Saturday, May 31, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

I'm 36 today!

Tim thinks he's so sneaky! I always tell him suggestions for gifts for me and he never gets me what I want ~ he gets me what he thinks I would want. He wants me to be surprised. Well, this year I told his mom what I wanted and she talked to Tim about it. Luckily, Tim's mom goes shopping every Thursday so when she came over on Thursday afternoon I knew - I was going to receive the gift I requested. Silly Tim - he actually wanted to hide the gift from me. Want to see where he hid my birthday gift?

Yep - that is the back seat of the Excursion. He still doesn't know that I found it...

Friday, May 30, 2008

Ashley's Home!

Yeah! Ashley is home.

We watched "Invasion" tonight. Does anyone know, Is the movie based on the old film "Invasion of the Body Snatchers?" It was definately weird.

Answer to my drink question:

Caramel Macciato with two pumps of mocha. After reading up on the total calories, I threw the nasty, fat laden, artery clogging, sugar filled beverage away! I only drank half. From now on - I drink my own brew or buy an herbal tea. There - it is now public. No more Starbucks coffee/macciato/frappacino/latte beverages. (I do love their peppermint mocha during winter...)

My healthy eating friends will be glad to know that my day got better regarding my food choices. For lunch I had a slice of turkey with cream cheese and cayanne pepper sprinkled on it, with a slice of cheddar cheese, and an apple with fresh cinnamon sprinkled on it. Cinnamon is supposed to maintain positive blood sugar levels throughout the day...

Snacks were nachos (homemade) and salsa. Dinner - pizza and wings. All homemade. Dessert was the best. I don't know what it is called, but we learned how to make it when we were at camp in Georgia. You take a tortilla and spread peanut butter on it. Then you sprinkle mini marshmallows over the peanut butter. Next, you sprinkle chocolate chips over the marshmallows. Toss it in the oven and turn on the broiler. Broil until the marshmallows turn brown. It is the BOMB!

Oh - this is also the first day that I've actually gotten all 64 oz of water in me! Huge achievement. I don't drink enough. Often I will go all day with out drinking anything other than an occasional sip of water. I've also quit drinking soda. I usually would have one soda a day. Now I'm down to one every 2-3 days. It is diet soda so it isn't too bad calorie wise, but my little brother Lance said that the diet soda could be the cause of my migraines. Hmmm... something to think about.

Random Questions Wanting a Reply...

Does anyone know how I can link my computer with Ashley's laptop? We have the same internet connection. In fact, if she emails you, it comes up with my name because it is my name on the account. My intent is to occasionally use her computer away from home to access my documents and pictures on my computer.

The second question is: Can I somehow buy a link or chip or something to print from Ashley's laptop to my printer? Without them being connected by a cord? So, for instance, I can type a document on her computer in the kitchen and have it print at my printer in my bedroom.

Let me know. I know there is a computer guru out there somewhere...

Holy Running Shoes, Batman!

Holy Cow! I just checked the calorie content of my nifty little breakfast drink... are you ready for this?

290 calories! That is for my drink alone. It doesn't include the fried cherry fritter or the fat laden chocolate bismark. Crap. That might be all of my daily calories in one meal. Guess I'm done for the day. NOT! I will have to eat an apple or something healthy. I already feel my hypoglycemia count down happening. Stupid - but oh so worth it. The boys and I will take two walks today!

Who Wants to Calculate the Calories I Consumed for Breakfast?

I wonder how far and how long I will have to run tonight to counterbalance the calories in my breakfast...
Want to know what type of coffee beverage I drink? Try and guess... I'll let you know later.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Prayer Request

My niece, Kaylee James, has a cancerous (is that a word?) tumor behind her eye. She is only 6 weeks old. Steven and Lindsay have done tons of research and will be heading to New York on Monday to see another specialist. Please pray for healing and that they are able to find a great doctor that will work with them.

My Nightly Dose and other Random Thoughts

OK - I found my "Nightly Dose" ~ it's running. OK - it is "wogging." Wogging is a cross between jogging and walking. My heart rate monitor has me wogging right now. Guess my heart and my mind are not in the same shape. I've run (run because it is shorter to type) the last two nights and I feel rejuvenated! I love it. I have to run after the boys fall asleep so that means it gets to be a little late. Really late tonight. Isaiah was having a weird night - he didn't want to go to bed. Either he had a gas bubble in his belly or his teeth are really bothering him. Therefore, I didn't get started until 10:pm. Yuck. Anyway - how do you stretch your hips? Mine hurt after running. I'm going to soak in a hot bath in few minutes...

Coffee Addiction

OK - I didn't really like coffee until I discovered Starbucks. Let's face it - the actual coffee isn't that good and it is really overpriced, but we still drink it. If you put enough mocha and caramel in it anything will taste good. I discovered a web site that delivers coffee beans (or ground) to your door. It is called Boca Java. They have great coffee. I don't even have to add anything to mine sometimes. I got my monthly shipment today. They also have tea. The best tea. Even better than Whittard's Irish Cream. Those of you who know of my Whittard's obsession know that this tea is good. My dilemna is this: I had my heart set on Starbuck's for my Friday morning. I was going to go into town, (driving my vehicle - not walking) hit the bank, and Starbucks, visit with the locals at the supermarket, get a few items for dinner, and wander home. Now, with my new coffee - I might have to make my own. Whatever will I do? I'll let you know tomorrow. I ordered Hound Dog Heaven for this month. It is rich peanut butter and creamy banana coffee. It smells divine. I'm sniffing it as I type. I might have my mind made up already...

Ashley comes home on Friday!

I'm so excited - Ashley will be home in 18 hours. I've actually missed her! Not that missing her is surprising, but she has only been gone for 3 days and I've talked to her twice. She even sounded a little homesick. What will she do in Holland for 2 weeks? She will not be taking a cell phone - that is for sure.

Breeding Beef

Ashley's little heifer, Breezy, came into heat today. We called our good friends to come help inseminate her. Actually, they do all the work - we just stand and watch. Now we wait the 21 days to see if she "took." The odds are good that she did - we were able to find her at her optimum peak. The cow, Coral, was bred a couple of weeks ago. We are hoping to have two babies next spring (late winter).

My Daily Dose

Aren't these two of the most handsome boys you've seen? They are my daily dose. My men that are with me 24/7! This photo was taken this last weekend at my mom's house. I often have two in a front carrier, but Aiden is getting a bit big...
During the school year I had a routine. Monday through Thursday I would take Ashley to school. Two of those days I would stop off at the local supermarket for a Starbucks and some socializing on the way home. That is the beauty of a small town ~ everyone gathers at the supermarket at some point so you can visit. I'm one of those people. The boys love the produce department because Nancy always picks them up and holds them. Granny Howe is there on Mondays and Wednesdays and so we usually stop one of those days so she can see the boys, Michelle now works at Starbucks and knows the entire town so people are always stopping to see her, and therefore if you are around, you can visit with them as well. Do you understand the cycle? We are often bored here! Back to me and my dilemna. So, now that school is out I don't have any reason to drive my large vehicle around town wasting finite resources. What is a girl to do? I miss my expensive, overpriced, wickedly fat laden, sinfully delicious coffee. Yes, I can make a pot at home - and I often do. I only want one cup though... On Fridays, we would stop at Beto's and get breakfast burros. The best place in town for fast Mexican food. Only it's not so fast because they don't cook it until you order it and if there are a lot of people... just call your order in people! Maybe we won't give up Fridays. ;)

So - my plan is this. I will walk every morning. OK - so it isn't a great plan, but I figure that eventually I will be able to walk all the way in town for that coffee and it will be guilt free! Plus, it will kill about 3 1/2 hours of my morning. I figure about 1 1/2 hours to get to town, 1/2 hour to drink coffee and socialize, then back home.

My 5K training is back on. For those of you who were supporting me before the boys - get your shoes ready. I'm back. I'm starting from the beginning though. I find that I don't have the time during the day so I'm running at night. I had just finished my running session last night when Isaiah woke up. I didn't get to stretch or cool down very well. Hopefully tonight will be better. When Ashley gets back into town she will be relentless. She pushes me very hard. Dang those young people and their energy and lithe bodies.
I recently found out that our town hosts a 10K every year. I'm thinking of trying it this year. I'll let you know. Anyone want to run with me?

Quick ~ While the boys are in a Zen moment...

OK - that was way to quick - I hear my boys now...

I need a new "Daily Dose". I'll explain that later I hope. Here is a quick 4 month update on the boys....

Shots Suck!

The boys had their 4 month check up on Tuesday. They each had 2 shots in each thigh! 4 total!! Are these doctors crazy? Then they had to drink something for something. I don't pay to much attention. The immunizations are necessary for entering school and staying healthy so we do it.

That being said.

Aiden (my big guy!)
19 lbs
26 in. long
15 lbs. 14 oz
26.5 in. long

They are progressing at an average rate. Aiden is in the 95th percentile for weight. He won't be getting juice any time soon.

OK - gotta run. The zen moment with R. Carlos Nikai has passed. I'm wanted. What a lovely feeling. I have to sometimes repeat that to myself 10-12 times and force a smile on my face. :)

The boys are totally zoned right now. They just got back from a 45 minute walk, a nice quick nap, and now they are enjoying the tranquil music of a Native American flute.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Ashley News

"Leaders Are Not Always Seen"

What a fabulous motto. I like it because it reminds kids that they can be leaders and not be bossy. More than that though - it encourages respect.

On the windshield of our vehicle was a "Thank You for Coming" card from the FFA. It was very professional. A nice token of the kids' appreciation of their parents.

Ashley was inaugurated as an FFA officer for the 2008-2009 school year. This is very exciting because she had to go through an interview process along with an application portion for selection. She is the only incoming freshman on the team. We are very happy for her.
This has her name on it! Yeah, Ashley!

Have you ever wondered what it looks like when Ashley feeds the boys?

OK - so they are fuzzy. Daddy Tim is not a photographer. He tries when I insist. This moment I happen to be feeding Isaiah so he had to. Note the placement of Ashley's left hand... Yep - she places left hand on forehead of child, gently pushes head back, and quickly shoves the food in. :)
I do give her credit for not doing the mouth motions. Tim can't feed the boys without opening his mouth and it drives her insane.
Food update:
The boys are now eating rice cereal, oatmeal, and carrots. The oxi-clean company is going to love me! Carrots are nasty!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Happy Birthday, Tim!

Tim is 39 years young today!

In honor of his birthday, he has taken the day of work. Most of you know that Tim has never (to my knowledge) taken a day off to be "frivolous". He is spending the day at a friend's ranch branding cattle. When the kids and I called this morning to sing Happy Birthday to him, they had already gathered the cows and were spraying them for parasites. If I have time later on I will try to get out there and take a few photos.

Baby Strollers

(To view this comic in larger print, simply double click on the image.)

OK - so I'm a little behind on reading my newspapers. This comic came out in the AZ Republic on Wed or Thurs. I think it is so funny because the cost of baby products is sky high! Supply and demand though... we with babies need baby items. That being said...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Way Too Cool!

We are outside a lot! I'm always worried about eyesight - especially since mine was so poor. In AZ, we have a lot of sun issues. In order to start the sunglass habit early, I purchased sunglasses for both of the boys. Aiden has so far refused to wear his, but check out Isaiah. He loves them.

A little health note - the $9.99 sunglasses at WalMart are not good for your eyes. You really need to invest in a good pair of sunglasses from a reputable company. Ashley wears SpyWear. I'm not sure that they are top of the line - but they are protective and provide clear vision. I wear Revo's.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Google Vote

Just a little note -

Google is hosting a competition for a new logo sketch. The sketches are all done by students. Go to the Google home page and follow the links to vote for your favorites. Even if you choose not to vote - it is worth the few minutes it takes to view the sketches. The students are amazing artists...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

uTube Time with Sister

Ashley was given a great uTube comedian to look up. She chose to do it in between games so she was also given the charge of watching Aiden so mommy could snatch a cat nap.Imagine my surprise when I walked into her hotel room to find them both "uTubing".
Of course I thought it was adorable. They were bonding over electronic media - regardless of how questionable it was.
Aiden was thrilled - not only with his time with Ashley, but also with the video. I think they watched it 10 or 12 times that day!

"Mom! Go Away! I'm fine with my sister."

The Rock Wall

We went to the rec center in Durango on Friday. I'm telling you, this place is awesome. It is cheap, good, healthy fun. Ashley made it all the way to the top. She said she got nervous when she reached the top because she looked down. She wasn't sure how to "slide" down so she climbed down as well!

Boys At the Fair

This is a photo of Tim holding Isaiah and my good friend, Leanna, holding Aiden. Leanna held Aiden every chance she got. I would often have to go looking for her because she would just walk and walk with him.
It is good to have great friends!
I took Aiden's "Jumparoo" with us because he loves it! This particular afternoon, he got so tired he just fell asleep. I also had to purchase a pair of shoes. He didn't like his feet on the gravel.
This is Isaiah hanging out with Aiden. He was just sitting and looking around. He likes to watch the people.
The boys stayed snug as a bug in their "trailer bed". There is a spot that is between our bed and the window in the trailer. It was perfect for the boys. They both slept very well there.
The boys "chillin" while we were packing up.

Fair Days

The actual fair updates on Ashley's achievements have already been posted. Here are a few photos that you might enjoy...
Ashley accepting one of her trophies for her breeding project. "Breezy" was the red cow that she did so well with.
Ashley with both of her trophies...
Ashley and Gramps with "Joker" after the auction.
Aiden sitting with dad - cheering for sister while she was showing.

Ashley with "Joker" during the auction.

The Swings!

What do you do when you are home alone with two 4 month old infants and dinner needs to be on the table in 20 minutes so the family can run home, shovel food into their mouths and get out of the house on time? Why hire the cheapest babysitter around...

I had just arrived home with Ashley from her last physical therapy appointment (yeah!) and had about 45 minutes to get dinner on the table so Tim could make it to his posse meeting on time. Tim and Ashley had to leave to go get some stuff from a friend so Ashley could finish her homework - that left the boys and I at home alone trying to get dinner ready. Well, they were not happy - so what do I do? Put them outside in their swings! They love swinging outside. At one point, the swings had stopped and I was on my way out when I saw Jessey rolling around in front of the boys. She was so funny. The basketball was sitting in front of the boys, and she was trying to keep them happy. We have such great dogs. Ellie doesn't really do much other than lick them and sleep with them. She will come and get me if they are crying and I don't move fast enough for her. We are lucky not only to have three great kids, but also to have two awesome dogs!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Another Fine Dining Experience

We ate with our friends Larry and Michelle and two of their daughters tonight. We ate at "Fransisco's". I wanted Mexican food - they had a very limited Mexican menu. I ordered the fish tacos. Very yummy. I do recommend the restaurant, but it isn't like the Mexican food restaurants that we in AZ are used to. I also had a Sangria Marguerita. It was good too. OK - all of the food was good. Ashley had a very unusual enchilada - it was filled with sour cream. Very yummy.

After dinner we sat for a long time just talking. That is the best part of dining with friends. Although our food was good - with friends - it often doesn't matter. It is just the company you keep.

On a lighter note - Ashley will be sharing her bed with Isaiah tonight. He adores his big sister! She secretly likes him too. :)
When we got back from dinner, she took him from his car seat and played with him. A lot. Now, it is almost 10:00 pm and he isn't tired. She gets him because she got him all wired up! They played and giggled and teased. She thinks that she can just put him down and he will sleep. NOT! We will see what she thinks in about 1/2 an hour...

I got a great shot of Aiden and Ashley sitting on the bed watching UTube this afternoon. I can't wait until we get home to upload a few of the photos!

Soccer Update

The soccer girls started out pretty strong this morning. Their first game was at 9:30am. The weather was beautiful - a little chilly and breezy, but still nice. They played a good game winning 6 to 2. They were jazzed and went off to be with friends and family. We enjoyed a lovely lunch of Quizno's and some down time at the hotel room. I got to take a much needed nap!

The afternoon game was a bit rough. I got there late due to a rice cereal feeding. (Aiden ate 6 oz of formula and a bowl of rice cereal. He wanted more! That kid can eat!!!) By the time I had gotten there - a few "yellow cards" had been thrown and the girls were playing a very physical game. Our team was able to pull off a win - 1 to 0.

In order to make it into the championship game, the girls HAVE to pull out another win tomorrow morning. That would make for a nice mother's day gift. Their game is at 12:30pm so think positively for us tomorrow.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Mama's Big Day Out

A couple of weeks ago I was able to take advantage of not working by playing in a golf tournament. I've played in this particular tournament before, but not always playing well. I am stronger now - thanks to my hefty size boys - so my swing is better. I'm also playing with new clubs. Well, kinda new. Tim's mom gave them to me when I graduated with my Master's degree. I've only used them twice! Yep - lots of dust was cleaned off. Anyway. The first couple of holes were just ok - but after that, I "got my groove on!" My swing is greatly improved. I just wish I had time to play more often!

A former student came from Flagstaff to babysit for me. She is a great person, and she actually used to babysit Ashley when she was younger. She was so confident. After spending an hour and a half alone with the boys though - she had to call in reinforcements. ;p

Then I got a text that they were heading out for lunch. The boys got to hit the town with a bunch of girls. The had lunch with 4 or 5 girls at a local bbq restaurant, then off to the few townsfolk who haven't met them yet! I would get a text every so often telling me where they were. I'm always worried when the kids are out with other people. I'm glad that we live in a small, rural town that I don't have to freak about it!

Greetings from Durango, CO!

Wow - March was my last entry. Well, much has happened since then. I'll try to catch everyone up...

Ashley has had two soccer tournaments. They placed first at a tounie down in Phx. It was a good time - but very busy. Then we ended up heading to Prescott for a tournament. The weather was awful. There was 30 mile per hour winds. Fortunately, we took the horse trailer to sleep in so I stayed out of the wind with the boys. It was their first camping trip. They did fabulous. The girls placed 2nd in that tournament.

Ashley also had her end of season show for her cows. She took all three to the fair. Coral, her 3 year old cow, took "Best of Class", but that was by default. She was the only one in her class. ;)
Breezy, her 1 year old heifer, also took "Best of Class", truly working for it. Then, when it came down to the Grand Champion drive, Breezy, the red heifer, took the show. It was very exciting. Ashley has great hopes for her breeding program this summer. Coral, unfortunately didn't place very high in the drive for the champion. She was slightly overweight.
The steer show on Friday night was very intense. She has a pretty steer named, Joker. Joker placed 4th for conformation. The judge said that Joker was too short in the back.
For showmanship, Ashley did great. In her breeding class she took 1st place, and in her steer competition she placed 2nd. We think she did a great job.

Ashley turned 14 on May 5!
Yep, one year of teenager-itis down and 5 more to go. Oh golly - please pray for us! At least she isn't driving yet. She opted for a quiet birthday. With her upcoming trip to Holland, she has requested cash. So, she was given cash instead of a party. We also gave her a new show stick since she bent hers while walking Breezy one afternoon. :0

During the week at "fair" we took the horse trailer to the fairgrounds and stayed there. It was so nice this year not to have to commute back and forth. The boys really enjoyed being there as well. They slept in each morning, had a different woman holding them at every little whimper, and basically were pampered and spoiled! They did great in the trailer. We were home for 3 days, and now we are off again.

This weekend we are in Durango. This place is amazing. I love it here. I truly feel "at home" here. Today, we dropped Ashley at the rec. center, and Tim and I took a walk along the Anamas River. It was so pretty. The weather is perfect. We had dinner at "Mama's Boy" Italian restaurant. Yep, it is worth every penny. The food was fabulous. We had great company as well. Tim's assistant coach, his wife, and family took us. It is always good to spend the evening in the company of good food and good friends. I enjoyed a glass of wine as well.

The boys will be 4 months old this Sunday. Can you believe it? I know - I'm behind on pictures. I will try to get some up next week. Things might slow down... I can only hope. We seem to be running all the time. It is a good thing that the boys tolerate their car seats.

Aiden has started on rice cereal and LOVES it! All you have to do is show him his bowl and he will sit and let you feed him. Isaiah is a pain. He cries the whole time you are feeding him his cereal. He just wants a bottle. He gets so dramatic.

I've seen Isaiah roll from his tummy to his back two different days. He won't do it on demand though. I don't know if it was a fluke thing or not. Neither boy likes to be on his belly. Oh - a funny story - the other day, I put both boys on their tummies in their crib. They were facing each other so they would entertain each other while I was putting away clothes. They started out talking to each other, but eventually scooted together and were crying and wrestling. It was so funny!

We start the soccer tournie tomorrow morning. Please keep us in your prayers. Ashley's team is playing as a U16 team this weekend (they are a U14 team usually). The competition will be tough, and the teams are more intense here. It will prove to be an exciting day!