Thursday, October 7, 2010

All In One Day

Wow. The last 24 hours have been a whirlwind.
My friend Cara called to tell me she had a friend who is wanting to buy a house in our neighborhood, and close quickly on it, and that she really wants her to see our house if it's still for sale. Yes, we had a for sale sign in the yard for about a month, but no lookers. So we pulled it down, deciding to finish some projects and maybe wait on the market to come back a little. I told Cara I would send pictures via e-mail to her friend. About 2 hours later I got a call from their Realtor saying they wanted to see the house at 5:30 today, and that they were ready to "move on this quick.".
People tell me all the time, and I love my home enough to believe it too, but everyone has said it will sell quick. And we were a little prepared for that, provided we could get someone in the door. Our first home sold in 2 days. Also listed "by owner.".
We cleaned and tidied it up, and even today Selah was an awesome helper, going above and beyond anything I asked her to do. She is so thoughtful.
Their Realtor stopped by this afternoon to see it first, and from that conversation seemed quite sure they would want the house. We showed the house at 5:30, and less than 2 hours later had a full priced offer, less some fees. As it works out, we will close in 23 days if everything goes through.

Now, for that part I really want to blog about. I don't deal well with change. Never have. Not as a kid, not as a college student, and not really as an adult either.. I hang onto what I have... What is comfortable and routine and known. It will take Alan and I years to decide to buy a different car. Not that I can't part from the old one, but because we like not having car payments, or things like that.
We love this house, but this is not the house I want to retire in. And I don't want to move away from the house we raise the kids in. Ha! Just imagine what what that would be like for me compared to this!!

So we got the offer, and I got a little sad right off the bat about someone else getting to live in my beautiful home. And I got sad about the kids having to move away from their good friends. And what if we can't find this dream home I keep, well, dreaming about? So we risk loosing this awesome house for who knows what yet?

We held a family prayer time with the kids, specifically about the house deal. Selah prayed first, and in her prayer she said "help Mommy and Daddy to decide on the right things for us...." That statement alone gave me peace. I prayed. Alan prayed, and after he said "amen" Bryson said "Dad, Soloman prayed for wisdom." Yes he did. Bryson said "you just prayed for wisdom too."
Charis cried when I tucked her in, saying she didn't want to move. Selah is very excited, and when I tucked her in she asked me how I was feeling. I told her that I was a little nervous, a little sad, and little excited and happy too. But that if this is all working for us, and if we keep praying that God will help lead us to the right place next, then we are gonna love it and see how it all worked together for good.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Day #4 and 5, Epcot

Epcot was our family's favorite park. All I can say about it is "wow!" Literally I don't even know where to start. The first day we spent the entire time in the front half of the park. We rode the Nemo ride, spent a couple hours exploring the aquarium, and we had lunch at the Coral Reef, enjoying our view of the marine life, the glass view being one entire wall. It was neat. The kids had fun chasing the water snakes at te fountain, rode Fast Track, played some educational interactive games, rode the AWESOME ride inside the huge geosphere, and ended the night with the fireworks show.
As we were watching the fireworks, I noticed across and around the back side if the lake there were lots if big buildings.... And it was then that we figured out that was all the "COUNTRIES" that Epcot is famous for. WOW! We hadn't even made it to that part of the park! We spent the entire day just in the front riding rides and playing games.
So Day 5 we headed straight for the countries. We explored Mexico, China, Germany, I think? I mean, there were still lots of countries we never even made it to. Amazing. We loved it!
Even the second half of day 6 we squeezed in a few more hours at Epcot, and still only made it half way around the lake. I think we could spend an entire week just at Epcot. Maybe in the future we will!
It was our family's favorite!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Castle Princesses @ Disney World

Princess Snow White

Princess Aurora, Sleeping Beauty

Princess Ariel

Princess Belle

Princess Charis

Princess Selah

My Beautiful Castle Princesses

Monday, September 13, 2010

Day # 3 Animal Kingdom

Wow! This was a FULL day of fun! Today was Animal Kingdom day. For my little 'zoo' lovers, this park was right up their alley. We started the day out with Mickey shaped waffles and an African omelet breakfast at the Tuscar House Cafe. We got to meet Daisy, finally! And Mickey and Goofy were there too.
As soon as breakfast was over, it was first things first... A pin trade or two, and then the safari ride!! We saw giraffes, hippos, elephants, and many other birds and creatures of the savanna.

Next we set off on a trail walk through the jungle. Our favorite part of Animal Kingdom was the Bugs Life show that took place in the roots of the Tree of Life. I laughed and laughed just watching the kids. I'm pretty sure I heard Bryson scream a time or two - Ha! Ha! It was a 3D show with added splashes of water, bursts of wind, and some creepy crawly feels of bugs and worms underneath us. Bryson and Selah both reached for bugs, ducked to avoid danger, and Bryce is sure he punched the head off of one of the bad bugs. It was so fun!! They LOVED this show! Hilarious!!

After an really neat parade, we headed back to the resort at about 4pm. We decided to head to the pool to cool off and play. I even got in the water and - got my hair wet! - which is rare! After a couple hours of fun and relaxation at the pool we deicided to be wild-and-crazy-die-hards and head to Magic Kingdom for the 9pm-midnight exclusive park admission for resort guests only. We hurried and changed clothes, and made it the park in time for the fireworks show above the castle. Instead, as soon as we arrived and found a spot, the kids and I went to get Mickey ice cream cones and when we came out of the parlor, a crazy wild storm came upon us out of no where! They advised everyone to take cover. The kids and I Ran back into the the ice cream parlor, and Alan was left to find cover for him and the stroller. About 30 minutes went by and the storm passed. It was a creepy hurricane type storm. Lots of wind, thunder, and lightening. It was kinda cool though. Poor Alan was soaked.

I fell in love with my sweet wet man a little more tonight. The kids still wanted to see the parade and Alan was totally willing to stick it out. I don't think I would have been so nice. but he was. He never even complained or acted frustrated about it. The show finally started about 10:15pm. Charis fell asleep on my lap during the fireworks, so after the show, he offered to take her back to our resort. Selah and Bryce were excited though about getting to stay at the park during the late hours, so I stayed with them until midnight. It was a fun special time for the three of us!

Needless to say, it was a long day. The plan is to sleep in and start Day 4 in the late morning and go as long as we can. We are having fun, but we gotta keep up with our rest. If we can.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Day #2 Magic Kingdom

After a long day of travels and a late night, we all slept in a bit this morning. We hit the park at about 10am. It was already hot and sunny. Only 90 degrees today I think, but it seemed really really hot. I mean, My kids hardly sweat when they run races or play soccer at home, but here we all had beads of sweat on our faces. So our tactic was alternating a ride or parade in the sun, and then a ride or show in a building. This worked pretty good, and it made it so Alan and I didn't get cranky, ha!

Selah and Alan rode Space Mountain. Her first big roller coaster ride. She was scared a little when on the ride, but as soon as it was over she told Alan she would like to ride it again if she gets the chance. Bryson, Charis, and I went on the Buzz Light Year ride. The kids had fun shooting lazier guns at the Evil Emperor Zurg's Z's, and I was mesmerized by the ride so much, that we wanted to take Alan and Selah on it.

We laughed along at the Monster's Inc Interactive show, enjoyed a live character performance show outside the castle, and rode our "doom buggies" through the haunted mansion.

We had a wonderful lunch outside on the verandah of Tony's Town Square, just as the parade went marching by. That was a great tip suggested by the WDW reservation employee that helped me book my dining spots. It was neat to watch the parade from there... We were the only people that requested the verandah, I guess, since we were the only ones eating out there, so it was like we had our own private viewing area for the parade. And it was in the shade under a fan. Perfect!

Another exciting thing going on for the kids is the pin trading. We bought them each a laniard and a handful of Disney pins. Each WDW employee has a laniard of pins that he/she will freely trade with you. The kids have had a blast trading pins. The WDW employees will trade any pin you want for any pin you want to give up. Your choice. In a couple cases the kids have even traded with other kids. That can get a little trickier since you have to make a more fair and desirable trade. I love watching them trading pins around. In fact, tonight the "Disney Fairy is leaving them each a new pin under their pillows!

Charis is getting tons of attention while wearing her big "it's my birthday" pin! A special dessert and Mickey confetti at each meal, lots of birthday wishes from people everywhere, and even the bus driver today gave her a Disney bus pin. The other kids finally tonight said "I wanna come here for my birthday!!". I was waiting for that.

And speaking of attention, we are all getting plenty of it because of the adorable festive outfits the kids are wearing each day. Even several of the ladies that work here have said they are some of the cutest they've seen. Wow! Cool! The kids get compliments all the time about how cute they are or whatever, but it's kinda fun cause for the first time, when people ask me if I made their outfits, I can say "yes!!!"
And the bag Heather made me is awesome!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Disney World 2010

We are here! We are here! We are here!
After two months of waiting, hours of planning, days of sewing and creating, and a few hours of traveling, we are finally here!

We arrived at the airport and they whisked us away to our resort to check in, and then we headed straight to Magic Kingdom! We didn't even have to wait and pick up our luggage. It "magically" appeared in our room while we were at the park.

Our first day here at Disney World has been great. We enjoyed a tour of the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse, which was especially exciting for the kids because we recently read the book and watched the movie.

Bryson LOVED the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, and literally has not stopped playing with his souvineer sword since then. He is really into Pirates right now, and this ride was so cool. We all really liked it, and it made him even more excited about his special 2 hour pirate excursion coming up on Tuesday.

We ended the night having dinner at Chef Mickey's. This is one of the most popular character meal dinners, and it took me several times of trying, but we managed to land a 9:05pm reservation (and that was booked 2 months ago). The timing worked good though with it being our first night and being full of excitement. We were able to see Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald Duck, and Pluto. The kids got their autographs and I got pictures of the kids with each of them.

The sweetest thing happened tonight. A moment that made this Mommy and Daddy proud. I had come prepared with small pieces of colored
card stock and Sharpies for the kids to use to get autographs from the Characters. The last to visit our table was Mickey. He took a little extra time with the kids and even wrote their names and signed it "Your Pal, Mickey." Then he was off to another nearby table. Bryson asked me for a paper and Sharpie. I handed it to him and he wrote the words "thank you" and drew a heart. He waited for Mickey to finish at the table next to us, and then Bryson handed Mickey his note. Mickey stopped, read the note, clutched it to his heart, and then drew a heart in the air with his hands. He gave Bryson a big hug, and then came back to our table and motioned for Bryson and the girls to sign the thank you card Bryson made him. Isn't that so sweet? Mickey wanted their autographs! I love that boy. My rough tough sword fighting pirate sweetheart of a kid. Who also wasn't afraid to pause quick to pee in the bushes on our walk back to the resort. Ugh. Really? At least it was dark. I looked back and saw him and said "Bryce! What are you doing?!?!?" to which he replied "That's what boys do, Mom."

So yes... we are feeling the MAGIC!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Route 66 Pops

If you ask Alan and I to list our top 5 favorite things to do... on the list would be our enjoyment of finding really cool, fun, and/or quaint places to eat. On vacation, I think most of our memories are even connected to the places we find to dine. We like outdoor dining best, and often choose our restaurant when we see there are tables outside on the deck or sidewalk of the cafe. And we usually like the little pizza parlors or swanky sandwich shops or thatched-roof Mexican places best. Occasionally we do "fancy" I guess, but we much prefer "fun." And really, a big juicy burger and fries served in a plastic basket tops our list.

Most recently the lil' place we found is not so much known for it's food, but more for it's pop. Or I should say pops, hence the name.
It's located right outside of the Oklahoma City/Edmond area, in a town named Arcadia.

You may have seen the giant soda bottle beside the road when traveling on Route 66 east of Edmond. Towering an appropriate 66 feet above the historic road near Arcadia, it is the calling card of POPS, a roadside gas station, cafe, convenience store and soda fountain.

Selah had a soccer tournament in OKC this past weekend, and as soon as Charis heard we were headed there, she yelled "CAN WE GO to POPS!!!!?????!!!" And how could we turn down her sweet shy little request? I mean? For the love! "Of course we can go there sweet baby!"

This time I made sure to take my camera and get a few pics. We were seated outside in the "back yard." We devoured our burgers and fries, drank our specially chosen bottles of pop, and enjoyed once again the historic hills and curves of Route 66 as we headed home with full bellies. And with a few cases of clanking bottles in tow.


Friday, August 27, 2010

My Favorite Spot

Since I'm on the topic of outdoor dining, I have to post a blog about my favorite spot to dine outdoors in T-town... Queenies. At Utica Square.

It makes me happy. Can cheer me up if I'm feelin' down. It can be either fun, or romantic, or both! They have the #2 best grilled cheeses in town (next to my Grandma's) and they definitely have the #1 best egg salad sandwiches in town.

And if you ask my kids... they have the best climbing trees around.

***JOY JOY***

I love having lunch at Queenies. And I always splurge for dessert.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

American Girl History - Felicity, Week 2

We are in our 2nd week of our American Girl curriculum. The year is divided into studying 7 of the different American Girls and their culture; what the world was like during their particular era.

The first American Girl in our study is Felicity; a little girl living in the colony of Williamsburg in 1774. For each of the 6 'Felicity' weeks we read one of her chapter books each week, we read and study additional books, such as a biography on George Washington and Betsy Ross. We do various crafts and projects, such as write an invitation to tea and make our own "store front" sign as if we owned and operated a business in the colony.

In addition to the curriculum and chapter books, I ordered the the book Felicity's World, and Felicity's Cookbook (I ordered the cookbooks and 'world' books of the other girls too). Often times this week I've walked into a room and found Selah reading and admiring the 'world' books of the American Girls. She's even taken them with us to read in the car. Alan said the other night Selah had 3 or 4 of the various 'world' books open and laid out on the ottoman, and she was comparing the times of the girls against one another. My point is, she is l-o-v-i-n-g what she is learning.

This morning Selah made breakfast from Felicity's cookbook. This afternoon we had our first 'American Girl Club' with 6 other friends also doing the same curriculum this year. The girls had a 'Felicity Tea Party' and got to practice their proper tea etiquette. Sort-of. Ha!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sports Momma Meals - #1 FAN of Fast Fix Meals

One of my favorite things in life is getting to cheer my kids on from the side-lines or from the audience or from the finish line! My kids are busy developing their skills, self-confidence, healthy bodies and lifestyle, their relationships with others, their respect for authority, and most of all, they are having fun!
Soccer is in full swing, dance is about to begin, and we are waiting for the call to join the tackle football team. Wednesday night church activities start this week too, so that makes 4 nights a week of sports and activities. Many people scoff at how "busy" families are in this day and age. And I get that, I do. But with 3 kids, with making a priority for church mid-week, with allowing my kids to choose more than one activity (because soccer and dance are both healthy and beautiful and challenging, but in very different ways), it just fills the evenings up. Which is why we educate at home rather than at school all day, but that's another blog for another day.

Even more vital than a healthy, active, physical and social life, I believe the kids need to be filled with as much nutrition as possible. Especially with all the unhealthy options available today, and especially with the need for quick-and-convenient foods. After all, in the end, if they don't have their health, the rest of all of this "sporting" that we do doesn't really matter.

So! Time for another Taste-N-Tell style party! Last year I hosted WhAT A CRocK! and it went over so well, I decided to have another one. This time, the theme is "Sports Momma Meals #1 Fan of Fast Fix Meals"
Everyone brought their favorite fast fix homemade meal for the family. Some were crock meals, some were make ahead and chill until ready to bake. Others were 4 or 5 ingredients thrown in a dish and bake or cook. And even a couple were 2 part meals ~ day 1 eat the BBQ pork roast, day 2 use left overs to make bake potato casserole topped with the left over meat. All the meals were delish! I had a very hard time choosing my favorite recipe! In fact, originally I was going to have everyone vote for their 1 favorite dish, but at the last minute decided to award 2 winners, one for flavor, the other for fast-fix convenience.

Sarah and Brandi were the winners! Sarah for "delicious flavor", and Brandi for "fast-fix on-the-run". Here are the copies of the recipes they brought:

Sarah brought her Day 2 Meal, but rather than bringing the loaded baked potatoes, she scooped out the potatos and pressed the pulp into the bottom of a baking dish. Then topped the smashed potatoes with the remaining ingredients, adding the left-over shredded pork to the top. Then bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10-12 minutes. Her meal was my husbands favorite!

And my other favorite for it's fun and creativity for the kids was Jen's recipe for Ship Wrecked. Here's a copy of her recipe, and a picture of us to go along with it since we're so cute!

And the last recipe I want to post was the one I voted for... brought by my friend Stephanie. I had a hard time choosing between this meal and Sarah's loaded baker, but this was my favorite ~ since I had to choose. This Taco Stuffed Shells meal was a little more work than some of the others, but the flavor was so so so so good!!!

Of course we ended the night by assembling ourselves a little cookbook of all the recipes from the party. Such fun!

All in all, it's a great opportunity to taste the different meals, take home new recipes, and best of all, is a good excuse for a Girl's Night Out!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Very Tiny (Almost Not) Sneak Peek

Here's a peek of the skirt I made for Selah to wear on Animal Kingom day.

Charis is excited to see me sewing, and (no surprise to me) wanted to try it herself! I am making 4 or 5 outfits for the kids to wear while we are in Disney World, and while at the fabric store we found a bolt of Minnie Mouse fabric already gathered at the bodice. So we pinned it to her size, and she got to sew it straight up the back, thus *making* her first dress! It came off the bolt already hemmed, but I added a pretty pink ribbon ruffle at the bottom to make it even more fun! When she sews with me, she sits in my lap, I press the peddle and help her guide the fabric under the presser foot.
Charis was very excited and pleased with her new dress, and I think wore it for 2 or 3 days straight! It's super cute, purple, perfect for a hot Disney day, and "Made By Charis, With Love." Oh, and it's also strapless. Ha!

In My Nest...

I get to grow them. Birth them. Clean them. Feed them. Sometimes ruffle their feathers. Keep them warm. Squeeze and snuggle together. Kick out the poo. Show them the sky. Shield them. Nudge them. Teach them to fly. And when they fall, I'll swoop down and help them get soaring again.

Wild-N-Crazy in the Rain

Hey... you leave me by myself and in charge of 7 wild-n-crazy kids... this is what *might* happen if they want to play tag. In the dark. In the rain.