Friday, August 29, 2008

Just a quick note.

I've been asked how far along I am and are we seriously not finding out what sex this baby is.  Let's see.... I honestly don't know how far along I am, but its right around the 15 week mark almost to four months.  Something like that.  I do not know my due date, but to be honest I'm not the best in the world about keeping up with this kind of stuff.  Its around the Feb/March time frame, I think.  I know its sad how uninformed I'm remaining.  I was really concentrated on it when I was preggers with Braden, but really I've just slacked off from there.  Honestly, I don't have time to concentrate on that, which is actually a good thing for me.

We are not going to find out the sex of this baby.  We want it to be a surprise, much to the chagrin of my mom!  She's even more of a preparation addict than I am for things of this nature.  She likes to be able to shop any deals on kids clothes that she finds.  This will be her sixth grandbaby.  Not bad considering she only has Sara and I to populate the grandkid generation!  hahaha

That's all for now, I'm off to get birthday presents for my Sam-I-Am.  I will be doing a post on all that drama, too!:)  Later.

Happy Birthday, SAM!!!!

Yep, that's right my honey is turning the big 3-0!  Its really funny.  He hasn't really talked a lot about it.  Occasionally he'll make the I'm gonna be an old man comment, but he's not really serious.  That's because we both know he's already turned into an old fogey and has been one for several years now!  hahahahaha.  I can't say anything, though, because I'm right there with him!  Anyway, we are going to attempt to go someplace special.  He really likes Texas Land and Cattle, but I have a feeling that there's not one here, so we'll have to find an alternative.  Famous Dave's anyone?  Well, hopefully I will have figured it out before today.

So, without further delay:  HAPPY BIRHTDAY, SAM!  I love you!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

a little something I wanted to share

My mom sent this to me via email and I thought it was necessary to share with everyone.

None of that Sissy Stuff

Are you tired of those sissy 'friendship' poems that always sound good,

but never actually come close to reality?

Well, here is a series of promises that actually speak of true friendship.

You will see no cutesy little smiley faces on this card-

Just the stone cold truth of our great friendship.

1. When you are sad --I will jump on the person who made you sad like a spider monkey jacked up on Mountain Dew!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2. When you are blue -- I will try to dislodge whatever is choking you.

3. When you smile -- I will know you are plotting something that I must be involved in.

4. When you're scared -- we will high tail it out of here.

5. When you are worried -- I will tell you horrible stories about how much worse it could be until you quit whining, ya big baby!!!!

6. When you are confused -- I will use little words.

7. When you are sick --Stay away from me until you are well again. I don't want whatever you have.

8. When you fall -- I'll pick you up and dust you off--

After I laugh my butt off!!

9. This is my oath...I pledge it to the end. 'Why?' you may ask -- because you are my FRIEND!

Friendship is like peeing your pants,

everyone can see it,

but only you can feel the true warmth.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Spur of the moment decision

I was standing in front of the mirror earlier today before I got in the shower and I was looking at the massive amount of hair that had accumulated on my head and decided that it needed to go.  I've been thinking about getting my hair cut for a month or two because its really just too much hair and its a pain to keep up with.  So, I decided right then and there I was gonna cut my hair.  So I did.  I first cut about 5 inches off and I decided I was getting there, but went ahead and cut another 3 inches off to make it complete.  Yep, I just did something I NEVER thought I would do, but desperate times and all that! :)  Seriously, it was getting on my last nerve!  It was heavy, I had to use a ton of shampoo to wash it, the ends look like they had been fried crispy and it wouldn't stay up in my clip, so you see why I had to do it!  Anyway, it didn't turn out too badly.  At least not as badly as I thought it would going into the whole thing.  It so does not look professionally done and I'm sure its got its uneven points, but I don't care.  I'll have someone shape it up in the distant future.  For right now, I'm lovin' how it feels and its a dream to wash! Well, comparatively, anyway.  Yay!!!!  Here are some pics for your perusal:  Sorry, I didn't think to take a before shot, so I'll just have to provide the next best thing.

 In my defense, I did just wash it and so its an unruly hairdo that I'm left with until I decide to do something with it, which I won't, so there we are.

This was the only one I could find of the long-ness of the monstrosity before.  This was a couple of months ago after I got it shaped up in Killeen, so it had some time to grow some more.  (Think weeds.)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I've been tagged.

My friend Rachel thought I needed to be tagged and so here goes.  Me from a - z.

A. Attached or Single? Attached...married 8 years in October.

B. Best Friend? Sam-head

C. Cake or Pie? well, it depends... strawberry or lemon cake and cherry or blueberry pie

D. Day of Choice? Monday.  Its usually the calmest day of my week.  That somehow has to be an abomination or something!

E. Essential Item? my pillow.  No really, I take it with me whether we are staying with relatives or in a hotel.

F. Flavor of Ice Cream? I'm quite partial to the butterfinger blizzard.

G. Gummy Bears or Worms? neither, both do something funky to my sinuses.  for real.

H. Hometown? I refuse to answer this question on the grounds it might incriminate me.

I. Indulgences? I don't know that I have a specific one.  Maybe it is that sometimes I sit/lay down instead of finishing the dishes or something like that.

J. January or July? january any day.  July has heat and we don't get along.

K. Kids? 3, but I haven't met the 3rd yet. :)

L. Last Movie I Saw In A Theater? Well, that's been well over two years ago.  I doubt I'll ever see the inside of a movie theater again.  Netflix is where its at for me these days.

M. Middle Name? Kathleen

N. Number of Siblings? 1

O. Oranges or Apples? not a big fan of pulp, but I have to have my apple peeled.

P. Phobia or Fear? not really.  I don't like bugs, but I'm not scared of them, I just cause them to be quickly deceased if they are in my house.

Q. Quote? not really into quotes.  I don't have enough memory to store them.

R. Reason to Smile? I've been saved by Jesus Christ who died on the cross so that I can live.  There is nothing/ no one to fear because I am assured in Him.  That's a pretty big reason to smile. :D

S. Season? fall is my favorite because of thanksgiving and it gets cool and I can break out my sweatshirts and comfy socks.  Spring is good too cuz its cool.  I believe there is an emerging pattern here.  I don't think I would mind any of the seasons if I lived where it doesn't get above 80 degrees all year round.

T. Tag Four More? nope, I refuse.

U. Unknown Fact About Me? I'm an aggressive spades, dominoes, whatever player.  I aim to win, but I am not a sore loser....I'll just challenge you to a rematch.....yeah.

V. Vegetarian or Oppressor of Animals? well, for the most part, I could be a vegetarian except for fish, which is how I ate before I became preggo with my first kiddo, but I live in a family of meat lovers, so I will eat meat if its on the menu.

W. Worst Habit? getting easily irritated

X. X-Rays or Ultra-Sounds? I've had both and they are both necessary in their own ways, so whichever I need at that time.

Y. Your Favorite Food? A meal that I didn't have to cook.  My outlook changes when I'm pregnant.  Any other time and I enjoy cooking.

Z. Zodiac? don't believe in it.  what a crock!  Anything that tries to get your attention and faith off of God (Truth) is an outright destructive ploy by satan (his mission is to steal, kill and destroy, after all.)  I know that sounds harsh, but its just truth with no additives or preservatives.  Yumm.

That will be all for this session of the Olympic word relay.  Stay tuned for more obscure sports that somehow got into the Olympics. Seriously, hand ball?  Oh, man!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I'm the aunt of nephew #8!

That's right!  My sister Sara had her baby yesterday evening!  Grayson Mathew Heinicke was born at 5:27 pm and weighed in at 8 lbs 11 oz and  was 19 in long.  I don't have a picture at this time, but maybe soon.  I'm very excited and hopefully we will be close enough to home soon to go for a visit and meet the newest little person in our family.:)

I've decided to take my friend Reina's advice and do a thankful list.  This is dedicated in your honor Reinababes.

10 things I'm thankful for:

1.  Babies - they are so sweet and they are brand new people that God chooses to bless us with.  They are such an amazing miracle!

2.  Sam - without him I would probably be in a little padded room hugging myself!  Seriously, he is the most amazing man I know and I never want to be without him.  He's my best friend, my husband, father of my children and best of all, he loves God with all he's got.

3.  Braden - what a treasure to have such a tender-hearted child.  He's so much fun to be around and he's constantly making me laugh.  He's such a good big brother and Zekey is definitely his #1 fan.  Its such an honor to get to witness who he's growing up to be.

4. Zekey - my little cutie-pie.  He's such an interesting little boy and what fun we have with him.  His smile would melt anyone's heart!  Again, an honor to be part of his training and molding into who he's going to be.

5.  Motorhomes - I would've gotten worn out long ago moving around as we do without our home on wheels.  I'm grateful to have been blessed with this option.  Every where we go our home goes, too!

6.  Family - though there is drama at times, man I wouldn't trade it for anything.  Nothing comes close to the support, love and friendship that I have in my family.

7. IMacs - well, obviously I use ours to check in with those that are not near from time to time.  This thing is pretty cool just to use period, though.  This gadget is at the top of my favorite gadgets list.

8.  Phones - its nice to hear familiar voices on a regular basis, especially when I can't be physically there to talk face to face.

9.  Homeschool - I like being my child's teacher and making sure things that he doesn't need to know at his age are filtered out instead of him getting extra education on the side in a place I can't be for most of his day.  Yay!  Also, we get to go at his pace, whatever that may be.

10.  Rosemary mint shampoo and conditioner - Its basically the only stuff that doesn't make me want to throw up during pregnancy!

I think that about does it for today.  I will be out of touch with the virtual world for a couple of days.  We have to take our rv in to get some things worked on, so we will be staying in a hotel for a couple of days.  The boys will have a blast and I'm looking forward to the free hot breakfast buffet that I get to partake of, but I don't have to cook any of.  Oh, yeah......  Talk at ya on the flip side!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A more in-depth explanation

So apparently, a friend who shall remain nameless, but rhymes with caressa has expressed puzzlement over why we keep all those phone books....  Well, here's the low down.  Because we never know where we are going to go until the last minute, there's always the possibility of going to the same place again.  For instance, Killeen.  So, on the off chance that we will return to the scene of the same crime, we keep the phone books so that we will have the yellow pages handy.  Its nicer than trying to look everything up on the internet.  I hope this explanation has been most satisfactory and fulfilling. :D

Now then, I was also asked by another friend when my next OB appointment is.  It is on Sep 14.  I think I am also going to be getting my sonogram around that time.  You know, I've been having second thoughts about finding out the gender of this baby.  I'm not trying to be a hiney head or anything (I know you like that expression, Vanerrrrsa, Rachel!), but since we have so many boys in this family and there has been expressions of the hope that this one will be a girl, that I'm hesitant to find out for sure.  Let me explain.  Every time we find out we are having another boy, as in family wide, its kind of like, "Seriously?  ANOTHER boy?!"  Not necessarily in a bad way, mind you, but there is this little sense of a let down of sorts.  I don't honestly care if this baby is a boy or girl.  I'm just excited we are being blessed with another child!  Don't get me wrong.  The shopping for girl clothes is way more exciting than for boy clothes.  It would be neat to have a girl, but it would also be somewhat of a novelty, too, since she'd be the only one.  It would be less preparation if we have a boy cuz I already have so much stuff for a boy.   My cousin on my mom's side is having a girl, so she wouldn't necessarily be alone there, but we are not close and rarely see each other.  If we don't find out until the baby comes out, it will be very cool because you just fall in love with whatever you are given anyway.  I guess I just don't want to have to deal with it all.  I just want there to be a gratefulness all around for God's unending blessings, you know?   We'll see.  I may give in to my curiosity in the end, but I may choose not to find out for a while.  Sam is in the not finding out camp, but he's okay if I do want to find out.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A little ditty about some shoes and other miscellaneous items

Crocs, wonderful Crocs... what more could you ask for?  (to the tune of food wonderful food from Oliver Twist.)  I've been the proud owner of croc flip flops for about two years plus now and I just got my second pair this past weekend.  I always have the toughest time buying shoes because I have fat feet due to fallen arches.  There are certain styles that I steer clear from so my feet don't look like just made sausages trying to escape their casings.  Trust me, not a pretty sight!  Then I have the problem of support and comfort.  Most dress shoes don't last for more than a couple of hours on my feet and then I'm ready to call it a day and soak my poor feet in epsom salt:(  So, for the past 10+ years I have been on a quest for comfortable yet stylish shoes.  Unless its freezing outside, I wear my Croc flip flops everyday.  I know most people have at least seen them.  Beware of imitations, though, because they are NOT created equal!!!!!  When you put on a pair of Crocs, it is seriously like walking on a cloud.  Like a little piece of heaven decided to support your feet.  Oh, its a wonderful feeling.  I also own a pair of Aerosoles that I've had for about 9 years now.  I wore them every time I wore my blues uniform in the Air Force, which was quite often.  I'm still a fan of Aerosoles, though, again I have to be careful what style I get.  I think eventually, I will have all Aerosoles and Crocs shoes in my closet and nothing else!  My latest aquisition are Alice Crocs in black.  They look like ballet slipper shoes.  I couldn't find any shoes that I could wear to church that I wasn't trying to prevent a blister from appearing 15 mins into the service.  Ridiculous.  Anyway, I would like to report that my new shoes are a resounding success!  Yay!

In other news, Zekey is now saying two words very clearly and often.  Uh-oh, which is usually cause for concern because most likely a large mess has been made and poo-poo, which is self-explanatory.  He has also started shaking his head  no.  He also holds his hands up and looks at us while making a questioning noise if he's wanting to get up somewhere he can't by himself, i.e. the top bunk bed.  He's a funny boy.

Braden has started in asking why every time he is told to do something and we are having fun nipping that in the bud.  Lots of training going on in his world right now.  He's also gotten to where he wants Zekey to play with him all the time, but he still wants it to be done his way.  Its amusing sometimes to watch all that unfolding.  I think it will be so good for him to learn flexibility.  My eldest is also a perfectionist and it really comes out when he's trying to cut something out or draw something and it isn't coming out just right.  I think we'll be working on that a lot this year.  I've found that if I can get him giggling about something then his frustration lessens significantly and he's ready to try again.  Good times.

Another interesting tidbit that I thought I'd share is our growing collection of phonebooks.  I think at this point they are kinda like souvenirs.  I mention this because we just got a new one yesterday.  I think we now have around 8.  I'll have to count to be sure, but I know that's close.

That's all I've got for this edition of the DyessFamChronicles.  I hope you'll tune in next time when we talk of many things:

Of shoes-and ships-and sealing wax-
Of cabbages-and kings-
And why the sea is boiling hot-
And whether pigs have wings."

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Famous Dave's Barbeque

So, being a southern girl and all and married to a barbeque lovin' southern man, let's just say that if we are going to eat BBQ, it better be better than good.  It better be great!  Sam and I have our favorite BBQ places, of course.  His is Rudy's.  There was one in Tyler, but I think it closed down, so they are mostly in south Texas in the Austin/San Antonio area.  The original one is close to Boerne (pronounced Burney....yeah).  Mine is Bodacious BBQ hands down.  I LOVE their sauce.  I still have part of a half a gallon bottle of it sitting in my fridge for when I need it.  I put it in my baked beans, for example.   YUM!!!!  Well, we happened to notice a BBQ joint called Famous Dave's and for a few days, every time we saw it we kind of made fun of it like, "Its not famous to me, I never heard of it!"  That type of thing.  Anyway, today after church, we decided to go try it out.  OH, MY WHOLE LOT OF YUMMINESS!!!!  Its really good!  They have several kinds of sauces to choose from right on your table and after trying them all, I really like the sweetest one and the mustard sauce.  Sam, of course likes the peppier ones.  Braden downed his portion of a pulled pork sandwich and I just finished the other half of mine.  (It was just as good the second half around;)  Sam actually opted for one of their chargrilled burgers and was full and happy at the end of it.  They have a diverse menu, including fried catfish, which I will be trying out when we go next time.  The other cool thing was we told our waiter that it was our first time being there.  The manager came after we finished our meal to make sure everything was fine and dandy and then he came back with a welcome first-timer packet and a bottle of free BBQ sauce!  I thought that was pretty cool.  I told him we are from Texas and that was some dang good BBQ!  He said they get that a lot from Texans.  Interesting, huh?  Anyway, I now have a favorite BBQ restaurant on this side of the U.S.  Woo-hoo!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Blinded by hairy bum cheeks!

Vanessa, this one's for you:    One day, Sam came home from work and proceeded to tell me about a person who lives in a spot close to the office on the way into the rv park we live in.  He was on his motorcycle and only caught a glimpse, but he said the person was laying out in the sun and mostly what he saw was a pair of hairy bum cheeks.  We were both discussing the possibilities of what that could mean.  Was it a man or a woman?  If it was a man that would be scary because of the bare bum cheeks.  If it was a woman that's really scary, too, because of the hairy bare bum cheeks! ;)  Anyway, he didn't see anymore of the mysterious bum cheeks again after that.  That is.....until yesterday!!!  Yeah, we were coming home from the store and both of us were looking in the same direction and lo and behold there was a man in lean shape (picture long-distance runner), I'm thinking around mid-30s early 40s.  I didn't get the best look at his face because I was too busy being shocked at his shiny rainbow thong speedo!!!!!!!!!  He was outside washing his vehicle just a singin' with his bum cheeks hangin' out!  Sam's reaction was pretty funny.  He was like  Aaaaawwwwwww!  GROSS! NO!  I just couldn't stop laughing!  I'm telling you that people here dress like they are at the beach.  Not, mind you, that I think people ever have the right to dress like that even at the beach.  To put it another way, why on earth should I have to look at that?!?!?!?!  If this is a free country, then what about my poor eyes' freedoms?  Aaaaaahahahhahahhaha.  I'm still laughing pretty hard writing this.  It was such a funny situation.  The other thing is, we almost took a spot across from that guy!  OH, to be saved by the grace of the Lord from such a view! --- My name is Shelly Dyess and I approve this message.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

More on the Homeschool Front

I'm very excited because I just started really putting my curriculum together.  I went ahead and ordered the DiscipleLand curriculum.  It should be here in a few days.  I also went and got a heavy-duty hole punch and went to town on the Big and Easy Patterns Book by Teacher Created Material, Inc.  The only thing I was disappointed about was there were no coloring pages of lower-case letters.  Both my mom, an occupational therapist, and my mom-in-law, a kindergarten teacher with a Master's in childhood development, advocate not even introducing children to capitalized letters until they are well versed in the lower-case.  Its harder to break kids of the habit of writing all capitals than having them write all lower case and introducing capitals at the first of certain words.  So anyway, I found a website that has the lower-case letters and I printed them out last night after my printer decided it wanted to cooperate with my computer again....finally.  I also found a great site for making homemade musical intstruments.  I will, of course, put both links at the end of the post.  I also went to Wally world the other day and got some supplies.  I bought a box of divider tabs and made my own dividers cuz it was cheaper that way.  I already have a large supply of card stock and just used those.  I made one divider per letter/number.  I also added dividers for the main holidays:  Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's Day (I know, but its always a good training time to teach your kids to show others that they love them.), Easter and Memorial Day.  I'll probably add a few others as I go along, but that's what I've got so far.  I'm also going to get the Betty Lukens Small Deluxe Bible Set.  I saw the idea on my friend Michawn's blog (thanks, Michawn!) and was just blown away.  Its such a neat way to make the Bible real and tangible for kids.  Anyway, I found a website that has a great price on the set.  I will also put that link at the end.  

So far, this is how I'm going to organize my curriculum.  After each letter /number divider, there will be five days worth of activities having to do with that letter and number.  I intend to introduce a new letter and number each week, but we will go at Braden's pace.  Each day, Braden will get to color the same coloring sheet with the lower-case letter and the number.  (Repetition is good.:)  Then, we will have a Bible story that starts with that letter, i.e. A - Adam and Eve.  Each day there will be a new Bible story that starts with that letter. The Betty Lukens set will go along with each Bible story.  The DiscipleLand curriculum probably won't fit into this mold because they go through the books of the Bible in order, so we'll just add it in an not worry if the letter of the day doesn't begin the title.  This way, Braden will get the Bible in order, but also get reinforcement of the letters we are learning.  You just can't have too much Bible! :D  Then there will be a new animal each day that starts with that letter and we'll learn all about that animal, including coloring, activities, pictures, maybe even a nature movie when I can get a hold of one.  We'll also have a new object or job or whatever each day that begins with that letter to learn about.  Reading books will come in handy here. I'm going to be ordering some books from the Sonlight curriculum.   I've also got activities planned.  Numbers will be incorporated in all of this.  Any of the things above can involve counting.  My main goal with the letters and numbers is to have Braden be able to recognize written letters and numbers and be able to count to 20 using items as well as the written numbers.  Mostly, though, I'm more interested in teaching Braden about God.  I want him to truly know his Creator.  I want him to know the Bible because God reveals Himself to us through His Word.  You can be the smartest person in the world, but if you miss God, what's the point?  I would rather Braden knows and truly lives in honesty, valor, servitude, submission, righteousness, honor, friendship, love, from where authority truly comes, mercy, grace, wisdom, thanksgiving, prayer, truth, peace, faith and most of all salvation.  I want him to be a mighty man of God!

I'm also trying to get involved with a homeschool group here and also a Mom's Club.  That will be good for all of us.  There are some other resources I have found for certain things.  For instance, I want to teach Braden about dinosaurs, but I don't subscribe to the millions-of-years-evolution THEORY, so I set about looking for some alternative teaching materials.  Here's what I found:  Dinosaurs by Design by Duane T. Gish (Author), Gloria Clanin (Author), Earl Snellenberger (Illustrator), Bonita Snellenberger (Illustrator),  God's Dinosaurs: An Activity Book All About Colors by Earl Snellenberger (Author), Bonita Snellenberger (Author),  The Great Dinosaur Mystery and the Bible (Revised Edition) by Paul S. Taylor,  Dry Bones and Other Fossils by Gary E. & Mary M. Parker.  There are others, you just have to google it.  Also, my mom along with others gave many suggestions for manipulatives to go with everything.  I'm going to make my own flash cards with lower-case letters and my mom suggested that I trace the letter in glue.  When it dries, there will be a raised edge your child can trace.  My sister Jennifer gave me a great idea for the flash cards as well.  I'm going to make my flash cards become a choo-choo train.  I have a three car train in the Big and Easy Patterns book and I'm going to put all the letters on copies of the train cars.  Each time I introduce a new letter, we'll put the piece on a ring.  By the time all the letters are introduced we'll have an engine, lots of cars and a caboose.  All with the raised edges of the glue.  I'm going one step further though by using glitter glue.  This way I'll have a raised edge along with a rough surface.  Oh, yeah.... I'm also going to make my own lace-cards.  I bought some cardboard at the store and I'm going to draw thick letters on each piece of cardboard and then punch holes all along the letter.  I bought long shoe strings for Braden to lace through the holes.  Another idea is to fill a cookie sheet with shaving cream and have your child trace letters in the shaving cream.  You can do the same thing with sand or corn meal.  The more researching I do on certain things, the more I will share my findings.  When I am completely done with putting all of my school stuff together, I will take pictures of it all and post it.  Maybe my research and toil:) will benefit someone else!  Okay, on to the linkage...

Monday, August 11, 2008

Trips and Flops

On Friday, we drove up to Flagstaff after Sam got off of work.  We had decided we needed to go somewhere cooler, so we made a reservation at a motel and off we went.  The drive up there was a little over two hours.  We went through desert, desert and more desert for quite a while even going up into the mountains at first.  Then we went around a mountain and all of a sudden BOOM!  trees!!!!   Wonderful trees!!!  Did I mention that I LOVE trees?!?!?!?!  Yeah, I'm missing my Piney Woods Region of Texas at this point.  I'm not a desert girl, that's for sure.  Anyway, we did finally make it up to Flagstaff and Sam and I decided that we would love to live there, but we couldn't afford it!:) Haha!  Who knows, God can totally do anything.  We got to our motel, the Super 8 off of business I-40 and it wasn't too shabby.  Our room was pretty neat because it had two queen beds and bunk beds.   After we  got settled in, we had to find some food, so we decided to drive around and look for some place to eat.  The temperature was fabulous and we got to see the way the city looks at night.  Just in case some of you don't know, Flagstaff has a dark-sky coalition.  There is an observatory there for deep space observation and the whole city stays as dark as possible.  All of the street lights are yellow and most of the business signs are muted.  It really felt as though my eyes were playing tricks on me.:)  Very strange feeling.  Anyway, after driving around and not really seeing anything we just had to have, I suggested we go back to the motel because there was a Village Inn restaurant right beside it and with our hotel keys we could get 10% off of whatever we ordered.  Sam wasn't really hungry anyway and I was really thinking that a stack of pancakes would be good for me and the boys to share.  Plus, we could get it to go and come back to the room and eat and relax.  So that's what we did.  The Village Inn is kinda between a Denny's and an IHOP.  There's no smoking and this one was super quiet. (Arizona Law - lovin' that.  No offense to smokers.  I'm not trying to be malicious or anything.  I personally think its a terrible habit to have because it controls you and not the other way around.  Not to mention the fact that you are sucking in all kinds of carcinogenic toxins.  Yeah, I just don't see or smell ANYTHING good about cigarettes.  Plus, I'm allergic to the smoke and right now in my pregnancy, if I get a whiff of cigarette smoke, I nearly can't control the urge to puke.  Oh yeah, just so you know, my grandpa died of a huge tumor between his lungs caused by 70+ years of smoking and I've had friends through the years who have smoked.)  It was pretty full, but so quiet.  I was amazed.  Anyway, we got to the room with the pancakes and they were very yummy!  The boys were loving them, too.  The night went by peacefully despite that the hotel was full.  The next day, Sam saw a brochure for several things to do.  There was a train ride into the Grand Canyon that would be really fun, but it was expensive and time consuming and right now wouldn't be the ideal time to do that, but we are thinking we want to do that before we leave Arizona.  The other thing that really interested us was a ride up a mountain on a ski lift.  We would only have to pay for Sam and I and it would only take part of the day to do it.   Before we went to the mountain, we went to this outfitters place that we had driven by the night before.  Sam wanted to see if they had anything interesting and we also wanted to see what their prices on backpack kid carriers was.  It was a very neat store and we did find a carrier.  It was also cheaper than others that we've looked at.  (We've been wanting one since Braden was a toddler.  Sam usually gets the brunt of carrying the wee one and a carrier would make that job so much nicer for him!) When we got to the mountain, it was very overcast and a sign said that rain was likely.  Well, neither of us brought any foul weather gear from the van.  We had two unbrellas...... WARNING: unwise decision-making ahead!   We did put the boys into long sleeves and pants, though.  We got to the lift and right before we got on I noticed a sign that said it takes 30 mins for the ride up and 30 for the ride down.  Yeah.....  We got on and I just prayed it wouldn't rain on us.  But it DID!!!!  Yeah, a down pour.  As we got closer to the top, it started hailing on us.  Poor Braden and Zekey!  Zekey actually didn't seem to mind as much as Braden, but that's because he was in a backpack carrier and Braden was sitting between Sam and I and had only his little light-weight jacket for cover.  Sam had put on a windbreaker and I had on his Dickies work coat.  Needless to say, we all got soaked.  Zekey's middle didn't get soaked thanks to the protection of the carrier, but the rest of us were wet clean through.  The sad part is that at first Braden was all excited and as we got thoroughly soaked, he started whimpering and saying how he wanted to go home.  Poor little guy.  Sam was doing his best to keep Zekey's head from getting wet with one of his little blankets, but it only did so much.  I took the coat off and used it to try and keep the rain off of Braden and I as much as possible.  Anyway, we were wet and freezing when we finally got to the top.  (They actually sped the ski-lift up because so many people were in our same predicament and they didn't want anyone to get hypothermia.  The temp at the top was 29 degrees F.  Yeah, just a tad nippy!)  Anyway, they had a little emergency shack at the top and plenty of people were piled in there trying to warm up with wool blankets.  You know, I've never been a fan of wool because it makes me so stinkin' itchy, but let me just say, "Thank you, Dear Lord, for wool blankets!!!!!!"  We would have been in serious trouble without them, that's for sure.  The only way down the mountain was on the lift, so yeah.  Well, I don't know exactly how long we were up there, but another problem also presented itself.  Halfway up the mountain, I realized that I didn't bring any snacks with me.  I had eaten something right before we left, but  I needed something to eat at the hour mark or the nausea would set in with a vengeance.  Well, God was totally taking care of me in that because even though I was getting hungry, I was much more concerned with the kids well-being to pay too much attention to my stomach.  Anyway, what ended up happening was they sped up the lift to get all of us frozen people down the mountain as quickly as possible.  It basically cut our time in half.  Before we made the decision to go ahead and go back down, I explained to Braden that they were going to make us go down faster and that if we went ahead and left, then we could go get in the van and get them changed into dry clothes and get the heater going.  I asked if he could be brave and he said he could and let's go.  Such a brave little boy!!!!  My sweet Braden!  As we were getting back on the lift, the lady that was operating it took one look at us and asked if we needed a blanket and I said if she had one, absolutely!  She had another lady run and get us one from the shack and she tucked us all in!  Oh, more blessings from God!!!!!  Seriously, that blanket was a total blessing!  Not only did it keep us warm from the blowing wind, but guess what...  It started pouring down rain on us again!  Yep, lovely water-resistant wool, let me count the ways that I love it now.:)  Imagine with me if you will....  Sam had Zekey wrapped in his little blanket and then tucked under his jacket to share body heat.  I had Braden in my lap with my coat wrapped around us and then we had the wool blanket over us.  For most of the way down, we were all completely under it, heads and all.  We passed a guy who said, "Only on a mountain do you have to worry about freezing to death in August!"  Isn't that the truth.  We finally got to the bottom and headed inside to get some hot chocolate, but decided against that and went to the van instead.  We got the boys dry and warm and Sam and I just made do in our soaked clothing.  We didn't have any extras since we only stayed the one night.  The boys always have extras cuz I always expect something involving the need to change their clothes.:D  Anyway, we ended up going to Chili's and getting it to go and boy did that help.  Fooooooooood.  All I have to say is broccoli-cheese soup in one's belly after being that cold is a magnificent thing!!!!  So, from there, we decided we should just head home.  We were all tired and Sam and I were still wet.  We want to do the whole mountain thing again, but we've decided that we will all be dressed for a blizzard and umbrellas will be present, rain or shine! :)  The trip home went more quickly than the trip there because it was all downhill at 75 mph for the most part.  The funny thing is, we spent the morning freezing our hineys off and when we got home we were sweating!  (Sam got dry in the time it took him to unload about five things from the van.  Seriously.)  Yep.  That was our little mini-trip.  We can't ever say that our traveling experiences are boring, that's for sure!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Just me yapping

So I guess I'm due to write something.  We got back in our motorhome just fine.  Of course, it did leave the place quite a mess.  Let's just say, at this point, its a work in progress.:)  We are still undetermined whether we want to stay at this rv park or venture to another one that is pretty far from Sam's work.  Right now, we're about 15 mins away.  We'll prolly try and stay here.

Well, Sunday after church, we went and ate at Olive Garden and it was sooooo good.  I had to ration myself, but I still enjoyed it.  I got the cheese ravioli's and only ate three of them in the restaurant and ended up having three more meals out of it later!  Woohoo.  I didn't even have to prepare it.:)  Apparently, Braden and Zekey are Fettucini Alfredo lovers like their daddy.  I myself am NOT fond of Alfredo sauce.  Anyway, they scarfed theirs down.  Then we went to the mall.  Sam needed some tools and while we were there, I saw that they have a Motherhood Maternity, so we went there and I got several things to wear.  Yay!  I don't have any of my former maternity clothes with me. This mall also has one of those free play areas for the kids and while Sam was checking out of Sears, I took Braden to the play area.  He had so much fun!  Zekey slept right through it and woke up just in time to leave. :(  Well, I'm sure there will be a next time.  Anyway, Sam then agreed to let me get a new pair of dress shoes because I don't have any that are comfy.  I found some ballerina-style shoes at Payless and got them.  I am now on the lookout for some snazzy flipflops on the days I don't want my whole foot covered up.  We'll see what I can find.  I'm pretty sure nothing will compare with my Crocs, which are the MOST comfy flipflops I have ever had.  Before these, I was a connoisseur of flipflops.  Really, I was just excited to be able to go around the mall and still be okay.  I did start running out of steam by the end and that's pretty much all I had in me for the rest of the day.  It was progress though and that's the point.  Thank you God for making me able to spend a day with my family without the need to lay down the whole time!!!!:)  Woohoo!!!

There has also been another funny/interesting development.  We have had our mobile home for about three years now.  We first got it when we moved to Diana.  My sister Jennifer's parents let us cop a squat on their land for free.   It was truly a blessing.  Then when we moved to Corpus Christi, it sat for a while with no occupants until my sister Mollie moved it to her land and lived in it for a year.  Well, now its going back to Jennifer's parents land and Ben, Jen and the boys are buying it from us and are going to live in it!  Isn't that great?  Its really a blessing for all around because we wanted to sell it.  Mollie and her husband wanted to live somewhere else and they were interested in it not being on their property anymore and then Ben and Jen decided to sell their house and were looking into mobile homes and ours was the best deal.  Its so funny that we've kept it in the family!  Anyway, they plan to make many improvements to it and I'm excited to see the end result.  A lot of the improvements are things Sam and I would have liked to do to it when we lived in it, but just flat out didn't have the money to do it.  So I'm glad they are going to fix the ole girl up. :D  So, Praise God! for another debt taken care of.  Its amazing what He does in His timing when we step back out of His way!!!!!

I do have something that's been on my mind, but It'll take a bit for me to formulate it all and write another post.  Until then....