Tuesday, January 29, 2008

On the Train!

Titus and Leeann and I are on the train on the way to Aunt Shelly's house. We're stopped in Portland for a half hour and I thought I'd see if I could log onto someone's network. Lo and behold, I'm successfully writing from the train!

Everything is going well so far. Titus didn't want to get on the train but as soon as he was on he was fine. I have a monkey 'backpack' on him that lets me hold onto the tail. A genius invention for times such as these!

3 people in one teeny tiny bathroom is not something I'd ever like to do again! Well, I should get going and secure my stuff before we take off again. Choo Choo!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Snow/Sick Day

This is what we woke up to this morning! It's soooo beautiful, I love snow (as long as I'm watching it from inside my warm house!)
This is my kids at breakfast in their jammies while they should have been at church. Yes, we played hookie today. Well, not really. Leeann woke up in last night with a case of (insert potty talk no one wants to read about here). Titus has been battling it for several days now too so we decided not to go to church (well, Rob went) lest we have a repeat case of Norovirus Sunday. That's what we affectionately call the Sunday the church closed down because of an outbreak of the Norovirus that started with my son when he was 4 months old.
So, we're sitting here enjoying watching the snow and being silly while we wait for daddy to come home. I've done 2 months worth of blogging this morning with LOTS and LOTS of pictures for your enjoyment. Maybe I'll blog more now that I don't have the weight of 2 months worth of unblogged pictures hanging over my head? Enjoy!

May I have this dance?

Leeann got all dressed up in her pretty dress for her preschool Christmas program. She asked me if her shoes were slippers like Cinderella's, so I called downstairs to ask daddy and he said yes, they were definitely slippers. So as soon as her slippers were on I announced the arrival of the royal princess as she gracefully descended the magnificent stairwell. As she entered the landing her very proud daddy told her how she looked more beautiful than a princess. I suggested that a first dance might be in order so Rob put on his newest iTunes acquisition--Cinderella, by Steven Curtis Chapman. Leeann and daddy danced the night away!
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Preschool Program

This is Leeann on her way out the door to her preschool program. We tried to curl her hair... but it didn't really work. Oh well, she still looked prettier than a princess!

This is Leeann's preschool class, minus the two other girls.
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All right, so I'm a little late on posting Christmas. But hey, I'm always in the mood for Christmas!
Logan, Ronnie, Suzy (and baby) and Weston. We got to stay at their house over Christmas and it was lot so fun. Notice Ronnie has already stole Weston's Superman :0)
Me and Leeann.

Superman and Batman.

Titus definately got the hang of opening presents this Christmas!
Do they come any cuter than this?
Titus and Leeann in their matching Cars jammies. I got the idea of giving my kids new jammies as a present on Christmas Eve from my friend Leanna. That way, they always look cute for their Christmas morning pictures!
Leeann didn't skip a beat opening up presents... I think she would have been happy if they'd just kept coming and coming and coming...
This is Titus with his screw driver. We decided that we'll give him a nice new tool every year and then when he moves out he'll have a good start on his tool set. Don't worry, we put it away in the garage!
Sweet, a big sock full of fun stuff!
Best of friends, like Lighting MacQueen and Tow-Mater :0)
A little help from daddy!

I'm so good at math...

... that I took Algebra II twice.
2 sandwhich squares per kid (4 squares per sandwhich). Times 12 kids, plus 2 adults, plus 2 whole sandwhiches for Rob's lunch = 16 sandwhiches?
I felt like an idiot. A really big one. It wasn't until they were almost all done that I figured out that we'd be eating PB & J for a week. It's a lot of hard work to make that many sandwhiches. And, I remembered I had to make them right before we were going to bed. Arggg!

Staff Christmas Party

These are just a few of my wild-and-crazy pictures from our Staff Christmas party. It's always a hoot and the White Elephant gifts are always the best of the best.
It looks good on Rob don't ya think?
This is Nikki standing in for Lauri's husband Tom. This mouse has made its appearance many times over the years. It's an antique!
The best present of all? The super kegal. Yes folks, this is a tool to help you work those ever-important kegal muscles. If you don't know what this means, you should... they're very important for your diaper-less future!

Church Christmas Program

My Pretty Princess
All Tuckered Out
Um... what is she doing?

The Early Years

I found this picture on Rob's mom's camera when I downloaded her Disneyland pictures. This is Titus right at 1 year old. Ah, where did my little boy go?
They just keep growing and growing and nobody bothers to ask me whether or not I want them to get bigger!

Ground Breaking

After a couple of years of preparation and fundraising NACC is building a large new foyer on the front of our church. This is a much-needed addition and we're all quite excited to finally be breaking ground. A couple of Sundays ago we had a ceremony and these are some pictures...

Three generations are represented here. Rob is on the left, then Larry Gordon one of the charter members of our church, and Bob Long, an elder, long-time member and go-to guy on this project.
I'll try to keep you updated with pictures as the project comes along!

Photo Update

The Barrios kids came to visit for a weekend in early December. It was quite fun, we were so grateful to have them down!
Leeann and I were in a play at our church. It was the story of the Grinch, only our Grinch met Jesus. It was great, a huge success and lots of fun. Leeann did a great job. I only tripped getting on to the stage once. Yes folks, that's me... a regular broadway show stopper!
Up close and personal with the who-people that you love so dearly!
This is Leeann and Titus at Camp Tadmor. We got to stay up there for a night in December, it was quite beautiful and lots of fun. The kiddos loved playing hide and go seek inside the house we stayed in. Tadmor is such a beautiful and peaceful place to be!
This is Leeann. I happen to think she's perfect :0)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

There's Got to be a Better Way

Rob and I have been car shopping. Oh boy! We've spent hours on the internet (partially while you haven't heard much from me lately) and we've even poured through the Consumer Reports Used Car Best Buy lists at the library. We narrowed it down to a handful of cars that we are looking at, and we know exactly what we can spend.

So, aimed with a list of cars and a maximum price point we've been able to get on and off several lots quite quickly. They either have what we are looking for, or the don't. Last night we drove onto a lot just as they were closing and somehow they managed to keep us on the lot for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Despite the fact that the two cars they had that we wanted were far newer (and twice as expensive) as what we were looking at. I stayed in the van with the kids except for when we took a short test drive in a 2005 Ford Escape (I'm in love!).

Bottom line though, it irritated me. We couldn't have come more prepared... knowing exactly what we want with our financing in order... yet they still tried to crunch the numbers for hours trying to fit a big fat foot into a little tiny shoe. They knew it was pointless, we knew it was pointless, we had kids in the car and it was closely zeroing in on bedtime. Why, oh why won't they just let poor saps go so they can go to the next lot and maybe, just maybe find something they can actually afford to buy?

There is no other place in the world that wastes this much time and puts this kind of pressure on you to buy something you don't want. I've NEVER walked into a store looking for something in particular only to have the salesperson try relentlessly to get me to buy something else for far more money. How on earth have car lots made it in this world while they try only to serve their own needs at the expense of the customer. It seems so backward. So wasteful. So obnoxious. So irritating. So pointless. So time consuming. I say we revolt! Oh, wait... I still need a new car...

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Forever a part of my world...

I got some devastating news last night. I went to get an eye exam last night and I decided that I, once and for all, was going to get contacts. I've tried them a couple of times before and could never manage to wear them for more than 3-4 hours before I got too irritated and had to remove them.
This time, however, I decided that I was going to persevere until I got the perfect fit and was able to wear them full time. This, of course, only until I become rich enough to get Lasik surgery. Glasses can be so obnoxious and cumbersome. I can't see a lick when I'm swimming, in the middle of the night (think alarm clock), or in the shower. Try reading the back of a shampoo bottle with eyes like mine! Anyway, contacts it is!
That is, until I got the news from my optometrist. Basically, I have 4 different problems with my eyes that make it difficult for me to successfully wear contacts. After more than an hour, he was optimistic that we could make it work in spite of the first three problems. Right at the very end, however he found a mark on my eye (kind of like scar tissue) beneath my lower left eye lid. It was probably from an old injury of some sort. The mark is right where the bulk of my contact would sit since contacts for astigmatism are bent. And, the weightiest part would be right at the bottom of my eye--where the injury is. My past irritations with contacts have been a result of this problem (and partially because of the other 3 problems also), and this problem will never correct itself. Never. If I decided to wear contacts in spite of this problem (and discomfort) I would potentially cause further damage to my eye. There's always surgery right?
Nope. Because of one of my other problems (my astigmatism is inside my eye, not on the surface of my lens like most people), the only kind of surgery that would work for me is a surgery like what they do to fix cataracts. Bottom line--very expensive.
It was all I could do not to cry as I walked away from the store. I've never had a super self-esteem problem, but I've always known I wasn't beauty queen material either. Of course, my glasses and perpetual acne don't do much to boost the self-esteem. So, to find out that I'll always have my glasses, and to be 25 with no sign of my teen-like acne going away gives me a bit of a complex. I can just imagine what I will look like with gray hair, wrinkles and acne and coke bottle glasses as I age. Not a pretty picture!
For whatever it's worth, as I was talking over the last couple of months about getting contacts Rob told me that he thought I should keep my glasses. "You look cute with glasses." he said. The first thing that popped into my mind when the doctor told me I couldn't have contacts was what my husband said. I'm so grateful for that. If he'd encouraged me to get contacts I think it would have scarred me for life. Instead, I can live life knowing that at least my husband thinks my glasses are cute!

To make things worse, Titus has an 87% chance of inheriting my astigmatism (not the injury preventing contact use though). Anyway, so it is, the story of my life...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Corn Strikes Again!

It's been a week since Titus was sick and I forgot about my vow never to feed my kid's corn again. We had macaroni and cheese and corn, with chicken nuggets for dinner Monday night...

Yup, I got a rude awakening super early Tuesday morning. "Mommy, I threw up!" It was Leeann, and luckily she managed to keep it all on her pillow. Even better, we put her down straight from the car after getting home late the night before, so her hair was still up out of her face in a pony-tail type bun. This meant we didn't have to bathe her right away, or strip her bed, or change her clothes like we had to with Titus last week. I just threw her pillow and pillow case in the washing machine, laid some towels on our bedroom floor, gave her a bucket and put her back down. So, on one hand it was better than it was with Titus because she can aim and hit the bucket. On the other hand, it was worse because it was every 15 minutes to a half an hour for nearly 8 hours. Poor girl. She's feeling better today though and I think we're on the road to recovery! Rob was wonderfully sweet and took the day off yesterday, and ran all sorts of errands with Titus... allowing me to take care of Leeann and rest a little bit from my sleepless night.

I know I need to post more, and post pictures... but life around here has been crazy insane lately. My friend Sara Jane and I painted our entry way/foyer while Rob was at Convergence last weekend. Rob and I have been knee-deep in car research. We've officially decided to replace the van. It consumes a lot of brain power trying to figure out what to buy, how much to spend, where to buy from etc.

Well, I best be getting ready for my day. As much as I'd love to be incredibly lazy there are places to go, people to see and things to do!

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Corn Strike!

Leeann woke us up at 2 something this morning. I went to check on her and in her sweet little voice she informed me that Titus threw up on her. She's such a gracious girl, being all sweet n all in spite of a disgusting mess all around her.

Not that you need a visual, but hey, this is my blog. It was liquid, like water... and corn with a few other floaty fragments. You couldn't just pick it up or easily clean it up. Anyway, world's greatest husband woke up and helped me get the kiddos bathed and things in the wash. We set a bath/sheet bed down in our room for Titus to sleep on our floor. Rob slept upstairs on the kids' floor. He threw up three times last night, and dry-heaved several more times this morning.

In the middle of the night I found myself cursing corn. Why do we eat a vegetable that obviously doesn't digest well if it comes out both ends whole 14+ hours post consumption? As if cleaning up the mess wasn't enough, I found myself picking corn off the clothes, towels and sheets that had been in the washing machine. This, of course was in the middle of the night. We only have two of Titus's blankies, and it's the kind of thing that's crucial to get through the washer and the dryer in a speedy manner for a sick two year old!

Anyway, this morning he's still been dry-heaving, but he's up and at em. Try convincing him that he needs to stay still and lay on his sheet all day. Ha! Great, now I'm going to be picking up more corn fragments from around the house all day. I'm going on a corn strike!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

My Christmas Poem

Twas the night before Christmas and we’re on vacation
The Christmas music bellowed on each radio station

We’re in our van just riding along
Singing along with each jolly song

A generous check recently came in the mail
The gift was a blessing—we wished to spend it well

Maybe we’ll paint our interior walls,
re-do some flooring or put new lights in our hall!

A washer, a dryer, a new mattress maybe
A leather chair, dishwasher or upstairs t.v.?

Then out from nowhere we heard such a clatter
We looked up from our seats to see what was the matter

Oh no, we sulked as we looked at the windshield
A crack had formed and was expanding with zeal

Guess that’s where our money will go
Glad God provided—his timing just so

Twere the days after Christmas we came home from vacation
Regular music was back on each station

Another generous check came from those in our church
Maybe now we can do some of that work?

On came check engine light, the van running rough
We took it to the mechanic to see what was up

Lucky us, there wasn’t just one problem you see
Not just one problem, oh no, there were three!

My head started to hurt as the mechanic spoke
The bottom line put a lump in my throat

Is my poor little van even worth that much of money?
God’s sense humor I thought, was certainly funny

Not one penny more, just a few penny's less
Than the sum of all pennies in Robyn's Nest

Our lot in life came to the front of my mind
God provides for us faithfully during these times

He gives us enough money to get through the day
Any time we have extra he takes it away

It happens so often we laugh at it now
I confess, we were hoping this time it might be different some how

He gives us each day our daily bread
Our bills are always paid and the kids are always fed

The way God provides is so neat to see
I wouldn't trade it for my own money tree

Do you think he wants us to learn a good lesson?
Depend on him solely for each little blessing!

He hits the charts!

Titus had his 2 year check-up yesterday. Good news, he hit the charts for weight, weighing in at 24 pounds (I'm a little skeptical of the nurses weighing accuracy, but that's beside the point I suppose!). Yes folks, that's like 0%, but on the charts none-the-less! His height... well, he hasn't grown since his last appointment measuring at 30.5 inches. This makes his predicted adult height--

-- drum roll please!


Of course, his doctor continues to tell me that he's seen kids grow a year behind their peers but continue to grow on to 'normal' height.