Monday, July 21, 2014

Liv and her pal Izzy at the Myriad Gardens
Being that this was the only weekend we have been home in like 6 weeks, we knocked LOTS off the to-do list and crammed in some family fun too. Tonight we had dinner and games with friends and tomorrow night my dad will be here to unload some of my Poppy's furniture off a uhaul, I'll go to a lady's Bible study, pack, then we will head to TN for a week and half. So my blogging time has been taken up by other things lately. Maybe I will get share some pics and videos from the lappy while I am in TN but don't worry life will return to routine after this last vacation, and my regular blogging shall resume!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Day Trip to Sulphur

On Monday Jenna and I got to go on a little day trip for the OKC Mom's Blog. (To see my most recent post on the blog, click here, and then leave a comment because I really was asking for advice!) For our trip we headed an hour south of OKC to the little town of Sulphur. 
First stop was the Bedre' Chocolate Factory.
Oh yes there were free samples! It really is some of the most delicious chocolate you will ever try!
Then we got to tour the new Artesian Hotel and Spa. 
Yes my daughter managed to get in the hot water with all her clothes on.
Then we went to Bedre' Cafe for lunch
Then we toured the amazing Chickasaw Cultural Center. It's a whole beautiful campus that you can tour for free! The museum does cost money but not much. There is lots to see and do and they are always hosting events and activities. We might have to check some out.
They also have a library that I think might come in handy one day if we ever want to research Ryan and Olivia's background. They have information about all of the 5 civilized tribes there for genealogical research.
They also have a huge state park there that we drove through a bit and spotted two deer! 
Sadly at the Bison preservation we did not see any Bison but maybe next time!

Be checking the OKCMB for the rest of the pics soon!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Child Labor

After our husbands worked so hard the night before to fix a fuse box and a disposal.....
.....Jenna and I got a wild hair to demo the tile on the fireplace to see what was underneath. It has been on the "long term to do list" but we seized the day! Once I started chiseling away, Olivia immediately got her toy hammer and occasionally tried the real heavy one, and helped me. 
Then the Tom Sawyer effect kicked in and before I knew it Liv and Noah literally demo'd the entire base by themselves (with a little guidance from me). 
Jenna and I tackled the surround as it was a bit harder. 
There's still mortar and all the black on the inside is covering up original tile too but I'm pretty proud of us!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Fast and Furious in Branson

Technically it's not Branson, we didn't even go to Branson, but we still call it that. We took a fast and furious weekend trip to see some of Ryan's family in Kimberling City. The weather was beautiful and the lake was about as clear as the water in Destin so we spent most of Saturday enjoying the water.
See how clear that lake water is! You can't even tell where it begins!
 We got all dolled up for a family picture...or for church.
These two are pretty good travelers!
We wish we could've stayed longer....especially Olivia as she wailed for about an hour in the car of how life would "never, ever, EVER be fun again now that I have to sleep alone in my room and it's not FAIR and why do mommies and daddies get to sleep in a room together but I'm all by myself?!" I told her that that is what mommies and daddies do and one day when she is married she will get to share a room with her husband to which she replied "No you will just have to make more room in your bed for 3 because I'm always gonna live with you." Ha! We'll see what her future hubby says about that.

She stopped crying long enough to help log a Branson geocache. Right when Ryan snapped this photo she reached in to pick a toy and put her MOUTH on it. Blech! Geo-germs!
(Update: Yes we have AC now...although we don't need it with the high of 70 degrees today! In July! Crazy but awesome! Ryan fixed the issue himself with some guidance from a very helpful electrician.)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Angry House

Our house is currently angry at us and we all know that anger is a secondary emotion that is really just covering up another feeling. That feeling I think is loneliness. We have been gone a lot and she is getting lonely....but instead of talking about her feelings with us, she is seeking revenge. The revenge right now is currently in the form of an electrical issue that will not allow us to use our A/C. Therefore we are having to leave her again to live with friends until it is fixed thus inciting probably MORE anger so I'm worried what will happen next if she can't just open up and talk to us....things could get uglier! The weather will be turning quite a bit cooler tomorrow though so maybe we can spend some quality time with her and help her feel loved once more.

Electricians are coming today....stay tuned.......

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Book Review

The Beach vacation gave me lots of time to catch up on my reading. I read while soaking up the sun but I also read LOTS in the car.

Gone with Wind. Well it took me like 3 months to finish but it was worth it. I loved this book. Scarlette O'Hara and Walter White have a lot in common. You love her and then you hate her. She's brave and tragic and flawed and human. I need to rewatch the movie now although I never liked it, maybe I'll have new appreciation for it in some way. I really enjoyed reading about the complexities of the South after Civil War: what it meant for freed slaves and what it meant to their former owners. It really is a work of historical fiction as much as it is a tragedy and love story. I give it a 9.5 and recommend it to anyone who is from Dixieland or that can read a book this long.

The Tower, The Zoo, and The Tortoise was our book club pick for the month. It really did remind me of a British sitcom. And I don't watch a lot of Brit TV but even with my limited British cultural knowledge...this book was very British. That's not supposed to be some kind of positive or negative thing...just an observation. Now I sound racist. Lot of dry humor which is hard to accomplish in a book. Anyway, the characters weren't developed that great for me but I did love the quirkiness of the lost and found station. Do they really try and find the people whose important items are left on the subway? I learned some interesting facts about the Tower of London and Beefeaters, but overall I wasn't thrilled with this book. I give it a 6.5

While Mortals Sleep. Ah Vonnegut. He just seems like a distant eccentric uncle you have in your family with bits of wisdom in weird places that he pops off at a family reunion when he's had too much to drink. But he wrote those bits down into stories and I'm always glad he did. Half of these posthumous stories were great, half were alright. I enjoyed the forward by David Eggers. I think I've enjoyed everything I've ever read of his (except maybe Slapstick) and I also give this one an 8.

Wonderstruck. This is by the same author as the Hugo Cabret children's graphic novel that they turned into a movie. I enjoyed it and am sad I didn't read it before going to NYC this year or I would've added the World's Fair NYC panorama display in the Queens Museum to the "Must see" list. I guess it'll be there next time I go. I enjoy how this author combines some aspect of history to get kids interested in his stories. The pics are great and there's always a twist or merging of plots. Kind of hard to rate as it's a kids book but I give it 7. I thought we might could read it with Liv but it would've been over her head. When she's older though I will definitely be putting his book on the list!

Alexander and the Wonderful, Marvelous, Excellent, Terrific 90 Days. I think by the title you can guess who wrote this book (the children's book is coming out in a movie this year). I randomly grabbed this off the shelf at the library and thought it would be an interesting short memoir to read about the author who let her grown son (Alexander is a real person!) and 3 kids live with them while their house was being renovated. She offers bits of wisdom to parents of grown kids and shares the joys of being a grandmother. I enjoyed it although I probably wasn't the target audience. I do recommend it to grandmothers (Mom you really would like this) and I give it 7.

Chapter Books we've been reading with Liv
The Borrowers. Well I thought I had read this book but I think I've only read one in the sequel. Liv has seen the Secret World of Arriety, so she did have some foundation to build this imaginative world of little people on. She has lots of questions and every time I see a picture in the book I want to build a diorama world with Liv for the Borrowers in our house...but I also don't want her to get freaked out that they might really exist. We'll see if we build it. I liked the book although some of the phrases and words confused me. Maybe they are old British or Cockney...there I go again sounding racist!

Here is the picture of the author displayed in the book jacket. 

Mary, Mary, Mary. Did you pick this picture? Do you have a headache? Are you coming up with a good story and concentrating really hard? Are you hung over? Are you looking at a Borrower? (I thought it was an odd head shot. Especially when you google her name and can find plenty of other pictures to choose from. Whose call was this?)

What are you reading?
Rules of rating seen here.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Newsletter: 58 Months

Dear Olivia,
Lately you and I have some pretty great conversations. You have lots of questions about when I was a little girl: What I did, What I played, What my family was like. One of your favorite things to ask me is about me losing my baby teeth. I told you about losing one in the driveway one time and never finding it and you like me to retell that story to you. I think because I told you I kept my baby teeth and that's the only one I'm missing. You are very anxious to see this jar of baby teeth when we go to TN. I honestly think it's kind of weird that I kept them, so I'm hoping you forget because I don't want to freak you out!
Our summer trips have been pretty epic. Yes they mess up our routine and we've been sleeping less and eating junk but we've seen beautiful places and made some great family memories. You cry when we leave the house because you say you will miss Charlie. Then you have so much fun at our destination you cry when we are going to leave to come home. We still have two more places to travel to and then I look forward to getting in a routine and actually enjoying some things around OKC before school starts!
You've said some pretty hilarious things this month.
"Mom why don't adults ever scribble scrabble when they color?" I tried to tell you about Jackson Pollock but it was a little abstract for you.

"I'm making a's like marshmallows when you roast beef them" (new before and after for wheel of fortune?)

You saw a birthmark on your leg for the first time that is in a similar location to a mark on my leg and you said "Oh no! Am I turning into a mommy?"
I mentioned going on a field trip soon to a place that makes chocolate and you got a horrible look on your face. I asked what was wrong you said, "I don't want to go. I don't want to see that scary man and I don't want to turn into a blueberry." Ha! I forgot you'd seen a bit of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on TV at the lakehouse. I knew nothing good could come of that!

In the shower the other day you asked "When am I going to get long boobs like you?" (ouch! come on kid, worst adjective ever to describe them!)
Speaking of making chocolate, my favorite story from our beach trip is when we went to the candy store to buy some saltwater taffy. It was a big store with lots to see so while I was buying our taffy at the register I saw a lady making candy behind the counter at the other end of the room. I told you and Noah to go watch her make candy. A minute later Jenna told me to look up and you and Noah were politely standing THISCLOSE to a lady who was filling her bag with jellybellies. You both were intently staring up at her and really studying her. She was so confused. You obviously misunderstood which lady I was talking about but I couldn't stop laughing, and the poor lady getting jelly beans was so baffled why you two 4 year olds were so interested in her. We let you guys keep creeping her out for a minute before we called you back to us.
You've totally given up all your cute pajamas for the most part and only want to wear one of daddy's big shirts to bed. You say it keeps your legs warm at night. You try and get me to wear a matching shirt if I have one. You love to read bedtime books on the porch swing if the mosquitos aren't biting too bad. You've had lots of questions about The Borrowers that we've been reading lately. I know you still have a hard time distinguishing between fact and fiction so I hope you think they aren't real, but maybe that contributes to your night time worries or refusing to be upstairs or downstairs by yourself.
I'm not sure where you learned it, but you are loving the bubblegum hand game this month. You know, "Bubblegum bubblegum in a dish, how many pieces do you wish..." You mix up the words a lot and never count the fists right but it's funny how it jogged my memory when I heard you saying it. Then I remembered a bunch of other hand games my sister and I used to play when we were little girls. I'll try to teach you more when you get Bubblegum down pat!
You seem to be extra dramatic this month and it might have something to do with us being out of routine with all the fun trips we've been taking. You are throwing fits more easily and like to use extreme words like "Never" and "always" and "unfair" while you rant your tirade when you don't get your way. Bedtimes have been especially rough, but I'm hopeful one day you will return to sleeping through the night in your own bed without crying out about how lonely you are. It really does break my heart and we try to be patient and talk with you about it. You come in our room in the middle of the night most nights lately, sometimes you are crying but many times you just pop in at 3 am and say "When are we going to Disney World?" or "When am I gonna be 5?"
Next month is when you start school. Next month. I always thought I would end these monthly newsletters about the time you started going to school. Other bloggers often stop writing about their kids when they enter school for various reasons and I can understand why. I'm still uncertain as to what I will do. I want to hold these memories dear for you and for our family, but you are getting older and I never want this to be a source of embarrassment. I'm sure once you learn to read you will be quick to let me know what I need to take off the internet! Whether my letters are still every month or quarterly or yearly, know that I wrote every one with a smile on my face as I recounted our memories of the month together. Some months were full of joy and some months were harder than others, but that's life! And it's always good to sit back and reflect on where we've been and how far we've come. I love you precious girl and my life is sweeter for having you in it!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Destin: 4th of July

The night before Independence Day we found a website that said there was a kids bike parade at the sporting we got all decked out in red, white, and blue. The kids decorated their scooters that we had brought and we drove over there.
The website lied. It was empty. The kids were a little disappointed but they had their own parade back at the resort so it was all good!

On the real 4th of July we went to another new beach. We were warned at the gate that some people had complained of algae....we should have heeded the warning. It was pretty disgusting. And smelled. But once you walked (hauling all your beach gear) about half a mile down it wasn't so bad! We just got spoiled on that clear water and forgot there could be plants and other matter in the ocean!!
Once you walked about 15 feet out it was clear again as you can see!
The kids finally got to fly their kite!
That night we grilled out and tried to eat all the leftovers. It was a bit of a smorgasboard! Lulu got the kids these glow in the dark toys. They loved em!
Then we made smores and let the kids get gooey.
We took some group photos for our last night in Destin. It was a beautiful sunset.
We did sparklers and then watch all sorts of fireworks all over the city from the pier.
Liv said "take a picture of me and daddy on this night so I can remember it forever." So sweet.

The next morning we met the Garcias again to have a farewell brunch at Tijuana Flats.
These two goobers rode in our car and I thought they'd play together but no...they slept for like 4 hours! We drove halfway and stayed in Shreveport with some of Jenna's friends, then headed out after breakfast the next morning for the journey home.
Maybe they slept so well because when they were swimming in the ocean they were doing this in the hotel room. Oh yes there were head injuries.
We had such a wonderful time. Perfect weather, beautiful beaches, fun friends, couldn't ask for more! 
I'll end with a funny story of our trip home. Jenna and I were geocaching at a truck stop. We found a black box outside and despite not matching the description, I figured it must be it. We tired to pry it open. It would not open. We shook it and something was inside so we kept trying to figure out how to open it. All of a sudden I turned around and saw another box like it. Then I read the label "Tamper proof. Rodent Bait" EW!!!! We dropped it immediately. After we stopped laughing we found the real cache :)
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