Monday, December 31, 2007

What's Grosser Than Gross...?

Finding Hayden's lunchbox, hidden under the bench in my entryway. But wait there's more: it held a container of Hillshire Farms little smokies, leftover from Hayden's lunch on December 18th. Let me tell you it was nasty! The word that comes to mind rhymes with heart... Catch my drift? That mixed with the guitar string that burned up my vacuum, and Hunter's feet made for a higher volume of air freshener and candles to be used in my house today.

Busy Bees...

So, I am writing a little note to let everyone know what we are up to. Basically I am frantically cleaning, packing, and shopping to prepare for a whirlwind two day partying, BMX'x, traveling marathon. We are headed to a family New Year's eve party with a ton of our friends at 7. We'll stay a few hours, before we are off to another party. At Cowtown BMX track. Where there will be bounce houses, racing, snacks, etc. They are actually doing a race at midnight to start the new season. Once we finish there, we are off to dreamland for a few hours. We have to be up at 5:45 to drive to Austin. We will be meeting up with my sister Amy and her hubby Jesse at the new track close to their house, where the boys will race again. Then we are off to San Antonio to race AGAIN! Once we are finished racing we hope to have dinner and hang out with Amy and Jesse. We are crashing at their place, for a brief few hours. They have to work the next day. I am sure we are gonna be exhausted!! So, that is what we are up to. Just wanted to touch base. I will be posting again, as soon as I get some groovy pictures and fun stories of our mini-trip. And, of course I'll be back to wish everyone a happy New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Say What?

My children constantly crack me up. Prior to Christmas break, Hayden was learning about the food groups. Although there is now a food pyramid, they still sorta stick to the basic food groups. I guess so they don't bombard the kids with too much info. Anyway, tonight Hayden was quizzing us and we were quizzing him. Q: what group are fries in? A: fats, oils, and sweets group. Q: ice cream? A: dairy group. Q: carrots? A: vegetable group. So this goes on for a good five minutes, then I ask Hayden "what group is cereal in?" He gets real quiet and wrinkles up his forehead before he answers, "I dunno, the breakfast group?" Hmmm, haven't heard of that one!?
Then we have Chloe. We were watching TV when an eHarmony commercial comes on and she asks me, "Mom, do you ever use that?" And I'm like "no Chloe, I am married, why would I use that?" She's like, "what about before you were married?" So, then I'm like "eHarmony didn't exist before I was married. "As a matter of fact no one even used the internet back then because it was still being developed." And she looks at me and Jon with the most insane look on her face. Like, you poor dorks. What a sad world ya'll come from. Like, no internet? Bummer. She was seriously shocked that life existed before the web came to be. Gosh, those poor Brady kids. What about the dinosaurs? What did they do for fun? Eat rocks? And what about the pioneers? Man, kids today....

Saturday, December 29, 2007

It put a SMILE on my face....

I just got home from the movies, YAY! And, I saw Juno. It was absolutely adorable! It reminded me of Naploeon Dynamite meets Knocked Up. Being a teen mom once myself, it really brought back some memories, both good and bad. I laughed and I cried, it was soooo good! You must go see it, soon! The night wasn't without incident, apparently the smoke alarms went off, but I never heard them. Pretty safe huh? Anyway, I guess I narrowly avoided being evacuated outdoors in 40 degree weather because of this.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Wow, a must read!

How to Eat Like a Hot Chick by Jodi Lipper and Cerina Vincent is like, my new favorite book! I haven't laughed this hard in a long time. It's all about how to enjoy your food without going overboard, embracing your body, making smarter choices, all while waking up your inner Hot Chick. These two chicks have a way with words. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I mean look what time it is! Except for an earlier blog post, I haven't put it down! Totally worth part of my Target gift card that I used to buy it with. I give it a thumbs up. You must go buy it today!

We are family...

As most of you know I come from a big family. The sad thing is that I am not close to many of my siblings. Which is beginning to bother me alot as I get older. I really can't say why we're not close. There are many factors involved: age, distance, family drama, etc. I am pretty close to my little sisters, Kelli and Amy. I talk to Kelli almost daily and either email/chat on MySpace/or talk on the phone to Amy every two weeks or so. However, there are six more siblings I haven't seen in awhile. I only see my brother Erik once a year, and I haven't seen my brother Chris since May. I am grateful that I see them that much. I really miss my siblings who live in Utah, a sister: Julie, and 3 brothers: Ken, Jeremy, and Jason. I haven't seen them in over 10 years, the last time I saw Julie was 12 years ago. I would do just about anything to be able to see them again, and to have a relationship with them would be amazing. I am determined to get to Utah as soon as possible and get to know my family again. It is a goal that I am not gonna give up on until it's achieved. I have managed to send a Christmas card every year, but that's it. I feel as if it's my fault that we all don't talk. But, in my defense they don't make the move either. So, it really can't be my fault. I wish I knew why we all grew apart in the first place, or why we weren't that close to begin with. Family- if any of ya'll are reading, enough is enough. Let's mend some fences. We're not getting any younger and precious years have already been lost.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

A Day of Rest

Today was our day to chill. Ok, so we chilled yesterday, but whose counting? We all slept way too late, except Jon who went to the gym to pump iron, showoff! The kids all played with their new goodies, played outside, and fought over the computers. Six people sharing three computers is no fun. I was a little disappointed in the weather. Sunshine but freezing, yuck! I love a cold sunny day, but it was too cold today. I think I may be getting a little cabin fever. Being cooped up indoors sick has been exhausting. Tomorrow I am taking the kids to spend their Christmas cash and gift cards, so that should be fun. At least it will get me out of the house. I have a few things on my list that Santa forgot.... After a lovely dinner of Chili's to go, we got a huge roaring fire going in the fireplace and watched TV: The Year's Funniest Commercials and America's Funniest Home Videos. Both were hilarious, except I sounded like I'd had one too many Marlboro's every time I laughed. I will be so glad when I am rid of this cough. Jon and I did get to enjoy one of our gifts this evening. I got us each a quiz book, about how well you know your spouse. Out of 100 questions I got 90 right and Jon got 76 right. Yay, I rock! Anyway, just wanted to touch base. Have a great day!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas Y'all!

I hope everyone is having a happy holiday! It is 7:55 in the evening and we are finally winding down. It's been a fun, crazy, busy day. Last night we sat around FOREVER and waited for the kids to go to sleep. The three youngest crashed at 1 in the morning, but Chandler held out until 3 o'clock!!! I finally forbid him to leave his room, so Santa and I could get busy. We finished laying out presents and stuffing stockings and climbed into bed at 4:00. Let me tell you, 9:30 came early. Everyone really loved their presents. I tried really hard on our limited budget this year to fulfill all of their Christmas wishes. They all seemed very pleased, and for that I am glad. We got really lucky this year that we had not one thing that needed to be put together! YAY! After opening gifts, we had a big breakfast: eggs, bacon, sausage, cinnamon rolls, and orange juice "spritzers". (OJ mixed with Sprite) The kids and Jon then headed outdoors to play with their new goodies and I headed down for a long (3 hour) winter's nap. Which I really needed, as I am still getting over strep throat. My biggest issue now is laryngitis and a nasty cough. I can't wait to be well again! After my nap, I spent over an hour in the kitchen making dinner: shrimp, garlic mashed potatoes, salad, and cheddar biscuits. Red Lobster eat your heart out, the kids all went back for thirds!! We are all stuffed! I am fixing to usher everyone to the showers and then we are gonna watch Elf and have dessert. I would love to have everyone in bed by 10, we'll see what happens?! I want to say thanks for all of the nice gifts that the we were given. Even though we agreed we wouldn't do adult gifts!! It means alot. We are very blessed to have such amazing family and friends. We truly hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas! We love you guys!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Waiting...

While the kids pace the house waiting for Santa, I am waiting for my throat and head to stop hurting. Plus, I barely have a voice left. I can't even yell at my kids to settle down, my voice won't let me. I sound like a 12 year old boy whose voice is starting to change. On another note, I took Chloe and Hayden to Wal-mart with me. Crazy I know, but we had no food for Christmas dinner. Or breakfast for that matter. It wasn't as bad as I thought, we actually made it in and out in 1 hour. The parking was horrendous! Now we're home hanging out until it's time to go to Grandma's house. Normally we have a Christmas Eve party, but this year too many people couldn't make it. So, we're just waiting, waiting, waiting... The kids are bored and keyed up, especially Hayden. He's the last one to "believe", so it's gonna be a long night. The older they get, the longer they last. After my mom's we are having some friends over for snacks and cards. In the meantime, me and Hayden are gonna go and make cookies for Santa. Have a beautiful, magical holdiday.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

An Ogre of a Sore Throat

Well, I was right. We have strep throat. Or has Hayden would say it: we have Shrek throat. We went to Care Now where a sweet little doctor confirmed my diagnosis. I knew before we even went though. Too bad I can't write prescriptions. Our doctor was from North Duh-ko-tuh. Of course I asked, I'm nosey like that. She told us, "strep's highly contagious doant-cha know." She sounded exactly like Frances McDormand's character in Fargo. So cute. Afterwards we headed to Walgreens for our Amoxil and a camouflage Santa hat. I don't know about you, but a camouflage hat always makes me feel better. I was very tempted to swig Hayden's whole bottle of cold, bubble gum flavored liquid pleasure. I think I may have been hallucinating, but it seemed like just the thing to soothe my throat. I held off though. Instead we braved the mall traffic so we could get some soup at Chick-Fil-A. They have awesome chicken soup, just the thing when you are sick. We are finally home, in our pj's and medicated to the gills. We are watching Christmas movies under a big fat blanket. I am crossing my fingers that we are better by Christmas and that no one else gets sick.

Diagnose Us!

Me and Hayden are both feeling seriously under the weather. He is on the wait list at Care Now. I sure wish his pediatrician had a Saturday clinic. I am gonna see what his diagnosis is before I take action for me. I have an Amoxil prescription from when I had swimmer's ear this past summer. It's never been filled, but might be today. Anyway, I see no point in paying a ton of money for both of us to see the Dr. when I am pretty sure we have the dreaded strep throat! So, as soon as they swab his throat we'll know for sure. Here are our symptoms:

terrible throat pain, especially when swallowing
thickness in the throat (pus pockets maybe? gross, I know!)
some cough
low grade fever
chills
stuffy nose
nausea
just feeling blah and tired
no appetite
So, what do you think? Sounds like strep to me. I have never had it. Poor Chloe gets it almost every year, sometimes twice a year. I can now totally sympathize. This is awful! I can't believe my baby girl has had to endure this. Thankfully Jon is taking Hunter and Chloe Christmas shopping tonight and Chandler is at a friend's house spending the night. As soon as I get done at the clinic, Hayden and I are gonna go home and rest in peace and quiet. Somebody please tell me why I get sick EVERY year at Christmas? Could it be stress, shopping around all the other sickos, eating too much fudge and cookies instead of veggies? Who knows. But, I have "played Santa" sick ever since I have had kids. Laying out presents and stuffing stockings when you are dying is no fun. I sure I hope I feel better by Christmas Eve!

Christmas Tag!

Since I am sicker than a dog and have no desire to do anything that requires leaving the couch, I'll go ahead and post my 12 favorite things that get me in the Christmas spirit. Oh, by the way I was tagged by my little sister Kelli. So, here goes:

1) Hot chocolate!! I like to sample as many as possible. My current favorite is Starbucks peppermint hot cocoa.
2) Decorating!! I love to decorate anything I can get my hands on. My house is blinged out Christmas right now! My next house will have a guest bath, cause I am so gonna have Christmas decor in there too.
3. Driving around looking at lights. The good, the bad, and yes even the ugly.
4. Blue Bell Peppermint ice cream, YUM!
5. Cheesy Christmas movies, especially the ones on Lifetime or Hallmark channel.
6. Reminiscing about going to my Grandma's house when we were kids. Man I miss her, she had the coolest decorations: the lighted color wheel and the bubble Christmas lights. And the cheese ball covered in almonds.
7. Taking Christmas card pictures of the kids, and sending out cards. Love it!
8. Christmas music on 103.7FM
9. All of the cute little pictures and crafts the kids bring home from school.
10. That random knock on the door, that brings with it a plate of baked goods. You know, the neighbors, the folks from church wishing us a happy holiday.
11. Presents! Presents! Presents!
12. The magic in the air. The excitement I can see in the kids faces, the waiting and anticipation. Hoping for snow. The smell of Christmas trees, firewood, cookies, and yummy holiday candles. Christmas always reminds me of when I met Jon.
There you have it. I am now gonna go into a semi-comatose state on the couch and hope the kids don't burn down the house or something tragic. Oh yeah, I guess I am supposed to tag someone and I can't think of anyone. Erica, if you're reading, I am tagging you. Or anyone else who is interested...

Friday, December 21, 2007

Livid!

I have been running around like crazy trying to get my Christmas shopping started and finished in like 3 days. Last night I did the majority of it and have maybe one more trip to Target and I am finished. Well, I was out until after 1 in the morning yesterday and everyone was asleep when I came home. Except Hunter. So, while I ran things into my closet (to store in Jon's shop later) I had Hunter take the trash cans to the curb. I ran so fast and carried so many bags, I didn't think he knew where it all went. Fast forward to today, and I am feeling awful. I am getting the beginnings of an upper respiratory infection or strep. So, I decided that after going to bed at 3, coughing all night, and being exhausted from shopping that I would take a nap. I had gotten up at 8 to feed Hayden and we had worked in a couple of puzzle books, so I was ready for a snooze. Now, while I will nap when the kids are in school, I rarely if ever sleep when they are home. Unless Jon is here. But, they are aged 6 to 15, so I figured being 10 feet away from the living room and a light sleeper things would be ok. Boy was I wrong! Hunter and Chloe sneaked past me sleeping and went straight to my closet!! Thankfully I woke up before Hayden snuck in there as well. They proceeded to peek into every bag, and now know the majority of the presents that they are getting! They no longer believe in Santa (they discovered the "secret" last year), but Hayden does. I was so shaky from sleep that I flew up out of bed and went ballistic! I am sure the neighbors heard me yelling. I was so mad and VERY disappointed! I was so afraid Hayden had seen his Santa gifts. But after the third degree and getting Jon and me on the phone with both of them, we straightened things out. Hayden luckily did not see his gifts. I immediately banished them to their rooms, only to be allowed out to eat and use the restroom. I made them write a letter apologizing for their behavior. I also have them on chore duty. They have made beds, swept, passed out Christmas goodies to the neighbors, loaded trashcans, cleaned their rooms, and vacuumed. I am fixing to send them into the boys bathroom to clean. Which I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. I am seriously considering purchasing little black bags full of charcoal briquets to place under the tree for them. However, I am not that mean. I just wish they could be more patient. And not worry so much about presents. So, needless to say, my blood pressure has risen to the roof today.

Attention Crazy Shoppers...

relax!! The world is not gonna come to an end if you don't get that certain toy. They are gonna re-stock tonight while you sleep. Even if they don't put any out, it's gonna be ok. There is no need to panic. There is also no need to be rude. And hateful. It's also polite to say excuse me when you walk in front of me while I browse. Did it ever occur to you that stopping your basket all crooked like and acting like I'm not behind you is rude? Or walking like a snail and taking your sweet time when you can obviously see me waiting to go down that aisle. Or letting your kid ride on a toy in the middle of the aisle while you talk on your cellphone. I also have gifts to buy, I am also in a hurry, and on a budget. I have a family to get home to. I don't want to be out too late. Women out shopping alone get mugged. And while we're at it, why are you staring at me or looking in my buggy? Do I have Starbucks hot cocoa on my face? A booger? Or do you think I'm cute? At least smile at me. Is there something in my cart you want? Or are you just curious at what I'm buying? Are you trying to steal my wallet, my cell phone, WHAT? Just to let you know: I absolutely love Christmas and all that it's about, from the deepest spiritual meaning to the silly modern take on the holiday. So, don't ruin it for me. Remember the magic of it, the look on a child's face when they wake up on Christmas morning, the smell in the air, the cookies, the music, family and friends, and just freaking chill already.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Dear Santa, (from Mom)

A friend e-mailed this to me, I thought it was so cute!

Dear Santa,
I've been a good mom all year. I've fed, cleaned and cuddled my children on demand, visited the doctor's office more than my doctor, and sold sixty-two cases of candy bars to raise enough money to plant a shade tree on the school playground. I was hoping you could spread my list out over several Christmases, since I had to write this letter with my son's red crayon, on the back of a receipt in the laundry room between cycles, and who knows when I'll find anymore free time in the next 18 years.
Here are my Christmas wishes:

I'd like a pair of legs that don't ache (in any color, except purple, which I already have) and arms that don't hurt or flap in the breeze; but are strong enough to pull my screaming child out of the candy aisle in the grocery store.

I'd also like a waist, since I lost mine somewhere in the seventh month of my last pregnancy.

If you're hauling big ticket items this year I'd like fingerprint resistant windows and a radio that only plays adult music; a television that doesn't broadcast any programs containing talking animals; and a refrigerator with a secret compartment behind the crisper where I can hide to talk on the phone.

On the practical side, I could use a talking doll that says, "Yes, Mommy" to boost my parental confidence, along with two kids who don't fight and three pairs of jeans that will zip all the way up without the use of power tools.

I could also use a recording of Tibetan monks chanting "Don't eat in the living room" and "Take your hands off your brother," because my voice seems to be just out of my children's hearing range and can only be heard by the dog.

If it's too late to find any of these products, I'd settle for enough time to brush my teeth and comb my hair in the same morning, or the luxury of eating food warmer than room temperature without it being served in a Styrofoam container.

If you don't mind, I could also use a few Christmas miracles to brighten the holiday season. Would it be too much trouble to declare ketchup a vegetable? It will clear my conscience immensely.

It would be helpful if you could coerce my children to help around the house without demanding payment as if they were the bosses of an organized crime family.

Well, Santa, the buzzer on the dryer is ringing and my son saw my feet under the laundry room door. I think he wants his crayon back.

Have a safe trip and remember to leave your wet boots by the door and come in and dry off so you don't catch cold. Help yourself to cookies on the table but don't eat too many or leave crumbs on the carpet.

Yours Always, MOM

P.S. One more thing...you can cancel all my requests if you can keep my children young enough to believe in Santa for many years to come.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Can you say sugar high?

Today was Hayden's class party. What used to be a Christmas party when I was a kid is now called a holiday party. No Santa. No Jingle Bells. Snowflakes and Snowmen only. Some red and green. While I understand that school is much more diverse now and that there are children from all different cultures, I miss the traditional Christmas party. Once when I was in school, Santa paid a visit. We even used to have a sing-out. Where each grade level sang Christmas songs in the cafeteria, and tried their best to sing louder and out-do the other grade levels. Those days are long gone. The PTA and parents do try and make it as festive as possible. Thankfully Hayden and most other kids could care less. They care about two things: school's out for three whole weeks, and most importantly CANDY! I kid you not, I walked into his class at 8:05 and the kids were eating potato chips, donuts, and cookies! There was a big bowl of cut up fruit, but I only saw one kid eating any. They even decorated another cookie! I could have slept in and hooked Hayden up to an IV drip of soda, candy bars, and french fries and achieved the same result. They had fun though, the more sugar the better. I made him scrambled eggs for breakfast to try and offset the effects of all the junk I knew he would be offered. We are now home and it'a a little after 10 in the morning. Which reminds me, why have school anyway? He was there for 2.5 hours. While he had a blast and did make a couple of cute snowflake ornaments, we totally could have skipped today. Ok, not really. I am gonna pop in a movie and see if I can persuade him to nap with his mommy. Fat chance!
P.S. I have no pictures, since I was recruited to run one of the craft tables. Sorry! He was the cutest kid in the class, and he did have on a Christmas T-shirt just in case you were wondering!

Disappointing

I am sure if you read the news or go online, that you have read about Jamie Lynn Spears, you know, Britney's sister. If not, I'll fill you in. She is pregnant and she is only 16. While I have no room to talk (I became a mom at 18.), I am not a tv star. Chloe absolutely loves Zoey 101, which is the show Jamie Lynn is on. Being 10 years old, she doesn't know about the circumstances surrounding Chandler's birth. That is something we will discuss when she's older, if it comes up. I was totally bummed when Lindsay Lohan started to act like a fool, now this. Being a girl and her mother's daughter, I am sure this incident will be brought up during recess. One website even speculated if she will keep her job or not. I about choked on my glass of Coke. Seriously, if it were up to me she would have been fired ASAP! I understand that these things happen, and I don't want to be judgmental, but I am in a state of shock here. I just can't believe that a child star is having a baby! I can almost guarantee that more than one magazine will have a feature about her and the child when it's born. The nursery, her efforts at post-baby weight loss, if she's nursing or not. And, you know every member of the paparazzi is on bump-watch. How sad. I am just really bummed. I am already thinking of how I am gonna answer all of Chloe's questions. I am also thinking of a way to construct a bubble for Chloe to live in or at the very least, a giant shield. To protect her from this crazy world.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Kiddie Kandids

Since I got my new scanner/printer I steal little moments here and there to sort through my picture box. Box would be putting it lightly. It's Rubbermaid and could almost fit a VW bug in it. So, I have a huge task ahead of me- to get all the pics scanned, put on cd's, AND put in albums. Here are a few of my favorite pictures from childhood. And proof that I am a natural redhead, as if my eyebrows and eyelashes didn't give it away. me at a few months of age
me at around 1 year
me at around 9 years old

Monday, December 17, 2007

Red Rover, Red Rover, Can Santa Come Over?

Oh man, I am tired! I really need to start Christmas shopping today. I have, however stumbled upon a few roadblocks. The first and most easily remedied roadblock would be the fact that I am exhausted! For some really dumb reason, Jon and I stayed up way too late... Ok, get your minds out of the gutter. We were watching videos on Youtube. Seriously, I don't know what we were thinking. He had been reading on a BMX message board and there was a thread about people's favorite videos. So, we stayed up until 2:30 watching funny/crazy/silly/dumb videos! Are we nuts? We have 4 children who can't get ready for school by themselves for various reasons and boy is it ever a Monday around here! Anyway, a short nap should get me back in the Christmas spirit in no time. Poor Jon, I can promise you he will be snoring on the couch by 9:30 this evening. My second roadblock would be money or lack of. This year Christmas will be lean, and that is an understatement! We were still recovering from my appendix surgery, when Chan totally jacked up his leg, and then my fuel pump decided to die. So, I am gonna have to be very creative this year. Thankfully we aren't exchanging gifts among the adults this year, which helps alot. But, I am not ashamed to admit that I like getting presents. I will live however. I am also not doing my normal Christmas Eve shindig, which is sad but unavoidable. So, I am saving alot of money, but it will still be interesting. It has been hard to muster up any spirit. I really can't be all woe is me though, I know there are people out there who are suffering way more than we are. I am thankful that I have a wonderful family, 4 beautiful children, great friends, and a roof over my head! This year has really hit home to me what Christmas is all about and we have had alot of talk with the kids about it. But, if someone feels so inclined, and you bump into him, could you please send Santa my way? If not, an elf to make gifts would be nice. I would gladly welcome Mrs. Claus to help me bake alot of goodies, quick! Oh wait... I am Santa, and the elf, and Mrs. Claus... What's a girl to do?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Happy Birthday Sarah!

We seriously can't believe that you are THAT age! I won't put it on here just in case you are still in shock and having a hard time adjusting. Seriously though you look great, not a day over 21! We hope your birthday is amazing and that you get everything you wish for! Here's to many, many more Happy Birthdays! Thanks for being you, and for being a great sister, sister-in-law, aunt and most importantly a friend. We love you lots! Love, Jon, Ashley, and kids


P.S. Sarah in 1996

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Cold weather, warm cookies, and a lost art...

Today we have been so lazy. We all slept until 10, which was great. Other than that it's been all about staying warm and enjoying each others company. We read a couple of awesome books: Cajun Night Before Christmas and Texas Night Before Christmas. If you have never read either, you are missing out. They are so cute and follow the traditional story line but with Cajun and Texas "language". The kids got a kick out of them. We have baked cookies, colored Christmas pictures, and watched a little bit of TV. I did get all of my Christmas cards done, finally. Which took me about 3 hours off and on. I love doing cards and letters, anything that is actual mail and not email. I was once told by Jon's grandma that letter writing was a lost art and that she always looked forward to any mail that I would send her. I completely agree. I rarely if ever get paper mail from anyone, but I still try and send stuff out at least a couple of times a year. I absolutely love the whole process. Thinking of what to write, special paper, colored inks, stickers, ribbons, pictures, etc. I have even been known to stick confetti or candy in the envelopes. I send out Mother's day cards, Halloween cards, and Valentine cards to all of my friends. And then there is my Christmas card list which is getting longer every year. But, I truly enjoy doing it, and if I can brighten just one person's day, then it is worth it. I hope everyone is staying warm and enjoying their day. I will start and finish Christmas shopping next week, so today is my calm before the storm. Just wanted to check in and give ya'll an update on us. We are gonna head to Starbucks for hot chocolate, even though we are still in our pajamas! Have a great rest of the weekend!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Drivers Education: Ashley style

When I am backing up out of a parking space, just give me about 7.4 seconds and I'll get out of your way. Please be patient, I am always in a hurry too.

Please do not wait for my parking space. Especially when you see me struggling to put my groceries in my car in a downpour.

If I get to a 2 or 4 way stop before you, I am supposed to go first.

The more crap you pile in the back of your pick-up truck makes your blind spot that much more blind. And me more inclined to want to run you over.

If you see me speeding up on the entrance ramp, that means I want on the highway. Not that I want to race or collide with the guardrail.

If I am tailgating you in the fast lane, MOVE! You are in my way.

Sure rain can be scary at times, but it is okay to speed up a little.

If I am driving 70 miles per hour and you are driving 45 miles per hour, it's probably not a wise decision to pull in front of me.

The arrows in the parking lot of most major stores means to go that direction. They haven't held "opposite day" since I was in 5th grade. What planet are you from?

If I am being courteous enough to let you go ahead of me or if I let you walk in front of my car on your way into Wal-Mart at least wave thanks at me. It is an appreciated gesture.

And, last but not least, I drive a 4x4 Suburban and I will run you over. Or at the very least render your car un-driveable.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

FYI

The cost of a new fuel pump for a 2004 Z-71 Suburban is $723.89. Labor and 2 gallons of gas included. Those 2 gallons of gas will barely get you home from the auto repair shop, but they are a nice gesture nonetheless.

The place they put lost stuff...

Hayden: "Mommy guess what?"
Mommy: "What sweetheart?"
Hayden: "Today at school they almost put my lunchbox in the lost and fountain because I left it on the table."
Mommy: "They did?! In the lost and fountain?"
Hayden: "Yep, the lost and fountain. It's where they put the lost stuff."

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas Pics: the good, the bad, and the funny!

The last two nights we have taken pictures of the kids for our Christmas cards. Here are some of the funny ones. Enjoy! This is my third post today!!!








This is only a test, right?

Man, I had finally gotten into the Christmas spirit and today happened. Today was gonna be busy but productive for me, and then wouldn't you know it I have to go and be dramatic! I had dropped cookie dough and stockings at my parent's house and I was headed to deliver Kelli's cookie dough and then get a haircut, when my car decided to act up. After getting cash for my haircut out of the bank I skipped the gas station and headed up Pioneer Pkwy. in Grand Prairie, when my car started to chug a lug. All I could think was lo and behold driving on empty is finally coming to haunt me! I chugged my way (barely) into a restaurant parking lot and called my dad. He, along with several other nice men driving by and the guys at Grand Prairie Jiffy Lube helped pour in some gas (which didn't work). They all then pushed that giant monstrosity of a vehicle into a handicapped parking space. My dad then drove me to Kelli's to hang for a bit and to give her her cookie dough order. My car is now patiently awaiting a tow. Although I felt like a complete idiot at first and was super embarrassed for running out of gas, I feel a little better knowing it needs a fuel pump and it was not my fault. Christmas was already an issue because of Chan's surgery. Now, it looks like I'm getting a $500 fuel pump for Christmas this year. I wonder if I have a purse to match it? At least I got some cookie dough delivered. Although technically Kelli could have just driven here and picked it up herself, since she did drive me home. My hair still needs cut and I haven't had lunch yet, but oh well.

Happy Birthday Ginger!

You are an awesome mom, mom-in-law, nana, and friend. We love you bunches. We all hope you have a wonderful day! You deserve it. Eat lots of cake!
Love, Jon, Ashley, and kiddos!
P.S. for those of you reading, the above pic is Ginger with her mom Mabel and her stepfather J.B. The second picture was taken at our wedding. It is of Jon and his mom, one of my favorite pictures!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

They call it stormy weather

Man, could it have picked a different day to pour? Let me tell you it is not fun to load your car full of cookie dough in the pouring rain! And, can someone tell me why I have bought millions of umbrellas over the years and today all I could find was a Spongebob one and a broken pink one with rust stains on it? Hayden did have a blast though. They watched cartoons in the limo and he had pizza, brownies, and root beer for lunch. Super nutritious! I am now off to sort cookie dough orders and tonight is Christmas card pictures photo shoot. Should be a blast! I should have some funny outtakes to post tomorrow. However, you'll have to wait to get your card for the Official Photo. Have a warm and toasty evening, stay dry!

about to throw the computer against the wall...

My computer is acting nuts today. Then I accidentally deleted all of the limo pictures so I couldn't load them on Jon's laptop. The desktop that the kids use needs a new disc for internet, so I am having serious computer issues today. The limo pics below are all out of order but I did the best I could. The computer kept kicking me off of my blog before I could publish or save but after I had put all pics on. I had to re-do about 10 times. Thanks goodness I am alone, I have used several choice words at my computer today. Things I would never want my kids to hear their wholesome mommy to say. Ok, just had to vent to someone...

Lifestyles of the...

kids who sell a ton of cookie dough. Today Hayden and about 20 other kids got to ride in a limo to Cici's for lunch. Their reward for selling the most cookie dough. They were all so cute waiting patiently in the cafeteria for the limo to show up. It was 45 minutes late, but they didn't care. The minute it drove up the entire cafeteria went berzerk! All the kids were screaming LIMO, LIMO! I took as many pictures as I could, there was only one door on the side they weren't climbing in where I could take photos. I was competing with about 5 other moms. I finally stuck my big butt in and zoomed right in on Hayden's face. He was mesmerized, I am sure this is all he's gonna talk about, at least until Christmas when Santa comes




.



Monday, December 10, 2007

Girl meets Boy...

I am always a bit nostalgic on December 10th, it's the day Jon and I went on our first date. We went to Harrigans, remember that place? I dressed way up and he dressed way down. It was on this date that we found out we had the same birthday and on this date that we were both officially smitten! We talked for hours and were the last people left in the restaurant. We stayed a whole hour after closing time and never even noticed that they were sweeping and piling chairs up around us. We have been together ever since. I have included the first photo of us together. Taken at Jon's grandparent's house two weeks after our first date. This was my first time meeting his family as well. It was taken on Christmas Eve just as the clock struck midnight. Meeting Jon at such a beautiful time of year always makes me smile and makes me love the holidays that much more. I can remember our first date like it was yesterday, sigh...

Christmas memories...

I have been bugging Jon to get me a working printer forever. A scanner would have been a bonus. Especially after a few of my fellow bloggers posted photos from their childhood. Well, I finally got one! So, I am posting one of my favorite photos. It was taken at a church dance exactly one week before I met Jon in December 1994. Now that I finally have scanning abilities I just might post old photos all the time! Not really, but I am super excited! Enjoy!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Sunday small talk...

Well, the cold is finally here. While I love hot chocolate, soup, and a nice roaring fire, I sure wish I was in flip flops next to the pool! Today Jon took the boys to the BMX track to race. Crazy huh? The season ends in 1 week and the boys want to rack up as many points as possible. Plus, Hayden wanted to try one more time to hit intermediate. He DID it! We are so proud of him! To turn intermediate in 5 weeks of racing, in only 12 races is amazing! Hunter has been doing great as well. Unfortunately he is in a much more competitive group of boys. He is racing out of class each week, but is doing an awesome job of holding his own. He has a 1st place win, two 2nd place wins, and a 3rd place win. Things will now get rougher for Hayden as well. Moving up a class means he will now compete with kids who have been racing a long time. Anyway, while they were at the track Chloe and I headed to Target. I normally love Target, but today was awful. Remind me to never shop on a weekend during the day ever again. Sheer hell! It was so crowded that I gave up and came home. I'll go tomorrow when all the crazy people are at work! We did stop for a rare indulegence for me and a first time indulgence for Chloe: Starbucks. We got hot chocolates. Chloe was so cute, I think she felt very sophisticated and grown up with her Starbucks cup. The forbidden fruit! Even if we weren't Mormon, we would never drink coffee, blech! More power to those of you that can drink it. It is so not for me. I'm a hot chocolate kind of gal. Back in high school I used to go to Denny's with friends to study and we would order coffee. I would literally pour 5 creamers and about 10 sugars in and choke it down. I too thought I was cool or something. We were so funny today, we both wore white and we both spilled hot cocoa on our shirts! Dorks! My Chan enjoyed the quiet while we were all gone. He is currently re-reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy for the millionth time! He read it for the first time in 4th grade. Mr. Smarty Pants! Enjoy the rest of your Sunday. We are gonna make pizzas, light a fire, and work on Hayden's Christmas project for school. Til we meet again...

Early morning music

Usually I am lucky enough on the weekends in that the kids will let me sleep in. They are older now and with the exception of Hayden we all usually sleep until at least 9. Jon and Hayden will get up together around 7:30 and have eggs and watch cartoons or go outside and play. Well, we let Hayden sleep with us last night because of his crash. So, our bed was a little crowded and kinda noisy. And, no one is awake. Nope, no such luck. Either last nights drama or the cold weather has Jon and Hayden sleeping in a little. Normally I would be like "oh yeah, no noise, we're all sleeping in!" Today would be the exception to the rule. Because Jon and Hayden have been serenading me all night, snoring! It sounds a little like Christmas carols, but I'm not sure? Maybe Jingle Bells? They are definitely in sync. Kinda like when you sing in rounds. So, how can I be mad? It's not every day that you're husband and son sing to you in the form of a snore. I am however ready for the show to be over. I have over one whole hour left to sleep. Wish me luck!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Showdown at the BMX corral

Man, to say that I am peeved would be putting it mildly. Hayden has done so well at BMX that he is only one race away from the intermediate class. He is currently a novice. The classes are novice, intermediate, expert, and lastly pro. We were feeling confident that tonight would be the night that he advanced. They make a pretty big deal out of it when you advance. They stop the races and do a little ceremony and you get a certificate and everyone cheers. Huge deal for a kid. Tonight though things didn't go according to plan. Hayden looked amazing in practice, and we were all feeling pretty good. He was racing against 2 other kids we've never seen before, both 7 year olds. Since there were only 3 kids total they do 2 motos (a race where the top riders advance, so there would be at least 3 riders in the main event) and a main event. You stay with the same group of children through all of your motos and your main event. His first moto this one little boy, who was taller and way heavier than Hayden was very aggressive, and he and Hayden were handlebar to handlebar until the first turn where he crashed Hayden to the ground. Hayden got up with no problem and finished in 3rd. The second moto Hayden completely spanked aggressive boy and the other rider and easily took 1st. So, for the main event aggressive boy was literally almost out for blood after being beat in the second round. The minute they came off of the gate, he made a straight and deliberate shot almost face to face with Hayden. Hayden crashed so hard that his head banged the dirt and he flipped a few times. Very scary! The other boy took a minor spill, but got up quickly and finished. I have never seen Hayden soo upset and scared. He happened to crash right in front of us, maybe within 15 feet. It was absolutely terrifying. He did manage to get up and finish to thunderous applause. But, he was shaking so bad at the finish line that I was pretty worried. I carried him to the stands where we met up with Jon, who had just finished filing a grievance and cussing out aggressive kid's dad! Our biggest issue is that a 7 year old is more than likely taught to ride and cut people off that way. It is a well known fact in BMX that you need to be in front first to have a good shot at winning. And, it is even taught in clinics and workshops how to cut in front of people. That technique has gotten so out of hand that the rules will change as of January 1st. Anyone caught cutting people off before a certain point on the track will be disqualified. So, tonight the aggressive boy and his dad got a warning. But let me tell you that I have never seen a kid that young that aggressive and downright mean. Hayden is adamant that he will never race that kid again. Unfortunately there aren't many 6 year olds in Hayden's age class so he will almost always race older kids. I know it may sound as if I am an angry mom, and Jon a ticked off dad, but so many people had our backs tonight. They came up to us to inquire about Hayden and express their displeasure at the other little boy's aggression and cheap tactics. I was so grateful for the support of the other people at the track tonight. I don't think I have ever seen Jon so mad. He is not a confrontational person at all and he was seething tonight. Hayden is ok. His head is fine, he does however have a goose-egg on his elbow and one on his shin. We took him to I-Hop for chocolate chip pancakes with bacon, his choice. He is now crashed. I might need a Valium though. This sport is scary. Especially when your baby is out there, one of the littlest kids on the track. He will have 2 more attempts to advance to intermediate before the season ends December 15th, and I am not so sure I can watch. I know he has the skills to be great at this, but I am still scared.

Booger eating moron

I realize some of you may have seen this, it's old news. But Jon told me about this and I was in complete disbelief. You have to see it to believe it... Not for the faint of heart, BEWARE!

Bling Bling


Here are the results of one month of local racing. Hayden (and now Hunter) have been racing for a month and have done really well. The big points and trophies come at national events, but these ain't too shabby! The kids have a choice of trophy or stamps which are like Greenstamps. I barely remember them, but you essentially fill a card with these stamps and a full card is like cash. Which can be used at bike shops and tracks for merchandise (1st place is three stamps, 2nd two stamps, etc). I think that the trophy has been a fun novelty, especially for Hayden. So, it may be hard to get him to choose stamps! This has been really fun. Our entire family is obsessed! Starting Monday (if the weather allows) we are all gonna start doing sprints. Which is riding your bike for 1/4 of a mile, pedaling the entire way. By the way they are super HARD! Jon, with the legs of steel from soccer, even gets tired. Obviously Chan can't do them just yet, but we'll have him doing them in no time! Should be an interesting sight to see! When the new season starts (New Years Day) we will be traveling to Austin to race at a new track and to visit Aunt Amy and Uncle Jesse. We are all super excited. I have been promising Amy and Jesse we would come to Austin forever, so guys get your guest room ready!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Sad news story of the day

So, I don't normally post so many news stories, but this one really touched me.

Odd news story of the day

I just choked on my peppermint ice cream. Read this

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Now that's one BIG reindeer!

As promised I am posting pictures of my Suburban dressed up for the holidays! I am leaving to get Chandler, Hunter, and Chloe in about 10 minutes. I will let ya'll know their reactions, if I can get them into the car that is... Ok, so me and Hayden drove to the school and giggled like hyenas the whole way. Hayden couldn't stop laughing. We got stared at, alot! When we got to their school, Chloe did a double take but was fine with it and got in the car, no problem. Hunter on the other hand, almost lost it. He also did a double take, but shook his head as if to say, "no way lady!" So, I did one little tap on the horn and he finally came. He sat in the back seat and ducked down. Of course we got stuck at the light right next to all of his friends. Then Hayden rolled the window down, and the antlers fell on the ground! I thought Hunter was gonna lose his mind! His friends were cracking up! Especially after I made him get out and pick them up. We caused quite a scene, as we missed the light. Pretty funny, I was completely tickled by it. Unfortunately, Chan rode home in the truck since he was not yet ready to be picked up when I was out in the giant Reindeer on wheels. There's always tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A to Z tag...

So I got tagged again. This time from A to Z. Here goes:
A- Attached or single: Attached
B- Best Friends: Hubby, Val, Erin, Mia, Nona
C- Cake or Pie: Butter yellow cake with chocolate frosting
D- Day of choice: Sunday, the one day we're all home
E- Essential Item: contacts, Coca Cola, cell phone, make-up (I couldn't choose one)
F- Favorite Color: pink, green, black, chocolate brown (again I couldn't choose one)
G- Gummi Bears or Worms: worms, I like to stretch them out with my teeth...
H- Hometown: where I'm from? Grand Prairie (or Crime Prairie, whichever)
I- Indulgence(s): bubble baths with a magazine, chocolate chip Blue Bell ice cream
J- January or July: both, I have kids with birthdays in both, and I have an awesome July 4th party every year!
K- Kids: four, 3 boys: Chandler 15, Hunter 11, and Hayden 6. 1 girl: Chloe 10
L- Life is Incomplete Without: My husband and kids, friends, good food!
M- Marriage Date: May 11th, 1996
N- Number of Siblings: I am #7 of 9 kids
O- Oranges or Apples: Granny Smith apples, yum!
P- Phobias or Fears: something/anything bad happening to my kids, bees, vomiting
Q- Quotes: My quote I use often: you have got to be kidding me! (I couldn't think of anything else, but is that even a quote?) or Life's not fair (always when talking to the kiddos)
R- Reason To Smile: my hubby and kids, shopping, new shoes, cheesy Christmas movies (one of my fave things about Christmas)
S- Season: I honestly love all of them for different reasons. Except too hot or too cold days. Or overcast days.
T- Tag Three: Cristina, Vanessa, Sarah Baugh (you can start your blog now!)
U- Unknown Fact About Me: I don't think there is one... I tell everyone everything!
W- Worst Habit: taking too many naps, over-eating and over-spending, picking my cuticles
X- X-Rays or Ultrasounds: Ultrasounds, but only if i'm looking at a baby!
Y- Your Favorite Food: Coca Cola, chocolate chip cookies, cheeseburgers, Mexican food, steak, guacamole, queso... ok I'll stop now
Z- Zodiac: Pisces
So, do ya'll feel enlightened? And whoever made this A to Z tag thing up, why no V? Huh?

Oh Christmas Trees, Oh Christmas Trees

I am halfway done with our trees this year. I have the kids bedroom trees to put up. Here the first three are in all their glory:

So, now I'm noticing (after I posted these), that the kids have been messing with the tree in our "movie room". I need to fix some things, the popcorn string and tickets are crooked. But, you get a general idea!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Chili Blanco

About a year ago at Chili's they had a white chili on the menu. To say it was delicious would be an understatement. Well, much to my dismay they have removed it from their menu. Tonight I tried to duplicate it, by tweaking to our taste a recipe I found online. Not totally the same, but still yummy! I was very proud of myself. Here for all to enjoy is my latest "culinary creation" :
1 onion chopped
2 tbsp. oil
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 & 1/2 tsp. oregano
small can of green chiles
1 & 1/2 cans chicken broth
3 packages of pre-cooked and seasoned chicken fajita strips (I found at Wal-Mart)
3 cans Great Northern beans
1 can cannellini beans
1 can navy beans
2 cans light red kidney beans
Saute onion, spices, and chicken breast strips in 2 tbsp. oil
Then add in chicken broth, chiles and beans. Simmer on medium heat to a low boil. Reduce heat to low until ready to serve. We had ours with shredded cheese, tortillas, and avocado slices. The boys had theirs with fritos.

Ho, Ho, Ho and a bottle of Coke...

that's shaped like an ornament! Chloe and I found these cute little bottles of Coke at Wal-Mart this weekend. And being the Coke connoisseur that I am, of course I had to get one and try it out. I approve! Same great taste, awesome little bottle. It has that 20 oz. feel but with a smaller amount of soda. Which is better on the waistline. I give it a thumbs up! Happy Holidays indeed! You think I could fit some on my tree? Or would they make it fall over? Hmmmm.....

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Cutest thing ever...

So I regularly read a blog called Dooce. Funny stuff, check it out. Anyway she linked another interesting blog on her site, it's called The Daily Coyote. So freaking cute and amazing at the same time. It's all about a girl who is raising a real life coyote whose mom and dad died. Just until he's old enough to go off on his own... Anyway give it a look, the pics alone are AMAZING! I am already hooked!

Party!

Today was Hayden's birthday party. We headed to Planet Golf in Alvarado. Cute place. Glow in the dark golf. The kids had fun. I was a little disappointed that more of the kids we invited didn't come. We had a decent turnout though and the kids enjoyed it. Unfortunately most of the pictures didn't turn out very well. One downfall of being in the dark was that picture taking wasn't the best. Here are a few pics of the birthday boy. Enjoy!



Friday, November 30, 2007

Speechless

I have absolutely nothing to say this week. For all of my 11 loyal readers, I apologize. I have just been really busy taking care of Chandler, planning Hayden's party, unpacking, cleaning, and decorating for Christmas. Things have been crazy! Tomorrow is Hayden's party and Chandler goes back to school on Monday. I can't wait for both to occur. Love my kiddos to death, but I need a break. And it comes in the form of a public school education Monday thru Friday from 7:35 til 4. Then I can get busy Christmas shopping and baking! But come Monday morning I just might take a nap, get a pedicure, go to lunch, and read a magazine in the tub. Maybe...

Invasion of the booty snatcher...

Today, Hayden and I ventured to Chandler's school to pick up homework. When we were leaving Hayden ran in front of me outside of the school and yelled "Mom, you can't touch my butt!" And he said this in a way that sounded like I touch his butt all the time. In front of about 20 kids. Those kids got real quiet, real fast. I did the only thing I could think of: walk as fast as possible with my head down.
P.S. I knew what he meant, to not smack his booty when he ran in front of me. But nonetheless very embarrassing...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Good friends...

I am so thankful that I have been blessed with such amazing friends. I have met some of my dearest friends since we moved here. Sure I had plenty of friends before who are very near and dear to me and always will be, but I have met some in the last 3 years that I know will be lifelong friends as well. They go above and beyond normal friendship. I mean who else would fax an important paper because you are out of town and need that paper, NOW? Who else would pick up your child from school and let them have an impromptu play date because you need to finish running errands? Who else loans you crutches, Cascade, suitcases, etc, etc? Who would sit with you in the ER when your appendix is about to burst? I love that the friends we have met here, will come for dinner on a school night, or hang out playing board games until the wee hours of the morning. The guys get along great, the kids can't get enough of each other, and the girls get along even better. I constantly have a shopping partner or someone to listen to me vent. Last year we even shared Christmas dinner with Erin and her family. Many a friend has bailed Jon out when he ran out of gas, in the convertible, with the kids, in the middle of a busy street! The friends we have made here are definitely heaven sent and mean the world to Jon and I. So this post is in honor of friends! Thanks for being there when we needed it most, and when we just needed to unwind after a long crazy week. Or just because. We truly treasure all of ya'll. It is my hope that we have been as good of a lender, shoulder to lean on, there for you just because, make you laugh or smile, had the answer or advice you needed kind of friend that you have been for us. Thanks again...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Surgery

Tomorrow morning Chandler will be arriving at the hospital for his ankle surgery. Keep him in your prayers. I will update ya'll on his progress and recuperation. *update* Chan is home and doing fine! He is in some pain, but not too bad. He will be home from school for the rest of the week. On Monday it'll be back to normal, hopefully! Aside from one incident: he got lightheaded and fell out of bed... today has been smooth. Long and tiring, but smooth

Happy Birthday Hayden!

Dear Hayden,
I am so glad that you chose me to be your mommy. You are such a sweet little boy. You make your family so happy, we all love you so much. I hope that you are having a great day. I bet you can't wait for your party on Saturday! I am so proud of you! I am having so much fun watching you grow up. You are one cool kid and you are such a fast BMX racer! I am going to go start making your special chicken and mashed potatoes birthday dinner, with chocolate chip cookie bars and ice cream for dessert! More presents and cake are coming Saturday. Yeehaw! I love you buddy! Happy Happy Birthday Hayden!
Love, Mommy


Saturday, November 24, 2007

progress...

Hayden placed 4th in his first round. He has two more chances to get a 1st place finish. His second try is in 2 1/2 hours and 3rd try will be tomorrow. If he can get a 1st place finish in either of those 2 rounds he will race in the mains tomorrow. I won't be able to post again until we get home. Unless he takes the top prize, then I'll find a way to get it posted!!! See ya'll soon! Miss you Chan.
*update* unfortunately Hayden was unable to make the main event. He got 3rd place in rounds 1 and 2. He was very sad that he didn't win the 4 foot tall 1st place trophy, and even sadder to leave our hotel and Oklahoma. He asked if we could live there, too funny. We had so much fun! Hayden worked his little tail off and pedaled his heart out! We are so proud of him! We bought him a cool trophy before we left town (just in case) which we gave to him afterwards. To congratulate his hard work and have a memory of the event! When he's older he'll probably figure it out, but oh well.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Live feeds

Tomorrow's races are going to be shown online. Hayden will be racing sometime between 9 and 11. I believe it will be in the 10:30 a.m. range. I am posting the link now, as I will not have internet access or even the laptop at the racing facility. Try and check back often if you can and maybe you can see him race! I will keep you posted on his progress. There is a chance you'll be able to see him race more than once online. I will call those of you whose numbers I have when he is within 15 minutes of racing. It would be cool if at least 1 person besides us could see him. We are so excited!!! Good night all...

Waiting... (WARNING, long post ahead)

Hi! Long time no post! So, I guess I'll start where I left off. Our first night was absolutely miserable. Small room, next to the Interstate, and the airport, on one of the busiest flying days of the year. I had no idea THAT MANY people flew the redeye into Oklahoma! Plus Hunter turned the heat on high! And our pillows were more like pillow substitutes! The next morning we headed to the expo and like a bunch of zombies watched Hayden practice. After that the boys rode their bikes on "the hill" with about a million other kids while we walked around. The hill is the long ramp for wheelchairs, golf carts, bikes, etc. for people or things who can't take stairs. Definitely a popular place to hang out. I can't even begin to describe the atmosphere at the expo, it is AWESOME! Vendors everywhere, tons of people, no 2 bikes are alike, and the ultimate is the indoor track. So cool! I hope the boys want to keep doing this, because Jon and I already want to come back! If not, I may have start training to race myself, soon! So, after that we drug the boys and Chloe back to the truck and went on a two hour trek for a new hotel. We finally bit the bullet and upgraded to a suite. And it is awesome. We were in a room with 2 double beds and a tiny bathroom. Add in 5 people, 2 bikes, an ice chest, a rubbermaid tub full of food, and a ton of miscellaneous and you get the picture. Poor Chan would have been miserable. Hunter's air bed sprung a leak so he ended up with the upper half of his body on the floor. It was time to move on. So we are now in a 2 room suite. Where there's a living area with table and chairs, fold out sofa, bar, frig, and microwave. Then a huge bathroom, dressing area, and 2 more beds. Plenty of room to spread out. I may have to donate plasma to pay for it, but we all agree it was necessary. We hung out in our room, and then went and watched the pros practice last night. Afterwards, we found out we had missed the Thanksgiving potluck that was thrown by other Ft. Worth families. We couldn't find anyone we knew! So at 6:30 we went to dinner at IHOP. Yummy, eggs and pancakes for Thanksgiving! It was quiet when we got there and filled up quick. Lots of other people from the track were there and tons of other people as well. So, after our first decent night of sleep we are gonna go sightsee a little before the pros do their exhibition tonight. Tomorrow is Hayden's big day! We are a little nervous, as he has not done so well on his practices. He would rather ride his bike on the hill! Anywho, I will try and post again tomorrow. The one downfall of this hotel is the internet isn't free. Which is unbelievable, especially considering the price. I may have to find a McDonalds with free Wi-Fi. We'll see... We miss ya'll, especially Chan. I can't wait to give him a big ole bear hug. I will post some photos later. I left my camera charger at home and have only a little battery left. So I am saving it for the big stuff! See ya'll soon!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

We made it!

We are in Oklahoma and it's 12:54 am. Long boring drive. Nothing to look at since it was dark all the way here. Our hotel room is teeny tiny. I am putting a bug in Jon's ear to let us move. We'll see... I am sooo missing Chandler. I have never been away from him like this before. Plus, it's turkey day. I feel bad that I won't be able to celebrate with my Chan-man and the rest of my family. We are with them in spirit. I will keep everyone updated on things here. Ya'll keep an eye on Chandler you here? It was definitely hard to leave him there and I bawled like a baby off and on the whole time we were in the car today. I am so gonna be the mom whose kids live with them when they are grown... Ha Ha! Wish Hayden luck as he races in the biggest BMX race of the year! Tomorrow is practice day and after that are qualifying rounds, hopefully he makes it to the mains. When we find out his race times I will post a link to the website for live feeds of the races. Have an awesome Thanksgiving! Hugs to all!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Can't even think of a good title....

I don't even know where to start. I am sure that those of you who read this regularly know about me and my family, the drama, the stress, and the many different and mixed emotions that I experience. You've read about my highs and lows and even heard me bitch a little. Shocking I know. I honestly think this week has been as rough as July of 97. Those of you who don't about 97, ask in comments and I shall reply. Let me start by mentioning two things and then I'll get on with this post. I have been feeling bad the last year about money, and how much my appendectomy cost. And, I am always hard on myself for not being more of a Supermom. So, it comes as no surprise that I am an emotional wreck the last 2 days. First, because we were going to do something totally uncharacteristic for us and go on a trip for Thanksgiving. Then Chandler hurt his foot. Thinking it was a sprain, we talked with my parents and decided it would be ok for him to recuperate there. I was already feeling weird about going, let alone leaving a child behind on a major holiday. I feel like a terrible mom for even considering going without my kid. Secondly after last night's news (surgery), the money issue has resurfaced. So, I am super stressed. I am worried about how we are gonna afford another surgery. I am afraid something might happen because we are leaving town. Afraid to leave Chan, almost afraid to go. Concerned he could take a turn for the worse. The traveling is freaking me out. Thanksgiving is a notoriously bad time to travel. I do not know what to do. I have arranged for him to spend a few days at my parents and then have my sister Kelli and her family watch him and my house the remainder of the week. But then my mom asks me if something bad happens, what do I want for Chandler? His care, his future? So not the thing to say! I love you mom, but now I am probably the most nervous I have ever been. No one wants to face a question like that. Let alone if something did happen. Then to top it all off, I am worried about stuff. Like possessions, clothes, Christmas, etc. I am a shopper. A serious shopper. I spend way too much. Chloe gets a major new wardrobe when the styles or seasons change. I spend a ton of money on make-up and clothes for me. Then add in the boys, the new BMX gear, eating out, craft supplies, home decorating, the list goes on and on. I have known for quite some time that my spending is out of hand. I guess I did need a wake-up call. I am just sorry Chandler has had to get hurt for me to realize it. Now would be a good time to stress even more the true meaning of Christmas. Poor Hayden, I am not sure he'll 100% understand. I need some serious advice. I am going over every worse case scenario. I swear my stomach has become one giant ulcer since last night. Help me! Do I stay or go? Do I take Chan with us? Do I have him spend the whole week at mom's? And, do I play the lottery or bingo? Or do I just go on to Vegas after Oklahoma? Are any of ya'll lucky? Maybe you can pick me some lotto numbers. Seriously though, any words of advice? Intuition? Gut feelings? I take all suggestions seriously. I have until 3:30 tomorrow afternoon.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Gives new meaning to the term Thanksgiving break...

Well, Chan did something I thought Hunter would have done first, he broke his leg. The fibula to be exact. And not only did he break his leg, he tore just about every ligament in his ankle. So he is in a cast and he will be having surgery next week, to have screws put in his ankle. As far as I know we are going to try and go to Tulsa still, while Chan stays with my parents. We'll see how things go the next day and a half. We spent a total of ten combined hours at Carenow, the ER, and traveling. And can I just say that there are some weird ass people in the ER at night? I have seen and heard it all. The lady across the hall snored worse than Jon ever has. The man next to me wouldn't stop burping. I guess the lady in the corner didn't want to feel left out, so she farted about a hundred times! I am so glad to be home. We were starving and I swear we caught SARS, bird flu, staph, and probably hepatitis just to name a few. Gross! There's no place like home. Even if it's still half cleaned! P.S. if you haven't yet, you should watch this video...

Monday, November 19, 2007

Tag!

Ok, so I got blog-tagged the other day. Which means I am to tell you 6 unknown things about me. I have racked my brain thinking of things so here goes:

**My nickname is Rat. I have been called that for as long as I have been alive. I know my family is thinking "that's not unknown!" But, I am not sure if they know why I am called that? How it started, where it came from? And, I can't stand when anyone other than my dad calls me that. I let it slide when my mom says it, but no one else, understood?
**I absolutely love to read! It is hands down my favorite thing to do (except family of course!) I would love to be trapped in a library or bookstore. If I am in the middle of a good book, you can forget about getting me to do anything. I will not eat, drink, shower, or brush my teeth. I will sit or lie in various comfortable places in the house and read, read, read. I will stop and tend to the kids, reluctantly. I have been known to head to Barnes and Noble at 5 til 11 and run in for a book, because like a fellow blogger, I love new books.I literally feel rich because I own a lot of books, and dream of a library or study in my next house.
**In middle and high school I wanted to be a cheerleader, BAD! I totally didn't have the look, shaved hair and piercings do not a cheerleader make. But, I had the skills. I knew however that the cost was way too much for my parent's and I was a big ole chicken. To this day I regret not just doing it. If I ever drop a ton of weight, I am so taking an adult gymnastics class. And I will so cheer. In my bathroom when no one's home!
**I hate to clean but I love to clean. It is therapeutic. And my house looks pretty darn nice when it's clean. But, there are days (reading a good book) when I don't lift a finger. And if my own mom popped in on me I probably wouldn't let her in. I'm talking it gets nasty! So, I keep it that way until 5:30, and then I start working, hard! At that point I have 1 hour to turbo clean and start dinner before Jon walks in the door. The goal is to make it look like I slaved away in the house all day. Soft lamplight and candles work wonders.
**I want to be an interior designer or nurse when I grow up. I still have this goal in the back of my mind. I have wanted to do one or both of those for as long as I can remember. But, I am scared. Don't be surprised if I start school again one day. As I get older and life changes each day on a dime and things don't go as I planned, I daydream about it more and more. I loooove to decorate and I like to pretend I am Florence Nightingale in modern form. So check back often. You may see a first day of school post, all about me. Hmmmm....
**I am probably the nosiest person on earth. I am the one who drives slowly down the street at night when people still have their blinds open. I can scan a room in 15 seconds flat. I ask every kid who steps foot in my car or house: what do your parents do? How old are they? And various other questions. It drives my kids crazy. I have been called weird more than once, by many kids. I like to think I'm informed. You should see me in public. I will talk to anyone. I won't shut up. And by the time I am done I will know everything there is to know about that total stranger next to me and then some.
Ok, so there are my 6 things. I hope you feel so close to me now. Ok not really. But, as I was typing this. I thought of one more: I totally wish I could have lived in the 1800's. Crazy huh? And, I have no one to tag. Unless my sister in law Sarah wants to start her blog?? Or anyone else who reads this and isn't a blogger, please remember your gal Ashley. I think a blog-tag-post would make a lovely start to your very own blog.

The downfall of Chandler

I was "lucky" enough to get actual video footage of Chan's incident...

Saturday, November 17, 2007

bummer...

Poor Chan-Man has messed up his ankle. During Thanksgiving break no less. We are watching the swelling closely and dosing him up with Vicodin leftover from his surgery this summer. If things don't look better by morning we are going to head to Care-Now for x-rays. I am hoping it's just a sprain, so he can go to Tulsa with us. If it's broken he will probably stay with my parents. Which I have mixed feelings about. I know he will be well taken care of, but I don't like being away from my children, ever. Especially on a major holiday while the rest of us are in another state. Keep your fingers crossed...

Scent of a Woman

So I am sitting at my desk surfing the net, procrastinating about chores... Along comes Hunter. He tells me his feet feel dry and do I have any lotion. I send him into my bathroom linen closet, which contains about 25 different types of body lotion. He's digging around and then it gets really quiet. So I ask him what he's doing. "I'm putting on the lotion, mom." And then he walks out of the bathroom, smelling very perfumey. It's then that I realize, of all the lotions he could have picked, he chose a heavily perfumed one. CK One Summer, by Calvin Klein. Now he smells like a lovely blend of starfruit, golden kiwi, citron tonic, and lily of the valley. Or in other words, a woman.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Some people...

have been offended and shocked by things I have posted. And to those people I apologize. Not for being me and not for my sense of humor. But I am sorry these "people" are not more open minded. If these people had bothered to get to know me better in all of the 33 years I have been alive, they would know me and my personality. I personally love my blog and find it charming and witty. Sure there are things that might embarrass the person they are written about a tiny bit. I obviously never meant to hurt anyones feelings or embarrass them. If I ever did, I would certainly remove the offending post. It is the year 2007 and things are not the way they were in the 40's and 50's let alone even 10 years ago. I post things that are relevant, humorous, silly, cute, and dear to me. I did not start this blog to be prim and proper and polite. I did it as a project to keep me occupied and share my family and friends with others, who don't see us as often. I am so tired of apologizing for who I am. I am not going to pretend to be someone I am not. I am an adult, sure I may not have as much wisdom and class as someone who has lived a much longer life than me. But, I am me take me as I am and if you are annoyed or offended or find this blog tacky, go read something else. Maybe Dear Abby, Heloise, or Miss Manners.

Dear Santa,

I know it's early and not quite Thanksgiving. But, I am gonna be super busy in the next week getting ready for Tulsa and I wanted to get my list ready. Especially since the sales are starting next Friday. Some cost nothing. Some things I know you can't afford, but I have been kinda good this year, so please keep that in mind. Here goes...
This year I wish for:
my cheekbones to show again (and other body parts to shrink, except my boobs)
the boys to flush the toilet
$25,000 to cover my appendix surgery and various other debts
a trip to Hawaii for me and Jon (we've never gone on a trip together!)
a helper who cooks, cleans, does laundry, and checks homework to come visit each day from 9 til 9, always ready to lend a hand
a family trip to Utah so I can see my brothers and sister and the kids can meet their cousins
the willpower to do 30 minutes of cardio 5 days per week
a coupon for Zoom tooth whitening
the courage to get me and the kids back to church EVERY Sunday
for Jon to stop snoring
for time to go a little slower, the kids are growing up way too fast
no more stomach bugs or other illnesses for that matter
and last but not least a happy healthy family and good friends, for 2008 and all the years to come
Love, Ashley
P.S. If some of these seem impractical or are out of your budget, I will also accept shoes, purses, perfume, makeup, movie theatre and restaurant gift cards, and free babysitting...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Dessert

Jon and the younger boys went to a BMX clinic tonight. So, Chloe caught up on homework, while I cleaned, and Chan played guitar. Pretty much a quiet evening. Finally being cold enough for it (after a few weeks of warmth) we once again busted out our Coco-motion hot chocolate maker. Thanks Sarah, we still love it! We then proceeded to make 1000 calorie cups of hot cocoa. Not really, but close. So yummy! And so warm. Here are a few pics: