Thursday, August 31, 2006

good mail delivery

Jenny hand delivered a good mail package to me today. It was so nice, but she way out did my last one. She gave me some books for Maci & Maryn, that Taylor has outgrown. Some of the cutest ribbon and craft felt I've seen in a while. She threw in some darling iron ons, a sweet card and a black shirt like the white one I had gotten at WalMart. Thanks Jen, for being so sweet and thoughtful. I love all of my goodies.

It has also been nice this week not getting so many bills in the mail. I love when I get fun things like Pottery Barn Kids magazines, Victoria Secrets catalogs, coupon books, the Church News, etc. I have gotten quite a few of these lately and it makes going out to the mailbox not so painful. I know this will soon end. Next week the electric and water bills will be delievered and I am dreading that. It has been so hot and dry that we have literally had to run the AC constantly and I have watered my yard five days a week trying to revive it. It hasn't completely worked so all I am going to have to show for my accessive watering is a bill well over 100 bucks, I'm sure.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

serving our country

Greg, Eric, Brandon, Russell, & Jerry

A few of the ortho guys went to dinner at Johnny Carinos to wish Brandon, who recently graduated, well, as he leaves for Iraq. He leaves Thursday to serve our country and to help heal injured US soldiers and citizens of Iraq, in the Bagdad Hospital. What a bitter sweet moment for him and his family and friends. He will be doing what he loves(working as an Orthopedic Surgeon) and what he signed up to do(serving in the Airforce), but on the other hand he will be leaving is wife and twin daughters behind for what could be a long while.

Courage and character describes Brandon, as well as all military people. How grateful I am to these courageous individuals serving and protecting our freedom as Americans.

We wish Brandon well on his journey and will be praying for his safety, as well as others serving. We will also be praying for his family that they might have comfort and peace.

Monday, August 28, 2006

certain dri

I can't believe I am even going here with my personal issues but thought I should warn anyone that may have heard about this product. You may want to test it out yourself but this was my experience...

I had heard about Certain Dri, and how it could help my constant damp arm pits. So I thought I would give it a whirl. This is a prescription strength anti perspirant that does something to your sweat glands and pores, causing you not to get wet under your arms when you are sweating.

I have been having some sweating issues(this is kind of embarrassing to admit) lately. I do realize it is extremely hot here in Texas. We have been having temperatures reaching and exceeding 100 degrees, almost every day, for about two months. It hasn't rained any significant amount since sometime in May, I think, so I do realize there are reasons for sweating. I just fill that not only am I sweating but my shirts get a wet ring in the arm pit just by walking out to check the mail. This has been driving me crazy and didn't know what was wrong with me and what to do. I realize I'm getting closer and closer to middle age but do my hormones have to start giving me a fit at 34. I have heard that your body gets immune to some deodrants and so I tried changing but find myself switching back to Degree. I thought my problems would be resolved when I heard about Certian Dri.

I read the directions and decided I would follow what they said. I have this fettish with hair and find myself shaving everyday and you aren't suppose to use Certain Dri on a day you shave. I fought the urge to break out my razor, and successfully showered without shaving. You are suppose to apply this at night so I did that, I waited until right before climbing into my nice comfy bed.

My pits are burning , my pits are burning! is what I wanted to shout from the rooftop a few nights ago. After about two minutes I was dying. It was the worst burning, itching sensation I have ever felt. I caught myself with my arms crossed and my hands cupping my pits like that was going to help. I felt like I was swelling, and maybe needed to rinse it off and apply an ice pack or something. I held out thinking I would soon fall asleep and I wouldn't feel it anymore. I was successful and fell asleep only to awake in the a.m. with irritated pits. Not so much a rash, like razor burn, just irritation. I was miserable.

What's a girl to do? I had a problem, researched it, tried to fix, it only to be extremely let down with my results. It will be a long while, and many more wet shirts, before I will attempt this again.

*Has anyone tested this product and had better results?*

Saturday, August 26, 2006

clouses ceepin' us company

Most of you have probably read Jenny's blog and know about thier A/C troubles the past few days. I wanted to post the one picture of our sleepover(11 people in our 1500 sq. ft. house). I was so sad I didn't get to take any more pictures but I was afraid if I took pictures of the kids sleeping I would wake one of them and then that one would probably wake someone else. Then we probably would have had a chain reaction and who wants that with seven kids in the middle of the night. After the Clouse kids finally dozed off to dream land we stayed up and chatted about life, work, future jobs... Greg and Doug sat side by side with their computers checking out the latest orthopedic sports' jobs and the details of them. We had a fun night just hanging out and am so glad we could be of some relief from their heated experience.

We had planned on going out Friday night for our last date while our babysitters, Laura and Brandon, were still in town. We weren't sure how that would pan out with the Clouses A/C problems and having to fork out quite a bit of $$$ to have it fixed. They decided Andy the A/C wasn't keeping them from going out so we kept with our plans.

My first question is... Has any service, repair, delivery guy ever shown up whent hey said they would? Javier the A/C guy had originally told Jenny he would be at her house to fix it Friday morning. We went for our morning walk and then planned on Jenny, Luke and Weston coming back to our house to hang out while the air was getting fixed. Well, around 9:30 Jenny calls and says, "What are we doing today? Javier can't come until 6:00 tonight!" My first thought was OH NO our date! She assured me Doug insisted we would still go. We decided to make a trip to the mall and return some stuff and then eat lunch. Well, we got a bit of a late start especially since the kids didn't sleep well the last night so they were grumpy before we even left. Luke fell asleep in the car almost immediately. We got to the mall did our returns, looked around briefly then grabbed the kids Chick fil A in the food court. Jenny and I decided to try the new Olive Garden near the mall for a change from our mexican food preference. There ended up being a tweny minute wait and with 3 kids ages, 3,2, & 1 that isn't a good sign. We stuck it out anyway and enjoyed our lunch but both admit it wasn't as good as it used to be or as good as Chuy's would have been.

After lunch we headed home to put the "grumpys" to bed. Greg and Doug were both on their way home at the same time and they wanted to go workout at the gym and Jenny told me to go with them. I hated to leave her home alone but she insisted so we took off. It was my second"workout" for the day so I said I wasn't going to do very much but ended up doing almost my full workout. I was exhausted and could have gone to bed when we got home. We showered and chatted with the kids about school and then the guys went to Sport Clips. They picked up pizza for the kids and the sitters, on their way home.

Laura and Brandon showed up, BUT Javier hadn't shown up to fix Andy yet. What to do? Jenny and Doug decided to leave a check and house key with Brandon so he could let Javier in the house after he got the new unit put in outside.

We made our way to Champps for dinner. We ordered or four diet cokes right away and all pretty much sucked them dry quickly. After we ate our dinner we got our traditonal Chammps dessert the MILE HIGH SUNDAE. It was super good and I was glad I had worked out twice before indulging in that. The waitress commented on how much diet coke we all consumed, but little did she know since we don't drink alcohol Diet Coke is a must have with seven kids "living together". We all had headaches as big as Texas and thougth we would be getiinga way from the tremendous noise level at home but Champps is the wrong place to be if you want a quiet enviroment. The are big screen TV's everywhere all with some sports game on. We had a fun time even with the noise.

I know I'm giving great detail to our night but...

We stopped at Marshalls and found some good deals on stationary and stuff and then went to Target. The guys were rushing us by this point so we left. We stopped by the Clouse House to check on Javier. He was still there at 10:30! We made it home to relieve the sitters from duty and think we might have convinced them that the six children they want may not be a great thing! hehehe! j/k

We have had a fun time the last couple of days having the Clouses keep us company. We are so glad we were just right down the street when they needed our help. We always have a fun time and laugh to the point where Jenny and I are snorting and almost peeing our pants. Thanks for the good times, guys.

Friday, August 25, 2006

good mail, great day

Jenny always seems to know when I need a "pick me up" treat. I have been feeling a little in the dumps this week, for no big reason or another. I loved getting a sweet thank you card and some "fix anything" chocolate. I admit I opened the candy immediately after she gave it to me and almost made myself ill from eating too much, way too early in the morning. Thanks Jenny for my "picker upper" goodies.

It's official I have recieved my very FIRST good mail package in the mail today and of course it was from none other than the Queen of good mail, Jill. She sent me two books that their titles seemed like they would fit me to a "T"-"Confessions of a Shopaholic "and "High Maintenance". Surprisingly, I do feel like a shopaholic somedays(Greg would say everyday) and maybe their are some that would say I am high maintenance, I'm not sure though. I have heard of the Shopoholic one and have really been tempted to get it before but just haven't yet. High Maintenance looks like it will be entertaining as well. I can't wait for a lazy, hopefully rainy day,to kick up my feet and dive into my new reads. Also, in the bag were two spools of very cute ribbon, a cute card, a pack of Orbits gum, and the cutest flower confetti all inside the bag. Thanks Jill for making my day and week with my good mail delivery. You are the greatest.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

sleepless in san antonio

I often wonder why when "it rains" "it pours" at my house during the night. I'm not actually talking about a thunderstorm so to speak, but of my children not sleeping very well. I feel like the past month or so someone is awakened by something during the night. Whether it be a nightmare, an "I gotta go pee", the t.v . woke me up, the fact that I took Maryn's paci away and she still hasn't fully adjusted, to something hurts... the reasons could go on and on and on.

Last night, after our first day of school I just knew my two older ones would be so exhausted that nothing would keep them from falling fast asleep and surely nothing would wake them. Boy, was I wrong. It all started around 10:15, after their 8:00 bedtime, Mackenzi got up to go to the bathroom. I was already back in my bedroom into my "get ready for bed" routine, so I walked down the hall to make sure she wasn't sick and she was fine, just had to pee. When she got back in bed she proceeded to wake Maci up (I can't wait for a bigger house with seperate bedrooms). Greg was out in the kitchen on the computer and noticed Maci walking behind him. He asked her what she was doing and got no response. She continued to walk through the kitchen and into the pantry and then closed the door. Greg followed suit and found her with panties down and backing up to the trash can ready to use as a potty. He stopped her in time and carried her to the bathroom so she could relieve her self properly. He put her back in bed but only minutes later was she up again complaining of "burning". He tried to convince her if she would just go back to sleep she wouldn't feel it. Sounds like a doctor comment right? Sleep it off! When you wake up you will be all better. We thought she was convinced so I tucked myself in and dozed off to be startled by a piercing scream. I seriously had been asleep less than 15 minutes and felt like I was incapable of functioning. Greg coaxed her back to bed one more time and then he came to bed. In the meantime Maryn woke up and I ran to her aid held, her for about ten minutes, then asked her if she was ready to go "night-night". She nodded a hesitant "yes" and I kissed her and tucked her in with her blankie. I crawled in my comfy bed that had been calling my name just in time to hear screaming from Maci. I went this time to check out the burning problem but couldn't see anything that could be causing it. I laid her down like a baby and put desitin on the burning, wishfully hoping that would cure it. Well, it didn't. I was getting more and more frustrated and tired at this point and put her in bed with us. I never heard a peep from her after that, but I did get my fair share of kicks in the side through the night.

After feeling like I was a kick boxing bag all night, Greg's alarm startled me when it went off around 445. I did go right back to sleep but only for about 45 minutes...

Maryn started screaming. My kids never wake up, play in their crib and just call out "mommy mommy" whether it is in the middle of the night, or if it is time to get up in the morning, or when they wake from a nap. Their eyes come open and then they start screaming. I can't figure it out. It is like the worst scream you have ever heard. Everything does sound ten times louder when the rest of the house is quiet but it is really, really loud. I decided since it was only 530 I was NOT going in to rescue her. Surely she will go back to sleep, it is still dark outside and the house is quiet. Well, she screamed and screamed and screamed for about an hour. My alarm was due to go off at 630, even though I didn't need one by this point. I had left it on and tried to catch a few more dozes, but it wasn't happening. I gave in and got her around 640 and the first thing she said was "milk milk". The girl loves her milk. It is definately her "comfort" item since we took the paci away.

By mid afternoon I was feeling like I was experiencing life with a newborn. My night had literally kicked my butt. Maryn was down for what I thought was a long nap, after her early morning rise, but again I was fooled by my toddler. She slept maybe and hour, maybe. How on earth was she functioning on such little sleep? Isn't she supposed to be sleeping like 12 or 13 hours still at this age? I wanted so bad to curl up on the couch and take a nap before the bus came. I guess it's a good thing I didn't get my nap, since usually I have a hard time sleeping at night if I have napped.

I felt like bedtime would never come tonight. After my "Sleepless in San Antonio" experience I was so, so ready for the girls to go to bed so I could finish up things around the house and float off to dreamland.

*Do your kids wake up at night very often?*
*How do you convince them to go back to bed within a decent amount of time?*
*Does a sleepless night make you a wicked witch like they do me?*

Monday, August 21, 2006

school's back in session!!

Today being the first day of school for my kids was a bitter sweet day. I, and them for that matter, have been going a bit crazy the last week or so, so we all were ready for the bell to ring again this morning. On the other hand, my little Maci will no longer be home with Maryn and I. Yes, she went to school last year everyday but it was only for three hours a day. She was always with me in the morning for my walk (this I will not miss, her extra weight and the weight of my REGULAR double stroller, was beginning to get to me) and she was with me to run my morning errands. I can't believe I have it will be just Maryn and I home everyday, just the two of us.

Our morning started off with a rather easy breakfast request. The girls had decided on cinnamon rolls (not the homemade kind) so I was thrilled to pop open the can and put them in the oven for 15 minutes. After they were ready, Maci decided she didn't like them and then went on to say she wasn't hungry. I forced her to eat toast knowing she would be starved before lunch came around at school. Maci has definately been the grazer this summer. I can't seem to fill her up so she has been accustomed to eating non stop, so four hours without food may be very traumatic for her.

We were pretty much ready on time without any huge issues. The only issue we had was that I couldn' t decide if I should shower and get dressed and then come home and go for my walk and then have to shower again. Or should I just put a little makeup on, wear my workout clothes to school and I wouldn't have to shower twice in two and half hours. I let the girls decide and they chose for me to just wear my workout stuff. I was relieved to see several of the moms doing the same. I have always wanted to be the "cool mom" so I didn't want to get the reputation of being "scummed out" when I shouw up at their school.

I let Mackenzi walk to her class by herself, and Maryn (backpack and all) and I walked Maci to her class. It was so cute to watch Maci go right to her class, put her stuff away and sit at her desk like she needed no help. Maryn followed suit and tried to hang her backpack on the hook next to Maci's. I thought I would have trouble getting her to leave but she just put her backpack on and headed down the hall like she had done her time. I realized I had forgotten to put Maci's towel in her backpack for restt ime so I told her I would bring it back later. She kissed me goodbye and went about being a BIG kindergartner.

I felt I needed on more picture of my 4th grader, so I headed down the 4th & 5th grade hall and was surprised to see lots of parents dropping off their older kids, snapping pictures, and even giving kisses. I think Mackenzi was glad to see me as she was all grins when I walked up. I took a couple of pictures of her & Taylor, and the other McKenzey in their class. The bell rang so I stole one last hug and smooch and Maryn and I were off for our first full day of just the TWO of us.

WOW, I can't believe I have a 4th grader and a Kindergartner. I am beginning to feel my age.

The girls are home from school now and seemed to have had a great first day. They were super hot and ran right past me wanting a drink, so my picture of the bus is an action shot.
Mackenzi said her favorite part of the day was when they watched a get to know Mr. Cuda video clip of him and his family and then she said she loved organizing her desk.
Maci's favorite part of the day was even though Nathan was the line leader she got to be first in line on the way to art. She also liked that there were several familar faces from Pre-K.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

back to school bbq & fhe

We decided to have a back to school bash today after church and add in Family Home Evening with the Clouses. We grilled burgers & Beaumont hotdogs, I made baked beans, salsa, & ranch dip. Jenny made yummy cream corn and they brought a cake they had gotten yesterday from Sam's. We parents, ate ourselves stuffed, the two tween girls ate pretty well, while the little kids barely even touched their food because they were too busy teasing and playing with each other.

We have decided to have one FHE a month together as families, so this month it was our time to host. Greg's schedule is more than crazy on Mondays, so we opted to do it on Sunday. We decided we should have a lesson on being good examples since the kids will be heading back to class in less than twenty-four hours! Greg did a power point on pioneers and how they were examples and then related the pioneers to us and how we are examples and people will be coming behind us later and hopefully we will have set a good example of how we, as Latter Day Saints , act and what we believe.
The kids acted out several different skits on being examples when people are making the wrong choices at school, when someone is playing alone, and when people are being mean to other kids. It was fun to watch them "perform" and hopefully by them acting these skits out they will remember the decisions they made while pretending and choose the right if any thing similar comes up at school.
In our kids' elementary of over 700 students, their are only ten LDS kids. Four of those are Mackenzi, Maci, Taylor, & Jared. We explained that if they let others know they are different and what they believe they will be setting an example for other LDS children that will come to their school in years that follow. If someone next year or in several years attends their school and people know they are LDS then automatically the teachers and staff can say, "oh I know what LDS is, the Gordons and Clouses were faithful members of that church." We talked about being friends to those who have no one to play with. We also talked about other children making wrong choices and trying to convince or kids to go along with them.

Greg gave all four of us girls blessings tonight before the girls went off to dreamland. It is such a comfort and special blessing to the girls,and myself to have a worthy Priesthood holder in our home to allow us the priveledge of these ordiances.

I bought Mackenzi & Maci new jammies to sleep in tonight for going back to school. They have alarm clocks & sleep masks on them, and say sleeping beauty, relax, & sweet dreams all over them. I thought they would be perfect back to school jammies for them. They are so cute but only wish they would have had them to fit Maryn, too.

The girls backpacks are all ready to go for the morning. They were so anxious and excited when they went to bed. Tune in tomorrow for the update on the first day of school.

Friday, August 18, 2006

wedding bliss

Congratulations Laura & Brandon

Today Greg & I were able to go to the Temple to our babysitter Laura's, wedding. When we moved here she only fourteen and was in my Mia Maid class in Young Women. I can't believe she has grown up and is old enough to be married.
The sealing was beautiful and they were all grins and giggles and seemed so happy. Thanks guys for inviting us to the temple for your most special day.

After the temple we went home to get the girls and headed back to the reception that was held at Canyon Springs Golf CLub. It was a beautiful setting for such a special occasion. As you can see our girls LOVE Laura & Brandon and will miss them babysitting when they leave to go back to school in a few weeks. Thanks for taking such good care of our little princesses when you watch them. They are talking about you both for days after you have been over.

Maryn has finally found a sitter she can smile around and now she gets married and will be moving away soon. What's a mom to do when it takes two years for a kid to not cry when she leaves them with a sitter and now the sitter will not be around? Thanks LA LA for not getting bugged when Maryn screamed all of the time. Your patience paid off, she loves you!!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

hOwdY niGhT

Our last Howdy Night at Thornton ELementary

You may feel like you are experiencing DeJaVu when you read this post since it will probably be alot like Jenny's post.

Our kids had their Howdy Night at their school tonight. This is when they post the class assignments and you get to meet your teacher and put your school supplies in your desk and cubby. Mackenzi had a first year teacher last year which made for a rough year. We voiced our concern several times with the principals but they kept telling us that since Mackenzi was such a good student and was continuing to make good grades they didn't want to do anything. Her class started out having 22 kids in it and by the end of the year their were only 16 left. They had been moved out for several different reasons some being behavior and others being grades and performance. After the school year was over we were determined to get a good teacher and class this year. I asked several of Mackenzi's previous teachers who they thought we should request for a teacher and they said Mr. Cuda is excellent and would be great for Mackenzi and her personlaity. Rumor was, that Mr. Cuda was moving and wouldn't be here this year so we put him as our first choice and then put a backup, both of which were male. In previous years Mackenzi made it clear she didn't want to have a guy for a teacher if she could choose. That all changed last year when she was in an after school science program and her teacher was the other fourth grade teacher that was our backup for this year. She loved him and changed her mind about men being teachers. We are so HAPPY to have Mr. Cuda as Mackenzi's teacher.

Mackenzi & Mr.Cuda

Mackenzi is so excited to have Mr. Cuda as her fourth grade teacher but even more excited that Taylor is in her class this year. She was really hoping to be in class with some of her friends since this will be her last year at Thornton. I hope she continues to do well and hope having friends in her class will not effect her work and learning. Who am I kidding? Mackenzi & Taylor are both excellent students and will surely so well this year.

Camo twins -Taylor & Mackenzi

Maci's teacher called on Monday to let me know she would be her teacher and she wanted to meet Maci during the day instead of during Howdy Night. The Kinder teachers do this because most of the kids are first timers in school and it is a bit overwhelming for them to all meet the teacher at the same time. It works better for a few of the kids to go and meet the teacher and each other rather than have mass chaos all together.
I requested Mrs. Turner for Maci. I had heard good things about her from other parents and since Mackenzi's kinder teacher now teaches Pre-K, I didn't really have a specific teacher I wanted. Maci actually wanted another teacher for no other reason than that she was young and she "looked" nice. Mrs. Turner was actually her second choice so she was happy with it. I can't believe she is going to start all day kindergarten in a couple of days. I have mixed emotions about it. I am so happy that she will be able learn and have a place to burn all of her energy, but I am a bit sad that she is growing up so fast. It seems just like yesterday that she was born- the little 6lb 10oz funny looking baby is now big enough to go to "big girl" school. I can't wait to hear about her first day as a Kindergartener. I'm sure she will have tons to tell, she is by far my biggest talker.

Mrs. Turner & Maci

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

doublemint twins

I have been wanting to post about this for quite some time, but never knew what to title it or how to go about it. My experience today made me have to post this. (Read below to find out why).

As most of you have probably figured out by now, Jenny & I are together alot. I can't remember the last time (other than vacations) when we have gone all day with out seeing one another. Thanks to are three mile walks each morning we at least spend that forty five minutes together. We discuss how we slept, what we ate for dinner the night before, how many times our kids got out of bed before they were actually asleep and if they slept through the night, Greg and Doug's schedule and what time they strolled, in to lend a hand with the kids, how we are feeling both emotionally and physically, what errands we have to run... We finish up our walk around 9 am and by 11, at the latest, one of us as called the other to find out how we are going to waste away our day. We have been known to just run our everyday errands together and many times with all seven kids. Are we nuts, or what?

On another note, there are days, I guess I should say almost every day, I call and ask Jenny what she will be weaing for the day. We have so many of the exact same things and others that are really similar, just a different color, that we have been known to show up, to the same place, looking like the DOUBLEMINT TWINS. After four years of doing this I have just come up with the idea that we could have had a REALLY REALLY BIG wardrobe if we would have just shared things and bought alot more different stuff instead of always shopping together and each buying the same shorts, skirt, shirt,etc... What were we thinking? I guess it would be difficult to split things up when one of us traveled or when one of us moves before the other. Now, it has gotten even worse with the same clothes thing. Greg and Doug have a lot of similar things, too (I assume that is because we, the wives, buy most of their stuff). Unlike Jenny and I, they haven't learned the "call ahead method". They have gone to pick each other up for meetings or just for us to go out and one of them has to change shirts because the other is wearing almost the identical outfit. The other night, when we went out to Cheesecake Factory, Doug and Jenny came to pick us up and the guys were wearing almost the same khaki shorts and a light blue shirt. It was so funny. Greg immediately left the room to change but little did he know he would come out wearing the same polo, just brown, as Doug's blue one. He said that they were different enough that it didn't matter. All I have to say is we must have great taste in fashion to buy all of the same things even when we aren't together.

Lately, it seems that everyone we see comments on how much Jenny an I look alike. Maybe people have always said this and I just didn't realize it but the past several months we never go any where without someone stopping and saying something. Everyone just assumes we are sisters, maybe because usually if you see one of us, the other isn't far behind. The people from our kids' swim team thought we were sisters the whole swim season. They never asked us so I had no clue. Someone just said something about Luke being our nephew to Greg, or something like that, at the end of the season party. I never have stopped to look at the resemblance (if there is one). Maybe if you just saw us out in public and didn't know us ,we could pass for sisters (of course I being the much older, more wrinkled one). When we were in Utah visiting Steph everyone commented on the three of us, with blonde hair and how we must be sisters. Nope! We didn't even meet each other until five years ago. I guess the saying of how you start looking and acting like the people you hang out with, is true. Sorry Jen, I'm sure you probably hope you don't look and act like me most days.

On Tuesday, at Fiesta Texas, there was a lady sitting soaking up the sun and a good book(unlike Jen & I,we just chase all of our kids around), said, "Ya'll are twins, Right?" I just giggled and said, "Nope, not even sisters." She couldn't believe it.

The best comment yet (the one that made me post about this), happened today before we went to Fiesta. We decided to go and get breakfast at Chick-fil-A (you gotta love those chicken mini's) before braving the heat and water park. Jenny had to run a quick errand so I just said I would meet her there. It is so funny to think we follow each other every where! She had already gotten there, and ordered her food in the drive thru, when I got there. I got in the LONG line and ordered while Jenny pulled up and waited for me. When I got to the window to pay and pick up my food, the lady had a puzzled look on her face. I knew all along what she was thinking but, just smiled and waited for the comment. She said, "Didn't you just....." I stopped her in mid-sentence and said, "No that was my friend." She laughed and said you have the same car- FULL of kids, blonde hair, sunglasses and swimsuit on, and not to mention you ordered almost exactly the same thing! I almost wet my pants (or swimskirt) I was giggling so much. I said yea, we're pretty much the same the only difference is I have three girls, she has three boys, and a girl. I told her I wasn't a closet eater and wasn't back for seconds, in less than two minutes. She laughed and smiled the biggest smile. It made me smile to know we had made someone feel cheery today just by being us, two very different, but very similar girls.

Just one last comment of this long detailed post. I feel very lucky and blessed to have people say and think the things they do about Jenny and I. Even though I don't think we look that much alike I just smile when people think we do. It is a compliment in itself, that they think I look and act like my dear friend. Just one apology to Jenny though. I do catch myself finishing her sentences quite often. I feel like I know her so well that I know what she is going to say before she even says it. Most of the time I'm right but there are a few times I'm wrong.

Thanks for being my Doublemint Twin ,especially lately. I've loved every minute of it.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

visitors from cali!!

Greg's sister Tori, her husband, Alan, and their little, or should I say big, boy, Dalles came from San Diego to visit this week. They drove straight through Friday night and got here Saturday while Greg and I were in Austin. They were exhausted to say the least and slept most of the day Saturday. We visited on Sunday and went out to Medina Lake Sunday after church to visit some of their family that lives there.

Dalles, Tori, & Alan

Dalles & Maryn
Dalles is only 19 months old but looks more like a three year old minus hair. He is very much a Mommy's boy and hasn't warmed up to his Texas relatives just yet. Maryn keeps trying to give out her hugs and kisses to him but he doesn't seem to want anyof them.

Dalles, Tori. & Mackenzi

Mackenzi loves the attention she gets from her Aunt Tori. Tori is a very much a kid at heart and loves playing with the girls. She even danced and taught hand jives to Maci, Mackenzi, and Taylor on Saturday. Thanks Aunt Tori for making the girls (and their friends) feel so special and loved.

Dalles, Tori, & Angie

Dalles & Maryn digging in the dirt.

Tune in later in the week for more of the Californians visit.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

a day in austin

A cool bridge, on the golf course, at Barton Creek Resort.

Today we went to Austin for a Business in Orthopedic lecture at a beautiful resort called Barton Creek. Doug and Jenny decided at the last minute to come along so they followed us up and we stopped and had lunch had a little mexican grill. It was pretty good and hit just the right spot. We headed over to the Resort to get a crash course in choosing a practice. Before we got there we thought we had made some headway on our decision but wihtin the first 30 minutes I was more confused than ever. I forgot my camera in the car when we first went in so I didn't get many pictures but you can check Jenny's blog for some of her pictures. After Jenny left I had no one to chat with and the lectures became a bit boring so I walked around and got my camera and snapped a few pictures.

A huge house in Barton Creek in Austin.

Aaron, Tara, Greg, & Angie goofing off after dinner.

After the conference was over we met our friends Tara and Aaron, who used to live here in SA, for dinner at one of our favorites- Hula Hut. This is a lot like Chuy's but with a Hawaiian twist to some of their dinners and salsa. It was really yummy and I left feeling really miserable. We had a fun time and enjoyed chatting and catching up with them. We talk quite regularly but don't see them very often. Their three kids were cute as usual but I forgot to take a picture of them.

Tara & Angie oustisde Hula Hut (YUMMY!)

We made it home around 9pm to a house full of company. Greg's Mom came to relieve the babysitter and his sister Tori, and brother in law, Alan and our nephew Dalles, had driven in from San Diego. It was good to see all of them at our home but wish we had a bigger place for our company.
More on their visit to follow.....

Friday, August 11, 2006

happy 39th anniversary

August 11, 1967

We wanted to wish my parents a very happy anniversary today. They were married 39 years ago, one week after my Mom turned 19. The wedding took place at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on Mormon Church Road in Silsbee, Texas.
Hope you have a wonderful day spent together full of love, laughs, smiles, and great memories of the past and great memories you are still making now. Know we are so thankful for your example of a loving friendship and marriage. Thanks for all you do and everything you are. We love you. Angie & Greg

We love you Grammy & Poppy!! Have a good day.
Mackenzi, Maci, & Maryn

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

survival mode

I am officially on survival mode until the girls to start back to school.

My wall calandar I love. It reminds me of holdays, birthdays, and special occasions.

What are we going to do today?", "I'm bored", "I'm hungry", "Can we go to the water park?", "Can Taylor & Jared come play?"... These things are literally flying out of my two older girls mouths from the moment their eyes are open until they are in bed at night. I am going nuttso!! I have always felt the need to get out of the house each day and at least run one errand to break up my day, but lately I would stay out and about, as long as Maryn would allow, to keep my kids busy and their minds thinking of anything other than "BOREDOM".

I feel like I am constantly picking up their messes, doing laundry, cooking(well feeding them), sweeping up crumbs and grass brought in from outside, while feeling like my duties as a mom go unnoticed and unpraised. I'm not asking any one to kiss my feet for making their bed or washing their clothes but a thanks mommy would be so appreciated. It seems every time I sweep and/or mop the floor soemone decides to spill something. What's with that? If the floor hasn't been swept or mopped in a few days no one spills or makes a mess, but the moment I decide to clean there is a mess made. URGH!!

I have put myself on cruise (survival) control for the next week and a half. I will definately have at least one activity or errand to do each day. Friends- sure let's invite the whole neighborhood over to keep them from being bored. Water park- at least twice this week and next week. That usually wears them out pretty good and will make for a quiet evening. Should I dare consider another road trip to break up the time? NEVER- not in a million years. Library, Blockbuster, evening walks, are all on my lists of to do's until August 21st.

This is my monthly calandar that I print out and hang on my fridge to remind us of where we need to be, what we are eating, who is having a birthday or anniversary and, most importantly, what nights daddy will be home with us.

We started the early to bed routine on Monday and am happy to say we have been successful two nights in a row!! Tonight I will not be so lucky since Taylor is sleeping over but I for sure will have the younger ones in bed by 8:30. It has helped with my sanity and their safety, too. NO! I don't beat my kids but have felt the urge more than once and have had to give myself a timeout quickly, grab a diet Dr. Pepper and a handful of m&m's, and take a deep breath.

I realize this post sounds a bit negative and like I've hated the entire summer. That is not at all how I feel. I have loved being with the girls- going to swim meets, dance recitals, amusement parks, mini vacations... I love my family more than anything but am still ready to be back on track with a normal routine- if there is such a thing when you have three kids.

*Any suggestions on last minute summer activities to keep my kids and myself happy?*

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

healthIER eating

I vowed I would try and start feeding my family a little healthier after a long summer of eating junk food. The summer started out okay and we were eating normal and not as much out, but then Greg left for those two weeks and I went on strike as a cook. The girls and I ate fast food quite a bit and if I did cook and feed them at home it wasn't really cooking. I might has well saved my energy because I was feeding them crap (fast food homestyle)! Frozen pizza, mac n' cheese, hotdogs, sandwiches, frozen chicken strips, bagel bites,.... you get the picture, right? Oh I almost forgot and we topped it off with ice cream several day a week.
After Greg came home I still didn't feel like cooking much so we ate out a lot that first week so my kids became accustomed to JUNK! as did I. I went to Utah, and Greg continued the strike in our kitchen and took the girls out after their days at Fiesta Texas and Seaworld.
I blame my not wanting to cook on the heat and drought we have been having here in Texas. Who wants to heat up their already boiling home with baking, grilling, or whatever? I have tried to do better but I feel like a cook for a couple of days and then find myself havinfg withdrawals from eating out.
When the girls were at my parents last week I think I only made dinner for me, Greg, & Maryn once, the rest of the time we either went out, had takeout, or ate takeout leftovers. After we came home from the beach I sat down and tried to think of healthIER things that didn't rewuire alot of preparing and were somewhat cooler thing to make and eat. Grilled chicken salad, baked potatoes, taco salad, sub sandwiches, grilled pork chops,... I also went to HEB and bought fruit for the girls to eat for snacks or to eat with their sandwiches at lunch instead of chips.

Wish me luck on my new lifestyle.

*Does anyone have any quick & healthy suggestions for me?*

Okay, I failed already! I had this post saved from last night and Jenny and I decided to waste time and get out of the house and took the kids to Costco and fed them greasy pizza and hotdogs. Oh well, it got us out of the house and free from the "I'm bored" issues so hopefully dinner will be better for them.

Monday, August 07, 2006

on the road again

lighthouse that is near the ferry landing

"On the road again, Just can't wait to be on the road again" (I think this is the name of an old Willie Nelson song)

We left from Crystal Beach about 1:30 yesterday afternoon and made the 15 minute drive to catch the ferry you have to drive your car on to cross over onto Galveston Island. Realizing it was Sunday and raining I knew there would be some sort of wait but never did I think we would be waiting an hour before we were able to board the ferry for the short 15 minute cruise. Of course, Maryn decided she would take a nap the entire tome we waited and was awake when we rode over on the "boat" and the rest of our trek home. This did not make for a pleasant Sunday afternoon drive.

traffic lines for the ferry
me & the girls on the ferry
Greg & the girls

After getting to Galveston we decided not to stop at any of the beach shops that we planned on stopping, we drove across the bridge to the South side of Houston. Realizing, again it was Sunday and raining and there would be a considerable amount of traffic we opted to get on the Sam Houston Tollway and bypass Houston all together. Smart move!! We never slowed down, except to pay the $1.25 toll three different times, and were on the west side of the city before we knew it.

Sam Houston Tollway booth
buck 25 x 3 toll booths

We stopped for a bathroom break and to fill up the car and then were back on our way. We went through several rainy spots but nothing to severe. We made it into San Antonio a liitle after 7:00 and decided to just stop and get dinner so it wasn't a big issue when we arrived home. Bad idea, well for me anyway. We ate a Chuy's and my stomach didn't agree with it. When we got home I got the girls ready for bed and unpacked a few things, started a load of laundry(didn't wait for it to finish) and went to bed.

*Road trip nessicities*

DVD players with headphones
DVD player for Maryn to watch on our next trip!
Tons of books
Coloring books and crayons
Game boy to entertain Maryn
Kid snacks
XM radio
Diet Dr. Pepper
Wheat thins& M&Ms
$$$ to pay tolls so you can bypass most traffic
Camera to document your trip
Cell phone (especially for Greg)

the girls being entertained by DVD'S and game boys
Greg doing what he does best while driving( he was taking to Doug about jobs)