Monday, February 19, 2018

Hugs and Cuddles

Yesterday Caroline seemed to be in need of extra hugs and cuddles.  She was crying and just wanted to be held constantly, but eventually Hubby and I insisted that she sit and have breakfast and couldn't just be held nonstop.

Tracey offered for Caroline to sit in her lap for hugs while they were eating... which was very sweet, and was the perfect compromise for Caroline eating breakfast while getting hugs and cuddles.


Sunday, February 18, 2018

Reading Time

Caroline directing some morning reading time for Lee Lee (or as Caroline calls her, "Yaya").


Saturday, February 17, 2018

Preventing Disease

Miss Beatrice, the church organist, was in her eighties and had never been married. She was admired for sweetness and kindness to all.

One afternoon the pastor came to call on her and she showed him into her quaint sitting room. She invited him to have a seat while she prepared tea.

As he sat facing her old pump organ, the young minister noticed a cut-glass bowl sitting on top of it. The bowl was filled with water. In the water
floated, of all things, a condom!

When she returned with tea and scones, they began to chat. The pastor tried to stifle his curiosity about the bowl of water and its strange floater, but soon it got the better of him and he could no longer resist. "Miss Beatrice", he said, "I wonder if you would tell me about this?" pointing to the bowl.

"Oh, yes" she replied, "isn't it wonderful? I was walking through the park a few months ago and I found this little package on the ground. The directions said to place it on the organ, keep it wet and that it would prevent the spread of disease. Do you know I haven't had the flu all winter!"

The pastor fainted.

Friday, February 16, 2018

School Clothes

I love dressing my kiddos for school.  They have school clothes and house clothes, and I don't think they're ever too young to learn that you should dress nicely to go to work and school.

Caroline's dress was mine when I was little.  :-D


Thursday, February 15, 2018

Family Valentine's Day

We're still finding our Valentine's Day traditions, and I'm sure things will change in years to come... but yesterday was a very fun Valentine's Day.  To compare our kids from past years (just because its fun...)

This was Tracey 3 years ago:

The twins last year:

Addallee this year:

The kids and I painted some Valentines a few days ago, so the day at home went pretty normal.  But, all the kids wore red or pink and were excited to wear their "Valentine's outfits".  Also, all day, I told them when Daddy came home, we would be taking a Valentine's Adventure, and they were very excited with anticipation about that all day.

I was very excited to get three of the four of them smiling (and sitting still) for this picture!

Both my mom and my mother-in-law sent each of the kids Valentine cards (such wonderful grandmothers), and so we opened those after naps.  These grandmas are such a perfect match for each other because Hubby's mother sent the kids little candies in their cards, and my mom sent the kids stickers in their cards.  What perfect Valentine gifts -- they don't need double candy or double stickers... but candy and stickers were perfect.

The kids were so excited for the Valentine's adventure that they got dressed in their shoes and coats and watched for Daddy to arrive home.

When Hubby got home, the kids were SO excited to give him their Valentine cards, and I had a present for him that they were excited to watch him open.  Then he gave me a little gift, and we had cards for the kids and a new book for them.

Then, we all drove to Glenwood Springs to have a family date dinner at Qdoba, which was having a deal where you buy one entree get one free if you kiss the person you're there with.  So, Hubby got dinner, and he kissed me so mine was free.  And we paid for two kids meals, and our kiddos kissed on the cheek, so we got one kid's meal free.  The restaurant had some traffic come and go while we were eating, but it was overall pretty empty, which allowed us to have a relaxed dinner with our kids.

So... just a funny memory I want to record.  There is a little boy in Tracey's class at school and she and the little boy are good friends.  According to both Tracey and the little boy, the two of them will be getting married some day.  Well, Tracey asked me several times throughout the day if this little boy would be at our Valentine's dinner.  I told her over and over that I didn't think so because it was a family dinner.  At one point, Tracey whispered in my ear asking if he would be there... then Howard leaned down and whispered the boy's name in Tracey's ear -- it was so funny because he knew what his sister was saying, and I'm pretty sure it was the first (of many times) he has officially teased his sister about a boy.  All of that to say, we were standing in line to order our dinner... and who walks into the restaurant but this boy and his family.  They were just taking dinner home, but it was fun to see them, and we knew Tracey would be excited that he was there.  Or at least, we thought she would be excited to see him.  After talking about this boy all day... she never actually said a word to him when we saw him at the restaurant.  Oh, four-year-olds.

I"m learning that I am getting better at fitting our family in selfies... but I blink when I take the picture.  Bummer. 

 Here we are eating, with Hubby in the background finishing up our order.

All in all, I really liked the way we celebrated our Family Valentine's Day, and had a Family Date.  It was fun to have something fun and different without the pressure of arranging baby-sitters for Hubby and me to try to make reservations for a romantic dinner.  We had a very romantic dinner... with each other, and our four junior valentines.

What a tiring day.

My forever Valentine!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Bigger In Texas

Continuing the trend of the most romantic things my Hubby has ever done for me is something he did when I was about 5 months pregnant with Tracey Ann.

That being said, of the first five months of my pregnancy, Hubby and I were apart for more than 3 of those 5 months.  When we found out I was pregnant, I left four days later to study a graduate program that took me from Greeley, Colorado, Tuscon, Arizona, Kalamazoo, Michigan, and Austin, Texas for 3-4 weeks at a time... and Hubby was along for none of those placements.

For a first-time, emotional, hormonal, pregnant mother, it was not ideal.

When I went to my placement in Austin, Texas, it was my final placement, and the last component of my graduate degree (with the exception of a comprehensive national exam).  Hubby was still in Colorado, and I had a few friends in Austin, and several in Dallas, so it definitely wasn't the worst place to be... but we were both ready for my graduate obligations to be done and to enjoy the remainder of my pregnancy together in Colorado.  The week days throughout these placements went by semi-quickly, but the weekends away from Hubby were very hard.

One of my friends in Austin was Kelley, a friend and sorority sister from undergrad, and maid-of-honor in our wedding.  She was finishing her PhD at the University of Texas and it was a very chaotic time in her life, but she was making time to spend with me when she could.  One Friday night, about halfway through my time in Austin, she had completed a big accomplishment of turning several chapters of her dissertation, and we had arranged a Texas girls night.  The plans involved dinner at one very Texas place, and then dancing at another very Texas place.  Then, on Saturday, we were going up to Baylor to attend a Baylor football game with another friend of mine (from graduate school), Obinna.  Hubby was going to be hunting all weekend, and I was excited for all the events of Friday night and Saturday.

I was very excited for the time with Kelley, and I even made a point to take a nap, because I knew how hard she had been working and how much she needed to blow off steam, and I didn't want my pregnant-ness to keep me from being a anything short of a great friend for our girls night.

We had a great dinner, and went to a fun dance place.  She was in touch with several friends throughout the night that she said might join us for dancing, and she checked voicemails and texts a few times to check in with them.

We were having a great time, and then, around 10:00pm, I wandered outside to get some water from the car, and she said that she just got a video from her friend who was going to meet us, and we needed to watch it.  I thought it was random that we were watching this random video on her phone in the parking lot of a Texas dancing bar... so I looked around to make sure we were okay to be doing this... and standing behind me was my wonderful Hubby -- not in Colorado, hunting, but standing in this Texas dancing bar parking lot.

Little did I know, he had been planning this with Kelley for weeks, and the video we were watching on Kelley's phone was a video compilation of his journey from Rifle to Austin to see me.  It was to the Blake Shelton's song, "Austin," -- a song that still makes me tear up to this day because of Hubby doing this.

Hubby arriving in Austin made that one of the best weekends of my life.

I loved having that time with Kelley before he arrived.  I loved that he conspired with one of my college best friends to pull off a surprise.  I love that he, and Kelley, and I got to dance at that Texas club, and then went to Kelley's favorite late-night snack spot.  I love that Saturday was spent with he and I going to meet Obinna at that Baylor game (although I would have loved if Kelley could have joined us -- she had to get back to her work on her dissertation... she was never going to go to the Baylor game).  Before we drove to the Baylor game, we went to a baby store in Austin and bought our child a Texas outfit, and discussed at length if "Austin" should be included in the child's name as either a first or milddle name for either a boy or a girl.  After the football game, we got back very late to my housing quarters in Austin, and Hubby felt our baby move for the first time.  It was one of the most amazing weekends of our marriage, and I still fall more and more in love with him every time I remember it.

Even my hubby's romantic gestures are bigger in Texas.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Alpine Children

No, these pictures weren't taken in Switzerland, but I can almost hear Julie Andrews singing in the background of these pictures.

These were taken in Carbondale very near where our kids go to school.  Hopefully these pictures are the first of many we will take of our children in the mountains over the years.