This was Grace "helping" with our sugar cookie baking for church. It was a pretty messy endeavour and she ate more than she cut out (of course so did I). We had the Grinch on while we were working. They sure were good!
Bryon hunted harder and more this year than he ever has. Of course he was on a trophy hunt this year. He saw plenty of decent ones but just never got the right opportunity. Our redneck poaching neighbor (Dudley, no kidding) has ruined so many of his hunts this year it wasn't even funny. Bryon would do the whole scent free shower and clothes thing and sit out in the woods for hours at a time and then Dudley would come driving up, guns hanging out the windows and ruin his whole setup. This happened time and time again. Finally in the extended season he shot a doe to give to a girl at work (we still have quite a bit of venison from his last deer). Thankfully, the coveted monster deer still hasn't fallen prey to the Dudley poaching team, but it's probably just a matter of time.
I bought the last Christmas gift today for Bryon. I really thought maybe we could tone things down this year and not spend as much but I think we have spent more than ever. It's fun but a guilty pleasure at best. Bryon worries Grace won't appreciate her toys and belongings because she has EVERYTHING without even asking for it.
As parents we WANT to give her everything we can, but it's a fine line to travel. I don't want to create a monster. Right now she doesn't know the difference and isn't demanding and I would like to keep it that way. I can't stand those kids screaming for stuff in Wal-Mart and I think I'll just croak if she does that.
I think it's time for a fiscal fast at our house. I'm hopeful that after the holidays we (I) can stop spending so much. It's hard in an age of instant gratification and me with little patience, but that's my goal. I think I'll make it my New Years Resolution. It's good to have goals I suppose. Let's see how long it lasts.
This is Grace's Christmas Program at First Kids on Thursday. Their verse they memorized was "Joseph went to Bethlehem with Mary who was expecting a baby". They did a pretty good job! Grace had it down pat :) She did however pick her nose on stage for several minutes! Whose kid is that?
Friday night we took Grace to Bass Pro to see Santa Claus. I took her the first Christmas (she was only 6 weeks old) to the Mall to get the requisite Santa picture taken but I didn't manage to get her anywhere last year. She didn't really know the difference but this year I knew she'd be into it. We actually tried last year to go to BPS but the line was sooooo long there was no way that was going to happen and after that my ambition for it waned.
This time we got there at 5:30 and NO ONE was in line. Bryon got a call and lagged behind but Grace and I went right on up and got the ball rolling. She kept peeking around the corner to see him and it seemed like she was going to just go right up there with no coaxing. When Bryon got there she said she was going to do this to Santa and popped her wet finger out of her mouth in preparation for a wet willy. (I taught her that, but it was her idea to do it to Santa!) Pretty funny but we said she probably shouldn't do that to Santa :)
When it was finally time to go up and sit on his lap and tell him what she wanted for Christmas she got a case of stage fright and wouldn't do it. So Bryon and I got on either side of Santa and she finally reluctantly stood in front of him for this pic. Then Santa bribed her with lolly pops and she cozied right on up to him and told him she wanted a BOW and a GUN for Christmas so she could go with Daddy and shoot deer. (not however, reindeer :) She actually came up with that on her own even though no one will believe us. Bryon had gone out hunting a lot this season and everytime he went out she wanted to go. I told her she could go someday because Daddy really wanted to take her and she said she needed a bow and a gun. I said yes, you should ask Santa for those and she did. She'll be getting both of course :)
Finally they got a picture of just her and Santa and the deal was done.
We spent the Thanksgiving weekend in Nebraska again this year. It's a 9 hour drive one way and I was a little worried how Grace would do but she did GREAT! She was an awesome traveler. She watched movies, colored, played with her baby and looked out the window.
She didn't fuss one time the whole trip either way!
I passed the time knitting and actually completed two scarves! It was very gratifying to finally complete a project! We had a great time with all of Bryon's family and this picture was of Grace at Gary and Vicki's apartment in the throws of decorating graham cracker houses. Vicki had the patience of Job and she had all the fixins and the basic house prepared in advance. I could have never completed this project alone. I just don't have the patience I should with her sometimes. Grace just loved it and she and I both ate lots of the decorations :) That girl loves candy! We both have a big sweet tooth!
We went bowling one night and watched the Nebraska vs. Colorado game on Friday and the Mizzou vs. Kansas game Sat. night. Nothing like watching Nebraska football in Nebraska :) We all got up WAY before the crack of dawn to shop on Black Friday. The alarm went off at 4:15 am and Grace and Bryon went to Radio Shack for me to get a little video recorder. I stood outside at Target in 16 degrees for 45 minutes freezing my ears and toes off for a 500 Gig external hard drive. I got the LAST ONE ON THE SHELF! It's a good thing too because I would have been none too happy if I had missed out! Once the stress of getting "the bargain" was off we all met at McDonalds (not even 6:30 am yet) and ate breakfast. Bryon and Grace went back to Aunt Jan's and Uncle Kelly's and slept for a few hours and Grandma Fellows and I (I picked her up at 5 am) continued on the quest for Black Friday wonders.
Shopping on Black Friday is a lot like drinking. Every few years you forget how crazy bad it really is and do it again. Mom and Brenda were shopping in Missouri and Dad and Susan were out and about too so the cell phones were jingling all day with news of the progress. It was pretty fun but I think it's out of my system for a while now :)
I was glad to get home last night and already have most of the laundry caught up. Tonight Grace and I will get the Christmas stuff out and start decorating for our big party with our friends at our house this Sat. night.
This is a photo of my dad and his brother Gene on their first jobs as newspaper delivery boys for the Springfield Newsleader in 1955. Pretty cool I think. My first job was as a grocery carryout at Consumers in Bolivar. I had no inclinations to climb the grocery chain of command, I just got a job there to keep an eye on Bryon. The first of many stalking moves to win him over :) That was a great job. I got to bump my crappy late hours to Damon (who also got a job there) and then Bryon would only have an hour to get into trouble before I could track him down! We all cruised around town a lot then (miles and miles, gallons and gallons of gas) and eyeballed the out-of-towners and listened to our music way too loud. Good times were had by all.
Grace will start having speech therapy in a few weeks. She's been pretty difficult to understand (especially for strangers and family who doesn't get to see her much) but I figured she'd grow out of it. The more I heard her other daycare kids talk, the more I realized she had a problem. I took her last Friday for a screening and the therapist said she thought she was probably 30% inteligible to others. Her speech has no bearing on her intelligence and she knows LOTS of words and uses them correctly but her articulation is the problem. The therapist diagnosed her tentatively with Phonological Processing Disorder. It IS something she'll grow out of but it might take the next five years to happen and that's a lot of communication frustration and stigmatism to consider between now and then. She does get frustrated when I don't understand what she's trying to say and I don't want it to affect her self esteem sooooooo she'll have a full-fledged evaluation in a week or so and then we'll get her setup for therapy (hopefully at her daycare) in the next few weeks.
She's so funny because we've already started trying to sneakily work with her and get her to finish the hard consonants at the end of her words. She'll say Ba for Barn or Ball instead of finishing up the word. She can't say F's or H's hardly at all. We'll say BARN, can you say BARN or DOGGG can you say DOGGGG and she'll say "I already said Da!". She's no dummy that's for sure! She's already tired of our speech therapy efforts! Ha!
I'm looking forward to her speech improvements.. It will be good for us all. I had a lisp and remember going to speech therapy myself in Kindergarten. I just remember going to the little trailer with the slow kids for it. I hope I can get Grace caught up before the other kids know the difference.
So we gave out cat fleas. That's really the only explanation since she's never been outside except on her yearly trip in the cat crate to the vet for her shots. So since she has fleas...we have fleas. We've had pets in the house for years but NEVER had a problem like this. The exterminator is there today trying to erradicate the little monsters. They are just awful and of course having such a huge house doesn't help. We decided not to waste our money on bombs and go straight to a professional. Poor Bryon, Grace and Pansy have taken the brunt of it. They have bites, but I guess I don't taste good because they have totally left me alone. The vet said this has been a terrible year for them and the more I talk to people the more they tell me their flea stories as well. Misery loves company. Pansy is at the vet to avoid fumication and Grace is spending the weekend with Nana's. I'll be washing bedding and stuff all weekend. Good times.
I went over to my Grandma Betty Rice's this weekend. I had asked her for the old family pics. I didn't have any from the Cacy/Rice side and I was afraid that when she was gone someday they would scatter and no one would know who they all are. She gave me a bunch on the Cacy side (my great grandpa) and a few on the Rice side. She also gave me 3 old bibles and I was flipping through them last night and came across two lists of ancestors with birthdates and some death dates and the oldest was back to 1809! Not many people can trace back 200 years! I was so excited I could hardly sleep! I can't wait to try to get it all organized and mapped out. I don't think my Grandma knows what was in there! I'm gonna call her tonight :)
I'm glad someone on that side was a heritage keeper. Guess I'll be the one to pass it along now :) I'll upload those pics as I get them scanned too. I'm going to try to do it before Christmas so my Dad's brothers can each have a disc of pictures. More to come on that project :)
20 POUNDS DOWN! I was so excited this morning to step on the scale and be 149.6! That's a bit more than 20 pounds I've lost since June 17! I'm very thankful because I haven't been able to find time to exercise at all. I was really worried I wouldn't be able to lose any but the Lord has helped me eek on down :) I feel great and want to keep going. 135 is my goal. We'll see if I can get there. It's good to have some success!
Grace's birthday party went GREAT! We had 9 kids there (Kaylee, Kaleb, Emma, Andrew, Ashton, Tristan, Boone, Garrett, Cale, and miscellaneous adults. About 25 total I think. She had a blast playing with her friends and was so happy they came to her house!
Miraculously, the cake turned out great too. I found the idea in Family Fun Magazine. I was worried because I'd never attempted anything that ambitious but it turned out pretty good :) I also made school bus cupcakes. I didn't get started until 8 pm Friday night and I went to bed at midnight but it was worth it!
Jan and Kelly came from Nebraska around 5 and got the tail end of the party and spent the night with us. We were thrilled to have them! They had come up to visit Kortney in Columbia then were heading to Nashville to see Jamie and Jody on Sunday.
Mom spent the night too and Dad, Susan and Mama Rice all stayed for dinner. Bryon fixed a gourmet feast of grilled lamb chops, creamed spinach, roasted new potatoes and crab cakes. MMMMMM!
Grace got a TON of stuff! Way too much but she was thrilled. Dad gave her a 10 gallon aquarium and we went Sunday and got some goldfish. She likes it a lot. I think it's pretty cool too.
She'll be the big 3 tomorrow. I'm taking the leftover goodie bags (there was just the right amount left!) to school along with some store bought cupcakes. I'm baked out for a while! I made goody bags from brown paper lunch bags and filled them with a box of crayons, a tub of play-dough, a pencil and a glue stick. I think the kids liked them.
It was a great day and a really fun time. It was a good Mom day :)
Every year we've been on our farm (five now) I've seen our persimmon trees have nice fat fruit on them in the fall and thought, "I should do something with those." So yesterday I picked some. Bryon asked me if I had ever actually eaten a persimmon. I said "sure". Well I guess I hadn't because I took a big bite and it made my tongue feel like it was wrapped in big white medical gauze! It was terrible!! Grace of course had to have some too. I told her she wouldn't like it but gave her one anyway. She ate it for a while then spit it out just like I had. Foolishly I picked some more, hopeful that covered in sugar and pectin and made into jelly it would be a wonderful fall treat.
Well let me tell you about persimmons. They are darn near IMPOSSIBLE to do anything with. I peeled then and then tried to get the seeds out (which were plentiful) and all your left with is a sad little stringy pulp. And not much at that! By the time I got my little bucketful of persimmons peeled and seeded I had less than a cup of fruit pulp! I was frustrated but determined so I took my internet searched recipe for persimmon jelly, divided it by fourths and took my almost one cup of fruit and proceeded to jellify it.
I got ONE sad little 1/2 jar of jelly for all my efforts. Bryon kept telling me to abort the mission but by that time I was committed. I tasted the spoon as I sealed up the jar. Still gauzy tongue taste. The sugar did NOT help!
Now I know why there aren't big quart sized jars of Persimmon Jelly alongside the grape and blackberry. Patty at work said I should have waited until after the first frost but I used ripe persimmons. They were all mushy. She says persimmon bread is the way to go...hmmm...bread...Google on.
We had a great camping trip down to the White River a couple of weeks ago. Grace was so much more independent this trip. It was probably her best camping trip so far :) She caught a walking stick before we left and carried it down in her "bug carrier" all the way to the river where she let it go so it could go to it's Mama :)
She caught several grasshoppers during the trip too. She's pretty fearless. I've tried to instill the appropriate amount of fear for spiders and snakes but I don't know that it would kick in when she finds them. It's just a matter of time before we take a trip to doctor with a BITE of some sort.
Grace was supposed to be taking a nap on Saturday. I heard lots of scuffling so I peeked in and turned on the light and she was caught in the act of NOT napping. She had books everywhere, snowboots on and two different mittens. I gave up and we went upstairs to scrapbook. Some things just aren't worth the fight. :)
We went to Hampton's Corn Maze and Pumpking Patch on Saturday. Yes it was 8,000 degrees. We made it through 3 of the 10 stops around the maze and called it quits. Grace got the gist of it though and we came home with three fine pumpkins and some mums. They had two little barn kitties there so she was in heaven!
When we got home today, Grace found this turtle all by herself and started giggling. It was just the right size for her and fearless, just like Grace. It didn't even close it's shell but just kept scrambling around. She played with it a little and then put it back so it could find it's Mama. She's had a great wildlife month!
I came home late one night last week and Bryon had to show me this picture. Grace loves to pretend that alligators are chasing her and eating her toes. Or YOUR toes. So Bryon dressed her up, she grabbed her drumsticks for a gun and they went Alligator Hunting.
Once your toes have been accosted, she has to take you to the doctor and bandage them up with dish towels and feed you medicine. She's pretty creative but the "Doctor" is not very forgiving. She had me down on the floor covered in dish towels the other night FOREVER and I kept saying, "Grace, Mama needs to go put the food in the fridge," etc. So she'd say "I'll be right back" and go out of the room and talk to the doctor (imaginary). I'd hear her say "Doctor can Mama get up now, No? Okay" then she'd come back in and say "Doctor says stay right there!"
Finally I had to get up against medical advice and convince her that now the alligators had attacked her babies which needed tended to!
She's so funny! Bryon got her a little pretend doctor set, a box of bandaids and some ACE bandages for her birthday. She'll get them next month. She's gonna love it, but I see a lot of floor time in my future, ha!
One night last week as Grace and Bryon were watering the flower outside, they had a great night of wildlife discoveries. We've had a TON (20-30 hummingbirds) and one of them hit our big window (an regular occurance) and stunned itself. Bryon picked it up and Grace got to hold it until it recoverd and flew away. THEN she found a furry caterpillar all on her own and wallowed it around for some time. THEN a tree frog jumped out of our hanging pot while Bryon was watering and she got to hold it too! It jumped up on the side of her head and hung there for a while! She loved it!
We've also had a bat hanging out on our back porch which is pretty cool. Grace is a caterpillar magnet now and has found several more scurrying about.
I loved this picture. Bryon has been dove hunting in the field by our house. Teddy left some standing corn to draw the wildlife for Bryon. He's had some success. We took a little scouting trip the other night throught the tall corn and Grace was intent on popping out the kernels on an ear she found.
Holy Cow do we have a lot of squirrels. Ever since Casey (our adopted dog) has been gone (given to a new home) we've been overrun with squirrels and bunnies. We knew there were a lot, but Bryon put corn in his feeder last weekend to start feeding the turkeys etc. and setup his trail camera. We had 50 photos and mini movies of SQUIRRELS! Okay there were about 5 with raccoons in the middle of the night and one strange black dog but mostly SQUIRRELS. If you look close you'll count 18 in this photo.
I finally got Grace her big girl bed! It was $800 which was pretty darn expensive but it has a twin trundle underneath for future sleepovers. (Nana is going to try it out this weekend!) and it has three drawers on the bottom. It is sturdy! It is also REALLY TALL! I have to leave the trundle out for Grace to climb in and out and as a buffer incase she rolls out of bed (which she has never done to my knowledge).
I was worried that first night because she had been really excited about her big bed until it was time to sleep in it. Daddy had to wrestle her into it and make her stay. I was ready to cry and take it back! Now a week later, she's doing great and we're on to the next stage of life!
She loves making it up in the morning. I'm sure that won't last, but it's really nice right now!
As of Friday, I've lost 10 pounds on WW :) I'm pretty excited especially since I haven't been able to exercise at all yet. I just can't get it worked into my day! Twenty five more pounds to go! Bryon is slowly starting to get on the bandwagon too. He'll eclipse me as soon as he gets going, but that's okay. We both need to lose to be healthier.
Several of my friends are doing WW too so that's really helping since we're all in the same fat boat together, ha!
Grace and I cleaned out her toy room yesterday and made a big sweep of the house purging it of baby toys. She was pretty happy to "give her old toys to the babies" and was actually a little over enthusiastic at times. I had to take a couple of things OUT of the crate!
We had a HUGE tote full of toys that filled up my trunk to take to the consignment shop and to donate. I doubt we'll get much out of them, but they were all given to us so no big deal. I just felt good to get rid of some of that stuff!
I'm pretty ate up about wanting to move her bedroom to the green room and get her a big girl bed. Shelia Samek is due in January so I'm going to give her Grace's baby bed. I just like change I guess. It's that female, gotta move the furniture curse :)
Bryon and I went to the Sedalia State Fair Saturday night to see Alice Cooper. We had seen him together about 16 years ago in Kansas City and Bryon and Greg saw him while we were all in college. That man is like the Dick Clark of Scare Rock, he just never ages. He looks exactly the same!
It was SO dang HOT up there! It was close to 100 degrees all day and the sun was so intense it was almost unbearable. We had GREAT seats only 12 rows from the stage. It was the second best seats I've ever had at a concert. If it had been inside and air conditioned it would have been PERFECT!
He played a great variety of old and new songs and had a much tamed down stage show since he had very little room to work with but what a great performance. Greg and Candace went with us and we had a great time catching up with them. Candace had never seen him before and I was a little skeptical that she would like the show but she was rocking out over there and really praised his overall showmanship. It was NOT her type of music, lyrics or show but she was a real trooper!
There was a drunk girl beside me who was WAY too friendly and practically leaned on me they whole show. Like I needed another hot sweaty body next to me! Lots of drunk old rockers but a good time was had by all. Blue Oyster Cult opened for them. I only new about three of their songs, but they were okay.
Candace and I had to stuff kleenex in our ears it was so LOUD. I know, I know, that means I'm getting old. I admit it. It was much more tolerable with the kleenex :)
I had a great weekend with my girlfriends at Lake of the Ozarks. Liz's brother has a 1950's lake house there and seven of us girls went down there over the weekend for some much need rest and relaxation. We shopped and bobbed around the dock and ate and talked, talked, talked.
I actually got to sit unmolested and dig through my new diet cookbooks and read magazines. It was nice. I was, however, hotter than hell because the house only had air in one bedroom (not the one I was sleeping in!). Somehow I managed not to melt and we just had a great time.
I needed about a WEEK of that, but two days was pretty nice.
Grace stayed with Nana and she was really happy. I told her last Monday that she was going to get to go to stay with Nana and she was so excited but every day when I picked her up she thought THAT was the day and finally on Thursday when I went to daycare to get her she said, "I go to Nana's house now" and I said no not until tomorrow and she just broke into tears. She has my lack of patience I think!
Bryon is going to buy a new bow so he spent the weekend shopping around and trying to find the perfect deal. He still hasn't bought one but he has it narrowed down.
A good weekend was had by all despite the fact we were in three separate places :) Sometimes you just need some time away :)
So here I go again. Trying to lose weight. I've lost 30 pounds once before and it's time to do it again. I was lucky I didn't gain much weight with my pregnancy with Grace, however, I started out the heaviest I'd ever been! Here are the numbers: the first time 14 years ago I was at my heaviest ever 153 pounds. I know, it's some of ya'lls goal weight and you don't have any sympathy for me but fat is fat no matter where you start or want to be. We all know what will make us happy and feel better about ourselves and our bodies and for me the magic number is 135.
That first time around, years ago, I got down to 125 but I felt pretty insignificant. Not strong at all! Just skinny. I looked good, but I want to be strong too. I lost weight that time by walking and eating about 10-15 grams a fat a day. That was a DRASTIC, too drastic probably, decrease in fat. I traded fat for carbs (lots of pastas and rice) but it worked.
Slowly, over the years it started creeping back on as it always does, that insistent monster. I was pretty active until we moved to our new house then all activity ceased. My good walking trail and roads were gone and Niangua was too far away from Sequiota to make the trip. My job changed (territory) and my eating habits plummited too. A fat making combination for sure.
Then I got pregnant at the fattest ever weight of 163. If it hadn't been for morning sickness the first 4 months and then gestational diabetes, I would have been 200 pounds for sure! Thankfully I was 177 when I delivered and back down to 166 not long after, but I've been hovering around 170 ever since.
Grace will be 3 in October. I can't blame it all on baby weight anymore. Time for action!
I joined WW on the 16th of July and I've lost 7 or 8 pounds (depending on the day) and I'm going to make it and keep it off! I'm finally determined. I finally talked myself into deserving to look and feel better instead of deserving cheesecake. Boy do I like cheesecake. And chocolate. And sweets. I think I'm a sweet-a-holic. I can't have just a little and stop. I have no self control with it.
The next step is exercise. It's hard to stop being a slug. Objects in motion (or lack of ) theory and all. I may never be an athelete, but I'd like to.
I remember now why I don't stay out and party anymore, it's not necessarily the booze that gets you, it's the staying up all night.
I had gone to the release party for book 5 a few years ago and wasn't planning on going Friday night for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
At the last minute I decided to attend the Harry Potter festivities around town. Bryon kept Grace and I stayed in town after work.
I went to the 5th movie (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix) which was GREAT! I just barely made it to the early show that night and got a perfect seat amongst a crowed house. The movie was better than the book for me. The 5th book was my least favorite. It could have been at least a hundred pages shorter if she had just cut out some of the bitching about homework etc. We got it, he's a surly teenager...give it a rest.
After the movie I went downtown and met up with the White Family (Tina, Kevin and the boys) and we checked out the supposed Harry Potter festivities. Not much really going on. I all sounded better on paper than it actually was. The kids had some Butter Beer at the Moxie (which turns out is cream soda and butterscotch flavoring) and we all headed over to Borders.
The parking lot was PACKED! There were HUNDREDS of people there! It was about 8:30 by the time I made it to Borders and I saw my friend Dawn there too and we hung out a while. I finally found some books and magazines and settled onto a cozy piece of floor to wait it out until midnight. By this time I was committed. I wasn't going home without a book! I had stopped by on my lunch hour to get a wrist band just in case, so I could line up when the time came. My band was silver, second on the color tier from the top. Only later would I learn there were 150 bands given out per color.
At midnight it was pretty much chaos. No one would move from their spot. They had all 5 or 6 checkouts going but I realized pretty quickly it was going to be at least another couple of hours before I could get my book PLUS another hour home.
I gave my wrist band away to a lady who was low on the book totem pole and high tailed it over to Wal-Mart where I got it $3 dollars cheaper in about 5 minutes! I didn't end up getting home until 1:30, and not to bed until 2 am. Bryon was settled in and snoring like a freight train so finally I made up the futon and slept in the spare room. I got 5 hours of sleep that night.
Good thing this is the last book! I'm too old for this stuff :)
Grace loves clover flowers. She picks at least one every morning as we walk into daycare and says "For you Mama". Some days when I come to pick her up in the late afternoon, she's got a whole bundle of them wilted and waiting for me that she spent her entire recess outside picking.
Grace is all about the school buses these days. She REALLY wants to ride one! I thought she was going to get to the last time we went to Silver Dollar City on the way back to the parking lot but we got the trolley instead!
She can pick out a school bus from a LONG way away too! She'll be sitting in the back seat quiet as a mouse and suddenly pipe up "School bus Mama!"
I made the mistake of telling her that when she's big she can ride a school bus. Now everytime I tell her she's getting big she says, "I ride school bus now!" She's relentless too. That girl wants to ride!
Her 3rd birthday is on a Tuesday, Oct. 23 and Bryon is going to see if the bus will stop at our house and pick her up that morning so she can ride to big school (with one of us of course!). She'll go nuts if he can get it worked out! I have a feeling that won't quell here desire to ride but will only likely make her want to do it again, but it will be fun!
Grace has been saying some really funny stuff lately. She's started offering alternate suggestions if she doesn't want to do what you're asking her to do or eat etc. For example, I said, "Here Grace you can have a fruit snack or a granola bar," and she thought about it a bit and said, "No Mama, here I know...apricot." Like it was the most obvious choice possible!
Grace went to her first "camp" yesterday. We spent three hours at Little Princess Gymnastics Camp in Marshfield at Head Over Heels where she goes to class every Tuesday night. She had a blast!
There were 17 little "princesses" . It was nuts! Grace was pretty much the youngest and the only princess in black. It was the only outfit we had with a frilly skirt! They read a story, painted fingernails and toes, made foam crowns with glitter glue and accessories, had a tea party and pizza lunch, jumped on the trampolines...a LOT... watched a movie and played to exhaustion. I don't think any of the cried all day.
Grace was asleep before we got out of Marshfield! She had a big day!
Believe it or not this was our "float trip" last weekend. We went down the Osage Fork of the Niangua River which is just about 5 minutes from our house. We figured with all the rain of late it would be the best time to try it. Well let me tell you it was the most VEGETATED float of my life! Yes we saw snakes! I saw one big one on a tree and the others saw several in the water. Glad I didn't see those! Grace did GREAT! She loved it. Bryon bungied her little chair to the middle of the canoe and she rode in style. You can see she also enjoyed lunch and pretty much constant snacking. The girl loves her snacks! She's her mother's daughter in that sense :) The "float" took about 4 hours and about 1/2 of it was just like this picture. The rest was actually slightly moving water, two little rapids and one rocky waterfall! We had Two big log jams to navigate through. Bryon and Steve had to move logs on one of them and Steve just muscled us through the other. Steve Craig, his son Ryan and his fiance Kasey went with us. Julia had to work.
Grace sure had fun on her little floaty spinning around and floating down the river. She still hasn't taken a big dunk yet so she's pretty fearless.
This was about 1/2 of the trip we want to do. This trip was from Twin Bridges (at Letterman's Farm) to Hamilton Bridge. Our next portion will be from Hamilton Bridge to Rader. It should be bigger water but we'll probably have to wait for another toad strangler before we can attempt it.
Yesterday, the Fourth of July, we went to the 123rd Annual Marshfield Independence Day Parade. There were probably 2,000 people there and it was HOT, but pretty neat really. I hadn't been to a parade in a LONG time. It was Bryon's idea. A pretty good one too :) Grace loved it because they threw candy to her. One little girl a year younger than her kept bringing Grace her candy too. So when we asked Grace what the best part was she said it was her balloon (helium filled) and that "The baby gave me candy!". Gotta love the simplicity of a helium balloon and candy :) Of course this morning she cried because the balloon was no longer floating and she wanted another one. Kids!
Janet Evanovich's thirteenth installment in the adventures of Stephanie Plumb finally came out last week! Her books are pure candy. I love them. They are the misadventures of a female bounty hunter and two HOT love interests. They are totally addictive. If you haven't read them, get One For the Money and dive in. Of course you might as well get the next four or five books when you do it, you won't want to wait to see what happens next!
Thank God! For the first time EVER I have emailed my Senators, three times in two weeks. This whole immigration debate has just got me riled up. I can't BELIEVE our government expects us to agree and accept allowing 12-20 million illegal immigrants to have amnesty. We can barely take care of the citizens we have here legally.
I am not anti-brown, anti-immigrant or a xenophobe. I would encourage LEGAL immigration with a limited number of citizens accepted yearly. Maybe that's 100,000 or 500,000 a year, I don't know but I think our borders need to be secured and all those that are here illegally should be deported immediately. I believe that children born in this country should immediately assume the legal citizenship of their parents, not automatically become "Americans".
This country was born of immigrants and will continue to flourish thanks to future immigration. This is OUR country. This is AMERICA. If you want to be an American and enjoy the benefits of the best country in the world, then assimilate; come here legally, learn our laws, our history, our language and become an American.
Our culture is at stake here. Take a stand and make your voice heard. If you are an American, excercise your right to democracy and speak up. Even if you don't agree with me, do the research and take a stand now or you may soon be a citizen of the United States of Mexico.
I am TOTALLY addicted to LOST right now. I rented and watched the first season while Bryon was fishing in Canada. What an AWESOME show. Let me tell you, watching the dvds sans commercials or weeks in between episodes is wonderful! I highly recommend it. The story is great and it's a combination of the XFiles meets Castaway. I can't wait to watch the next episode each night. I'm in the middle of Season 2 right now and Season 3 comes out on dvd Dec. 11, 2007. Season 4 starts back in February, 2008. That and Heros are my two favorite shows right now. Sad to say I'm a junkie. :)
Yay! Bryon is home! They had a GREAT trip but we are REALLY glad he's home. Last night was the first night Grace slept through the night since he left! We are ready to get back in the groove baby! Lots of pictures on Flickr if you want to see them.
Still working on The Prayer for Owen Meany. I missed book club again last night (third month in a row) because I took a vacation day and took Grace to Silver Dollar City yesterday with Becky Shockley and Garrett. We had a good time but got rained out in the afternoon. More like POURED out. We were all soaked! Becky and I had extra clothes for the kids and we dried off in the McDonald's bathroom with the hand blowers!
Bryon is home today to unpack, weed the garden, smooth the driveway with his tractor (new gravel) and mow the grass! Lots of honey dooos already! Ha!
Grace and I are on week two without Daddy. Amazingly, things have been going pretty well really. I've been trying to keep Bryon's garden from burning up and thankfully we've had some rain too. It actually looks pretty good :) Haven't heard from Bryon and his Dad since Thursday night. I don't expect to hear from them now until they get back across the border.
I was really dreading this two weeks. Friday was our 17th wedding anniversary. No big deal really, but I realized this is the longest we'd been apart in that time. I think 5 days was the record before. We've mostly gone on vacations together or short ones apart. I was dreading the overwhelming efforts it takes to take care of Grace and the house alone, but she's been GREAT and we've been doing well together. She's been really sweet and funny and played and watched her movies and even made her first scrapbook page! We went upstairs so I could try to scrapbook and she watched a movie, then came over and wanted to "help" so I gave her some reject pictures and the adhesive tabs and she went to town! She loved peeling the tabs off and sticking them on the pictures. It was pretty cool. She's really getting more and more fun.
I bought some new decorations for her room (I decided not to move her to the green room) and it looks really cute. She's really into the Princess's right now and the color blue. She wants everything blue now. I bought her a blue swimming pool yesterday but we haven't christened it yet.
Tomorrow night we'll be back to gymnastics class. We missed last week because I had to drive the Amish to the blood drive. Then Wednesday night is book club. I hope I can get my book read. This month's book is A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. It's really, really good and I would have had it read already except I rented the first season of LOST and have been watching it every night after I get Grace to bed. I usually go to bed at 9 and read for a while, but I've been staying up until 11 or 12 and watching that show. It's really good and really addictive! Watching it sans the commercials and all at once is definately the way to go! I'm getting tired staying up so late though!
Bryon will get back Friday and then Saturday we'll be helping Mike move into his new house. I'm really excited for him. He's lived in that apartment for almost 10 years. It's time for him to have some more space and freedom. It's right in town (not for me) but it will be great for him.
I'm off tonight to pickup the Amish in Humansville and Dunnegan to take them to my blood drive again. Every 56 days. Usually it's not THAT big a deal, but with Bryon gone, I have to drive all the way back to Marshfield to pickup Grace, then to Bolivar to drop Grace off with Nana and then to Humansville to pick up the Amish folks. It's a pretty interesting trip usually. They are very polite and answer questions when asked, but mostly they just talk amongst themselves in a combination of German and English. Usually I can catch a snippet or two to figure out the gist of the conversation. Sometimes not so much. I wish I could take a picture of them to share but they are strictly against photographs and graven images of any kind. I usually pickup 10-12 in the CBCO Maxi Van. Me driving that van is a sight to behold, let me tell you. I'm not so good at backing so one family let's me turn around in their feed lot. Occasionally I have to have a substitute drive for me but I always hear about it upon my return because they think everyone else drives too fast! :) After 11 days without electricity this past January during the ice storm, any delusions I might have held about the quaintness of their lives and the simplicity of living off the grid have been DASHED. I like electricity. I like the grid. I'm keeping it. :)
Bryon is off fishing until next Friday. Yes that's TWO WEEKS! Holy cow! He called earlier today from the Chrysler dealership in Lincoln with the air conditioner frozen up. They can't fix it in time for him to make it to Canada so he's back on the road. They may have a hot and cold trip to Canada and back! Dang air conditioner! Poor Bryon had a bad start this morning. First thing he went to get into the car to leave (Grace and I were leaving at the same time) and the battery was dead. He'd left the key turned on all night after ejecting his cd's. THEN I drop off Grace and we met at McDonald's for going away breakfast and he wanted a cappachino for the road...machine was broken. I told him bad things seem to come in threes so with the car, he should have nothing but blue skies, big fish and good luck from here on out :)
Well let me just say they make it WAY to easy to totally DELETE your blog! I already killed mine messing around with the settings...so I guess I'll start over. How aggravating! Well Bryon is managing to get stuff together for his trip. He's been gone every night this week with work or other stuff so we've hardly seen him! This weekend is our last chance with him for two weeks! Wow that's gonna be a long time! I'll need a vacation when he gets back!