Saturday, June 30, 2012

Storage Wars

Mike and I have recently been hooked on watching the A&E show called Storage Wars.  Have you ever heard of this show?  The premise of the show is that when someone can't pay for their storage unit anymore, the unit (with all the stuff inside) goes up for auction.  The show follows five or six professional buyers as they go from storage auction to storage auction hoping to find hidden treasures within.  The catch is that before they bid on it, the lock is cut and the unit is opened, but no one can walk inside or open any boxes.  So it is a bit of a gamble to bid on what you just see up front.  Sometimes they can tell the unit holds nothing but junk, while other times they count on money coming from antique furniture or tools or appliances that they spot inside.  The fun comes when they buy a unit and start digging through it for treasures.  We've seen them find things like guitars, coin collections, glass eyeballs and Russian flight suits from the Cold War Era. At the end of the show, they take their finds to have them appraised, and it is fun to see if their items are really worth anything at all.  It is pretty interesting to watch and quite addicting!  Mike and I will sometimes play along and decide which units we would bid on if we were on the show (and had a couple thousand dollars to spend!).

Even thought we don't go to storage unit auctions, we do enjoy browsing through thrift stores and antique shops hoping to find something cool.  Usually we end up just looking, but every now and then we do find something neat. Garage sales are another fun way to go "digging for treasure", but I have the worst luck at garage sales.  I never find anything but junk.  Plus, I don't have the patience to go looking for too long.

Do you like to go thrifting or antiquing?  Do you usually find hidden treasures or junk?

Friday, June 29, 2012

Flower Girl

Mom, Dad and me
My girls have been asking me lately when they will ever get to be flower girls in a wedding.  It has somehow become their lifelong goal to walk down an aisle leaving flower petals in their wake.  Really, I think it has something to do with getting to wear a fancy dress.  I understand their dream to be flower girls, though, because once I was a little girl longing to be a flower girl too.  Eventually I got my chance at my Uncle John and Aunt Mary's wedding in 1985.  I was eight.  The wedding was in December and the colors matched the festive Christmas decorations in the church.  My grandmother made my dress which was made out of red taffeta, complete with puffy sleeves.  Much to my excitement, my mom took to me a salon to have my hair professionally styled, and I was allowed to wear a string of real pearls.  My cousin, David was the ring bearer, so we walked down the aisle together.  David is only a year and half younger than me, and dressed in his spiffy tuxedo, we got lots of smiles and "awwww's" from the guests in the church.  I remember the night before the wedding David asked his mom when his "bear costume" was going to arrive.  He was under the impression that he was to be a "ring bear."  That story has been told over and over in all the years since.  
The wedding was held in a beautiful Lutheran church here in Oklahoma City.  I remember there being lots of greenery, red bows and warm candlelight.  I remember my aunt and uncle being pronounced "man and wife" and giggling at their first kiss.  And I remember twirling in my red dress at the reception, happy to finally tell my friends that I had finally been a flower girl.

Maybe one day my girls will get their chance. 
What about you?  Ever been a flower girl?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Interview with Lucas

Tonight I decided sit down for a few minutes with my almost three year old little boy to interview him and hear his thoughts on life at the moment. 

What is your name?  I am Lukey Galloway.

How old are you?  Good!

No, how old are you?  Oh! Two!

Who is in your family? Hmmm.....Mom, Dad, Hannah and Leah.

Lucas came up with this creative idea for a holster yesterday.
Is it a diaper?  Is it a place to store your gun?  
The answer is yes.

What is your favorite color?  Purple

What is your favorite book to read? Hmmm....(taps his finger on his lips)....Toot! Toot! Beep! Beep! (by Emma Garcia)

What is your favorite movie?  I like The Iron Giant!

What is your favorite song to dance to?  New York to LA!! (go here to hear the song and see the video)

What do you like do to outside?  I like to play outside with my toys.

What is your favorite thing to play inside?  Dinos!!

What do you think Daddy does at work all day?  He does work.

What do you want to do for your birthday in July? I like cupcakes!  I want kids, and I like candy!

Anything else you would like to say?  Ummm.....I like my Spiderman jammies!  Where's Hannah and Leah?

Asleep in my bed with his Spiderman jammies on. 
He asks to wear his "blue Spiderman jammies" every single night.  

Lucas, you are the sweetest two year old boy I know.  You are tender and kind.  You ask me everyday how I am feeling and give hugs and kisses freely.  You love your sisters.  The first words out of your mouth most mornings are, "Where's Hannah and Leah?"  You follow them around and get really sad when they don't want you to play in their room with them.  You love for me to read with you, and I cherish those quiet times when it's just you and me and a stack of books.  At bedtime, you always give me a kiss and say, "I love you soooooo much!"  And you like for me to snuggle with you a bit before you drift off to sleep.  Yet while you are gentle and sweet, on the other hand you are busy and active and feisty!  You love to run and jump and dance and play.  Your favorite toys are dinosaurs and trains and cars.  You still could kick a ball for hours, and you always say, "Watch this, Mom!" Usually you want me to see how fast you can run or you want me to watch you fall over in a silly way.  I love watching you grow up, my little Lucas Gabriel.  I'm so glad I get to be your Mommy.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Rainy Day Watercolors

Last Thursday we woke up to a very wet, rainy day.  The steady plunk of raindrops hitting our windows and roof were the metronome keeping the beat for the rhythm of our day.  The kids and I made a list of rainy day activities and tried to check off as many as we possibly could.  Playing in the rain topped the list, so we headed out in our pajamas and played until we were soaking wet (and by "we" I mean the kids, not me).  They ran and splashed and jumped and laughed and cartwheeled until a loud clap of thunder brought them running inside.  After drying off, we read some books, then moved on to a third activity:  painting.  Inspired by the book Swimmy by Leo Lionni, we brought out the watercolors.  The girls chose an ocean theme while Lucas went for a more abstract look. They had so much fun just letting their imaginations run wild.

Our painting inspiration
Getting Started

Hannah and Lucas painting away

Later we made cookies and watched a movie and ate popcorn.  Check, check, check.  We had a lot of fun checking off our rainy day activities!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Reading to Dogs

I have decided with the new library open so close to my house, I am going to take advantage of all the wonderful, FREE programs offered there that I can.  I love story time, preschool aerobics, music & movement, and the great reading programs offered.  We've always loved and used the public library, but now that one is right around the corner, we are there just about every other day it seems.  Tonight we decided to take advantage of a new program. When I read about it I just knew we had to do it.  It's called "Children Reading to Dogs."  Licensed therapy dogs are brought in for children to sit and read to.  It's geared toward hesitant readers, but really who doesn't want to read to a dog?  And any reading is good reading in my book.  So the kids and I headed out right before dinner to get in line and read to a dog.  They were so excited.

 Hannah reading to Abby, the therapy dog.  Lucas got to sit and listen in too. 
When they were done, they got to feed Abby a treat.
Leah reading to Abby.  That dog was so sweet and so well behaved.  
The kids loved reading to her, and especially loved getting to pet her when they were done.

Just thought I'd share about such a neat idea!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Our Epic Day

Our Saturday started with our family's favorite breakfast of homemade waffles.  Not only do they taste good, but they make the whole house smell like a bakery.  While I cleaned up the kitchen, Mike went about the task of setting up the big blue inflatable water slide for its inaugural summer run.  This will be the third (and probably final) summer for the slide.  We have definitely gotten our money's worth with that thing.  As the slide was being cleaned off and set up, the kids were running around cheering and "yahoo-ing" in a frenzied state of euphoria.  Once it was ready and their bathing suits were on, they headed out into the already blazing hot day to play in the water.  The rest of the morning was spent alternating between the slide and trampoline until they all came in tired and hungry for lunch.  

After lunch, we decided to head back to the OKC Zoo for an afternoon of family fun (we have a family pass, so we're taking advantage of it!).  Mike wasn't able to go to the zoo last time, and the kids are always game for an trip, so off we went.  The zoo is really so big that unless you spent an entire day from open to close, you couldn't really see everything.  This time we hit the places we didn't get to see last time.  Places like the aquarium, the herpatorium, the new elephant habitat, the Children's Zoo (where they once again played in the water), and the Carousel.  Even though the temps reached 97 degrees, the zoo was shaded and the slight breeze cooled us off enough.  And surprisingly, it wasn't crowded today.  The kids behaved themselves and we had a great time.

Later, as we were eating dinner, Leah asked me, "Mom, what does 'epic' mean?"  I said, "It means something really, really good."  She replied, "Well, today has been an epic day!"  

I'm so glad that we are creating "epic" memories together as a family.

 Leah by the water mister at the zoo.
 Hannah by the mister.  I could not get them to pose together to save my life!
Me unsuccessfully trying to get the elephants in the background. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012


I am shamelessly asking for you all out in the blogging world to vote for our family's submission to the OKC Metro Family Magazine's "Exploring Oklahoma Photo Contest".  I entered a picture of Hannah and Leah at Robbers Cave State Park during the Summer of 2010.  That vacation was the last vacation we took with my mom and dad before my mom passed away in May of 2011.  We had such a wonderful time there together staying in a cozy cabin.  We disconnected from the world (no cell phones, internet, etc) and reconnect together by going hiking, exploring, horseback riding, swimming, canoeing, and paddle boating.  We cooked our meals together and played games in the evening.  It was a simple and sweet time for us and the memories we made there are especially precious to me.  Anyway, if you get a chance, vote for us. You can vote once daily until July Sixth.  Thanks, friends!

Go here to vote (you'll have to create an account with a user name and password):
"Exploring Oklahoma Photo Contest"

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer Cold

It started with Lucas, moved on to Hannah, and now has settled in on me. What is it? A lovely summer cold. My head feels like a bowling ball-- congestion, headache, low fever. So I spent most of today taking it easy. When my kids napped, I napped. I drank hot tea and let my kids watch more tv than usual. And I think it has paid off because I am feeling better, thank goodness. There is just something so wrong about being sick in the summertime.

Here's to a better tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Recipe: Pasta Primavera

I made this recipe the other night and was reminded once again of how much I love it. My mom used to make it when I was growing up, and it was always a family favorite.  It is a simple, vegetarian dish that is a nice change from meat and potatoes.  And I think it could be easily "veganized" by using vegan cream, vegan Parmesan and Earth Balance in place of butter.
The creamy, delicious onion/garlic/mushroom/tomato sauce
First start by melting 2 Tbsp.of butter in a large pan over medium high heat.  Add a medium sized onion (chopped), 2 garlic cloves (minced), and 8 ounces of sliced button mushrooms.  Next add a half teaspoon each of salt and pepper, and let these ingredients cook down a bit. The onion will become translucent and tender, while the mushrooms will turn a nice golden brown (about 8 minutes).  To this mixture add one can of diced tomatoes, juice and all.  Then pour in a cup of heavy whipping cream.  Stir to combine, bring to a boil, then remove from the heat and set it aside.  We'll come back to this delicious pink, creamy mixture soon.
Pasta and green veggies all cooked together
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 12 ounces of fettuccine pasta..  Add 2 Tbsp. salt and 2 Tbsp. pepper (I know that sounds like a lot, but it is really necessary to season the pasta).  Let the noodles cook for about six minutes, then add a pound of chopped fresh asparagus.  Yes, add the asparagus to the boiling pot of pasta.  You can cook the veggies and the pasta all at once!  Genius!  Let the asparagus cook one minute, then add 1 cup chopped zucchini. Let it cook about 2 minutes, then add a cup of frozen peas.  Allow another minute or two of cooking time to pass, then drain the pasta and veggies.  Return them to the pot and then take your mushroom and onion mixture that you set aside earlier and add it to the pasta and veggies.  Pour in 2 Tbsp. of fresh squeezed lemon juice, a 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, and a Tbsp. of chopped fresh basil.  Give everything a good stir to combine, and serve with a big slice of crusty bread and some more Parmesan cheese on top.  It is so, so good!  I think a light meal like this is perfect for a summer night.  

The two dishes before being combined.  I forgot to take a photo of the final product because we ate it up too fast.  You'll just have to make it to see for yourself! 

PS--I picked out the asparagus because I don't like it.  Mike loves it though, so I am a good wife and include it.  I have substituted fresh green beans, though, and it is good either way!

Monday, June 18, 2012

A Happy and Sad Dream

Do you ever have those kinds of dreams that are so vivid and clear that when you wake up it takes you a few minutes to decide if the dream was real or not?  Sometimes I have woken up from those types of dreams thinking, "Where am I?" I had a dream like that two nights ago.  It was so real to me that I've been thinking about it ever since.  It was a both a happy and sad dream all at once.  Here, let me just tell you about it.

In my dream, I was walking through my old house in Bluff Creek.  I lived in that house from 1987 to 1999, when I got married.  My parents still lived there until 2004 when they moved into the current home where my dad still lives today.  I was alone, and the house seemed empty, but I wasn't afraid.  I carefully walked through each room opening every cabinet door and kitchen drawer looking to see that everything was still in the right place.  I remember opening a door in the kitchen to see the bright yellow bowls we used for cereal still stacked right where they always were.  I opened the kitchen "junk drawer" and saw the orange handled scissors sitting in their place as usual.  I noticed every picture hanging on the wall and thought, "That's right where it is supposed to be."  Then something dawned on me, "Everything is still in its place, so I wonder if my mom is here too?"

Now at this point I want to stop with the dream and give you some background information that I promise is relevant.  Whenever I was a teenager and would be out with friends, my mom would always wait up for me. At least she tried to wait up for me.  More often than not, I would come home to find her sitting up in her bed asleep with a book open on her lap, surrounded by sleeping cats (we had four at the time).  A lot of times the television would be on, and the lamp on her nightstand would be on too.  I would come in and whisper, "Mom, I'm home!"  She would wake up and smile, then she would want to know all about my evening.  I remember so many nights sitting on the bed beside her chatting on and on about who was with me and what we did.  Sometimes my dad would wake up and join in, but mostly he would sleep through the whole thing.  It was a special time for my mom and me.

So back to the dream.  I decided to see if in fact, my mom was in the house in the same spot I had found her so many nights while growing up.  My heart started pounding as I walked down the hall to her room, and as I turned the corner, I saw the familiar glow of the lamp on her nightstand.  Then I saw her.  She was sitting up in bed asleep.  I gently touched her shoulder, and she woke up.  She looked right at me and smiled and said, "I'm so glad you're home!"

That was it.  I woke up and had to really think whether she was still here or not.  Of course I quickly figured out that she is gone.  I wanted so badly to go back to sleep and try to revisit that dream.  To sit beside her in bed and talk.  I want to fill her in on all that she has missed these past thirteen months.  Oh how I wish I could.

Saturday, June 16, 2012


My dad had the day off yesterday, so we took the kids to the zoo for the first time this summer.  The day started off cool and overcast which is perfect zoo weather.  The animals seem to be out and about more when the weather is cooler.  A new addition to the zoo here is a feeding station for the giraffes.  I love giraffes.  At first glance, they look a bit awkward, but when they move, I think they look graceful.  They are gentle giants, and have noble, kind faces.  And their spot pattern is quite beautiful too.  With the new feeding station in place, we set out right away to check it out.  The girls were excited and Lucas was tentative, but eager to see what was involved.  We arrived and were handed a handful of "brows" or branches with plenty of large, green leaves just right for a giraffe's diet.  We were then introduced to three of our giraffes:  Ellie (the mom), Bogie (the dad) and Sergeant Peppers (the baby, born in January of this year).  We also learned a few interesting giraffe facts.

1. A giraffe's spot pattern is unique, like a fingerprint.  No two giraffes have the same pattern.
2. A giraffe's spots darken with age, so obviously the darker the spots, the older the giraffe.
3. A single kick from a giraffe is powerful enough to kill a lion or cheetah.
4. Their tongues are black to prevent sunburn.

We were only able to feed Ellie and Bogie since their baby is still drinking his mother's milk.  I thought little Sergeant Peppers was adorable, and he stuck pretty close to his mom.  The kids held up their leaves and the giraffes came right over.  Their eyes were big and doelike, with eyelashes to the moon.  Their noses were so soft, I had to use a lot of self control not to reach out and touch them.  Their tongues were super long and a bit freaky.  Gene Simmons would appreciate their tongues to be sure.  

 Mom and Baby
 "Leaves, my favorite."
 Hannah feeding Ellie
 "Uhhh, could you move that a little closer, please?"
Lucas feeding Bogie.  His dark spots showed his older age.

Overall it was a great experience and all three kids enjoyed it!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Park Tour

Today turned out to be one of those days where we slept late, ate a leisurely breakfast, and then asked the question, "What should we do today?"  The world was our oyster. Sort of.  I wanted to keep in mind cost and time, so I suggested a few ideas, and we settled on simply playing at a park.  But which one to visit?  Decisions, Decisions.  Then I remembered driving through a large nearby neighborhood that had not one, not two, but three different playgrounds in it! Thus a park tour was schemed up.  We decided to start with the biggest one, play for awhile, head to the next one, play, then visit the last.  At the end, we would each vote for whichever was our favorite.
Park One
Here's playground number one.  We named it the Pirate Park because of the boats.  The kids immediately loved this one, but after only a few minutes I spotted something disturbing.  Someone had drawn a large male body part on one of the slides. Ugh. Then as I walked around some more I noticed that the idiot who had drawn the body part had added several choice words too (f-bombs included).  Lucas was oblivious, but my girls can read now, so I quickly told them we had to leave.  They were disappointed and asked for an explanation.  I thought carefully how to discuss it, so I told them that someone had written inappropriate words on the playground equipment and I didn't want them to know what it said.  We ended up having a good discussion about the choices we make.  Hannah actually said, "Mom, I think Jesus loves those people who wrote those bad things.  I think he is just really sad that they made such bad choices."

Park Two
On to park two!  We named this one Animal Park.  Lucas loved it, but the girls complained that it was a little too "babyish" for them.  Still, they played for awhile.  The bonus of this park was the pond that surrounded it.  We got to watch ducks, geese, and egrets as they swam and waddled around.

Park Three

We ended with the smallest park. The kids all liked it better than Animal Park, but less than Pirate Park.  We named it Spider Web Park.  We spent the most time here because there seemed to be something for each child to do that fit his/her age.  We even ran into some friends that live in the neighborhood while we were playing.  By the time we were done, the kids were ready for lunch and Lucas went down for a nap as soon as his head hit his pillow.  Minus the obscene words and pictures, the park tour was a pretty good way to spend a summer morning.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Thunder Up!

Y'all know I love our NBA team, the Oklahoma City Thunder by now, right?  Up until now, we have not had a professional sports team.  College football was (and still is) huge in our state, and that means that most people are either an OU or OSU fan.  You either wear crimson and cream or orange and black.  And most people are extremely passionate about which team they follow.  So you could say there has always been a bit of a sports divide here (I'm an OU fan, by the way.  Just had to throw that in there).  But now we have a team that everyone likes.  Gone are the days of division, and hello to unification under the new colors of blue and white and orange. There is something sort of cool about seeing an entire city come together to cheer on their home team.

Since having the Thunder in our city, Mike and I had attended a grand total of 1 game.  The first year the franchise was here we saw the Thunder play the Houston Rockets and our team lost miserably (like they did most games that first year).  Still it was fun.  I had never been to a professional sporting event ever, so I really enjoyed it and hoped to go back soon.  Well between ticket prices and a busy schedule, we just never got there.  In the mean time, though, our team got good.  Real good.  So good in fact that they made it to the NBA finals.  That's the Super Bowl of the basketball world.  Tickets for these games are off the charts expensive (for decent seats anyway).  So when Mike called me yesterday to say that his boss had given him two tickets for us to attend last night's first finals game, I was shocked!  I immediately called my dad to see if he could babysit, and thankfully he could.  It was on!

We arrived about an hour before the game was to start and found our seats.  They were not too far up, definitely not the nosebleeds.  In fact, as we sat down, we noticed the ESPN booth set up right behind us and who should we see there?  None other than Magic Johnson!  He was getting ready to do the pregame show and his cell phone slipped out of his pocket and down below Mike's chair.  Of course Mike picked it up and handed it back to him where their conversation consisted of Magic saying "thanks" and Mike just saying "no problem!"  Of course Mike and Magic are instantly BFFs now.  At least in Mike's mind they are.....

Anyway, the game was a lot of fun.  Extremely loud (the place is called Loud City for a reason, folks) and the best part of the night was that we beat the Heat.  Literally!  One win down, three more to go.  We ended up getting home at 11:30 and by the time we crashed into bed around midnight we were exhausted.  Even though it was pretty physically tiring, I am kind of hoping his boss hands us two more tickets for tomorrow's Game 2.  We'll see. :)

Me before the game started
Here you can see how close we were to Magic.  It was cool that when he wasn't on camera, he would turn around, take his jacket off and watch the game.  

Monday, June 11, 2012

An Adventure

Leah (in the yellow life jacket) going on a canoe adventure at VBS last week

The other day my kids and I watched Finding Nemo for what was probably the 20th time. Pixar has their storytelling down pat, because I never seem to get tired of watching their movies. I am also a big softie and tend to cry at all of them.  Especially anytime a parent and child are reunited.  It's sad really, but true. Anyway, this time in particular, it was the very last line in the whole movie that got to me.  For some reason, it made my heart twist around tightly and I could feel the telltale lump forming in my throat.  In the last scene, Nemo is about to head off to school when he stops his teacher and runs back to give his dad one last hug.  The dialog is as follows:

Nemo (hugging his dad): I love you, Dad.
Marlin: I love you too, son.
Nemo (after being embraced a little too long): Uh, dad, you can let go now.
Marlin: Sorry! Now go have an adventure....

I am so glad God designed the process of life the way he did.  Because if we had to let go of our children right off the bat, no one would sign up for such emotional torture.  But instead, babies are born needy and helpless.  And parents are there to hold and feed and take care of all their needs.  Slowly, though, the letting go process begins.  Perhaps it starts off with Grandma watching the baby for a few hours while Mom and Dad go out on a much needed date.  Then maybe a babysitter watches the baby all day while Mom goes off to work. As the baby turns into a toddler, he may have an occasional sleepover at his grandparents' house. Or maybe even a multiple night stay if Mom and Dad are going on a vacation.  The process of letting go is done in small, manageable increments.

Later, as I am finding out, the letting go process gets harder.  Because instead of releasing your sweet baby into the loving and familiar arms of grandparents or other family members, you instead release them into the arms of a teacher, or daycare worker, or Sunday School teacher, or dance instructor.  That's when your heart seems to want to burst open and your eyes well up with tears.  In those moments you want to run back into the classroom and say, "Uh...we'll just try kindergarten next year when she's six.  Or eight.  Or never."  But then you take a deep breath, say a prayer for God to watch over her, and move on.  In all of my experiences like these, I have come back to happy children who are bursting at the seams to tell me all about their day.  Their adventure.

All of these experiences are just practice for when your baby is one day a grown young man or woman.  I can't imagine how much my heart will want to explode when I have to leave one of my kids at college.  But I hope I can look them in the eye and truly say, with confidence, "Hannah, Leah,'s time to go have an adventure."  

Thankfully, we still have lots more years to practice.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

A Friday Night and a GIVEAWAY!

The wind was cool for an Oklahoma June night.  So cool in fact that I grabbed a nearby beach towel and wrapped it around my shoulders.  One by one the kids came out of the pool, shivering and tired from hours of non stop play.  A plate of fresh from the oven oatmeal cookies with craisins and white chocolate chips sat cooling on the table only to be gobbled up within minutes by both the kids and adults alike. Soon the children were warm and dry enough to head over to the outdoor playset and start an imaginary game called "royal castle."  Their singsong voices could be heard talking and laughing as they played.  Soon after, two big dogs came bounding out of the house wiggling with pure joy.  They ran a few laps around the yard, then settled down long enough to let the kids pet them and give them kisses.  A few of them started throwing the tennis ball for the chocolate lab to run and retrieve over and over and over.  The adults sat in lounge chairs eating a second round of cookies and chatting about the events of our weeks.  As evening set in, lighting bugs blinked and twinkled off and on as if to announce the end of the day.  I glanced behind me and saw the sky fading from aqua to baby blue to orange to feisty pink.  I grabbed my phone and snapped a quick picture to remember the calm feeling of the night.  The others turned to notice the sunset as well and for a moment we all sat quietly taking it in, breathing deep.  Then as quickly as it began, the colors slipped below the treeline and it was dark.  We gathered our tired brood and drove home in quiet contentment.  And that's how our Friday evening went.

Now...on to the giveaway!  Well, it's not my giveaway, but instead I want you to go to my sister in law, Rachel's blog to check out her awesome giveaway.  She is giving away a beautiful, handmade beaded necklace that has a story behind it even more beautiful than the jewelry itself!  Go check it out, read the story, and enter for a chance to win.  You have until tomorrow night to enter and she will announce the winner on Monday morning.  So go visit the Green Door Project and see for yourself!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Taking Off

This little boy of mine is only two for a few more weeks.  Two still sounds like a baby, but three sounds like a toddler.  An independent toddler.  He is really taking off in many ways lately.  His vocabulary is multiplying by the minute.  He is more thoughtful in his questions and answers, and he uses lots of cute inflections and funny facial expressions.  He is a hoot!

He is starting to play more independently and for longer periods of time.  This is helpful when I need to get some work done.  Right now we have his train table set up in the open space between our living room and kitchen areas.  While I am cooking dinner or cleaning up the breakfast dishes, he is usually right there puttering around with his trains.  Today he was holding a train in each hand, and I could hear them having a conversation with each other.  It went something like this:

Red Train, "Hi Train!  Are you stinky?"
Blue Train, "Yes, I poo pooed in my diaper."
Red Train, "You are stinky!"
Blue Train, "I need to poo poo in the potty."

It was pretty funny.  And speaking of bathroom words, we are so very close to potty training.  I have had to be patient with this boy because my girls were potty trained by this age.  I know it is something you can't force upon a child, but I am really getting tired of buying diapers and wiping a poopy bottom!  We're still not there yet, but in the past week he has told me every single time he "is stinky" and wants his diaper changed immediately.  And twice he has come running up to me half naked, holding a wet diaper, saying, "It was too soggy, Momma!"  He is starting to recognize that having a dirty diaper is not comfortable! Up until now, it didn't bother him one bit.  Progress!

Overall, I can see great strides being taken in all areas of his life.  He is such a smart, sweet little boy.  I find myself staring at him so I can capture this phase in his life in my mind.  Because I know all too well how fast the time flies.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Summer So Far

We have officially be on summer break for 19 days, and it has already been jam packed with fun. After our little vacation to Texas, the girls went to Theater Camp at the Oklahoma Children's Theater Company.  They had an absolute blast there too.  Together with their group, they wrote a play, auditioned for parts, and created costumes.  Then they rehearsed, played games, and learned silly songs.  Every day that I picked them up they had so much to tell me. On Friday we got to attend their performance and I have to say I beamed with pride as my little girls went all out saying their lines.  They both had a lot of expression in their voices and on their faces.
Leah and Hannah (a.k.a. Princess Kaitlyn and Princess Buttercup)

This week they have been attending Vacation Bible School at our neighbor's church.  Not only do they get to do the typical fun VBS activities like crafts, games, stories, and songs, but they also get to go fishing and canoeing in the creek that runs back behind the church.  How fun is that?  Tonight Leah was in the bathtub and I could hear her singing "Our God is an Awesome God." I love that she learned that song and is putting it deep into her heart.
 Hannah working on her craft at VBS

Leah ready to get in her canoe

In addition to those things, we have been loving our new library that opened up on May 22nd.  We desperately needed a Northwest area library and we finally have an amazing facility that is literally five minutes from my house.  I can't even tell you how wonderful it is to walk into a clean, modern new building with ALL NEW BOOKS!  Do you know how much the smell and feel of brand new books thrills me?  And the kid area is just wonderful with lots of games and computers and of course books.  I love all the outdoor patio areas and plan to use them soon.  We got all the kids signed up for the summer reading program and look forward to going back there often.
 The new Northwest Library books.

I hope your summer has started off with a bang too!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sunday Night in the City

I love easy summer Sunday nights.  Here's a glimpse into what our family did this last Sunday.
 Downtown Sprayground
 My beautiful Leah (with a tattoo on her face)
 Lucas waiting for water 
 Hannah gracefully jumping across the word "Grow" at the Children's Garden
 Lucas conquering the slide
 Me watching and observing
 The new Devon Tower behind us
 Me and my boy.  My new favorite picture of us.
 Posing for Dad
Hannah resting and pondering what to do next.

If you haven't visited the new Children's Garden and sprayground in downtown OKC, you are missing out!  And Sunday nights there are free outdoor concerts starting at 7:30.  

Now go explore your city!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Lucky Number Thirteen

Today is our 13th wedding anniversary. Lucky number 13. Our friends graciously offered to watch our kids so we could go out for a nice dinner together. And man, did we eat. We splurged on drinks, an appetizer, main course and dessert. Boo ya! Really, though, it was the uninterrupted conversation that was the best part of our night. After all these years, we still enjoy being together, and never seem to run out of things to talk about.

In honor of our 13th anniversary, I thought I would share thirteen random facts about us.

1. We met in college through mutual friends. I was 19 and he was 20.
2. Our first date was on September 22, 1996. We were supposed to meet at Lake Hefner to fly a kite, but we ended up talking instead. We finished the date with dinner at Chili's. I remember that our conversation flowed easily right from the start.
3. Once during a camping trip with some friends Mike defended me from a crazy, drunk Indian man. True story.
4. He proposed in June of 1998. He made dinner for me at his house. Just before dessert he got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. I said yes. :)
5. Mike wore his black and white wing tip Doc Martens in our wedding. At the time we thought it was pretty cool.
6. A month after we were married, we got our sweet cat, Tundra. We named her after a song by Havalina Rail Co.with the same name.
7. Mike and I have to sleep with a fan or some sort of white noise.
8. We are both night owls, and prefer to sleep late in the morning.
9. He likes diet drinks, while I like the real things.
10. When we found out we were having twins, we both burst out laughing.
11. One of our favorite things to do together is to drive through and explore random small towns.
12. Our son, Lucas, is really a perfect combination of both of us, while Hannah looks more like me and Leah looks more like Mike.
13. I love the life we have built together. And I wouldn't change a thing.

Here's to another 13+ years!!!

Friday, June 1, 2012

80's Night Pics: A Week Late

As promised a week ago today, here are some pictures from our friend's 80's/Michael Jackson themed birthday party last Friday night.  Enjoy.
 Mike and Me after our red carpet entrance.
Mike came as Michael Jackson's son, Blanket while I opted for a generic 1980's band groupie look.
Yes, Mike is wearing an adult diaper.  He goes all out for the sake of a good costume.
The Birthday Boy himself.
Our friend Reed went for the "Michael Jackson going to court in a blazer and pajama jeans look".

 Me and MJ.  Not sure if this is before or after his hair caught on fire.
 Me and Nikki  (a.k.a Brooke Shields and her big 80's brows) ready to karaoke.  We sang many songs including "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun", "Like a Virgin", "Come On, Eileen" and "Pour Some Sugar on Me".  I don't expect any record deals in our near future.

 Blanket.  Uncovered.
 Presenting Dr. Conrad Murray (with his propofol injection) and 1970's Michael.
That's just milk in the syringe in case anyone is worried.
Nikki and our awesome friend Tanda.  Check out Tanda's awesome gloves (which she made out of her daughter's socks!)

A fun night was had by all. :)