Sunday, June 29, 2008

Eastern Road Trip - Part I

Well we've been back from vacation for almost a month and still no posts about our trip.  I think the reason nothing is done is because the task seems to overwhelming.  Today I decided to break the trip up into smaller segments and post a little bit at a time.  This first post will cover the first two and a half days.

On Friday, the 23rd, we packed the van and started the first leg of our eastern road trip. It was a struggle to get out of the house as the kids were using all of their extra energy to try their parents patience. We finally got on the road about 5:30 pm, stopped at Dairy Queen for supper, and arrived at our first stop, a Holiday Inn Express in Newton Falls, Ohio, around 10:30 pm. The girls were still up, but Kade had fallen asleep about 15 minutes prior to arriving at the hotel. We checked in, found our room, and finally got the kids to settle down and go to sleep.

Saturday morning we woke up, had our free express breakfast, put our diving suits (Kade's word for bathing suits) on, and went for a morning swim in the pool. Megan seems to be learning how to swim, Mattey enjoyed floating around using two noodle floaties, and Kaden really got into jumping into the pool. We then headed back to the rode. After about 20 minutes Kelly realized she had forgotten her pillow. So it was back to the hotel. After getting the pillow and taking a bathroom break, we were back on our way to Virginia. We stopped at a rest stop in Pennsylvania. Megan thought it smelled terrible. I guess it did since there were about five different foods being made, coffee, and the bathroom right there, not to mention all the people inside. There were a lot of motorcycles parked outside. We guessed they were going to something for Memorial Day. We arrived at the Karren's house around 5:30. Abby and Emma (and Jack) were waiting for us. We were happy to be out of the van.

Welcome Sign

John and Michelle were gracious hosts and let us use their basement apartment for the week. If you have to stay in a basement that's the one to stay in. We had dinner on their deck and the kids loved being with each other.

More pictures from our first day in Virginia are available here.

Sunday Kelly made our favorite Cinnabon coffee cake to share with the Karrens. We went to church at 1:00. After church we came home to change and have an early dinner and then we went to the National Zoo in DC.

The Standifords & Karrens

The only animal that was still out was one elephant. She was quite entertaining. Then we stopped by the visitors center at the DC temple.

Our Family at the Temple

We looked around a room that was all about the life of President Hinckley. Later we took a walk towards the temple to take a closer look. Kade said the temple was broken. We asked him what he meant and he said it wasn't shooting fire. I wonder what gave him the idea that Moroni was supposed to be shooting fire on top of the temple. I might have to question what he's being taught in nursery. The girls took turns driving with each other, Megan with Abby and Matttey with Emma. They really enjoy each others company. Poor Kade was stuck driving with us even after he protested.

More pictures from day two available here.

Friday, June 20, 2008

She's Got Game

Megan just got done having one of her best softball games, at least defensively that is.  She started out by playing four innings at catcher.  Our "normal" catcher decided not to come to the game as well as her backup so Megan jumped into duty.  She played really well, stopping most of the pitches and hustling around after the wild pitches.

Then, in the fifth inning, she got her chance that she has been waiting for.  Coach sent her out to warm up in the top of the fifth and when it was time to go out in the field she said, "where am I going?"  I told her she was going to pitch and her face lit up.  She got the first batter to ground out to her, so far so good.  One of the next batters scored on one of those plays where the girls just through the ball around the infield, not much you can do about that.  She then made it through the rest of the inning with no runs scored.

To top it off, Megan and I rode our bikes to the game which she has been dying to do.  It was a really good game and Megan played really hard.  Way to go girl!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Coughing Truth

The last few months Mattey has had this little cough and clearing of the throat thing going on. Thinking it was allergy related she'd been given Claritin and Zyrtec, not at the same time of course, without getting much relief. I took Mattey to the doctor (not her normal doctor which she hasn't actually seen yet, it's a long story) about a month ago because of the cough and I didn't want her reactive asthma to start up. The doctor checked her out and said she didn't hear any asthma and that her problem was allergies. Today Mattey had her first allergy doctor appointment. I made Mickey take her because if she had to get all those shots in her back I couldn't handle it and he's got experience taking that test.

They didn't have to do shots. For kids they do a "pinch" and then leave the stuff on the surface of the skin. After waiting for a couple of hours they were given the results......She's allergic to NOTHING! Now we know. She was diagnosed with mild to moderate asthma. She was given 3 different prescriptions: 1) to take everyday, 2) to use when the coughing starts up, and 3) a steroid to take when it gets bad like in the fall/winter when she's usually sick. Now we know the truth behind the coughing.

Ever since Mattey was this little...

Baby Mattey

...she's had trouble with asthma. Now that she's this big...


...we finally know the truth and how to treat her asthma. Here's to no more coughing.

A New Career?

Kelly & the Fruit Plate I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up but catering/food service might have made the list of options for me. A few days ago I was asked to make a fruit plate for a funeral luncheon for some friends of ours. I was happy to do it. I really enjoy making things, especially food, for other people. I rarely, if ever, hear complaints. It's also another way I like to be creative. I went to the store last night to pick up some fresh fruit. The blueberries were gone. How could that be? I picked up some grapes (green and red), pineapple, kiwi, strawberries, and watermelon. I was trying to find different textures as well as colors. I would have loved to use banana and apple but as everyone knows they don't look so great after 10 minutes. I ended up not using the kiwi because there wasn't room. Here's my creation. Doesn't it make your mouth water?

Fruit Plate

Monday, June 9, 2008

Wrapping Up May

I know it's June already but there are a few things that haven't been covered from May yet. (I've taken a break from blogging and then the internet didn't want to work right. So I'm finally getting around to it.) May was a very busy month and it just flew by for us. We had a few birthdays, Mother's Day, a Spring concert, softball practice and games, 2 field days, septic work, last day of school, and a week long vacation. This post will cover a few of these things. The vacation is big enough it will get it's own post after I've gone through the hundreds of pictures we took.

I can now show the first rag quilt I made. My mom got it for Mother's Day.

Ragged side of the bear quiltThe flat side

One big event for May was Mattey's 7th birthday. She was very excited to turn 7. We had her party the Sunday before her birthday. We had it at Nana and Papa's house because ours was a mess in preparation to have septic and plumbing work done. Mattey got some great gifts. She wanted a white and chocolate cake but wouldn't let me put the raspberry filling in the middle. Here's the birthday girl (I can't believe she's 7 already):

New ShoesA New Dress

Just what I wanted...a new bear.New Jammies

Hooray CandlesThe Birthday Girl More ShoesThe Enchanted CD

Megan had a Spring Concert for school. This is her second concert being in the school choir (it's only open to the 3rd & 4th graders). The music teacher gave her a CD with all the songs on it and she practiced her songs all the time. By the night of the concert the whole family knew all the words. Here's Meg at the concert. She did great. They aren't good pictures but what can you do without a huge flash? (She's supposed to look like that in the second picture. She's a soldier for the Battle of New Orleans.)

Megan SingingIn 1814....

Another huge thing we had the unfortunate opportunity to experience was having our septic system replaced. This is such a mess. First you have to find someone who you can count on to do the work, then your yard and sometimes your home can be torn apart, and then you have to pay big bucks for it. The first step, finding someone to do the work, took us a while. I should really say Mickey since he did all the leg work but we decided together. We went with A&R Wastewater Management. They did a good job as far as we can tell but what do we have to compare it to? Everything is working and it passed inspection by the county so I guess it's good. To prepare for A&R to work I had to move hundreds of flower bulbs. I gave a lot of them away since I don't have room to plant them anywhere else. (Mickey did make me a flower bed beneath our tree. It looks great. I'll post pictures when the flowers are really blooming.) Mickey had to remove the fence, take down the swing set and move it, take down the basketball hoop, move the shed, and the really sad part, cut down the grape vine. (Sometimes it's nice to have a bad back.) I wanted to move it but the roots went too deep so there was no way without using dynamite. And I couldn't take cuttings because it's the wrong time of the year and I didn't have anywhere to keep them safe while I was gone on vacation. I'll have to get a couple new ones and wait for a good crop. That was a lot of work.

Yard before diggingKade's favorites...dumptruck and diggerThe Digger in actionThe Digger in actionThe delivery truckAnother deliveryCutting the drivewayMaking the trench for the pipe

The trench we had to jump over for two daysKade driving the digger

Yard after digging

We decided to redo some plumbing while we were at it since our water left the house in three different locations and at three different levels and the old septic tank, which collapsed, was buried under the garage. We had to do a lot of work for this project too. We moved almost everything out the laundry room and the storage room or the dark room as the kids call it. Everything was piled up in the toy room and office. Mickey had to remove the ceiling in the laundry room, cut pieces of dry wall from the wall and ceiling in the toy room, and remove some tiles from the office ceiling. The plumbers from Frog Plumbing, Inc. were good. The owner made sure not to leave us with a huge mess. He had his sons do clean up. We also had them plumb in a half bath in the basement. We are looking forward to having this done. A second toilet is a good thing for five people, especially when some people like to take a long time in the bathroom. I won't mention any names, girls. Oops. Mickey has to frame in the walls before they can come back and finish this work.

Holes in drywallNew Plumbing

Spot for new bathroom


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Happy Anniversary Sweetheart!

I just wanted to publicly wish my wonderful wife a Happy Anniversary.  It's unbelievable to think that this is a celebration of our 15th year of being married.  Where has the time gone?  According to tradition, I should be buying you something crystal, glass, or a watch.  I think I can accommodate all of those in one purchase.  What could I buy that would have a liquid crystal display under glass and be able to display a clock (well that's as close as I could get to a watch)?

Seriously, I am lucky to have someone like you and I am thankful for all that you do for me.  I love you!