Wednesday, June 30, 2010

at least the oil isn't a problem

so.....for the past few months we have been worried about the oil spill ruining our vacation. rain never even entered our minds.

thankfully, the rain isn't ruining it the vacation. we are still having a great time and loving the time with our friends!

just not while we are on the sand. it's while we are in the condo.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

house update

I'm sure your all checking this blog EVERY SINGLE DAY to find about how things are moving along with our homes.

Well, good.

We are supposed to close on our current home July 15. Circumstances working out the way they are, we are actually renting it from the new owners for about a month and a half (have I mentioned that before? I can remember absolutely nothing.)

It obviously has not sunk into my head that we are moving because I have done ZERO in the way of packing. ZERO. NADA. ZILCH.

I have not been collecting boxes, I have not looked around to see what we may or may not need at the new house, I have cleaned it each week as if we are living there for another 20 years.

And people, this is not like me. I like to be on the ball about things like this.

(By the way, if you live in NWA and have a million empty boxes to unload on someone, I'm your girl.)

You see, I would like to get the majority of the packing done in July (the coolest month of the year, right?) because in August every waking minute will be spent at the "project" making it livable. Matthew and I have been brainstorming since we received a contract about what we need, what we want, and how much money we have to spend. (Answers: a lot, a lot, not much)

The inspector came at the beginning of the week to do his job...inspect. He walked through the "project" (my little pet name for our new house) and deemed it worthy of living in and fixing up. YEA!!!!!!!! Other than the obvious (needs flooring, molding, kitchen, etc), there were very few MAJOR things to be done.

So, that's where we are. Half in denial and half in reality.

It's a weird place to be. (And don't forget, ACCEPTING ALL BOXES!)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Camp, part two (part one will come later)

yeah, yeah. this is part two.

I was uploading all of my pictures and the first part erased. Sigh.

So, I'm going to go backwards and possibly tomorrow I will share part one.

At camp the best thing to do, especially when it is blazing hot, is to swim. Like all good church camps, there is boys swim time and girls swim time. Old fashioned? Who cares! It's what happens at Camp Tahkodah!

Matthew is so excited about swim time that he is making a crazy face...ha ha ha ha! And, by the way, this is boys swim time. We figured since our 4 year old and 2 year old hadn't reached puberty, it was okay for them to join their daddy. (And, yes, I took pictures. But as the head lifeguard told me..."Mom's don't count." Thanks HLG, thanks for making me feel like I am 65 years old. Awesome.)

Here we are, walking across the bridge for Nora to jump. (And, currently, this is me swallowing my pride and posting a pic of my backside...ugh!)
She insisted that before she jumped we had to count to ten. Twice.
Uncle Brian and Noah.
Matthew and Nora. Where is Elyn?
We celebrated Father's Day at camp. I'm the most awesome wife of the year in case you didn't know. At the very end of the church service at camp the director mentioned that it was Father's Day. I gasped and looked at Matthew and said very quickly, "Happy Father's Day honey!". We had only been awake for TWO HOURS at that point and I had not recognized the day. Yep, I'm amazing. Thankfully he said he didn't remember until that minute either.
I did remember to bring his gifts to camp though. So, brownie points for that, right?
His gifts, hand picked by Nora: Diet Coke and shaving cream. Nora knew for 3 weeks that she wanted to get him those two gifts. And, she picked out the Obama card. Because it played music.
I hope Nora and Elyn realize how lucky they are to have Matthew as their daddy. They are so blessed! He loves them so much and would do absolutely anything for them. He is the best attendant at a tea party and knows each and every princess that has been created by Disney. He understands the importance of pink in the life of a girl and that a girl has to have her accessories to make an outfit complete. On the other hand, he chases them around the house, wrestles on the floor, teaches them to bounce a basketball and ride a bike, plays "tag here it" with them and takes the girls to football/basketball games.

I love to watch their relationship, it is how I know that God loves me. He is gentle with me, loves me unconditionally, teaches me lessons through love and discipline. Matthew is this to our girls. I am thankful, every single day, that I am able to witness Matthew father our girls. He is an example to me and definitely the better half.

Stay tuned for day number one...

Monday, June 21, 2010

this weekend

We spent this past weekend at Camp Tahkodah...our favorite place on Earth.

Sadly, this weekend our favorite place on Earth was also the HOTTEST place on Earth. Wow.

We sweated a lot, got REALLY dirty, and did a lot of this...

My brave little swimmer jumped off the bridge 7 times...she kept count.
It was a very fun time and I have a lot of pictures to show you.

We got home this afternoon and I have already done 5 loads of was definitely a fun/dirty time at camp!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

summer of leisure?

Since we sold our house, we have been on the hunt for a new one.
Let me rephrase that....we have been on the hunt for a "really good deal".
Our criteria while looking for a new home:
-at least an acre
-more square footage than we currently have
-a "fixer-upper"
-no increase in mortgage (no bonuses or promotions around these parts :) ).
Our realtor told us that our "wish list" might not have everything met. We knew that going into the hunt that it was a bit of a stretch...but still we pressed on!
And we found our diamond in the rough.....the VERY ROUGH.
Let me give you a little tour of our fixer-upper...
Nice fence, huh? We'll need to get that repaired/replaced.
The first view of our new home (which actually isn't ours yet...we don't close until the end of July...fingers crossed that everything goes well!). Pretty much everything you see will be removed...light fixture, wall paper, spindles beside staircase...and yes, that is subflooring that you see. We will be putting flooring down on the entire downstairs.
The half-bath down stairs. Again, everything that you see will be going. Everything that you don't see, because it's not there, will be installed (toilet, sink, fixtures).
A partial view of the kitchen/family room. Can you say blank slate? The cabinets will be ripped down ASAP.
A view of the master bedroom. That is my sister standing in the doorway. It's like she is taking a moment to pray...the light fixtures are too much for her and she has to ask God for strength to make it through the rest of the house. Anyone want some rockin' "night lights"?
Why, yes, that is paneling. Remind you of your grandparents house? This is the "office". That's going to take a few coats to cover up!
Even though the house is a "handyman's dream" and I am sure I will break many nails (on my hands and the kind you hit with a hammer) making it our dream, the view is worth the sweat and tears...
We appreciate your prayers as we go through the inspection and closing. And as we turn our "blank slate" into something fabulous!
Oh, and we met all the criteria on our list!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

tiny little dancer

Nora had her first ballet recital last night! We got off to a rough start though.

I actually had to wake her from her nap to go to the rehearsal...never a good thing to have to wake her up.

She cried the entire way and told me she did not want to dance. This picture pretty much sums up how she felt about being at her rehearsal/recital...

Look at how sweet all those girls are-
These pictures are actually from the rehearsal...I haven't gone through the recital ones yet.
Looking around, probably thinking, "What is the quickest way to get off of the stage?"
Some of the other ballerinas started to think the same thing.
First one to pop her head up.
Yes, that is a little smile I see....she might just be having fun!
What a pretty little ballerina!

We were all so proud of her during the actual recital! She did the best she has done all year and when it was over, she said she wanted to do it again.

What????? We'll see.

I did take a video, but it is on my mom's camera (she came through when our video camera unexpectedly quit working minutes before Nora came on stage) and I will try and retrieve it ASAP.

Nora, I am so proud of you and how your performed last night. You have not been the biggest ballet fan this year and some weeks HATED every second of practice. But you came through last night like a star! You were so pretty up there and smiled so big. You made my heart so full of love and I wanted to run up on stage, sweep you up in my arms and give you an enormous hug. I don't care what you choose to do in your extra-curricular life, I just hope you always feel as proud of yourself as you did after your recital.

Funny side note...while we were waiting for rehearsal to be over we were watching the other dancers rehearse. We sat next to another little girl and her mom. We heard the mom call the little girl "Nora". I whispered to my Nora, "Hey, that little girls name is Nora too! How neat!" She looked at me, serious as could be, and said, "Please don't say ANYTHING mom! Don't say anything to her!" I laughed so hard! She was embarrassed of me already and didn't want me to call attention to her. I obliged her and kept quiet. Silly girl!

Friday, June 11, 2010


We just got home from a week long trip to Texas.

Well, the girls and I went...Matthew had to stay here and finish up teaching and start a new class that he is taking.

Nora has her first (and possibly last) dance recital tomorrow. My family and Matthew's family are coming for the big event.

I went to get a massage tonight. I was getting out of bed this morning and reached for Elyn (she happened to be lying on the floor right beside me throwing the biggest fit you have ever seen in your life). When I reached down, I oh-so-carefully grabbed for her arm and pulled a muscle in my back. Awesome.

I could not move.

Hi, my name is Dallas and I am 33 and I hurt my back picking up my child. I'm old.

Anyway, I got a massage out of the pain. I'm still in pain though.

While we were in Texas, the girls got to take tennis lessons (presh!) and swimming lessons. They did pretty remarkable at both. Nora continues to amaze me with what she can do. She learned how to dive to the bottom of the pool (with a little shove) and retrieve a dive stick. She also swam the entire week flotation device free. I am so proud of her.

Oh, and Elyn did put her face in the water three times....that is a huge accomplishment too!

Mostly, though, Elyn made the week extremely difficult for me.

I was absolutely exhausted bringing her home tonight. I was so glad to deposit her in the arms of her daddy. She is testing me to the extremes lately.

At times it is like she is almost demon possessed. She is uncontrollable and inconsolable. It's wearing on me.


It's a stage, it's a stage, it's a stage....that's what I keep telling myself.

So, I'm off to bed to re-energize.

Pictures to come!

Saturday, June 05, 2010


Thursday, June 03, 2010

Change is HARD!!!!!

Hi, my name is Dallas and I'm an enabler. I let my baby girl have her pacifier for 2 years and 8 months. I let her have it because...wait for it is....IT MADE HER HAPPY!!!!!!!

Well, I'm all done enabling. And it is kicking my tail!!!!!

If you remember from my last post, I have been a little bit ill. I chose June 1st as the day to get rid of Elyn's paci, the night I was feeling my worst.


Poor Matthew. He was up QUITE A FEW times settling her down.

Well, we are in day number three of no paci bootcamp and it is brutal!!!!! That girl was addicted to the paci. Pretty much her BFF.

I do call it a victory that she went to sleep at naptime today without me having to lay down beside her. A small victory. It did take her 30 minutes to see the back of her eyelids.

Sigh. It's so much easier to be an enabler.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Memorial Day three

On Memorial Day, our last day in St. Louis, we headed to The Magic House.


We had several people tell us about the city museum, and while I am sure that is a fabulous museum, The Magic House was perfect for our girls and the age they are at.

As soon as we walked in, it was non-stop entertainment...non-stop. First up, musical play.
Then, we went up to the roof and girls got to plant vegetables in a garden.
We headed back down (because it felt as if it were 100 degrees on the roof) to a reuse, renew, recycle exhibit. The girls were in HEAVEN! The first thing they walked into was a miniature house.
Good job, girls. Sort that laundry.
Elyn helped make some compost for the garden.
And Nora washed some vegetables.
Next, we headed for the miniature farmer's market for the girls to do some shopping.
And then they tested out a smart car...apparently you don't have to be 16 to drive one of these.
Even though it's a smart car, you still have to put a little gas in it.
Then we headed over to the recycling center...
Elyn wore this cape the entire time we were at this exhibit. It shows she has recycling super powers.
the last stop in this exhibit was the goodwill store (they called it consignment).
We spent about 45 minutes in that exhibit and definitely could have stayed longer, but we knew there was a ton more to do, so off we went.
We ended up in the "electricity/magnet" section of the house.
Like she stuck her finger in a light socket....
I include this picture only to let you know that I woke up Monday morning not feeling very well. I can tell in my face that I am barely hanging on and wish I was in bed. I tried to keep a good attitude though...
Then it was down the twirly slide to the next part of the house.
Look, two Nora's...
And those are Elyn's fake, one real.
The next section is specifically designed for children 1-6. It's like a little town with everything in teeny-tiny form. This was the BEST!
Sand play...
Nora crossing over to the next station.
matthew caught Elyn on the ground looking at something...
It was a mouse hole with a view of a mouse house!
Water play...
Do you see his hair? Interesting, huh? You think it's for some sort of religious belief that he has it uber long in the front and buzzed in the back?
Next up, the grocery store...
The tiny house...
The library...
The Pizza Place...
the math area...Matthew's favorite...
And one last climb on the beanstalk before we called it a day...
We got there about 10:15 and left at 1:00. It was activity the entire time we were there. I wish we could have had an entire day to spend. We didn't even make it to the basement level or the outdoor areas. We LOVE The Magic House.
On Monday, it was also our seventh anniversary! Sadly though, I felt horrible and didn't care much for celebration. Regardless, it has been a great seven years. I can't imagine doing this life with anyone else. I love Matthew so much and he is the BEST father to our girls. He is loving, supportive, caring, Godly, and my best friend.

So, there you have it...our Memorial Day Weekend trip to St. Louis. I hope to go back again one day and see the other 756 things we missed out on during this trip. I have still been feeling badly and actually asked Matthew to take a half day of school today to help me. I'm not feeling 100% by any means but I think I am feeling well enough to try and venture out of the house tomorrow. Big day :).

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