30 October 2008

Our Halloween

Well, we don't have any big plans for Friday (unless a Well Woman Exam counts as big plans), so I count last night as our Halloween. It was the Branch Trunk or Treat. First, our "trunk" decorated by James.True to the character of Bob the Builder, Elizabeth spent the first part of the evening "building" with the poles James brought for the scouts.
The scouts/YM did a "group costume" as modern-day Stripling Warriors and even performed for the Branch.

This is as far as I got before getting some bad news about a friend's daughter being in the hospital. I'll finish up soon.

21 October 2008

General Conference in word art

Read more at LDS Media Talk

Three topping pizza

Last night we had James' favorite 3 topping pizza. It's a combination I probably never would have thought of on my own, but I love it too. Usually I'm a supreme (or even all veggie) fan, but if it HAS to be THREE toppings...here it is:


What would your 3 topping pizza have?

18 October 2008

Amelia's First Steps

Amelia has been obsessed with walking ever since she learned to crawl. We've spent the past few months walking around the house hunched over as we hold her hands and she walks all over the house. She is very insistent on walking and goes where she wants to go. There is no compromise with Amelia.

Last night, I got her to use a walking toy we received a while back for Elizabeth which was never used for walking. At first, Amelia didn't want to let go of my hand, so she walked around with one hand on my finger and one hand driving the toy. Then I showed some tough love and made her use both hands on the toy.

After some fussing, she discovered she could do it by herself, as fast as she wanted to. Steering isn't the greatest, but it was still all Amelia. So we got the camera to watch her.

And we caught her taking her first steps, not counting a few tries over the past few days that were more of a controlled crash than a true walk (though they were progress).

Amelia spent the rest of the night exploring her new mobility, before switching back to crawling or Daddy support because she was getting sleepy and fussy.

11 October 2008

I love my Shark

We don't have a dining room and can't fit a table in the kitchen. Do you know what a pain it is to have a 1 year old and a 2 year old eating over carpet?! Add to that the fact that Elizabeth freaks out if I so much as approach the closet where the vacuum is kept and it's, well, a mess!

Enter the Shark cordless power sweeper. Even a slob like me finds it easy enough to pick up and do a quick sweep after each time we eat...at least now that I've made it a rule that we put all the toys away right before each meal. Our living room is so much more liveable now.

Chocolate cake for breakfast

Hey, James is on a scout overnighter. We deserve some fun, too!

I didn't make the frosting and I made it in a bundt pan. Will definitely make it for a potluck sometime as it turned out yummy AND pretty.

And, yes, I thought of Bill Cosby.

10 October 2008

1 word Western Union style

1. Where is your cell? Security
2. Significant other? Christie
3. Your hair? short
4. Your mother? mom
5. Your father? dad
6. Your favorite thing? useful
7. Your dream last night? fire
8. Your favorite drink? milkrootbeer
9. Your dream/goal? delayed
10. The room you're in? office
11. Your fear? failure
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? unPyote
13. Where were you last night? home
14. What you're not? home
15. Muffins? chocolate
16. One of your wish list items? lightsaber
17. Where you grew up? army
18. The last thing you did? report
19. What are you wearing? uniform
20. Your TV? home
21. Your pet? wildcats
22. Your computer? phoenix
23. Your life? stuck
24. Your mood? frustrated
25. Missing someone? oops
26. Your car? deerhunter
27. Something you're not wearing? hat
28. Favorite Store? Dragon’s Lair
29. Your summer? hectic
30. Your favorite color? blue
31. When is the last time you laughed? Wednesday
32. Last time you cried? dunno
33. Who will/would re-post this? Christie
34. The place I go over and over? homeworkchurch
35. The person who visits me (Regularly)? dunno
36. A favorite fruit? apple
37. A place I would rather be right now? airplane

08 October 2008

Story Time

At the beginning of the summer we started going into Monahans on Wednesday mornings for story time at a bookstore owned and operated by a couple of branch families. Elizabeth had a blast playing (especially with the big boys) afterwards, but never paid attention to the story and stayed over by the toys, doing her own thing.

Since school has been back in session attendence has really shrunk and of course it has been younger kids. The past few weeks it's mainly been the Nursery and Sunbeam crowd and the lady who does it has really focused on reaching and including each one at their level and has had lots of hands on stuff. Obviously that's been great for Elizabeth.

Today a bunch of people from a Baptist mom's group came, so we probably had a dozen kids. Several of them were playing with the toys when we arrived (we were a few minutes early!) and Elizabeth joined in. But as soon as it was time to start she ran over and sat on the mat!
She paid attention the ENTIRE time! Sure, she stood up a few times, tried to sit too close, and tried to grab the book a time or two, but she STAYED! That was huge!

She also enjoyed the songs and nursery rhymes ande tried to join in. She will now let me sing Old McDonald and Twinkle Twinkle (Elizabeth has a thing about singing, usually).

Oh, and another new development in Elizabethland is that she has suddenly learned the alphabet. She can say/sing it in order and also identify each letter out of order. Still struggling with colors, though!

04 October 2008

Kansas City area?

Did I just hear President Monson announce a temple in the Kansas City area?

What is about 20 minutes from Kansas City? Independence.

Now, I'm assuming he didn't just announce THE temple...but, wow!

And Rome, Italy? How much longer will the Pope be Catholic?

02 October 2008

Busy day on the town

It's been a week since our run to Midland to get a new computer monitor. I'm about used to the widescreen thing now. While there James asked if there was anything else we needed. Well, if we stayed longer we would have had to go out to dinner (already had it mostly ready at home), probably would have missed Earl and The Office, and my back was hurting from walking Amelia all over the place (she's obsessed!)...besides, it was the end of the month and that's never a good time to spend money (except on ESSENTIALS like computers, obviously). So even though it seemed crazy to drive over an hour just to spend 10 minutes in Best Buy and come home...that's just what we did. There wasn't anything else we couldn't live without for a week.

Except that there was.

So Tuesday (couldn't even make it to Wednesday when we'd be going as far as Monahans for storytime anyway) I packed up the girls and went to Odessa. I decided to make the best of it and leave the regular grocery shopping for our planned trip on Friday and actually shop for things I wanted.

It says a ton about how much Elizabeth has grown up this summer that I dared to take her into Hobby Lobby, without another adult, with Amelia. I was prepared to cut and run, but it went amazingly well. It helped that it was still early and they were fresh (Amelia got her morning nap on the way there). Elizabeth was quite taken with the little cart and held onto the side and walked along with me like I'd trained her or something!

I'd thought we would go to Wendy's for lunch since it's right there, but Elizabeth deserved a playground after that performance, so McDonald's it was. Got there right during the high school lunch rush. UGH. Another potential disaster. I stalled by heading to the bathroom first, but the line was still to the door when we got out. I knew if I let Elizabeth into the play area no lunch would be eaten. So we braved the line, I simplified our order (a 10 piece chicken nugget meal turned out to be just right for the 3 of us), and getting our Sprite right away saved the day. Elizabeth took it right over to the nearest table and settled in.
Once lunch was eaten, we headed over to the play area. One 4 year old girl and her mom. Perfect! Someone to play with, but not crowded. We had a very enjoyable time and even left with minimal negotiations.

At this point I knew I was really pushing my luck. But we headed to Wal-mart and I treated myself to the clearance fabric tables. I take after my mom and already have way too much fabric from my teaching days, but just can't help but lust after more, especially if it's just $1-2/yard!

We almost didn't make it out of there, and I mean that literally. James left a worried voicemail on my phone when he got home early and we weren't there, asking if I needed him to drive out to wherever we were and help. In June Elizabeth had a meltdown at the mall near the Dallas Temple and I couldn't get her out to the van forever and James caught a ride with a friend he'd run into there! Just a couple of weeks ago Grandma Blair had to use all her strength to carry an hysterical (extremely overtired) Elizabeth out of Wal-Mart.

Thankfully I saw the signs and we made it to the checkout before she snapped. She actually climbed back into the cart so I was able to hurry. I looked down while loading our purchases onto the belt and saw this.

Even the bumpy ride out to the van didn't phase her, nor unloading.

Transferring her to the van did wake her up but I was ready with a juice box and mini cookies that managed to calm her down. Amelia soaked herself in apple juice and slept the whole way home. Overall, a good day.