Saturday, June 19, 2010

water fun

You can't do much outside in the summer here without involving water. Here's a few fun things we've managed to do - swimming lessons, splash park, and water balloons on the trampoline.

(side note for those in town: if you want your kids to actually LEARN TO SWIM and not just have fun, the parks & rec program may not cut it... Nathan has been in level 1 for two years and just recommended to do that again next time. hmmm... Jared loved splashing a bucket of water on his teachers and I think both Nathan and Jared liked their turn to jump off the diving board and go down the big slide, when they weren't waiting in line... why do they spend so much time trying to get them to jump in the water (with a life jacket on) when they don't even know how to float? I've never understood that. They really did have a lot of fun though and they loved their teachers.)


I don't like farewells. We've had a hard week of good-byes as we are moving to CA (today). I can't think of anything fun about moving - packing and unpacking, saying good-bye, traveling long distances (with young kids), and transitioning to a new place and new people. Many have kindly commented that it will be a new adventure, but to be honest, my sense of adventure isn't very high. I like predictability, routine, and being in my comfort zone. It takes me a while to warm up to new people and things. It's definitely not comfortable to meet new people and try to make new friends.

In the long run though, moving is a good thing. I think of all the good friends and people I've met in the different places we've lived. We've been blessed to have many wonderful friends. I appreciate those who have gone out of their way to get to know us and many times to take the first step to introduce themselves or extend an invitation. One of my first friends here and one of my best friends I met at the library at storytime. We have kids nearly the same age - Nathan and Garett are about 4 months apart, and Jared and Emalee are about 2 months apart. Amanda took the 1st step of introducing herself, offering her phone number and suggesting we get together (kind-of like a 1st date... ha ha. :)) Anyway, we recognized we had a lot in common and got along well right away. Nathan and Garett really seemed to hit it off and quickly became buddies. The past four years, we've had a lot of fun times, some of those including coaching a soccer team together, outings to the zoo, swimming lessons, birthday parties, playgroups at the park, soccer games, trick or treating, and storytimes at the library of course. One memorable time involved a 30th surprise birthday party for Alex - Amanda helped me make a big VW bus in her garage. We also had fun coaching 3 and 4 year old soccer. There's so many great memories. It was hard to hold back the tears as we ended up saying good-bye from the same place we met.
(2007 - Nathan and Garett)
June 2010

I also met some other wonderful friends through Amanda. Laura and Amber also have boys Nathan's age (and girls Jared's age) - these 4 boys had so much fun together. (And we had some fun mom's nights out.) It's sad to break up this quartet.

Garett, Nathan, and David played soccer together

Amber and I have shared similar experiences this year - here's a belly shot (thanks to Nathan) of our baby boys at 36 weeks. This will also be the 4th for both of us. It's great to have a pregnancy friend.

We also had wonderful church and work friends and neighbors who have always been of service to our family and quick to lend a helping hand or invitation to dinner. I just wish we had a good picture of each of them. There are so many good people here in OK who have left a mark upon our hearts. We will truly miss all of our Okie friends.

We had a tough time leaving today - at the end of the day, we sat in our empty house and thought of all the good memories and friends from our time here in OK. We couldn't hold back the tears as we got ready to shut the door on this chapter of our lives and on to the next. We will miss everyone. Good-bye Oklahoma!

Friday, June 18, 2010

18 months

I can't believe Big O is 18 months already! He's a little boy now and thinks he's just as big as his brothers. He has so much energy! He loves to be outside, loves to climb and play in the dirt (especially mud puddles). He's starting to get lots of words, although much of it is still jibber jabber. And he's starting to "cheese" for the camera - love that smile. Love this boy!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

garage sale

I really should have taken a picture of all our junk, but I didn't. We had the whole living room floor covered in toys at one point (and we have a big living room) - we weeded through them, keeping the boys "favorite" toys and deciding which ones to put in the garage sale. Then we had to put a price on them.

We also sorted through nearly EVERYTHING in our house and shop this week, going through the same process. It was a big PAIN. We made the mistake of advertising the garage sale in the newspaper - don't do that. It cost $17 to list it (for 3 days - 2 days was $15 - $12 for 1 day). Who knew that would cost so much? We also spent $3 on signs and stickers. So we were already $20 in the hole.

So then we got up early this morning - about 6:30am to set everything up. We had people showing up at 7:40 (with an 8am start time). We were still trying to get everything out there. And then we waited and sat in the hot sun and watched people look at our junk. People came, but they didn't buy like we thought they would. There were some items that we thought would go quickly and they never sold. And then there were some things we thought would NEVER go. Who would have expected the carcass of a blowfish to go? Or a big CD/radio player on which the CD player doesn't work (we told them...)? I was surprised at how many men came, mostly looking for guns, knives, fishing, and yard stuff. I expected more moms and ladies looking for household things and toys. I think more men showed up than women.

After subtracting our advertising, we made $55. It wasn't worth the time and energy. What did feel good was taking 2 van loads of stuff to the Salvation Army. I think what we discovered is that the bigger junk items you put on Craigslist and donate all the small junk. We listed some things on Craigslist and by the end of the day, we had several replies.

I don't think we'll be doing any more garage sales, but hopefully we learned how to get rid of our junk and can continue to do so. It's a nice feeling to have things more organized and cleared out. We still have too many TOYS though...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

vacation part 3

Our next stop was Nauvoo, Illinois (if the link works, there's a little history about Nauvoo). We decided somewhat last minute that we wanted to see this church history site. I went as a teenager and saw it, but that was before they re-built (in 2002) the temple that was destroyed back in 1848. I remember standing on the empty site. It was neat to see the new temple there - it's beautiful. (Alex and I had to take turns since the kids can't go inside. It was nice and sunny when Alex went in and it was rainy by the time it was my turn).

We also toured the rest of the town - we went in some of the old shops, like the post office, print shop, tin shop, gun shop, blacksmith (they got to take home a little horseshoe that was made right there in front of them), bakery, and a couple of the homes. There was a fun area for the kids to play, called "pioneer pastimes". They could play in a little schoolhouse, dress up like pioneers, and play pioneer games. We also went on a short oxen ride and watched a show.

vacation part 2 (and 4)

Our next stop was to visit Alex's aunt Jane. It was a short visit, but we packed in a bunch of things in about 1 day. We went to a carnival - Nathan won a stuffed dog in one of the games. We went to Union Station and saw a model train exhibit and a dinosaur exhibit - the boys loved both of them. We had lunch nearby at a place that delivered your food by a little train - that was cool. And the boys also enjoyed playing outside with balls - bowling, golf, etc. We also were able to stay with Aunt Jane for a day on the way back from part 3 of our trip.