Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Family Movie Outing

I don't think we've ever taken all the kids out to a movie before. This past Saturday we remedied that, and took all three to see Wall-e. LOVE the character... but, eh, movie could've been better.

The kids did great! Leora was pretty cooperative, Gregory only needed a popcorn refill once, and Charla didn't pull another "dairy aisle" on us.

That morning before we went, Fred prepped the kids by pulling up YouTube videos of Wall-e. There are some pretty dang funny ones! This was Gregory's favorite; it sent him into fits of hysterical laughter. There are about 5 or more other little ones like this, all clever and hilarious. Look em' up and enjoy a laugh.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Rock-a-bye kitty

No, we did NOT subject our kitty to torture by sticking her in that baby doll cradle. We found her lounging in it and took a bunch of the funnest pictures. Here are my favorite. She's such a little character!

Mistakes Gone Right

Sometimes mistakes (at least in cooking) turn out better than just following directions.

Since we've settled in, I've worked hard to plan each week's meals in advance, drawing most of my cuisines from a handful of cookbooks. Tonight I whipped up a recipe called "Stuffed Shells Florentine" from a cookbook Fred's aunt gave me for Christmas. It was a pretty simple recipe, but somehow I managed to screw it up.

My sweet hubby came to the rescue. I'd forgotten to add an ingredient, so we just stuffed it in extra. The result was delicious (although I'm sure the correct way is yummy, too). The true indicator that it was satisfactory came from my 2 harshest critics:
Gregory and Charla.
And, behold, they liked it! Good thing Gregory doesn't read Calvin and Hobbes comics, since this was loaded with spinach.

Then, for dessert after FHE the kids helped Fred mix up some chocolate pudding and we topped it with whipped topping and cookie crumbs left over from Fred's attempt to try a new chocolate chip cookie recipe on Sunday that resulted in, well, crumbs.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

My First Shave

We have such generous neighbors.

We've lived here 2 months now and have mowed the lawn ourselves once, borrowing the neighbor's lawn mower. You have to mow about once a week here. Our neighbors have done it for us all this time.

Determined to re-pay a little, I resolved to ask our neighbors if we could borrow theirs again (we've briefly looked around for one, but have no idea what to look for or what a good price is). Well, I woke up this morning to the sound of mowing and looked down to see our neighbors mowing our front lawn again! I felt so bad... but grateful, too.

Still, the backyard was looking pretty bad, so I called our neighbors anyways. Then get this....
Our neighbors Jeff and Vina (who were lending us their mower) offered us there EXTRA brand new lawn mower for $50! Turns out while he was deployed she could never get their lawn mower started, so she went out and bought a new one (this one). After all that, her neighbors mowed her lawn for his whole deployment, so it was only used once! When he came home, he got the old one started just fine, so he's been using that one. I don't know what they paid for the new one, but it did a bang-up job on our yard!

Fred's back is still bothering him, so I rolled up my sleeves and tackled the yard. In the end it looked great... freshly shaven. It was my first time, too. It was even kinda fun :)

Assume the Position!

While Fred was working on the computer, Leora crawled over to him. After just a little while, he looked down and found her asleep, just like you see. I love that she's "snuggling" a Crayola marker- she must be my girl.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Potty training: the Good, the Great, and the Dairy Aisle

So, with Charla's birthday on the horizon (September 23rd) we're encouraging her potty training a little more diligently. She's a very strong-willed little girl.. correction... princess. We had a small victory yesterday when she asked to wear panties to church. She's never gone a whole successful morning, so this was a leap of faith. Proof that miracles still happen, she used the potty twice at church and was accident free!

Then it carried on over to today. I took her to the gym in princess panties and she used their huge toilet there and we left dry- YAY!

I should've known it was too good to be true. From the gym we headed to Super Walmart (I finally found one). I always sit Leora in the front of the basket, Charla in the main part of the cart and Gregory walks. I was chatting on the phone with a friend, meandering down the dairy aisle when Gregory exclaims, " UH-OH! Look what Charla did! She made a mess!" (luckily, apparently not many people shop there at 11:00am on Mondays, so there was no one nearby)

I turn around and see a trail about 4 yards long ending in a puddle under our cart. Yup, it was Charla. I cut my conversation short, laughing, mind racing. I move the cart over to the orange juice and yogurt, and quickly look for paper towels but found something better: A Walmart sales associate. I worked 3 years at a Super Walmart and I knew how they handle all spills- with an equal degree of caution. So, with a tiny twinge of guilt I politely informed the guy that there's a spill by dairy he should be aware of... and we book it to the baby department.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Frilly little girls

When I was a baby, my mom often had me dressed in frilly little dresses, some needing a petty coat. Now that I have daughters of my own, my mom has let me go through the baby clothes she kept and pick out what I'd like. One of the things I grabbed, was this frilly petty coat, that has been hanging in the closet since Charla was a baby.

It's been so hot and sticky in the house (we yesterday finally realized the AC was broken- we just figured this is what you put up with in a humid climate) that I pulled this out of the closet for fun and because it's so "airy".

Charla loved it and when she finally parted with it, I made Leora wear it for a few pictures. AdOrAbLe. It was fun... and now we're happy that the AC is fixed and we have the house chilly again *grin*

This is Leora in another dress I wore in another life. I think she makes it look cuter than I did. I wish I could find a picture of myself to put on here. Oh well.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Meet Cinders

Cinders collage1
So, over 1/2 a year ago we found out the Air Force would
be whisking us away from Tucson. We were unsure how the
kids would handle it. Gregory has always had a real soft spot
for kitties, so after some thought we decided that by
promising to get a kitty once we were settled would be a good
incentive for the kids to go along with everything.

And it worked. They haven't let us forget it since. Whenever
someone asked them about our move, Gregory would make
sure to mention that we would be getting a kitty.

Well, our house is finally all in order, Fred is home and life is
resuming a natural flow again. We decided it was a good time
to make good on our word. So we started skimming the
classifieds, making phone calls and even going out to look at
kittens at some homes. Saturday afternoon we made our final

At a local pet store there was a handful of kittens who had
been rescued from a barn. The employee brought out 3 of
them, handing me the smallest one. The moment she touched
my hands, she purred so loudly, we could all hear her! We took
her into one of the stalls and let the kids play with her a little.
She was a little timid, but never stopped purring. Gregory was
in love!
This was the one!

We paid for her and then went to pick up some things while
they got her ready to go. Gregory proudly carried her to the
car and let her out at home. It's like she's always been here.
She's a very sweet, affectionate kitten. We're guessing she's
about 2 months old. She tolerates the kids well and is curious
but not too mischievous... yet.

She's already picked out her favorite from us ll: Fred. I'm
not surprised. Animals just seem drawn to him.

Her coat is an ashy color. Charla was a little unsure about the
kitten at first, so we told her it's a princess kitten (Charla is
still in full-throttle Princess mode). That warmed her up a
little. We told Charla the kitten's name is Cinderella, which she
loved. Fred and I usually just call her Cinders, like the cinders
after a fire goes out. Gregory just adores her.

So, now I have another tiny family member to post pictures about.

cinders collage2

cinders collage3

Surprise Visit

On the evening of July 3rd, Fred and I hired a babysitter (for the
first time) and went out on a date. We were unsure what we
should pay her, so we called our good friends, the McInelly's.
Shawna wasn't home, but Kaylon chatted with us a little. We
asked what their July 4th plans were and jokingly asked if we
could join them. After hanging up we stared at each other for a
moment and then decided right then and there, that we wanted
to spend the holiday weekend in Maryland, so we called Kaylon
back and started scheming. To make things extra fun, Kaylon
didn't tell Shawna.

We left super early the following morning and arrived in
Montgomery Village, Maryland just after noon. Shawna has
never seen Leora in person, so we decided to leave Leora on the
front porch and doorbell ditch them. Fred took position behind a
bush with the video camera and I rang the doorbell. Needless to
say, Shawna was in absolute shock. The expression on her face
was priceless as it dawned on her what was happening.

We enjoyed an awesome weekend with them. Just like old times,
we played Halo waaay too late. The next morning we took the
Metro out to our country's capitol and toured it until
mid-afternoon. The kids were relatively cooperative and we
managed to survive the other millions of people pushing their way
from monument to monument. It was the first time for both Fred
and I, so it was still very special.

What made it extra special was being with Kaylon, Shawna and
their girls. We were sad to leave the next morning, but the
memories we made and the laughs we shared were worth every

Here's the video we took and a slide show of pictures. Enjoy!

Learning English

Here's a quick laugh.

Our house has 3 bathrooms: 2 upstairs and one down stairs.
The faucet in the downstairs one is difficult to turn on, so
Gregory usually hauls himself up the stairs to do his business.

Yesterday he burst into the kitchen and proudly announced,
"I peed down the stairs!"

You might say I was a little shocked. After a minute I realized
what he meant to say was "I peed downstairs", meaning he
used the ground floor bathroom. That was a relief.

cheesy gregory

"I like my Owies"

That's what Charla told me as we buckled her into her car seat one
afternoon just before Independence Day, as she gently touched her ears.

Yup, we took the plunge and got the girls' ears pierced. We've talked
about doing it since before Leora was thought of, but just never got
around to it. The main motivation in getting it done now, is in hopes
that Charla may shift her hair pulling habit to an earring twiddling
habit. Not to mention, since we have to keep cutting her hair so short
with her pulling it out, adding some girly earrings helps compensate
for the less-than girly haircut.

Charla did surprisingly well, and Leora made up for it. Still, the
earrings ended up in the right spots. Gregory looked on with concern
and jumped out of reach when we teased him by offering to do
his ears, too.
Leora's pierced ears

Charla's peirced ears