Sunday, June 28, 2009

Change is good, but good-byes are sad.

We said good-bye to the Hilton's on friday as they head off to Houston to start a new chapter of their lives! Skylar and I are really going to miss having our good friends just two streets away! I first met Amy at PWOC when we first got to Ft. Carson 4 1/2 years ago. Our husbands were in different units and deployment cycles, but they overlapped for a few months and we spent some quality girl time.

Amy and Addie moved back to Florida when Jon deployed for a second time, and then last fall they moved back here in anticipation of his return. Amy ended up renting a house in the same neighborhood! It was great to be reunited and get to know her much better the second time around. I love that Amy is always up for anything--even though her husband was deployed and she was a single parent AND pregnant and exhausted, she didn't use that as an excuse to put her life on hold--she just made the best of it. I really admire that about her!

Skylar is just now getting to the age where she and Addie can really have fun together. We headed over to the hotel to say good-bye and Skylar and Addie played a quick game of chess...or something.
Then Addie introduced Skylar to her new kitten, Boots, that they just adopted.
Addie loves Boots...and I'm sure Boots will grow to love Addie just as soon as she can breathe.
Bennett is becoming a little chunky monkey already, and I'm so sad I won't be able to see him grow!
One last group picture:
A good-bye kiss:
And now a little blast from the past, straight from the old scrapbook!
Remember the 80's Halloween party?
Long before our babies were even thought of:

We love you guys and miss you already!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

My new favorite show.

Top Chef has been and always will be my favorite show. However, there is room in my life for one or two more. Does anyone watch the Dugger's show "18 Kids and Counting" on TLC? Micah, Nicole and I are hooked.

I'm not sure what it is about watching a 9 year olds birthday party at a skating rink (boooring), or watching the Dugger clan make their annual trek to the national homeschool convention in hopes of marrying off a kid or two, that draws us. I think secretly, Nicole and I understand them. They are like our family (homeschooling, matching clothes, vacations in the RV and all) just on a much, much larger scale.

Maybe we appreciate the fact that it's the only squeaky clean show left on tv. I'm fascinated that all of their names start with "J" and they haven't run out of names yet (although "Jinger" is pushing it a little....or a lot.) I also can't believe Mrs. Dugger gave birth to 18 children and is still so....happy. I'm watching to see if she snaps. If I had spent most of my life pregnant or nursing you wouldn't want to be anywhere near me. My hairdresser and I were discussing the Duggers a few weeks ago and she had a good point: God said to be fruitful and multiply and populate the earth, but He didn't mean just one family.

It seems like anytime I watch a reality show about a cute family, they get divorced. (The Newlyweds, Hogan Knows Best, Jon & Kate Plus 8, etc) I'm pretty sure this will never happen to the Duggers, and if it does I will light my TV on fire and never watch anything ever again because I will have completely lost my faith in the reality of reality TV. Don't let me down Jim Bob and Michelle.

Now for some pictures! We took Skylar to America the Beautiful Park, which has an amazing playground and a huge fountain. Unfortunately, the fountain was turned off for the day, but we still had fun splashing in the leftover water.
Skylar can spin for an impressive amount of time without tossing her cookies. We know, we tested it.
I know putting her in these little onsie outfits is wrong. She's too old now, but I think there so cute. Just not from this angle.
She loves watching the big kids play. We told her if she ever decides to walk she can go play with them.
This one is from Father's Day:
Micah got to pick how we spent the day, and he wanted to go to Mimi's for brunch after church. He also wanted a kiss from Skylar, but she said no. Maybe next year.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


We have a major insect problem around here.

Historically, black crickets have been my least favorite bug. They are completely disgusting. When I lived at Spring Canyon for a year after college, they would come up through the shower drain and I would have to kill 3-4 of them and wipe up their little cricket guts before I could shower. I think it has something to do with the way they jump, and the sound of their crunchy shells being squished. :::shudder:::

Until this past week when my new nemises showed up: The Moth.

I don't know where they come from or how they all get in, but it's out of control. I killed 7 in my kitchen window within 5 minutes of waking up. And that was just one window. The next morning one flew into my scrambled eggs while I was making them and died in the hot pan. That night I turned on the fan in our bedroom and peices of dead moths flew out at me. Oh the horror. Last night I opened the fridge---and a moth flew out and hit me in the face. If I open a window they come flying out of the curtains at me. They are everywhere. My life is beginning to feel like an Alfred Hitchcock movie.

I spend a significant part of my day killing moths and wiping up their powdery residue. Jack also spends quite a bit of time hunting and eating moths, which is a big help, and might help him burn a few extra calories. Skylar gets a kick out of watching them fly around, but I'm afraid she's going to eat one too. I don't know how to get rid of them. I know they make moth balls for a reason, but I'm not sure how to use them.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Home again.

Skylar and I took a trip to the Rue Family Farm in Leavenworth last week. We had a great time! There are way too many pictures to post them all, so here are a few. Skylar was enamored with the horses, and while I was taking her picture she was trying to see around me so she could watch them in the pasture:
Gayle decided Skylar needed a swing, so we went shopping for one. When we got back, Bill stopped everything he was doing and hung it in the tree for us so she could start using it right away.
She loved it of course.
While Bill worked on the swing, Gayle washed out a horse trough to use as a swimming pool....
...and she loved that too! She kept one eye on the horses while she swam.
What farm experience would be complete without a ride on the John Deere? When she gets older she can ride on the wagon behind it.
Bill made lots of tasty grilled things for us to eat, and we were able to see Gwen and Mike, and Skylar's Great Aunts Patty and Karen. Skylar has started doing elephant noises, like a bear, monkey and elephant. Here's a shot of her doing a very specialized baby trick called the "double elephant" (apparently it has two trunks, not just one).

We went to Union Station in Kansas City to see the Narnia exhibit, which I thought was really interesting.
Then we had lunch at Fritz's, where the food is brought to you by train.
Skylar thought it was amazing. She hasn't been the best in restraunts lately, so even though the food was nothing to brag about, at least we got to eat in peace!
This was by far Skylar's favorite part of our visit:
When the horses would leave the barn, or when she could see them in the pasture and she wanted to pet them, she would do this fake cry:
Every morning and evening, we would go down to the barn with Gayle and watch her feed the horses, and clean the stalls/paddock. Skylar would point to each horse and we would go say hi before moving on the next one. She would stick her finger in their noses, and she put her whole fist up poor Flash's nostril, which he didn't really appreciate.
She kept trying to jump off this ladder to go see the horses.
We also got to see Marie, Ainsley and Addison while we were there! Of course, that was the day I forgot my camera so I have no pictures to post, but we had a great time. Addison is the sweetest thing, and Ainsley is adorable--I just wish we lived closer!

So after the worst flight of my life (courtesy of Skylar without a nap, extreme turbulence, an untimely poopie diaper that had to be changed in an airplane bathroom, and a very large lady next to us who took up half of our seat too) we're home again.

While we were gone, Nicole moved to her new apartment in an old victorian house downtown. We affectionately refer to it as the "Hobbit Hole" with it's low doorknobs, slanty walls, and a little room off the kitchen that can only be reached by ladder through a minature doorway. It's cute and has character, which is what she was wanting.

After 2 months of anticipation and a harrowing interview process, my parents are the new OCF reps at West Point and are moving to Highland Falls in 6 weeks! They'll be living in the Fellowship House, and 9 bedroom victorian built in the early 1800's, with plenty of room for everyone to stay at once over the holidays. I'm excited for purely selfish reason--I can't wait to drop Skylar off and go to the city or travel around New England.

Meanwhile Skylar is getting her molars, so we are short on sleep these days. Last night I was up with her from 12:00-3:15. Two have broken through, and a third is almost there. I can't wait for it to be over!!! I can't get her to eat much of anything besides frozen peas, which is totally gross but must feel good on her gums. Hey, whatever works.....

Friday, June 12, 2009

Daily ramblings.

The other day I was in Safeway and they were having a charity fund raiser. They do this frequently, selling some sort of fast food item to people for various causes. Usually, there isn't anyone buying. But on this particular day there was a long line of men waiting in line for rootbeer floats. The charity: Prostate cancer research.

So it appears that men are more than willing to eat ice cream on behalf of their prostates. Eager even, judging by the line. All over the store men were pushing their carts with one hand and eating ice cream with the other while they shopped. I've never seen such skilled multi-tasking. I've also never seen so many men in Safeway, so obviously word spread quickly. All those wives thought their husbands were just being helpful by offering to run to the store.

Later that day Skylar and I were on a walk and a man rode by on his motorcycle with a 12 pack of beer bunjeed to the seat behind him. Seeing a man out on on a nice day taking a ride with his beer just warmed my heart. It was a microbrew too. He clearly has great taste.

In other random news, a bear just ran down our street. I didn't get to see it, but Micah and Nicole did. We frequently have deer, foxes and scrabbits (those are evil black squirrels for those of you who don't know), but a bear was a first.

We also had a beautiful rainbow in our backyard yesterday. Put there by God, just for us (and some of our neighbors too).
Skylar has had a busy little social calender lately starting with Ethan. We went to lunch and then for a walk so she could show Ethan her 'hood.
I thought this was the cutest thing:
They had great fun taunting the dogs through the glass door:
Ethan tried out the swings for the first time.
Today Skylar played with Addie. This picture pretty much sums up how they felt about getting a picture taken:Little Bennett enjoyed his first playdate at the ripe old age of 6 days! Of course he was an angel.
The poor little guy endured all kinds of chaos from Skylar and Addie, even cymbals!
So tomorrow Skylar and I fly to Leavenworth for a little while! I'm not looking forward to holding her in my lap for 2 hours on a plane, especially considering all the trail mix with dried fruit she ate tonight. I was trying to fold laundry and to occupy her I was letting her eat a bag of trail mix, until I realized much to late that it will inevitably result in very bad things tomorrow. What was I thinking???? Nicole recommended I pack myself an extra change of clothes too.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Guess what?

I'm going to be Aunt!!!
Jennifer and Russell are expecting a baby around Jan. 21st, so it looks like Skylar will have to start sharing the grandbaby limelight. We are really excited!!

This past weekend Kristy and Micah did the 32 mile Elephant Rock Ride in Castle Rock. Johnny Haynes (who gets credit for all action photography pictured below) rode up with us and then his wife Michelle joined us later. Here are Johnny and Andy hanging out while the duo gets ready:
Andy taking a group shot....or a self portrait, not sure which.We aren't sure if there's an actual "elephant rock" or where it is....but there was a real elephant, which was way cooler than a rock anyway. Skylar wanted to touch it so badly, but it didn't give her the time of day because she couldn't hang on to the grass long enough to feed it.
Skylar wrestles with Kristy like she does with Micah. She doesn't do that with me....

Even though it was a "fun ride" and not a race, Kristy and Micah just couldn't squelch their competitive natures. They passed everyone else and tried to beat each other the whole time.Can you see the focus?
And determination?
Don't let these smiles fool you, they were out for blood.
Meanwhile Skylar was pretty worn out. She had to have a wardrobe change after messy snacks, lunch and way too many cliff bar samples that she chewed up and spit back out. She made it into a third outfit after her blow-out diaper in the car on the way home. (We'll blame that on the cliff bars too.)
Skylar has barely seen Nicole for two weeks since she was in South Carolina, and then working pretty much everyday since returning. They finally got to spend a litle quality time. Nicole knows how to speak Skylar's love language: reading books ... naked ... with a giraffe hat on. Gayle got the giraffe hat for Skylar and she always asks to wear it.
Except when she can't because Kristy is wearing it:


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