Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Out of the Mouths of Babes--August

8/4--Whit tried a new flavor of slush during happy hour at Sonic:  Blue Coconut.  When I asked her how it was she said, "It makes me do the taste bud dance!"

Go taste buds.  Go taste buds.

8/5--As we were driving through all the beautiful rock formations in southern Utah, we looked for shapes in the rocks. 

 We founds formations that looked like a turtle, a submarine, and a snake.
(Not all at the same time.)

Then we passed this:
Whitney said, "That one looks like a windmill!"
Because it was.

8/15--Andrew and the kids were playing "Skipping Lady" upstairs.  Whitney didn't want the boys touching her Polly Pockets.  She told them, "No one with grubby sensibilities can touch them."  What has she been watching lately?

8/16--We went out for lunch today and were talking about school starting.  We were debating about college start dates--whether or not they started before elementary school.  Out of nowhere Caroline chimed in with, "I hate college."  Wha???

They LOOK like kids who would appreciate college.

8/20--We ate s'mores at the ward campout tonight.  Caroline calls them candy, graham crackers, and "smashmellows."  Love it.

8/24--At the science center today, one of the wallabies was being very friendly.
B said, "How many nine-year-olds can say they touched a wallaby today?"

 8/25--While Whit was packing her lunch this morning, "I wish I had three hands.  I need one to hold the top of the baggie, one to hold the bottom of it, and the third one to pour in the animal crackers."  I guess she could just ask for help.

8/29--I made hush puppies with dinner tonight.  It was a first for me.  Another step toward becoming official Southerners.  Caroline took a bite, scrunched her nose, and said, "Tastes poison."

 NOT doing the taste bud dance.

8/29--Care Bear has been ultra-affectionate lately and we are eating it up.  Tonight she walked up to me, gave me a BIG hug around my leg and said, "I love your knees!"

 And I love your knees, too, sweetheart.

8/31--While shopping today, Caroline got SO excited to see this:

"Mommy, it's paper towels!  For doggies!"

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The new Fourth and First Graders

I loved the first day of school when I was a kid.  I remember it was hard to fall asleep the night before.  Kinda like Christmas Eve. 

I'm so happy my kids were just as excited to start their school year. 

Brandon started fourth grade.
I moved to Winslow when I was his age.
It was a pivotal year for me.
I remember  A LOT from that time and am still good friends with some of my classmates.  
Strange for me to picture B as a fourth grader.

Anyway, he is very excited about his teacher, Mrs. Rodgers.  However, due to some health problems with her husband, she is not starting the year out with the kids.  He has a sub that he is not so excited about.  I'm hoping the time will pass quickly and Mr. Rodgers will have improved health soon.  Very soon.

One of his best friends, Cole, from third grade is in his class, as are a few friends from previous years.  He thinks it is pretty cool that he will switch classes for Math and Science.  And he is very excited to continue working on Successmaker, a computer program that can help you advance in Math and Reading skills.  His favorite parts of the day are his specials:  PE, Music, and Computer Lab.

Miss Whitney started first grade.

She LOVES her teacher, Mrs. Garrison, who taught one of her reading groups last year.  She is already making new friends, Chase and Pita.  She also loves running into kindergarten classmates in the hall and on the playground.  She is looking forward to learning subtraction.  Lunch is her favorite part of the day.

There is just one family member who is NOT happy about school starting.
Caroline bawled when B and W left for the day.
She just knew she was missing out on something good.
Our morning bike rides have helped ease her sadness.
But you should see the smile on her face
when she wakes up from her afternoon naps
to find that they are home.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Our Road Trip Playlist

One of our road trip traditions is for me to burn a CD of fun songs that I think we'll all enjoy on the drive.  I start listening for songs as soon as we get home and buy one or two each month for the next year.  I also let each kid choose a song.  This year's CD was my favorite so far.  Here's the list:

Replay by Iyaz
I'm a Gummy Bear by Gummibar (Caroline's favorite and she continues to ask for it every day.)
Fireflies by Owl City
One Time by Justin Bieber (Whitney's pick)
Rockin' Robin by Bobby Day
Party in the USA by Miley Cyrus
Follow Me Down by 3OH!3
Barking at the Moon by Jenny Lewis
Already Gone by Kelly Clarkson
The Hard-Knock Life from Annie soundtrack
Cells by They Might Be Giants
Time On Your Side by Emily Jane White
Daddy-o by Frances England
I Don't Want To Live On the Moon by Ernie and Shawn Colvin
Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond
Fire Burning by Sean Kingston (Brandon's pick)
Falling by Iration

We also listened to some fun audio books.  I got a whole bunch off ebay.  Too many--we didn't even get through them all.  Whit's favorites were from The Magic Treehouse series.  Brandon liked Alice in Wonderland.  I preferred The Secret Garden. 

Major props to my kids who were AMAZING travelers.  Even though I was SO ready to be done by the end, I think those munchkins could have just kept on driving.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Last Leg: Weatherford, TX to Home Sweet Home

We made the short drive to Weatherford to spend a day with Aunt Irene and Uncle Bill.  Irene took us to the Lido Fun Center.  I can't help but think of our cruise every time I say that name.  It was like Chuck E. Cheese.  On steroids. 
They have a pizza buffet.
We ate twice.

Caroline was particularly fond of the slushies.

We loved mini bowling.

Whit continued to channel her inner cowgirl.
Even though I didn't buy her the boots.

W and I attempted to give each other whiplash on the bumper cars.

Brandon came even closer to getting injured on the go-karts.
I didn't know it was possible to wreck these.

Caroline won the safest driver award for the day.
This place was perfect for escaping the 109 degree heat.
Thanks so much, Aunt Irene!
Also while at her house,
the kids befriended the miniature donkeys

and ponies.
They grew attached quickly and were so sad to bid farewell
to Nick-Nick, Beauty, Summer, Scout, and Vanilla Wafer.

And Misty, one of my best girlfriends from elementary school, also
stopped by for a visit.  So good to see her and meet her cute little boy.

I was NOT excited about the last two days of driving.
I was ready to be done.
I longed for my own bed.
But I still had a thousand miles to drive.
So we drove.

Stopped in Shreveport again.
Sci-Port is a great place to stretch your legs and cool off.

B tried the bed of nails again.

Then we tried the space walk.
Whitney hates space.

We stopped at a crappy hotel in Meridian, Mississippi.
Made me want my own bed even more!

On our last day of driving, we stopped in Anniston, AL
at their natural history museum.
I kinda hurried the kids through.
We saw lots of taxidermied animals.

I thought these Egyptian sarcophagi were fascinating.

After having to drive through pouring rain and bumper-to-bumper traffic (in Tuscaloosa, AL of all places), we made it home!  It was SO good to see Andrew and to relax in our own space.  Next year we might have to make the road trip two days shorter so I don't burn out.  Or hire someone to drive me home from Texas.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Next up: Texas. Yee haw!

We tore ourselves away from those cute little babies and headed out for TX.  Grandma hadn't been home in almost four months.  (And I thought WE took long trips.)  We decided to let her sleep in her own bed for a couple of nights before heading out to NC.  Plus we wanted to visit with our San Saba relatives.

On the way...
We drove through more beautiful desert landscape.

Stopped at a very fun museum in Albuquerque

where the kids performed experiments with water

and air.

This nail table was my favorite.

Whitney lost her front tooth which had been loose since March.  (March!)  And had been flopping in the wind for the last few days.  She said it just popped out as we were driving.

We had a blast playing with our cousins in San Saba.
Making bunny ears with Abby and Alexis.

Eating yellow watermelon with Jenna and Jada.

Swimming with Josh.
We basically had the pool to ourselves.
So fun.

Also stopped at Harry's western wear store.
The sharp leather smell is nostalgic of all my
childhood visits to San Saba.
The kids decided they were fans of cowboy boots.

I see potential here.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Arizona, Yes I Did

The post title is the name of a song Brandon wrote when he was four.  Very catchy.  Maybe it will be famous one day.

Anyway, after ALL that fun in Utah, we said good-bye to grandmas and grandpas, aunts and uncles, siblings and siblings-in-law, and all those cousins.  We got back in the van and headed south to good ol' Winslow, AZ.

I have driven from UT to AZ at least thirty seven times.  But I always took the boring route down I-15.  This time, I took US 191 down through Moab.




It was a desert-and-rock-lover's dream come true.  It was so beautiful it was almost painful.  The red rocks were calling to me, "Come climb us!"

We listened.

 The kids loved the rocks as much as me.
Or maybe they were just happy to be out of the van.

Brandon is quite the little climber.

And Caroline held her own.
Even in flip-flops and a skirt.

I called Andrew and asked, "Um, why have we never been to Moab before?"  I think we need to plan another trip soon.  When we can stay longer than twenty minutes.

After we pulled ourselves away from the rocks, which continued calling to me but I learned to ignore them, we eventually made it to AZ.  It still feels like home to me.

The kids rode the jackrabbit.
Caroline asked to go back for the next several days.

And then we made it to Winslow!
Where we got to snuggle with these cuties:


and Gabriel.

Mark and Taylor are my new heroes.
Six-week-old twins are A LOT of work.

And they are also SOOOO sweet.
I wish I was cuddling with them right now.

We played tourists and went down to THE corner.
Brandon was off fishing with Uncle Mark.
Or hiking, depending on who you ask.

It's a girl.
In a flatbed Ford.

Grandma Cuca was also at Mark and Taylor's.
So we got to eat her YUMMY tortillas and beans.
And Modie's tamales.
Believe it or not, I only gained ONE pound on this trip.

It was SO good to meet our new little nephews/cousins.
And we even talked Grandma Cuca into joining us for the
rest of our road trip.  

How many great-grandmas can say they've
driven across the country with their great grandchildren?
We are blessed.