Friday, July 31, 2009

World's Largest Cat

Okay, so maybe Bella isn't the world's largest cat, but after spending time with 2lb Charlie, she sure SEEMS like it!

Bella is slowly but surely coming out of "hiding" (aka, taking up residence during the daytime hours in my bedroom where she's guaranteed a decent amount of time alone), and is allowing us to spend time with her again. She's never been entirely interested in the boys (especially Connor!), but Emily and I have been used to finding Bella jumping up into our laps as we're sitting down for any length of time. Emily was thrilled today when Bella not only came out of my bedroom, but let Emily walk right up and pick her up.

Bella still doesn't want anything to do with Charlie, though. Last night, she didn't realize he was sleeping next to me on the chair and jumped up into my lap. Charlie lifted his head to look at her and she puffed up, hissed, and smacked him in the face!

I still hold out hope they'll learn to be friends.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

It's Summer!!!!!

Almost TOO summery this week (record breaking temp of 103 for our area yesterday), but thank goodness for the Slip n' Slide to keep us cooled off!



(I was playing around in Photoshop...)

And thank goodness for the tiny kiddy pool!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Oozing Cuteness

Charlie got his 2nd bath today (puppies STINK!!), and he shivers sooooooooo badly afterwards that we have to keep him wrapped up cozy in a towel for about 10 minutes afterwards. Thankfully, Charlie is a major snuggler, so it works out well!

The other day, he was chasing Emily around and around the yard at our neighbor's house (they have Charlie's brother so when we do playdates for the kids, the puppies are included), and he got pooped out and sat down and started to cry. She backtracked and picked him up and he flopped over in her arms and fell straight to sleep!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Thumbs Up!

I found these card holders for the kids at Target, and to be honest, I was rather skeptical on how well they'd work, and if they'd be worth the money, but we don't play many card games with the kids because they get too frustrated by handfulls of cards they can't organize and don't want us to see if we help, etc, and it seemed like they'd be worth a try. We love them!! It's not a perfect solution in that if cards get piled too thickly together in one area, you pull one out of the holder and all the ones in the surrounding area come out, too, but my kids have gotten the idea pretty quickly. Also, I can hold the holder with the back to me and adjust their cards without ever seeing a single one, the kids are more able to view the cards in their hands, and we're all MUCH happier by the end of a card game! We give this product a thumbs up.


Sunday, July 26, 2009



Saturday, July 25, 2009

Vicious dog on the loose!

2lb Yorkie male
Black and tan in color
orange polka-dot collar (not seen in this picture)

This dog has been seen viciously attacking unsuspecting bones and should be considered dangerous by the general population...

Friday, July 24, 2009

Four Generations


I didn't realize everyone was so slumped over until I got home and started working on creating this post! LOL

1st gen: Daniel Steven
2nd gen: Daniel Vincent
3rd gen: Daniel Vincent, Jr.
4th gen: Jared Daniel, Connor Jeffery

I also got a nice picture of the kids with their Great-Grandpa
(and to save you the trouble of asking, Em's cheeks are bright red because she's currently experiencing an unknown skin condition, which they claim is the result of a sunburn, but she hasn't even HAD a sunburn... The steroid cream the docs put her on has made a HUGE difference in the last two days, but at the end of the day, her face gets bright red and blotchy again...)

Lastly, I got a nice picture of the kids with their Great-Aunt Danielle

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Quote of the Week

Me: (upon coming into the dining room and finding Connor smearing yogurt all over himself) "Connor! What in the world are you DOING?"

Connor: (with the sweetest smile you can possibly imagine on his face) "Tendin' I'm puttin' on sunscween."



Tuesday, July 21, 2009

When animals fight back

On a recent beach visit, Connor was having a grand time collecting little crabs. He had zero qualms about picking them up and inspecting them, carrying them around in his little shovel, trading them out for larger varieties, etc. This particular crab was rather BIG (I wish I had something to compare it to for the visual!) and rather MEAN and still, Connor was determined to hold onto it.

Here, you can see it ready to attack/defend

After Connor let it go, it must have scurried off and had a conversation with it's baby brother, because the next crab Connor got ahold of was a tiny little thing, but as soon as he set it into his hand, it rushed across his hand, into the sleeve of his sweatshirt, and was heading North as Connor danced around and shrieked and I was scrambling to get the sweatshirt off of him before he gave himself a heart attack. I could hardly stop laughing afterwards!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Introducing Charlie!

Call me crazy, but due to a lengthy set of circumstances that all fell into place at the right time, we are now the proud owners of a Yorkshire Terrier (and he's the sweetest little thing!)

The little nutball wasn't very cooperative during his photo session!


He isn't overly fond of his new collar (spends most of his time scratching at it, and falling over in the process!), but I figure the sooner he gets used to it, the better. As I'm typing this, we've only had him home for about three hours, but so far he hasn't seemed to mind being crated in the slightest, and he's very snuggly. I'm hoping the house-training goes well!

My BIL and SIL have one of Charlie's brothers, which they named Pete, and my neighbors got another one of his brother's, which they've named Sparky. SO, we'll be in close contact with two of Charlie's 9 siblings! I think it's pretty neat.

Wish us luck!

Friday, July 17, 2009

MMMM...this plate smells good...


The kid refuses any sort of nap most days (and BELIEVE ME, I've tried everything except literally tying him to his bed, EVEN BRIBES, and still, the naps are few are far between), but then manages a face plant into his dinner every now and again. LOL!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sparkler Fun!




You assumed I was going to be showing you pictures of my KIDS playing with sparklers, didn't you??

Emily was terrified of the whole idea of the sparkler and threw it down immediately, then Jared got spooked when his was halfway down and he threw HIS down as well. So Dan grabbed them up and started doing this funny little "dance" and I started snapping pictures! Wish I'd had the video camera instead; it was pretty funny! That said, I'm not overly sure he'll be impressed with me sharing these photos, so your lips are sealed, ya hear me??

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Front row seats

Several months ago, Emily got to make a bird feeder out of a milk jug as part of a project at one of her Daisy Scout meetings. We hung the bird feeder right outside her window, in hopes that she'd get to see some birds fly up and eat the bird seed. What we WEREN'T expecting, was for a pretty little bird to come build her nest inside the bird feeder and lay eggs!

(pardon the stickers in Em's window, it just got put in THAT morning!)

(taken through Em's window)

The little mama, taking a rest in a nearby bush

Mama birdy sat on the nest for a few weeks, and I just KNEW those eggs were going to hatch while Emily and I were in FL, and sure enough, the day we came back, we went to check out the window and saw fuzzy little bodies. Best I can tell, there are three babies. This picture is a cropped version of a much bigger picture so you can see better

It will be fun to continue watching things progress. I will admit to being rather prone to hanging out in Em's room lately, in order to check on how things are going! It's been extremely fun for the kids to see! I just wish we'd hung the next about a foot lower to make it a little easier to view inside from Em's window. LOL

Monday, July 13, 2009

Florida Vacation pics!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Florida Vacation 2009
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At Disney World, for the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor show, they used the joke of Em's that I'd texted into the show for her! She thought it was REALLY awesome (especially considering they only used three jokes)! She LOVED Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain, and would have happily done them both several times over, but we had too many other things to see and do! Unfortunately, Space Mountain was closed for maintanance, and will be until November. Emily would have really enjoyed it!! She thought meeting the princesses (especially Cinderella!) was pretty neat, and the parade and fireworks show at the end of the day were both really neat as well.

Seeing the manatees in the water near us at Anna Maria Island was an INCREDIBLE experience, even if I did momentarily panic and think the dark shapes in the water were sharks! I guess manatee sightings that close to shore are on the rare side. Emily and I both really enjoyed the WARM waters and the pretty white (soft!!) sand of the beaches. Even on a gloomy and rainy day, it was still warm enough to be at the beach! WOW!

The grass in people's yards in FL is REALLY odd. Very large blades of grass and you have to keep it around 4 inches tall. When you walk on it, you sink WAY down, and it's very spongy feeling. In the pic of Emily and I next to the cactus, we almost look like we have no feet, and that lawn had just been mowed the day before!!

Our flights TO Florida were riddled with kids kicking our seats at regular and FREQUENT intervals, and then siblings hitting and screaming at each other the whole flight. Our flights HOME were rather uneventful, but I could have done without the 4.5 hour layover at LAX, and having to go through security all over again becuase LAX has so many disconnected terminals! GRRRRRRRRRR! LAX was REALLY strict about the security, too. Shoes couldn't go in trays, cameras, video camera, DVD players and laptops all had to be out of their cases and in separate bins, with cases not in trays. Coats/sweatshirts each in individual bins, toiletries in own bin, etc. So we had eight bins, and then shoes and electronic equipment cases, sweatshirts, backpacks, carry-on suitcases, and my purse all strewn out everywhere. It was lovely! LOL

I hadn't gotten much sleep all week and it was two REALLY long travel days going there and coming back, so I ended up sleeping 9 hours the night we got back! I could use another night like that, but I've stayed up INCREDIBLY late putting together that slide show to share with you all today!


Friday, July 10, 2009

Jared and Elly

Hello LLLL lovers!! This is Kaci from Ellyphant

Last summer I had the privledge of spending a afternoon with Leah and her family. We all had such a great time! Jared and Elly are only a week apart in age and they had a super fun time giggling, holding hands, hugging and just being silly pants!

Now don't you all worry Leah and I are already planning the wedding!

Elly will wear Vera Wang,

the flowers will be orchids,

linens--fresh and crisp, gold trim lining the edges,

bridesmaids in pink with white shoes...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

This is the life


Being from the west coast, Emily and I had never experienced going to the beach and swimming in WARM water! It was FABULOUS! But before we ever even stepped foot in the water, we were in awe over the WHITE sand. We spent about an hour in the water, and would have stayed far longer, but a freak rain storm blew through (it's been rainier here far more than not, so far, but it's not slowing us down any!) and we had to high-tail it out of there. We had ourselves a bit of a thrilling adventure partway into the beach visit when several Manatees surfaced within 8 feet of us! Scared me a little at first, to see such huge animals so close, and not being sure of what they might do, but after the initial shock, it was REALLY neat to see them and see everyone on the beach running toward the water to get a better look. I'll keep it to myself how when I first saw the dark shapes, my initial thought was that it was a sharks... *grin*

We head to DisneyWorld today, and I don't think either girl really understands what that means, but Carole and I are giddy with excitement over finally getting to take them (neither one has ever been to a Disney park before, and I haven't been to one since I was 14!).

I don't know if I'll get any more chances to check in, but Kaci ever so kindly agreed to try to deal with things around here for me (please forgive her if she slips up and doesn't get a post done for me, her daddy got a BAD injury and I know her thoughts are going to be with him... XOXO Kaci's daddy!)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Right now Leah and Miss Em the beach. Soak it up girls, you deserve it!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

We're Coming!!

Our dear friends, Carole and Rachel, are calling our names from down in Florida, and Emily and I are hopping a plane EARLY this morning and heading down... Mickey Mouse is calling our names pretty loudly as well, and weather permitting, we'll be paying him a visit at some point this week!

Life just hasn't been quite the same since Carole and Rachel moved last summer, and we're soooooooo very pleased to be getting some (very rushed, unfortunately) time with them. I don't envision much sleep for the week, as we'll be trying to cram in spending as much time together as possible (but sleep is over-rated anyway, right?).

I spent way too much time cleaning my house and packing the last three days, so didn't get a chance to schedule any blog posts before I leave, and I'll be leaving BFF Kaci in charge of making sure things run smoothly around here. I might get a chance to sit at a computer for a little while here and there, to update and share pictures, but I'm not making any promises!

I'm looking forward to getting some updated pictures of these two little gals (friends since toddlerhood, and both currently sporting MUCH shorter hair-styles!)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Curiosity killed the cat, you know...

The tide was recently REALLY far out at the beach near our home, so my FIL and I took the kids down to explore the muck. Connor was pretty fascinated with turning over rocks and picking up little crabs, and seeing what other little critters that might be under there (Grandpa was finding clams, Jared found a worm, I discovered some little hermit crabs, etc). He eventually moved on to grabbing up clumps of seaweed to see what might be lurking underneath:

Good thing it was only water he found!

I wish I'd clicked a split second later and gotten his horrified and terrified reaction! ha ha! He jumped up squealing and would have taken off in a full sprint, but rubber boots don't have much traction in muck and slime...

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July!!

Once upon a time, I got really into dressing Emily up for the 4th:
(notice the red ribbon tied through her shoes? And the decal I ironed onto her shirt myself because I couldn't find an outfit in her size?)

(and this dress I spent HOURS making her, which she wore for two years in a row because it was so big the first year!--I wish I'd thought to take a picture of the little blue diaper cover I made that she's wearing under the dress; it had ruffles all over the butt!!)

These days? She gets a $3.99 shirt from Wal-Mart that is made with such thin material, I'm not convinced it'll make it through too many wash cycles... LOL

We're looking forward to FUN IN THE SUN today, and a potluck event later today at my IL's house, then fireworks! All the "richies" who live along the water spend some serious $$$ on fireworks, and those of us who live on the bank get to see for free! WOO HOO!

I hope everyone has a fun and safe holiday!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Grand Total

I just wanted to announce that, on top of this gorgeous ponytail...

...Emily also donated $601.85 to Wigs for Kids!! 34 people supported her fund-raising efforts this past month.

Emily is one pleased little girl, and we thank all of you who were a part of the process!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

And it's only Thursday?

Saturday: Purposely did not apply sunscreen to my face because of break-out issues, and thought I was doing a great job keeping my back to the sun. Except at some point, the sun shifted and I didn't notice and I burned the right side of my face. While wearing sunglasses... VERY lovely white circles around my eyes, with REALLY pretty layers of skin peeling from my nose and forehead. I'm CUTE! ha!

Sunday: Jared sat down on a bench at my IL's house, which just so happened to have a humongous bees nest attached to the underside, and within seconds, poor Jared was being swarmed. I was up in the house and looked out the big window in time to see Dan running up into the main part of the backyard, and for all intents and purposes, it looked like he was beating the crap out of the kid! The Mama Bear in me charged out of the house ready to defend Jare-bear, but I very quickly saw the thick clusters of bees on his skin and realized what Dan was doing. Jared was stung over 30 times, including one UP HIS NOSE, but he was amazing beyond belief and barely made a peep (during or after!). Within 15-20 minutes after being stung, he even uttered the words, "I'm kind of glad that happened! Now I look tough!" while happily spooning in bites of an ice cream sundae... Quick trip the ER to make sure nothing was up his nose (he kept saying it felt like there was something up there, but it turned out to be a welt INSIDE his nose causing the sensation) and a good night's rest and he was pretty much good as new. Still has some red marks, but nothing else came of the ordeal.

Monday: A nicely packed picnic, planned bike riding outing, and playtime at a local playground totally and completely RUINED by whining, crying, complaining (spoiled rotten little...) children.

Tuesday: After being down by at least one pound THE ENTIRE WEEK since my last weigh-in (every Tuesday, with my partner in crime, Kaci), I suddenly managed to gain weight overnight????

Wednesday: Yet another sunburn (shoulders), because apparently I didn't shake up the bottle of sunscreen well enough OR SOMETHING. Then, a sweet child, thinking she was being funny hopping into the driver's seat while we were helping build a garden area at the preschool, accidentally pressed the automatic lock button before shutting the door, with my keys inside. THANK GOODNESS for my mother who has a key to my home and was able to get the spare key to the van and deliver it to us! I also scored a very painful blister and several painful calluses for my efforts helping out with the gardening stuff at preschool...

Thursday (today): I have to somehow manage to make four stops between 9am and 9:30am and I REALLY don't have any idea how in the world that's going to happen... My kids have been at each other's throats for days on end, despite my pleas, threats (and everything inbetween) and I've reached my limit.

The glass is half full... The glass is half full... The glass is half full...

Isn't it amazing how much better you feel about something after you've gotten it off your chest? Here's to a new day!

PS What's gotten you down this week?