Some of the highlights were- (The pictures are in the complete opposite order of how they happened- whoops)

*Playing games! We played lots of games!! Tyler, Alan and Trenton played Monopoly a bunch of times...I think Alan was the grand Champ...My favorite thing about this picture is Garret's outfit (he said it was his soccer clothes!) *Treats- We ate a lot of treats...Not soo good for the waistline but tasted yummy! Spencer had trouble eating his before it melted!

*Bubbles in the backyard- Garret helping Spencer!
*Sidewalk chalk...yep that's right it was warm enough to decorate the driveway.


*A quick trip to the maple farm...So it wasn't really that quick....we had some problems with the directions...I got to spend more time in our "roomy" backseat with Alan and Trenton...seriously though it was a fun outing.

*Chuck e Cheese...where a kid can be a kid again! My boys love it and Tyler and I do to. Tyler and I always say we are going to go on a date there without our kids sometime!



*Playing the games with Grandpa

*Swinging at the park

*Garret thinks he is big enough for everything...even pushing Trenton...I love it Garret will say "When I was a little boy...." as if he is all grown up!

*Baseball!!!


*Garret running for home

*Quick photo after flying kites...just before the rain

*Let's go fly a kite!

*Good times with the Grandparents




*Football in the backyard


*Check out the boys and their ink! Spencer still points to his tummy and says "too"


*The zoo...

*Another one from the zoo...what funny guys!

We also got to hear a few stories from Tyler's parents. It's always fun to learn more about people and where they came from. Tyler as usual got to tease everyone- Alan did his fair share of teasing as well. It was a really fun week and we look forward to seeing everyone again.

Service Week 13

Last week we went out of our way to visit our elderly neighbor "Grandma Bates". The kids love her and she is always so happy when we come over.

This week I am going to take a meal to a friend that just had a baby and I am also planning to babysit for another friend so I will do those things for sure and hopefully I will find time to do something else!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Naomi


My little sister Leah had her baby yesterday.  I am so excited for her.  Her baby is so beautiful and I wish I was closer to her so I could hold her.  I am so excited for Leah and Joe and little Naomi.  I haven't heard her stats yet but she looks like a big healthy girl and I know she is adorable!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Call it what you will...

....a surprise, an accident, a blessing, unplanned, whoops, number 3, here we go again.....etc

Things are gonna change around here!

Monday, March 23, 2009

If only life had rewind

This morning I had a couple little errands to run. I started out by stopping to drop some bills in one of the big blue mailboxes. I pulled into a handicap spot (which I never do...but the parking lot was empty and it was the closest spot to the mailbox), jumped out and put my letters in. When I returned to the car after my 20 seconds away I realized I had locked the keys in the car and my KIDS.

So I tell Garret he has to undue his seat belt and unlock the car. He laughs. I ask again....and again....and again. Finally he starts to try. He can't get it and after a few minutes of me encouraging him he looks up with tears in his eyes and says "I just can't do it".

Luckily a really nice man (there were a lot of people that just gave me weird looks for talking to my car) stopped and offered to let me use his cell phone. I called a couple friends but didn't get a hold of them. So I call 911 (I didn't know who else to call...it was so lame too because I was so close to home). They said they would send a police man as soon as possible.

As soon as possible turned into 45 minutes (let me mention that it was not warm this morning - low 20's). I stood by my car and waited, occasionally telling the kids to stop kicking each other. In the end it worked out well...apparently police officers only help with locked cars if there are kids involved, otherwise I would have had to call a locksmith and they charge. He didn't say anything about the handicap spot and he even gave the kids a sticker. Garret thought he was awesome and he says he might like to grow up and be a "police rescuer" when he grows up and save people from locked cars. He recommend that I be more careful and we all went on our way.

I was thoroughly embarrassed and wished that I could rewind and undue that hour of my life...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Service week 12

Nothing is set in stone for this week.  I think I might walk over and ask my neighbor if there is anything I can do for her.  She is in her mid nineties and still lives on her own.  My kids call her Grandma Bates- she is great.  Tyler's family will be in town this week so if the neighbor idea falls through we might have to brainstorm when they come.  Either way we will do something.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Philly

Our last big stop was Philadelphia. We didn't spend much time here (a little too much though because we got a parking ticket...ugh). We visited the liberty bell (or broken bell as Garret called it), went in liberty hall (where the declaration and constitution were signed) and ate a Philly cheese steak. The chair at the head table is the actual chair where George Washington sat when he signed the Constitution. Everything was 95 percent original.




After our quick visit to Philadelphia we started for home. We stopped a few times to play the playground and eat. It was such a fun trip. I feel like I missed so many things we did and funny things the kids said. It was nice being somewhere else and all together. I am excited for the next trip we take, but for now it's nice being home.



On the Boardwalk

If you haven't seen "Wild Hearts Can't be Broken" go watch it...If you have then you will remember when she walks down the boardwalk and sees her face on the the top billing. Such a good movie. Anyway I love history and I loved reading about the boardwalk before going. Atlantic city was such a big happening place for such a long time. Driving into Atlantic city I felt a little disappointed, aside from the casinos the place seemed a little too much like down town Buffalo. The boardwalk was not the booming show place of America it once was was still a fun place. I think it would have been so fun to see it in it's prime. We really did enjoy being there with its tons of little shops, entertainers, cats (I didn't know about the cats but there were lots of cats) and its all right on the ocean which is beautiful.

We had a great time walking on the boardwalk, looking for shells by the ocean, going in the shops and watching all the people.
The pier behind Tyler is Steel pier which is the pier that the diving horses performed on. Apparently a tidal wave and fire took most of it out. Then when resorts bought it the shows that were there ceased.

We tried some of the original salt water taffy!

We love Lucy




When I was reading about Atlantic City I came across info on the world's largest Elephant. It's a building shaped like an Elephant built in the late 1800's. It is fully restored and during the summer you can go up it if you want. The boys were super excited to see it so we took the fifteen minute drive to see Lucy. The drive was actually really fun because the house out that way were so nice and all had really interesting architecture ( a lot of Atlantic city around the casinos was pretty run down so it was fun seeing the nicer area). The boys though Lucy was pretty impressive and as soon as we left wanted to know when we were going to see the worlds biggest elephant again.

A good deal







After DC we decided to head up to Atlantic City. Hotels were cheap (We stayed at the Trump for 30 dollars a night...love priceline) and we had never been there. We arrived and Tyler decided he would just ask if there were any bigger rooms available (never hurts to ask). They upgraded us free of charge to a junior suit. It had to be cleaned so we had some time to kill but we weren't complaining. (speaking of the hotel room, the boys all thought the bidet was awesome..)
We decided to just eat at the casino there were six or seven restaurants to choose from. We started checking out the menus looking for the best deal. While we were considering the Seafood Italian buffet (not your normal buffet...actually good buffet) and going back and forth because it was expensive we met Anthony. Anthony came up and told the hostess he was buying our meal. We said we couldn't accept that but he insisted. He was super nice, he came and introduced his wife, chatted with the kids, told us to have fun and even ran back to cover the tip. It was so random and so nice of him. We ate his money's worth.
I told Garret that he could pick three desserts ( I thought it would be like other buffets, small portions of things I could cut smaller...NOPE). He was in heaven and we decided what the heck we were on vacation.
Needless to say our first night in Atlantic City was GREAT! (Oh and Tyler's pile of shrimp was only half of what he ate...Thanks Anthony)

"Baby Talia", "Huffalump" and "Uncle Heccer"

A couple hours after Gettysburg (a long couple hours filled with questions about war, death and why we can't see their house yet) we arrived at Stephanie and Hectors!

My family will enjoy the last picture...Stephanie does look pregnant! We had tons of fun while we were there. Garret and Spencer were in heaven playing. Hector can play pretend for hours! While we were there the boys built a fort, went exploring, had pillow fights, read books, played pretend, made cookies, saw broken airplanes (at the Smithsonian) and had huge frozen custards!

I got to help Steph register for baby stuff- which was fun and crazy because that means next time I see her she will be a MOM. Us girls took on the boys in pool and we finished fairly well! We also played Monopoly, we haven't played this in ages and it was the perfect game because we went to Atlantic city after DC and that is where the street names are from. We also went to the Holocaust museum. It's not really one of those places you leave and say "wow that was awesome" but it was a good place to visit and it caused Tyler and I both to think about a lot of things- what we would do, shock that things like this still happen, disgust, respect for the people that risked it all for others and a million other thoughts.

This quote was on the wall-
When the Nazis came for the communists,I remained silent;I was not a communist.
When they locked up the social democrats,I remained silent;I was not a social democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists,I did not speak out;I was not a trade unionist.
When they came for the Jews,I remained silent;I wasn't a Jew.
When they came for me,there was no one left to speak out.

I hope I can be a person willing to speak up for others even if they are outside of my circle.

We had such a good time in DC. It was fun seeing everyone and their new house (which looks great). It was fun seeing Steph's belly and thinking how fun it will be to have a new niece. Thanks Steph and Hector for helping our trip be so fun!















Going on "cation" and the great "battlefield"

We started our little vacation last Thursday. With my navigating skills we got a little turned around and didn't get to Gettysburg until a few minutes before it closed. The monuments and park were open longer. We did a quick visit to the museum and then toured the grounds.

The kids did pretty good on the drive and Garret thought Gettysburg was pretty cool. For a couple days after he kept talking about the place where the big battle took place, and the guns they used to fight for freedom.

I remember learning the Gettysburg address in middle school. As I stood there and read the words again I was reminded of the brave men and women that went before us. It is so easy for me to think of them and their sacrifice but much harder to live in a way that shows gratitude and honors their sacrifice, I think the Gettysburg address is President Lincoln pleading with the living to make the lives of those men lives lost for a good cause. I really enjoyed being their and seeing where it took place.







"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government : of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

Service week 11

I know it is super late for this post but in a couple days when i post about our trip you will all understand why.  

Last week I mailed books and took the shoes.  This week we were gone all the time and just got back.  So this week will have to be a week of random service.  I don't know what it will be but I will be sure to go out of my way to do something good for someone.  

Vacation posts coming....

Monday, March 9, 2009

Road Trips

Thursday Tyler and I and the boys are leaving on a little road trip. I love Buffalo I really really do but I am so excited for a change of scenery and some quality time with Tyler and the kids. Sometimes life gets a bit monotonous and then I start wondering what I am doing wrong and why my life isn't more exciting. Anyhow a little road trip is going to be tons of fun and I think it will be just the thing to shake off the winter been cooped up in my house blues!

Growing up we took a trip from Washington to Utah almost every summer. I think it was a fifteen hour drive. I have a few bright memories from the drives but mostly it was torture sitting in the car for so long. We tried to find ways to entertain ourselves...the quite game, the letter game etc.

The summer before I was a sophomore in high school we took a road trip from Washington to New Mexico. It was really fun. We stopped at tons of different places. The theme was Native American ruins and we stopped at lots of them. It really was an awesome trip.

Another fun trip was the one that we took from Utah to Washington. The car was not working properly and Steph was just learning to drive. Every time we stopped we would have to look for a hill to park on so we could pop the clutch or else we would have to push it.

My Dad took me and my little sister to Canada once. It was probably one of the best days we spent together. I was an awful navigator and we were all confused about where we were. We ate the best fish and chips I have ever had. It was so fun.

Like I said there were a few really fun trips growing up...but road trips with Tyler are in a league of their own.

Now that I have aged a bit I love road trips. I think it is a combination of being able to entertain myself with my thoughts for a much longer period of time and that Tyler is so fun to go on road trips with. When we drive (he does most of the actual driving) we talk, read, enjoy the scenery. I usually have some sort of book or information on the area we are in. Ill say something like "two hours that way there is...." the next thing I know we are headed that way. It's SO fun!!!

Our plan for this trip is to spend a day getting down to DC stopping where we please, then spending a couple days there with my sister and her husband. After that we are thinking of going to Atlantic City and Philadelphia then taking a leisurely path home....

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Service Week 10

Last week I started collecting shoes for soles for souls. If anyone else wants to donate shoes to this worthy cause just let me know by Wednesday.

This week we are going on a vacation starting Thursday so my time is a little limited. I think I will start going through my book and choosing some to donate to Books 4 Africa. Their mission is to end the book famine in Africa. I LOVE books, I LOVE to read and I can not imagine what it would be like to live in a world without books. Because books have to be shipped to Africa they do not just accept any book. Their are some requirements so if you are interested in joining me check out their website http://www.booksforafrica.org/books-computers/donate-books.html .

Thursday, March 5, 2009

What do we do...

When the temperature breaks fifty for the first time in a long time....head to the park!














Monday, March 2, 2009

Spencer's funny face


When we ask Spencer to make a funny face this is what he does! He is changing so fast these days. His vocabulary increases daily. He and Garret have decided they love to wrestle and they wrestle all day long.

We have been busy lately. Tyler is doing midterms (this semester has been great...but occasionally he still has to study for a test). We have been able to spend some time with friends over the weekend. The kids were so good about going to sleep at someone else's house which makes it nice for us since we didn't have to find a sitter.
The weather is still cold here. Every time Garret sees the sun out he gets excited because he thinks it's summer time.
Spence is getting his back mollers in and he has been crying some at night. I was laying in bed the other night and I heard Spencer cry. Then I heard Garret say "it's okay little buddy, Ill always be here to protect" then he started singing " I am a child of God" to him.