Saturday, August 25, 2012

Happy Birthday, Bre!!!

Sometimes you meet someone who you just KNOW was meant to be in your life. It's almost as though you've known each other your souls were friends in heaven and finally found each other on earth. That person understands you better than anyone you've ever met and accepts you for all of your faults and loves you anyway.

I was so blessed to meet Bre over 2 years ago. I'm glad our souls found each other.

Happy Birthday, Bre! I LOVE YOU!!!

We ALL love you! :)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Good Neighbors, Super Dance Teacher, and Peach Wine

As anyone that follows me on Facebook knows (because I sure complained about it enough, huh?) Tim was in Missouri for 2 weeks. It was for a class that he has to take to be eligible for promotion to Major next year and he did fantastic. (One of his instructors called him "outstanding" and actually wrote that he was "easily one of the brightest students during this cycle." Great job, Tim!) I knew it would be tough by myself with the kids just getting back from a long vacation in Colorado, which was awesome for everyone, and dealing with all of the back to school madness. I just didn't realize exactly how crazy it would start out.

My friend Shelly was staying with us for a bit and around midnight we said goodnight and I headed to bed. Right after I plugged my phone in to charge it started ringing, which never happens that late at night. The caller i.d. showed that it was the gate, which we have call my phone so we can let people in even if we aren't at home. There was no way I was going to let someone in and I didn't even answer to find out who it was.

I double checked with Shelly to make sure that she wasn't expecting anyone and then decided to go out back and look to see if anyone was at the gate. Standing on the chair I can get a decent view. I never even made it out the door before I realized something was wrong. A wall of smoke smacked me in the face and made my eyes water. I could hear the crackling of the fire so I knew it was close. That was the same time that the horrible fire in Mannford was causing so much damage and I knew how dangerous the conditions were. I looked to my left and realized that it was right outside of our neighborhood in a field. It was already tall enough that I could see it over the houses.

I'm embarrassed to say I froze. I had no idea what to do. Thank goodness Shelly was here. I asked her to come outside to see if I should be concerned. She barely glanced at it and then said, "Call 911" and ran out of the house to start banging on my neighbors' doors to warn them.

For the first time in my life I dialed 911. The responder assured me that they were aware of it and that the fire department was on its way. I ran out to start banging on doors as well.

I'm pretty sure we scared several of my neighbors to death. It's not exactly common to have two crazy chicks in pajamas running around and screaming about a fire. Once they realized what was going on I think they forgave us. The people in the house closest to the fire (it was only about 20 yards from their fence) started packing their kids and pets in the car. Shelly helped them spray their fence and they turned their sprinklers on. The embers were falling everywhere and the ash was smacking us in the face. We even had an ember land in our yard that our neighbor put out. (Thanks, Tim!)

Standing in front of our house. Scary!
Ash the next morning all over our yard.

Eventually we had woken up everyone we could and watched while the fire department got it under control, which only took about 30 minutes. We also found out that the person who called me from the gate was a neighbor across the street in a different neighborhood who had seen the fire when he put his dog outside and ran over to wake everyone up. We thanked him profusely and he laughed and thanked us back for not being afraid of the "crazy shoe-less man running around like crazy with his shirtless friend with a tattoo sleeve." :)

Once we knew that everything was okay we decided to crack open a bottle of peach wine and rehash the madness of the past hour. What was terrifying in the moment was absolutely hilarious afterwards. Of course it may just have been the adrenaline that was still pounding through our brains. "Super Dance Teacher to the rescue! With her trusty sidekick, Tonto!" Oh Shelly...I'm so glad I didn't have to do this alone. :)

Thank you nice neighbors! Thank you Jenks Fire Department! Thank you Shelly and peach wine! I hope I don't have to go through that ever again.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Where I've Been

As many of my avid readers have mentioned to me (which includes my mom, Tim's mom, maybe Tim...and that's about it. Ha!) I have not posted since Father's Day. Why? Here's a list of reasons, with (several) accompanying pictures, to explain:

1. The Lake

We haven't been able to go to the lake as much as I would have liked, but the times we have gone have been awesome. Lauren and Brenden both love the jet skis and Brenden has become so brave when it comes to jumping off of the boat into the water. He can dive, flip, cannon ball, and otherwise cause lots of splashing. The difference from last summer is amazing.

Cool Dude

2. Baby Gazing

My beautiful friend Bre had her gorgeous daughter Brynja (pronounced Brin-ya) on June 25th and we've all been pretty smitten with her. Hard not to be! She's such a sweet baby and just so dang cute!

Meeting my beautiful Brynja, less than an hour old.
Checking out her fingers and toes. 
"She's so cute! Want to hold her!"

3. Branson

For Father's Day, Karen and her brother and sister took their dad, Ralph, to Branson. He had no idea where they were going or what they would be doing, so we decided to add a few more surprises. The kids didn't know where we were going, either so when they walked in to see their grandma they were overjoyed! They also got to meet their Aunt Brenda and Uncle Phil (he had no idea we were coming, either!) and we spent a super fun 2 days being totally spoiled. 

Grandma's Happy Kiddos
Reading with Aunt Brenda
Checking out the fountain at Branson Landing with Great Grandpa
Head butts with Uncle Phil
4. New Car

On our way to the airport in Branson to drop off Karen, Ralph and Phil, our trusty Expedition decided to stop. Many hours, no naps, a ride in a police car, and a dead cell phone later I was told that the car was done. The engine had seized and there was nothing to do except replace the engine or get another car. Obviously we decided to go with a new (to us) car. It was a stressful 2 days, but it worked out.

I know, I know...a RED car. We made sure to slap an OSU sticker on ASAP. :)

5. Staying Cool

We had the chance to go to a Driller's game and the kids had a great time. Not that we watched much baseball. 

This splash pad is all slick tiles and sharp edges. Tim decided that it is the worst designed splash pad he's ever seen. I completely agree. The kids did not care one bit.

6. Colorado Vacation

Karen and Rick were super excited to have the kids come stay with them for 10 days. I met Karen in the middle (Hays, KS) and bawled as they drove off to have a ridiculously awesome time. Every day was a new adventure, from amusement parks to splash pads to trips to Toys-R-Us. They were happy to see me, but very sad to see their grandma and grandpa go. Luckily we should see them again soon!

7. Cleaning up Lauren's Messes

Not long after Father's Day I started potty training Lauren. If you've ever been through this then you understand why I've been MIA. If you haven't, I'm jealous. Between laundry, cleaning the floors, cleaning the bathroom, cleaning the chairs,'s been mostly a haze. She hasn't been very cooperative and there have been many times I just wanted to give up. If something isn't her idea she refuses to do it, throwing one major fit after another. (can you say "black eye" from headbutting? Sigh...) And if that weren't bad enough, she's also going through some strange anxiety phase and refuses to nap. Instead, she tears apart her room, which has led me to remove EVERYTHING, from her toys to her clothes. Some days are okay, some days are downright awful, but we'll get there.

THIS TOO SHALL PASS. And now I have a ton of embarrassing stories to tell in front of her friends, boyfriends, and at her wedding. Hey...I have to think of the positives, right?

That's every piece of clothing she could reach. As well as some toys and shoes.
They used to be attached. She yanked them off.
And left some marks.
But she'll nap in the car! Grrr...
And now Brenden wants in on the action. As long as they aren't fighting, right?

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