Sunday, December 6, 2009

So, I accidentally stole a dog...

We live out in the country and as we were driving home from dropping Sophia off at preschool, Holly and I noticed a dog running around all over the place. He was running across a field, then down a side road, and finally through someones yard. I decided to stop because I always feel bad for strays and this one was obviously someones pet at one point. I pulled over, got out, and called to the dog. He ran back across the yard to me and jumped up all excited. The little guy had a collar but no tag and was pretty dirty. So we decided to take him with us, clean him up, and give him some food. I went to the store and bought some dog food and dog shampoo. Brought him in and gave him a bath, then made him a doggie bed in the garage with some fuzzy blankets. We took some pictures and made up a flier that we planned to post around in the countryside near where we found him. He was a really sweet dog and Holly was having a BLAST taking care of him, even though she's allergic. I just kept making her come inside and wash her hands and that seemed to help her not get a rash. Eventually we went and picked up Sophia from preschool who was equally excited about taking care of her new dog, Gabriella (no amount of saying, "but this is a boy, not a girl" could change her mind on the name). Then that evening after dinner we drove down the road and decided to stop at the houses near where we found him to ask if anyone recognized him. Our first stop was the house that was in the yard that we picked him up from. Yeah, he was theirs and, no, I didn't tell the people that we "saved" him from their front yard. Shhh... it'll be our secret! :)

Also, here's the picture we took of the girls with Santa. We're pretty sure Lucy's freakin out about the guys eyebrows. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

New pictures, New paint, and Pneumonia

Ok, so it's been forever since I've blog. Thus, I have about a zillion things I need to put up here. We'll start with the girls new photos. We had these taken in September and just got them. I LOVE them!!! Here there are.

There are a few others, but I couldn't get them in here right side up instead of sideways. Not sure what that's about. Anyways, yes we LOVE them!!!
That same week we got to see my little brother, John, and his wife, Amanda, and their daughter, Abby, while they were on their move from Idaho to North Carolina. We had a great visit and are so glad to have them back east of the Mississippi!

A few weeks later I got to go down to NC with the girls to visit our family and friends there. We had a great time! We got to visit some old friends at a baby shower, attend the Relief Society General Broadcast with my mom, my 2 sisters, and one of my sister in laws, watch all the sessions of General Conference, and visit with other good friends during that week. In case you didn't know, my sister Heather is a fabulous seamstress and whipped up these cute little bags for Sophia and Holly while we were there. She sells lots of her bags and things on Etsy and I follow her blog, too. Super cute! All in all it was a much needed southern soaking.

One of the perks, however, of living above the Mason-Dixon line are the beautiful colors you see on the trees everywhere you go. These are the trees in our front yard. Beautiful! I love it!!

So, it was Halloween this past week! We had several days of celebration with preschool party's, church trunk or treating, trick or treating in town, and a MOPS playgroup party. Here are a few pictures of the girls eating the banana "ghosts" we made for the playgroup party (allergy free! just bananas, raisins, and popsicle sticks!), and dressed up for trick or treating as Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and a baby fairy. And just in case you ever wonder what Halloween is like for a kid with food allergies, I took a picture of all of Holly's Halloween loot and then another one with it divided into "allergic" and "not allergic" piles. :( You'll notice most of the really yummy stuff is on the left/allergic side. (Also, remember that she's not allergic to dairy anymore or the pile would be even smaller and contain no chocolate.) :(

And lastly, I am currently recoving from a fabulous case of pneumonia, which is pretty much just as awesome as it sounds. I'd never had pneumonia before. It was freaky. It felt like a carnival worker was sitting on my chest and everyday he got fatter and fatter and I could breath less and less. It sucks. Literally. One of the reasons I think I kept getting worse instead of better for so long is that I didn't know what was wrong with me and decided just to keep going like nothing was wrong. So I painted our front door red. It didn't help the pneumonia, but I think it definately helped our homes aesthetic. Here are before and after photos. Likey or no likey? Should I paint the 2 side thingys, too? Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Big day of firsts

A few weeks ago as I was filling out the necessary forms for Sophia to start preschool I got really teary-eyed. I can't believe she's going to school. Not that she isn't ready (She's more then ready.) I can't believe she's gotten so big. I know she's as tall as a 6 year old, but she's still only 4 1/2! But now a days (I say that like I'm 100) all the kids start sooner than that. There's a little girl just her age in her class who's been there for 2 years already.
We're only sending her for 3 hours on 3 days a week and I still feel weird about having her gone from me for such a long time during the day. Crazy. But the ladies at her school are vigilant about keeping the kids safe and know that only Travis or I are allowed to pick her up. So that makes me feel better.
Well, she loved every minute of it and can't wait to go back.

Here she is posing before we left this morning. (she picked the clothes out herself the night before.)

Walking hand in hand with Daddy up to school.

Hanging up her school bag on the hook for the first time.

Her smile just before she walks into her classroom.

Holly's face when she realizes (even though we explained it many times!) that only Sophia was going to school and she couldn't stay too.

Holly, later on, before going to her first tumbling class.

So we had a busy day! A big day of firsts. And ready to do it all over again tomorrow. :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Here are some recent pictures from our trips to St. Louis (Wade reunion and the Magic House), North Carolina, and just hanging around the house.
ps- yes, those ARE deep fried pickles. And they were freakin AWESOME!!!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Adventures in Babysitters

Last night Travis and I were able to go to the temple together in Columbus, so we got a 16 year old babysitter who is in the branch and had come highly recommended by several people. This was her first time babysitting for us, so I got her a little early so I could show her around and run through our bedtime routine (since we'd be gone from 6 pm-12 pm). I was very specific that our kids aren't great sleepers unless you follow the routine and I showed her exactly where everything is, what time to begin, and what order to go in. I had also just cooked up some taco meat and cut up/shredded the toppings and put them on the counter so they could eat right after we left, so I showed her all of that, too. She and the girls all seemed excited and we left confident that thing would go great. The temple was wonderful as usual, and when I came in I didn't hear any crying and noticed that the young lady was sitting on the couch texting, so I thought "hooray! everyone really did go to sleep!" However, I then noticed that ALL the food was still out on the counter. Taco meat, cheese, sour cream...all just sitting there for the last 6 hours. "hmmm..." I thought, "Not good. I had cooked up a bunch of extras because we love leftovers. Tacos for lunch, taco salads... So now I'm just going to have to pitch all that meat and cheese, thanks kid." So then I asked her how it went and she was just a little too slow when she said, "It went great!" So I probed further.
"Everyone went to sleep just crying?"
Again a little too slow to answer. "Well, the baby cried a little."
I wanted details. "How much 'a little'. When did she go to sleep?"
"Umm..." she said, "at 10:20"
Our kids go to bed at 8. "So she cried for 2 1/2 hours?!"
"Just on and off." she said.
Then I noticed as I'm writing her the check for her 'services' I notice that the bottle and premeasured formula that I had set in the middle of the counter and shown her and given instructions on how to use it, especially if she's having a hard time sleeping she likes an extra bottle, I had told her all of that before we left, was never used. I started to swell up. I had to just get her home. It was already past midnight, and she lives far enough away that it would be an hour before I'd be back home.
An hour later I find that Travis has pitched/put away the food and is not any happier with the situation then I am. So I check on all three kids because if she never even gave the baby a bottle, who knows what all happened while we were gone! The older 2 were sleeping soundly, had on pajamas and were in their beds with covers on, so I guess they were alright. When I check on Lucy I notice that she did at least change her diaper before she 'put her to bed'. But didn't give her any blanket, after I took pains to make sure she understood that Lucy still likes to be swaddled when going to bed. No wonder she didn't go to sleep and just cried and cried!! Did she even listen to a word I said!? I was under the impression that she was a frequent babysitter! We've asked her to babysit before and she's always been busy babysitting for others!
So the next morning when I started to change Lucy's diaper and was feeling grateful that at least she HAD changed it before putting her to bed, I find that she put the diaper on... backwards.
I will never call that girl again!!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Big Mess and the Miracle of the Brownies and Ties

Today at church our little branch celebrated both Fathers Day and the sending off of a missionary. So after the 3 hour block we all had a potluck lunch for JR Webber (who's headed to the Frankfurt, Germany mission) and I had prepared a big crockpot full of BBQ chicken breasts (along with other sundries). However, I realized during the opening exercises that I brought in everything except the crock pot full of BBQ chicken. So without letting my honey know where I was going I dash out into the parking lot to bring in the crock pot and plug it in. (afterall, how long could that take? 2 minutes tops, right?) As I'm trying to reenter the church by openning the outer door and holding onto the crockpot at the same time, the entire crock pot of BBQ slips from my hands and crashes first into the door (spilling sauce all over it) and finally onto the cement where it breaks the crockery into a bunch of pieces and spills the chicken onto the ground. And of course the sauce goes EVERYWHERE. Up the door, into the cracks of the cement, and splashes across my shoes (which thankfully where some cheapies that I don't really care about). After picking up the largest of the broken pieces and the chicken, I figure I need some paper towels to get the rest of the mess. So, I carefully go in and take the paper towel roll out of the womens bathroom and head back outside where the ants have already discovered the feast. In my first swipe with the paper towel my finger accidently comes in contact with an exceedingly sharp bit of broken lid or crock and slices it open pretty deep. So then I had to grab a new unBBQed section of paper towel to try and keep the blood from staining the church doorway, too! Now with my left hand clenched in a ball to stem the bleeding, my right hand continues (gingerly) to scoop up the mess. When I'm almost done, one of the sisters that I don't know opens the door and of course says "Oh My! Let me go get someone!" To which I reply "No!! Please don't! Really I'm almost done, I just need a bucket of water to wash all this off the sidewalk!" (But really I'm thinking "I am mortified! And I want to keep this a secret, PLEASE don't go get anyone else!! If I ask you to do something else, maybe you'll be too busy to tell anyone!") So I finish scooping and go inside to return the paper towels to the bathroom. When I walk back past the door headed for some water in the kitchen, I notice that the dear sister had gotten her husband and they had both already sloshed 2 big pots full of water down the door and across the entryway, and were wiping the door down with paper towels to dry it. They were so sweet! They said "oh, don't worry about it honey!" and then gave me some ideas about where to check online to see if I can just buy a new crock insert instead of having to buy a whole new pot. Coshocton definately has some great people. :)
Then, after sacrament meeting we experienced a miracle that I'm calling the Miracle of the Brownies and Ties. The RS pres, her other counselor, and myself were responsible for gifts for all the dads today. And here it's tradition to give the dads brownies. So we each made some brownies along with some cardstock 'ties' that we colored and put a little dad poem on the back and laminated for a bookmark. Then we tied it to a zip lock baggie full of brownies for each of the dads and prospective dads. Since it's a really tiny branch, we counted up and figured that 20 would be MORE then enough since the brethren count is usually more like 14, on a good day. Unfortunately, we didn't think to take into account all the extra people a missionary going away brings in. There were 25 brethern in sacrament meeting. So immediately after the closing prayer I trot my BBQ scented sandals back to the kitchen to ask the other counselor, who was giving the baggies to the youth to had out, what we should do. She said "Well, we'll just let the chips fall where they may."

We ended up with 5 EXTRA Brownie bags and ties.

And I checked. No one had left, and everyone had gotten one.
Hallelujia. Just like the loaves and the fishes. :) The Lord loves our hard working dads!! And so do I. Happy Fathers Day!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Everybody digs a swingin cat

Sophia had her first ever dance recital on Saturday. It was so stinkin cute!! We laughed, we cried, it was the best! Mostly we laughed as little girls got bored with the choreography and just sat down, or walked off the stage. Or sometimes they were so overzealous that the class helpers (who are teenage girls that assist in class and stand at the sides and do the routine so the little girls can follow along) have to intervene lest the preschooler twirl herself off the edge of the stage. It was funny and adorable stuff! And we both cried a bit during the 'daddy daughter dance'. Oh, man. A bunch of 20-30 something dads up there dancing with their little girls in tutu's to some country song about how fast they grow up. I'm seriously tearing up just thinking about it. So here are a few photos of her in her two routines. The first is a ballet routine to the song "Everybody wants to be a cat" from The Arisocats movie. The second routine is with her beginning tumbling class to "My boyfriends back". Eventually we'll find the cd that came with our video camera so I can put the video on here. Since we got a new computer we have to install the software on here. But until we find it, here are the stills.
Also, Aunt Heather and Uncle Mark came out for a visit for almost a week over memorial day weekend and it was a blast!! It went by way too fast! If you don't already read my sister Heather's blog, you really should. It's Hi-freakin-larious!! She has a true talent and she wrote up the experience. You can find the link to the right here, Ballad of the McKeons.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

My invisible 4th child

Many things have changed since having a third child. One of them is that I now have an invisible 4th child. And it's not the kind you'd think. It's not the one that ate all the marshmallows after she was told to stay out of them, or hits her sister with a barbie doll, or shoved 4 DVD's into the DVD player all at once. (I think my kids are still too young to blame it on someone invisible. They just say, 'not me!') This one is a phantom anxiety that bursts forth from the back of my mind occasionally. I feel like one of my kids is 'too' quite and must be up to something, so I start to look around only to notice that all 3 of my kids are in the room with me and are simply playing quitely. I also hear her (I know it's a girl, cause that's what I have) crying somewhere in the house and when I stop and focus, I realize that....nope. Everyone's in the room with me and they're fine. Sometimes I even try to heard my I4C into the minivan after visits to the library, etc... only to look around and remember, 'oh, yeah, it's just the 3'. Very weird. Or I'm just going crazy.
ps-our computer broke about 6 weeks ago and Travis forbade me to go buy one without him because he wanted to pick it out. So I waited patiently for what seemed like an eternity!!! (because all of you who know my husband, know that he plans more for himself to do everyday then anyone could ever possibly accomplish, so he would never have time to go to the store with me and pick out a computer!!) He was off work all of last week and it was still the last day of his vacation before I could get him to go with me on threat of 'if you don't go with me today, I'll go by myself tomorrow and pick it out without you!!' that he finally did it. So we're back online! Hoo-ray!!

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Happiest Place on Earth

We just got back from the BEST vacation! We drove through 10 states, visited family and friends in 4 cities, and played in Disney World for 3 days. We started off visiting Travis's sister Heather and her kids who now live near Atlanta and we were able to stay with them for 2 1/2 days, which was SO great. We hadn't seen them in a long time and we got to meet her new guy, Michael, and his 2 kids, Victoria and Ashley. Then we drove to Orlando where Travis had continuing education classes at the Hilton in Walt Disney World, while the girls and I shopped around Downtown Disney with my sister Susy, and her husband and daughter, and her friend from when she worked at Disney, Danielle. We had a blast and bought a lot. We ate at Rainforest cafe, and got up early the next morning to do Hollywood Studios with Susy, Todd, and Lily. We got to meet Micky, and Bolt, Mitten, and Rhino. We saw several shows, danced at the parade, and rode the big rides. The next day was Sunday, so we went to church in Orlando, then drove out to the Tampa area to visit Travis's aunt Bobby and uncle Don. We had a wonderful relaxing day and hated to go back, but Epcot was calling! We got up extra early the next day for a princess breakfast in the Norway pavillion and got to meet Cinderella, Belle, Ariel, Aurora, and Snow White! The girls were practically speechless! And guess who got all teary-eyed when the first princess approached our table. That's right. Travis. The look on his daughters faces staring up at Princess Aurora was almost to much for our big softy. He sure loves his girls. :) After that we turtle talked with crush, rode some rides, and walked around the world. We got to eat in Norway, Japan, and France, all in one day. (and you know, that's what I really liked :)) We met Mulan, who was REALLY nice!! She talked with the girls for a long time. You gotta love that. But we still had one more day, so we went to bed and slept for a few hours so we could get to Magic Kingdom at the opening. Which I must say is the best idea. For some reason, about an hour after opening, the population of Main St. USA doubles! That first hour we were able to do more things then the whole rest of the day combined! And we did a lot! Rode Dumbo, Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribean, Small World (which wasn't nearly as annoying as I'd imagined), and a bunch of others. We had a wonderful time, but were thoroughly exausted by the end. So we were glad that the next day we could just relax and drive to NC. We visited with our family there for a day, then drove to our old haunt of Greenville where Travis was teaching a class at ECU, so I met up with some friends from church while he was doing that. It was so great to see them! I forget sometimes how much I miss having friends!! :) After that we headed back to Wake Co and visited our fam some more, then headed back to Ohio after church on Sunday. It was a fabulous 2 weeks!