Friday, December 7, 2012

Thanksgiving in Fruitland

This year we hosted Thanksgiving in our new home and were lucky enough my brother drove all the way from California, and my sister Lizzy came from Utah!  All in all we had 10 guests- it was soo much fun! The best part was that we had more children than adults in the house.  It was a happy few days.
Jonathan's minivan didn't quite make the terrain it took to get out there- so it was a bit of a hike to get where we needed to go.  BUT WORTH IT. I love shooting.

Collin and Rosy were the only kids brave enough to face the cold on our shooting adventure.

I was glad I had Rosy to keep me warm.

"I'm not sure about this"- Collin said that right before he took his first shot. haha

Rosy referred to Lizzy as "Baby's Mommy" the whole time, because Lizzy brought the ever cute- Maxine with her. 
Mona, come play in our secret garden any time!

We also did some target practice with the bows on Thanksgiving day. 

The kids table is actually Rocky's train table with butcher paper covering it.  The kids colored so many cute pictures on it, I would have wanted to save it had it not been for the few drink spills that kind of ruined that option.

I sat down for a few minutes to document the chefs- however Sondra and Jonathan are missing from this photo.  Everyone pitched in and we had a most delicious dinner!

Joe got out the sparkling cider and before he knew it he had a line of kids with their cups waiting for him to fill them up!

Little Lizzy asked for the drumstick. Ha! 

Dessert was fabulous as well.  Joe made a chocolate kids pie that Collin seems to be enjoying! 

We also took a walk in the "woods" behind our backyard.
And rolled down the grassy hills.
And this is what the whole Thanksgiving trip was about- COUSINS!
p.s. We played the funnest Turkey Bowl on Thanksgiving morning- unfortunately I didn't bring my camera with me.  Everyone played, baby Maxine even had her own set of flags!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Quick little Quip

Flying with our kids is one hellacious experience.  It is one full day wrapped in stress and anxiety, and reeking of failure.  There are even times where the anger monkeys begin to claw at the backside of your eyeballs, and the only reprieve can be found in a shoe-box-bathroom at the back of the plane.  It's just when you decide that you are going to use the restroom in hopes of both bowel and psychological relief, that Rocky needs to pee or poop, or Rosy has already done so.  That is when it all comes together and you realize that you are being punished in a flying prison for some unknown misdeed.

However, after receiving multiple death stares from unapproving passengers who are obviously against procreation (or if they weren't before they are now), it is after this ride through the underworld that Rocky redeems himself and somehow makes this plane ride worthwhile.  It is as we are landing, and everyone in the plane is tense and holding on to their arm rests for dear life, because as we are landing the plane begins to see-saw and shudder.  This is when people begin closing their eyes and saying their silent prayers.  This is also when Rosy for once becomes quiet and unmoving, like a statue on her mothers lap.  This is when Rocky gets really, really, really, excited.  Rocky gets a big toothy grin on his face, and being in the aisle seat looks over at the religious passengers to his left and says in his excited 3-year old booming voice, "WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!"

Now as a parent it is moments like these where you get a glimpse of true inner joy.  Also, as a parent you know that even though everyone heard "We're all going to die!!", after conferring with Sarah, what Rocky really said was "HOLD ON TIGHT!!"  Maybe it's because he is three-years old and he doesn't have perfect pronunciation, especially when he is really excited, and maybe it was the only logical ending to such a dreadful flight, but that is what people heard.  The look of terror was immediate on the faces of all those around, and a fear-tear or two may have been shed in the eyes of the previously unapproving passengers.  Being a proud parent can come at the most unexpected times...     

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Have we lost it...

..that loving feeling..Wo-oh-Wo-oh that loving feeling?.. No we haven't lost that thank you Tom Cruise, and what a corny way to start out a blog about Halloween.  Don't worry Rocky will redeem that opening with his picture below where he shows me how you really use an outhouse.

So that is Rocky at the end of a Sunday afternoon walk in Platte City Missouri.  Rocky said "Dad, I don't like it in there I'm gonna go over here instead", and me being that ever watchful parent said, "That's a good idea buddy, just let me take a picture." 
Some more pictures from our Sunday walk:
Rocky and his cousin twin, Owen.


So after we got ourselves all settled in our new home in Fruitland, we up and decided to take a trip to Platte City (near Kansas City) to visit my brother Dan and his kids, Morgan, Owen, Ruth, and Max.
We had a hard time getting all the kids together in one picture, so here is two pictures and no Rocky.  Rocky has good reason to not be in these pictures, he got sick on the way to Missouri and puked just after getting off the airplane and was feeling a bit sick right before the trunk-or-treat activity.  Not to worry though, after we were almost all loaded up, he decided that he was not going to miss this fun activity with his cousins.  But being born in Arizona has rubbed off on the boy and after about 15 minutes in the windy cold he decided to shut down all motor activity and conserve his energy in a ball on his daddy's shoulder.  I'm not sure if that was one of Hawkeyes (which is who he was for Halloween) super hero powers or not, but it sure worked for him.  Rosy by the way was a Hawkeye Lady Bug... if you haven't heard of that before it is because you have never had a little girl who wanted to be Hawkeye like her brother but her parents only had a lady bug costume. So if you ever see a Lady Bug with big purple boots on, then you have witnessed your very own Hawkeye Lady Bug.

Other pictures from our Missouri Trip:
BBQer S'mores

Owen and Rocky were best friends for the few days we were there!

We stayed in Platte City for three nights then on Monday evening we rented a car and headed up to Chicago, to visit Sarah's sister Jenny and her 4 girls Sidney, Abby, Emmy, Olivia, and her new baby boy Zach.  Now you are probably thinking that is what he meant by his title, "Have we lost it..." He must mean Have we lost our mind?  Yes flying to Kansas and then driving to Chicago and flying home in 7 nights is a bit crazy, but well worth it, to see our family. 
What I meant by the title is that, "Have we lost the ability to scare?" I know, probably not what you were expecting, but it is or was Halloween and I love to scare.  It just so happened that after me and Sarah got married I found out very quickly that Sarah does not like to be scared.  So we made an un-dual-consensual agreement that I can only scare her and our kids (and nieces and nephews) on Halloween and when she has the hiccups.  Although, we did scare Marci with a house full of sick and unruly kids who were high on Halloween candy and life and rarely aboded by any set schedule, this does not count.  But I am glad that the cousins got along so well, Rocky and Rosy loved their time at Dan and Marci's home.   

Now back to the meat of this blog, scaring.  This picture is with Olivia, Rocky, and little (or not so little for a 3 month old) Zach.  While the kids were sitting here and Rosy was playing near by, I found a ghost mask of Jenny's and some creepy orange hair, and went out the back door.  I then got right under the window where the kids are pictured here and I got up very slowly... Sarah and Jenny who were watching said that it looked creepy, but Olivia and Rocky just laughed, and Rocky said, "That's  just my dad.", and Rosy just looked at me with that cold expression.  The same expression she gets when she shuts off all emotion and feeling and bites or claws at her competition.  Unfortunately for this trip it was Olivia.  Olivia and Rocky played flawlessly together, but Rosy was vicious.  Which brings me to my next question, "When is it to early to test for sociopathicity?.."  (That was a Halloween joke, for anyone who thought that I was actually being serious;)
At Jenny and Tom's home the kids had a great time.  They loved playing in the leaves.  This was the day after Halloween, and it was a bit warmer.  

We all enjoyed group jumps in the leaves.  Is that leave pile shrinking?

Go Abby!

The day of Halloween was pretty cold and windy.  When we went Trick-or-Treating, Rocky was having a blast with his cousins and then all of the sudden after about 20 minutes he was in shut down mode and was content snuggled up in the running stroller.  Rosy had fun in her Hawkeye-Snow-White costume, and she was lucky enough to ride in the red wagon with a pile of blankets. 

 Afterwards, it was getting dark outside and Tom went to pick up his two oldest Sydney and Abby, I took that as an invitation to hide behind the bushes with an black ape mask and black ape hands with a black coat.  
While I was waiting I decided to run inside the house and do a quick scare while I pretended to take Emmy's candy.  It was too quick for me to know the results of the scare, but it was the only successful scare all night.  I guess Emmy was in tears.  Now why do I feel so bad writing that... successful and tears in the same sentence (just remember the agreement that Sarah made with me).  To her defense she defended her candy and punched me in my ape mouth, and Emmy vowed to return the favor next year (I am already getting excited).  When Tom and the girls got home, they did not cry, but instead they told me they thought it was a big raccoon...  After that, Rocky liked to walk around the house with the ape mask on.

The last day we were in Chicago, Jenny took us to the Nature Museum.  It was pretty cool and great for the kids, they had a room full of butterfly's that Rosy thought she was in heaven, and Rocky felt uncomfortable.  There was also a activity room of insects and bugs, which was really fun for the kids, and a playhouse.  
Outside of the Nature Museum Rocky found a "playground".

We did leave the van a huge mess afterwards but Jenny showed us how being a mother of four girls and a boy makes you innovative.

Here Jenny is cleaning out the van with a leaf blower.  I must say that I have never seen a van look so clean.  It was clean enough for us to go on a double date that night to get frozen custard and late night Thai.  Not only is Jenny innovative but her and Tom were also the funnest hosts, and made sure we were having a good time.  I don't know what it is about Thai food, but I could eat it at any time of day or night. 
We did miss our Arizona friends, we always had such fun Halloween parties, but we were thinking of you.  We'll be thinking of you with your short shorts and cunning costumes, when you have your late Halloween party.  With that I bid Halloween and scaring contracts adieu for one more year.

Sarah's note:
We came home to the grove behind our house in full fall bloom!  Before church on Sunday I made the kids come outside and pose for some cute pictures.