Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Traditions and Things

I LOVE this time of year! I love the craziness of shopping, the smell of my tree, the decorations and of course the Starbucks Christmas cups. Chloe Ava loves the Starbucks cups too. Every time we pull up to a drive through she sits in her car seat saying, "Please still have them, Please still have them". I love it! Now usually we get our tree the day after Thanksgiving, after our morning of shopping. This year however we waited because we need our tree to last until after New Years. I will surely be blogging about this too I'm sure. Aaron's work doesn't have a traditional "Christmas Party" per say. They have whats called the Big Burnout the first week of January, where everyone brings up their trees and well you guessed it. Like a bunch of Banks folk that we are, we pile them up and lite those puppies! Its catered and cold, but a blast!

Anyways, this past Saturday we decided to go get our tree. I love Grand Fir trees because of their smell and look. Nobles are not bushy enough for me and Douglas Firs are...well they are like the White Trash of trees....sorry if this is your tree of choice....remember I was just talking about our classy Christmas no judgment here!

Anyway! We saw a sign for Grand Firs $15 on this back country road and we decided to check it out. We pull up to this little shop and the man comes out and says we can chose anyone we want in this field for $15. They are trying to clear it out for plowing next year. The trees were like 6' and above! So I picked out one close to 9' and bushy. Thats my kind of tree! The guy then proceeds to cut it down with a chainsaw and put it into a trailer attached to a fourwheeler and take it up to our car. They then stick it on a shaker, where they proceed to shake it to get all the bugs out and then they bound it up and help Aaron get it on our car. It was completely full service for $15! Amazing! We then have to get home and search for our tree stand which is MIA, so we had to drive out to Banks and borrow one from Aaron's parent. At 8pm, we finally start to decorate as we are watching the news about the snow. We are all getting excited about it and I couldn't feel anymore fullfilled in my Christmas heart! So we put the kids to bed and I cuddle up on my couch with my fleece blanket and watch Its A Wonderful Life next to my illuminated Christmas tree. Really, does it get any better than that?

I know this is getting long, but I'm almost done! Stella woke up at 3am and 6:30am that morning to nurse and both times I ripped the curtains open to see if it was snowing. It was not! I was so angry at the weather man! So at 8:30 Payton came down and yelled, "Its snowing!". I looked out at the pitiful snowfall and wanted to cry. However, by 12:00 it was good enough to play in and that is just what my kids did! Stella didn't know what to think of the snow. But how precious are delicate snow flakes on baby eyelashes?? It was so sweet. Please enjoy my slide show below if you are still reading this!

Friday, November 28, 2008

The After Thanksgiving Sales!

Ok kids, this is how its going to go down! For those of you that don't know how to get up at 4:15Am the day after Thanksgiving for a crazed morning of shopping, let me tell you how.....

The first step is what President Bush and I like to call Strategery. You have to find the Thanksgiving day paper stuffed full of all the delicious ads! They may make you add 23 or so more items to your Christmas shopping list, but all of them well worth the extra dough! You only have 6 hours at most stores. So you have to figure out what stores open first and then what do your really want more of?? 20% off all Wii accessories and Games at Freddie's or 50% off of Old Navy fleeces for all your nephews and neices. Since they both open at 5am! Good thing Target and Game Crazy open at 6am or we would really have some decisions to make!! Now lets get going!

An added bonus, our car was not frozen solid this morning! Perfectly mild weather for a morning of shopping!

Ok, Starbucks? Check!

One adorably cute smiling baby? Check!

One heavily bearded shopping partner? Check! Ok, that is just me, but you may take one too if you like.

We pick Freddies first of course because we need 1/2 off socks and 20% off Wii stuff! (We will hit Old Navy later and hope all the sizes we need are there!) Now for the craziness of masses of people trying to politely push their way through aisle and aisle of socks. You must be prepared forcuts and bruises from rouge shopping carts, or insane old ladies that just don't care if they hit anyone. When everyone has 2 packs of socks each we head for electronics and stand in a herd of people gathered around the Wii locked window. A helpful Fred Meyer worker is taking orders and handing them out. "I need a Wii Mario Karts Please!", I yell with my hand reach out to her. "Me too!", yell about 4 people around me. I keep my hand up with everyone else and much to my great luck, I get one!!!! I just won the freakin' lottery of Black Friday sales!!! Can you all feel my excitement?!?! I know you do.

Thats done, so we head to toys to get buy one, get one free board games and wrap up Freddie's with the new Guess Who for our kids and a free one for some lucky other kids somewhere....hey it was free! I will give it to someone I'm sure.

We now rush to Old Navy and quickly score all 7 sizes of 50% off fleeces that I needed. The line is pretty long, but only takes about 15 minutes. Its now 6:40am and we head to Game Crazy to get Wii Lego Indiana Jones for $15 off. This is a gift for Payton from Aaron's mom, but we told her we would get it for her if she would watch our kids after Thanksgiving. Its sort of a tradition with us!

Its closer to dawn and we decide to try Target. Note the word "try", we had to wait 10 minutes in line to get a shopping cart! Ok, that should have been a sign! All the good sale items were gone and the line wrapped completely 360 degrees around the store. Right. I like me some good deals, but not worth the line! So we packed up our gifts and headed home!

Are these few bags worth all the effort and craziness?? You bet! I live for it! I'm glad I'm married to a man that gets just as into it as I do! You have to be some kind of special to do this every year! I hope all your families had a great Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Autumn Leaves are Falling!!!

Well at least they were last week! I took the kids out to the forest and took some pictures of them with the leaves. It was an event to be remember. The scenery was beautiful, it was the subjects themselves that gave me difficulty!

Please enjoy the following photos....

Stella was yelling at me in this picture! I was holding her up with my hand, thats why its so close to her! I think she was yelling, "Mom! Please help me!".

I love this one! Stella was looking at me and smiled because, well I have the boobs.

Her are my babies! All cute and ma

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Daylight Savings Time

Do you remember the days in high school and early adulthood when DST was the most amazing thing in the world?! You could snuggle in your bed for a whole extra hour, all snug listening to the rain. What happened to those days?? Now I get woke up by two kids thinking its a respectible time to get up and its only "6:30". I will have to work the next 2 weeks to get them back on a schedule, and essentially lose all the amazing possiblities that the extra hour of sleep offers!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Payton The Wonderful

I was having one of those days where I thought I was Mom of the year. I hiked me and my 3 lovely children through Forest Grove down to the Dutch Brothers cart to get us coffee and chocolate milks. The air was crisp and cool, with a little bit of a burnt smell from all the chimney smoke. I was truly enjoying the walk with my kids. I couldn't have been more proud to be a mom of 3! We were picking up different colored leaves and the kids were pretending they were birds, using the leaves as wings. About half way to Dutch Brothers something in Payton flipped a switch and I was suddenly walking with ADD boy. He was hugging trees and jumping around flailing his arms and really just raising a whole lot of a ruckus. I didn't mind that, but it was just him almost falling into oncoming traffic a few dozen times that I really started getting irritated. I had yelled 'Payton Johns!' about 20 times in course of 5 minutes and it really wasn't helping. I said it one more time, and he looked at me and said:

"I wish I had a different name"

"Like What? Payton the boy who doesn't listen to his Mother?", I replied.

"No, like Payton the Wonderful.", he answered.

So I hearby proclaim from this day forward my son Payton Michael Johns will now be called Payton the Wonderful.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Banks BBQ

I cannot believe its October and I never even blogged about the Banks BBQ that happened in August! Of course it was on the day my baby girls was supposed to be born, so I was a little distracted! Anyways the above picture is my son throwing the ball to knock the poor dance team girl into the water. He got her twice, and I must say I was gloating while all the people around him exclaimed how great he was. (Bragging, I know!)
Now here is the frog jumping contest. There was much build up in the Johns' family household as we awaited the big day! Payton's frog 'Snoopy Froggy Frog' and Chloe's frog 'Frogalicious', were caught at Daddy's work for just the occasion. We fed them Crickets, which brought a little ambiance to my home every night. They filled our home with gentle chirping....although at 3 in the morning it can really wear on a person. Not that I was really sleeping anyway because I was as big as a whale. The above picture is Payton's frog that only jumped 64 inches. Each kid has to make their frog jump 3 times and that is measured. The frog that jumps the furthest wins.
Here is Chloe and Daddy setting out her frog, which she was very scared of. She jumped back everytime the thing moved, or she thought it was thinking about moving. Her frog faired better and jumped 72 inches! That held the top spot until the family that has won every stinkin' year for the past 10 years brought in their ringers! They I would classify as Toads, not frogs and they were huge! Jumping over 100 inches each. Seriously next year I am going to demand they test these things for HGH.
My poor children were devastated that they weren't getting a trophy! I was so heartbroken for them, I almost thought about buying them a trophy! However, its building character. Lucky for Snoop Froggy Frog and Frogalicous that I don't eat frog legs, because part of me was tempted! Daddy took them back to the land of their birth the next day, so they could be safe from the wrath of a angry Mama!! My kids got over their sadness soon enough because it was time for the Combine Demolition Derby!! Thats where local farmers take perfectly good combine tractors, decorate them and then smash them into each other until only one is left in one piece. Its awesome! Some of these farmers work year round on these things.
Here they are all lined up and ready to go at it! The yellow one was the winner. It was my favorite, the Crash Test Dummies, as it were. He has won 5 out of the 7 years they have done this. The kids loved it and thankfully made up for the sad defeat in the rigged frog jumping contest!

Thursday, October 2, 2008


I dare you to guess which one is Chloe Ava and which one is Stella Rose. (The pictures aren't their best) You can probably tell by the clothes their wearing, but the similarities are pretty amazing. I've put a picture of Payton below. As you can see, he looks nothing like the ladies. BTW, Stella is the first baby and Chloe is the second baby.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

My Little Sunshine

Just a little update on my sweet baby girl! She is growing so much! I am already feeling sad that the newborn phase is fading. She is filling out in her cheeks and her thighs, like a good girl should. She doesn't fit in any of her newborn clothes anymore. She is smiling and cooing now and is constantly looking for my face. Stella is already very attached to me, she knows where the goods are!! She sleeps 5 to 6 straight hours at night, nurses, and then sleeps another 4 hours, nurses and sleeps another 2 hours. So I could be getting a ton of sleep if Chloe Ava didn't wake up at 6:45 every morning. (This is a new thing...she used to sleep in until 9.) Anyways our little Stelli Bean is doing great and has kept her quiet sweet demeanor. I am grateful everyday for such an easy going 3rd born!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

That Big Jerry Kid

When I was in high school I hated babysitting kids. In fact I only babysat a couple of times through Jr high and into my Freshman year. I needed big bucks if I was going to put myself off the social scene on a perfectly good Friday night. My Mom made me watch these kids that I didn't know for the summer between my Freshman and Sophomore year. Every Monday and Tuesday I had to wake myself up at 6:00am and go and babysit for this family. It wasn't fun, but I got down all the talk shows that I loved to watch and helped myself to all their Schwans frozen food. One day the pesky little brats asked to walk up the road to the old man's house with a swimming pool. They wanted to go for a swim. I avoided the subject for a good hour, but they finally cornered me and I had to take them up the road. It was straight uphill and I was hot! We finally got there and there was this really pretty tan blond lady in a bikini with a little boy swimming. (Little boy is exhibit A to the left) She said hi and told me her name was Sheri and this was her son Jared and he was 5. She was super cool and didn't seem like a mom at all. We sat and talked while we watched the kids swim. Sheri then asked me if I would like to babysit for her. I was all over it, the only time I was super excited to babysit for anyone! She then dropped the bombshell and told me that she had 3 other kids and Jared was her oldest!!! Shea her next son was 2 1/2 and she had twin Jace and Aubrey that were 9 months old. Wow! She also let me know that this was her dad's house and they had a brand new house in the woods. Looking back now we both laugh, what possible made her think that all 96 pounds of me could take on 4 kids! But I did and I fell in love with them. Not to mention, they paid $40 for 4 hours! I was in the money! They became my second family. I even had my own Christmas stocking at their house with my name stitched on it. And the greatest of all things great in Rosieland, they took me to Disneyland. (Nevermind that Pirates was closed...I'm over it...but I have a great picture of me pouting by the closed
sign!) After I graduated, I stopped having them pay me and I just did it for free. All 4 of them were in our wedding and all 4 of them have been invested in my kids' lives.

Last summer I needed babysitters and well lets say I had 4 very qualified babysitters that love my kids to pieces. (Jared was 16, Shea 13, Jace and Aubrey 11.) Payton was scared of Jared becasue, well he's 6'3 and quiet. He kept telling Sheri,"I don't like that big Jerry kid". LOL! Jared will be forever known now as 'That big Jerry kid'!

Jared is now a senior in high school and wide reciever on the Banks football team. He towers over me, but is the sweetest kid! I'm telling you all this because he shares his birthday with a very special Stella Rose. Jared was thrilled when he found out he was an Uncle....affectionately Uncle Jerry. After every football game he comes off the field, past the girls asking him for a ride to Taco Bell and he picks up my baby girl and holds her. Then he takes his time with Payton and then Chloe, much to the dismay of the hot and bothered teenage girls that can wait to go to Taco Bell, OR better yet get their own darn car and leave my Jared alone!! In my eyes he will always be that 5 year old boy swimming at his Grandpa's pool.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Our Stella Bella Baby Girl

As most of you know, I had a baby almost 3 weeks ago.  However, since we moved we have not got around to getting internet as of yet.  I have been driving around town like a crazy lady trying to find free Wi-fi, but haven't found a good spot yet.  I'm pretty sure I'm known by the local Forest Grove teenagers as the "Crazy Lady in the Red Expedition".  They must think I have OCD because I move from parking spot to parking spot trying to locate the free Wi-fi!  Anyways, Now a little about my precious baby girl that was born!!  

Stella finally was induced 5 days after my due date!  I was beyond ready!  I was sent over to Tuality at 8:30am so that I could begin pitocin.  As soon as I walked into the room, the nurse looked at my bed and proclaimed,"That is not a birthing bed!  It doesn't even look like one, how did this get in here?!?".  I was immediately drawn to the door and debating weather or not I should run.  I got over it when I remembered that I was so over this whole pregnancy thing!  After I got the correct bed brought in, I was hooked up to the IV and started on pitocin.  However, the pump on the IV was broken, so I had to wait for a new IV pump to arrive.  Finally at 10:07 I was hooked up to pitocin and started my induction!  I was fine until about 2:00pm when my contractions got super bad.  Tuality wasn't going to give me an epidural until I was 3 centimeters dilated.  What they don't know is, I go from 3 to 10 

centimeters in 30 minutes, so I was freaked out that I wasn't going to get my epidural!  At 3:00pm she checked me and I was 3 centimeters, so I was allowed to get my epidural!  The epidural was horrible, it was literally pounded into my back!  Shortly after he was finished...around 3:45....I felt my water break.  Then around 4:15 I kept feeling the need to push.  I didn't say anything at first, but I finally decided to tell Aaron and he got the nurse.  She came and checked me and said,"Don't push or move!  Your baby is right there!".  My doctor was rushed in and it went something like this...."little push, little push, little push....and there she is!"  In true Rosie form, my baby came rushing out into the world!  She was so beautiful!  She weighed 7 pounds 3 ounces and was 20 inches long.   

She is the sweetest baby.  Now that she is almost 3 weeks old, I can say she has kept that sweet demeanor.  Stella wakes up to eat 2 times a night and she falls back to sleep right away.

Stella Rose if very loved by her big brother and sister.  She gets a bottle from them everyday.  We call her Stelli Bean and her daddy calls her Milky Minutes....if any of you have seen the AT&T commercial you will know what that means!  I am doing just fine adjusting to 3, I am actually ready for a 4th.  We will see what daddy thinks of that, but I'm giving him a few months to think about it!!!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Ode to the Man I Love!

On Monday Aaron and I will be celebrating our 7th anniversary. We've been together for over 11 1/2 years. I can truly say I am more in love with him today than I have ever been in my life. To many my husband is a mystery, so today I would like to take you through a lesson of Aaron. I think Emily is the closest to knowing Aaron as the town of Banks knows him. Most people think he is quiet and shy. Shy he maybe for a little minute, but its just not Aaron. To you left is my husband jumping through a fire out on a farm in Banks. This is how we have fun where we come from. He
Might have burnt some leg hair here, but it made us laugh and like any boy thats the goal.

We were fortunate enough to grow up in a small town. The boys around the fire here all graduated with Aaron and I am so happy to say that they are all still very close. They were on the baseball team together and most of them were in our wedding. They still get together and play poker as often as they can and they play softball with Hillsboro City League.

This picture is Tim, Aaron, Jake and Mike. Jake was our best man in our wedding and Mike is now in the middle of Iraq. We think of him often, as he is in one of the most dangerous parts. Before he was deployed their drill Sargent told them to look to their left and right, because half of them weren't coming back. I think that really hit Aaron to realize that one of his best friends is in such a dangerous situation.

This is the boys all spruced up for a wedding in the Summer of '01. My husband is the blond....oh yes I said blond....he goes through his weird spurts! Its Mike, Jimmy, Jake, Brian, Tim, Aaron and Doug. (Doug is the one that street luged down Wier Rd hill by our house...he is insane)

A little about my husband, he like the Oakland A's and Raiders. (You can bring that up in casual conversation if you want to get to know him better!) Aaron has a total of 3 tattoos. A tribal band (token male college tattoo!), Payton's name and My initials. My initials are on his inner bicep, so he flexes his arm and points to it every time he wants to make me laugh! He is way behind on getting Chloe's name and now Stella's. He has 3 ear piercings as well, although he loses his earrings all the time and now only has 2 in.

Aaron is very funny and makes me laugh all the time. I've put in all the manly things about him, so I can tell you what makes me love him the most now! I love how sensitive he is to me and my feelings. A man isn't supposed to be that intuitive, but he is. He encourages me to hang out with my girlfriends, but he feels real guilt when he leave me and the kids to something with his buddies. He may act tough, but his is my softy husband that I love with all my heart. A lot of
people didn't understand the pair of us so long ago. Aaron was the bad boy and I was the innocent Christian girl. However, no knew how much Aaron respected me and my beliefs and how if it weren't for him I would not have gone back to church ever. God put him in my life for a reason and I am just beginning to understand how Aaron fully completes me in all the places of my heart that are wanting for something. All my hurts and insecurities are fixed by the gentle hands of my husband. I can't believe that 7 years have past already since our wedding, but I also can't wait to see what the future holds for us and our family! I love you Aaron Johns!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Johns Family Road Trip of '08

Since this last weekend was so hot, Aaron and I decided to get a hotel room at the beach and take the kids away! We haven't had any vacations this year and don't have any planned, so this was considered our vacation of the year. A little pathetic considering that we could only find a cheap little hotel in Pacific City, OR to stay in! Hey, I'm not complaining though, we had fun. The ironic thing is, there was an airport.....or more a landing strip right behind our hotel. So I spent the entire night thinking, "Now that one is going down for sure, it sounds like a vacuum cleaner". Anyways, our journey started off on Hwy 6. We past the landmark of "Papaw & Nana's house" and felt like we were on our way when I hear the little voice of my daughter say, "Have to poop Mommy". Great! So I call my Dad to make sure they were home and let Chloe do her thing and we are back on the road! Woohoo! I took the above picture just outside of Tillamook on Hwy 101, yes this is a highway. You can only see this in Tillamook. There were about 200 cows, we had to wait for about 10 minutes while they stopped and looked at us and then slowly meandered their way to the other side.
Aaron then wanted to show me where his Grandpa's land was on the beach, so we took a 5 minute detour. Now when I say 5 minutes, that is more like 30 minutes to the rest of us. Aaron was just a little off! We finally made it to our hotel after 2 1/2 hours in the car. Good Old Pacific City! We unloaded our car in the 65 degree weather and headed to the beach. It was windy! We sat there and froze for about 5 minutes and let the kids run and around and then went back to the car and drove 20 minutes to Lincoln City for dinner at Mo's.

My son's favorite dinner is clam chowder, or anything seafood. So he was very excited to get his cup of clam chowder and so was I. Mainly I was excited to get out of the car, because I was about to pull my hair out from all the arguing.

The beach outside of Mo's was not windy at all and there were 5 seals swimming in the water. The kids got a kick out of it. After we were worn out we headed back to our hotel and took showers and went to bed.

The next morning we headed out around 11 and headed up Hwy 101. We didn't want to go home until late, so Aaron had scoped out several
spots we could stop at along the beach. Our first stop was a lookout thing, that turned out to be a view of some houses and bushes. Really, we could make out the ocean if we looked really hard. We continued up Hwy 101 where we kept running through little towns that made me say, "Oh, this is where Happy Valley is" or "This is where Nestucca is".

Our next stop on the Johns family road trip of '08 was Munson Creek Falls. Its just a mile walk up a path and you are supposed to see this amazing waterfall. We hiked up the trail, only to have it caution taped off because of the fallen trees. Note to Oregon State Parks.....a sign at the beginning of a rocky trail would be appreciated!!

Luckily for Aaron and his hopes of broadening our children's view of Oregon, our next stop was a guaranteed success. The Tillamook Cheese Factory! We ate lunch, checked out the cows and headed up the stairs to the viewing area to watch all the cheese be made. Oh, but wait, it was a Sunday! And who wants to work on a Sunday?? No one apparently! We just got a view of the vacant work floor and the non-moving conveyor belt. Payton was like, "Wow...can we get some ice cream now?". Of course we got ice cream and I just have to say, it is so much better from there than in the store!

With their bellies full, we loaded them up and headed to Cannon Beach. They fell asleep somewhere in between, and Aaron and I enjoyed some uninterrupted talking time! Very Nice! When the kids woke up we bought some wood and walked to the beach. It was a beautiful day. We started a fire and roasted hot dogs and marsh mellows. Payton and I walked up and down the beach and collected enough firewood to last us until 8:30pm. That's when we decided we should drive back and deal with the heat! We arrived back at our house at 10:30 and it was still 83 degrees! It was so hot! I was grateful that we were able to get away from it while we could. Its not Disneyland, but it will have to do!

Monday, July 7, 2008

We had a very busy 4th of July! Normally we head down to the beach for the day/night, but we decided to stay in town this year as the weather wasn't supposed to be great. We first went to the 4th of July parade in Hillsboro. Here you will see my two timid children watching the parade. It took them about 30 minutes of the parade going by before they would chase down candy. They were lucky though, every time someone caught Chloe's big puppy dog eyes, they would hurl a handful of candy at them! She knows how to work it!

After we got more than enough candy, we loaded up in our car and headed for McDonalds with our $1 happy meal coupons in hand! The toys were Transformers and Littlest Petshop. I can't begin to tell you the joy that gave both my children! Oh, the little things in life!

After we were sufficiently stuffed, we drove to the movie theater and decided to watch Kung Fu Panda...with my free movie ticket vouchers. I was on a role with my thriftiness!! The movie was ok, Payton loved it. Chloe was doing tricks on the handicap poles in front of us, she was not into it.

Now by the time we got home it was 4:00pm and we were exhausted. So we decided to take a family nap until 6:00! It was soooo nice! We woke up starving though, and I still needed to go to the store! My neighbor and I decided to go together and get a BBQ started. We BBQ'd some hotdogs and hamburgers and waited for it to get dark. We were so excited to light our $30 worth of fireworks. As soon as it was dark enough we lit the first one! Hurray! Both my kids immediately ran into our neighbors house and hid until all the loud ones were done. As you can see Payton did his own sparkler at the end of the night. Chloe however wouldn't even touch hers.....yes, if you are wondering the sparkler is silent.....but she still felt the need to plug her ears! We all fell into bed at 11:30, exhausted and happy. The best part of the kids both slept in until well past 10:00 the next morning!!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Girls Beach Weekend!

After plotting and planning, we finally had our girls beach weekend! We started planning almost 4 months ago, and we couldn't have picked a better weekend to do it. While it was sweltering hot in town, the beach was around 80 both days. It was one of those rare weekends at the beach that you could actually wear a bikini and layout. The brave ones of us did this, but I was forbidden to take any pictures! Almost all of us left with some sort of a sunburn. Some burns were worst than others....Jill hows that going?? Anyways, Friday night we went down to the beach and built our own fire....we felt very good about ourselves. We made some smores and just hung out. It was so nice! This picture above is all of us with my self timer camera. Its Jill, Mimi, Me, Donia, Dara (on fire) and Liz. I really wish the fire hadn't got in the way. It is a super cute picture. We could pretend that Alisa is behind it, because we all know how she feels about not being in pictures!

This here is Donia moving the log that some of us sat on because the smoke kept getting in peoples eyes. She was pretty much doing it by herself! Notice Liz really thinking about helping her here!

Nothing too extraordinary happened this time. Just the weather and of course our amazing food! Donia made us the most delicious tacos! She is so great at that! We had Emily's Shrimp Friday night with baked potatoes and Jill's Beer Bread! Oh my goodness, it was so good! One thing we do know how to do on these weekends is eat and eat good! I will now feel full filled for the next year while I lose my freedom to a newborn! I look forward to my coming out weekend sometime next August!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

She's Crafty!

The title is from an old Beastie Boys song, but I don't think they were referring the 'craftiness' that I will be discussing in this post. Anyways, I was truly inspired by my friend Jill when I read her post about Stawberry Jam, so to Jill I give you all the glory and accolades. I know you will appreciate that! BTW I want your recipe for the Beer Batter Bread, it was devine....You hear that Emily?? I said devine!

Anyways, after reading Jill's post, I wanted to make some strawberry jam in a bad way. I hadn't done it since I was young and I really got a hankerin'. So coincidentally my Mom mentioned to me about 2 days later that she wanted to make some freezer jam and wanted to know if I was interested in doing it with her. I love how these things always work out. So yesterday was the designated day for out fun filled jam making extravaganza.

I loaded Chloe up in our new Expedition...yes I am still excited about our car...and we went to Nana's house. Chloe didn't quite know what was going on, but as soon as we got her apron on, she was excited. She helped us stir the sugar and pectin together and smash the strawberries. She felt very much like a big girl!

This is Chloe holding up our first completed jar of strawberry freezer jam. She was very proud of her self, and I don't think I need to say how stinkin' cute she is in this picture. She is actually saying 'Strawberries' instead of the always faithful 'cheeeese'.

We made 3 batches, but it only took us an hour. It was quite a team effort and I was very pleased with how it went!

Now that I felt all crafty with my crate of Strawberry jam, I went home with another hankerin'. I decided to finish making the quilt I had started for Chloe 2 years ago. So, when I got home I started up the old sewing machine and went to work. I am proud to say that I finished it last night a 9pm! You will see below...however not too closely because I am by no means a perfectionist and it looks better from afar! Now you may notice some strings hanging off the bottom of it. This is not a design errror on my part. If any of you know my daughter well enough, you will know that she has carried around her bumper from her crib since she was about 2 years old. It is long and annoying, but she loves to run the strings through her fingers. So being the loving mother that I am, I cute 4 sets of the strings off and sewed them to the top. I brought it in to her at 9pm as she was almost asleep. Her eyes got huge and she said in a very Anne of Green Gables way, "Oh, thank you Mama!". I could get used to being crafty!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

This is my brother Daryl, and my other brother Daryl.

I just thought I would share a little tidbit about my children. We've been talking about baby names with them for a long time. We thought it was good to get their input and make them feel like their were part of the decision. Chloe at first said she wanted the baby to be named Bella. Then she quickly decided that she wanted to marry the neighbor boy Marshall, and when they sleep in the same bed she was going to have a baby and name HER baby Bella. This freaked us out a bit! Then she decided we should name the baby Alice.....all I could imagine was a housekeeper in a blue dress. Payton's only request was that if we have a boy that we name him Shark. I was glad when we found out we were having a girl, so I didn't have to get into a debate with Payton about why we could not call our baby Shark. (He's great at arguing, and actually comes up with valid points....which is frustrating being out debated by a 5 year old!)

Anyways, we finally told them we were going to name her Stella Rose. At which point Payton told us he like the name Ella and thought we should name her Stella Ella.....right. He told us that was what he was going to call her. Chloe then started crying and said we needed to name her Chloe. I told her that that was her name, but she insisted that we have 2 Chloe's. All I could think of was Payton saying...."This is my sister Chloe and my other sister Chloe". Then we could officially say we have Banks blood running through our veins!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Goodbye my dear old friend!

I finally had to say goodbye to my '97 Ford Expedition this weekend! It has been a faithful companion for me since Chloe was 5 months old. However, our history goes back further than that. This fine vehicle was bought with my college money, when I decided that I did not want to attend college for lack of a direction. I was in Mexico on my amazing vacation that my Aunt Diane took me on after graduation. I decided to call my Dad and see how things were going without me. Apparently they were going well because he said they had just bought an Expedition. He told me they used the loan that was going to be for my college on the car. Since then, we as a family have taken this amazing beast of a vehicle on 3 road trips to Disneyland, and racked up 179,000 miles on it. Sadly, the last year has been very hard on it. As it would not pass DEQ after several attempts. We replaced the spark plugs and then the wires and dropped over $500 on the two repairs. However, it still did not fix the sputtering and stalling. Aaron took it in again and they said it was the transmission, which is a $3,000 to $5,000 fix. Now, as much as I love this car, it was not even close to worth that much! The mechanic told us it would be better off to scrap it or trade it in before she completely died....tear!

This is not completely a sad story however! We have purchased a new very fuel efficient Ford Expedition....ha ha! When we went into the dealership, they asked us why we really wanted to buy an Expedition right now. Not that they weren't completely thrilled to get one off their lot! They even took our old Expedition in on trade, although they will be scrapping her!

Anyways, this is our 2003 Ford Expedition. It has tan leather interior, which I am most excited about because my kids! It also has a 6 disc CD changer, which our former Expo did not have. I had a nifty little tape deck in it....very useful!

Its such a cool car, that I can park on the sidewalk now....actually Aaron told me I'm not allowed to drive it into the garage. Whatever! I bumped our other expo 2 times pulling it into the garage and I will forever have a bad wrap!

Never mind the Beavers license was there when we bought it. Aaron is thrilled, but I am fearful for my life sometimes. My dad hasn't seen it yet!

Anyways, I am very happy with our new car, and it only cost $90 to fill up. UGH!