Friday, April 30, 2010

Spring Break, Part 2!

Continuing with the spring break visit…
On Friday we headed to Branson.  It was a perfect day weather-wise.  We couldn’t have asked for pretty weather. 
Our first stop was the Shepherd of The Hills Fish Hatchery.  Hey, it was free!  But, really we had a great time, the kids enjoyed seeing all the fish of different sizes.  The hatchery produces 1,125,000 trout annually.  The fish were everywhere!  (OK, ignore the black tees the kids are wearing, it will make more sense later!  No, we were not trying to make them look like some kind of school group or daycare or something!)blogsba5
All the kids and Clay checking out the fish.
After the fish hatchery we ate lunch at our favorite, Danna’s BBQ then we headed to the Hollywood Wax Museum.  This is a small wax museum but in Branson it is a good choice for “preteens”.
Madison and Dorothy.
Kellen, Mallori, Garrett, and Madison with people from Star Trek.
Kellen, Mason, Garrett, Mallori, and Madison with Indiana Jones.
Attached to the Wax Museum was a mirror maze and 5-D ride (or movie or something, I really don’t remember what it officially is).  Here are Callie and Clay in the mirror maze.  The funniest thing about this picture is that up until now, she had been scared to death of Clay.  When he pulled up at our house and got our of the car, she ran and hid.  She had not gone near him for three days.  But, once in the mirror maze with everyone screaming, and really for a minute, thinking we would never see the light of day, she decided Clay was her best option!  I don’t know if she was looking for a “daddy”, or if she decided I wasn’t going to be any help since I had brought her here!  The maze was really fun.  There were mirrors that would light up with characters behind the glass, totally scary!  I was really getting  claustrophobic thinking we wouldn’t find our way out!
blogsbb1Here are the four big kids in the 5-D movie thing.  Apparently there is the movie, the glasses, there are things you feel, things you shoot, and you move.  Those are the five “d’s”.  (Obviously this is not something I am into, but you get the idea, right?)  Clay, Mason, and Gannon were a few rows back.  Callie opted not to do this, which was probably a good thing.  I am the most scaredy cat of all of them, and the way they talked I would have not made it out!
blogsbb2From the museum we made our way to Branson Landing.  I love Branson Landing.  Mainly because I love any outdoor shopping on a beautiful day!  We had decided to take the guys to Ridemakerzz.  It’s like Build-A-Bear only with cars.  I mentioned it last summer when we visited one in Chicago.  It is a really neat concept and guys (and girls) of all ages love it.  The boys and Mallori picked cars and put them together.

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From Branson we headed to Lambert’s to meet Todd.  He agreed to go stand in line for us while we were driving so we wouldn’t have to wait too long.  Friday night of Spring Break, we knew it would be crowded!  Above:  Garrett and Mallori, Kellen and Madison, Gannon and Mason (they had obviously had enough fun for the day!) then Kellen and Madison, enjoying their rolls.  In case you don’t know, Lamberts has been featured on The Travel Channel for the best pig out place, or something to that effect.  It is the place where they throw rolls to you.  We live just down the road from Lambert’s, but we only visit there when company comes for obvious reasons!  We do not need to be frequenting a pig out place!  But, it is a lot of fun and the food is good, so it is fun to go occasionally.
On Saturday, the Spring Break blizzard was coming in.  In Springfield we were just getting rain, but in Oklahoma it was already ice and snow.  So, Clay opted not to leave on Saturday.  We were glad to have more time! 
The big kids, Callie and I headed to the mall for a little bit.  Not much else we could do since it was raining , and the girls and I were disappointed we didn’t have more time to shop in Branson, so we needed to get it out of our system!  Kellen and Garrett decided they would come too, a decision I think they regretted after about ten minutes at the mall!  It was so fun for me to shop with someone who actually wants to shop!  Madison and Mallori looked and shopped and looked and shopped.  I even offered to buy them something but they are such good and frugal shoppers they only spent about $10!  Claires seemed to be their favorite, we looked at every rack of jewelry and all the other trinkets they had.
We got something to eat then Garrett talked me into trying the hurricane machine.  That is what is in the pictures above.  After the other kids saw Garrett they decided the needed to try.  It was too funny.
blogsbc2Lastly we headed to 1984.  Not really back in time, but sort-of.  There is a place downtown Springfield called 1984 where you pay five bucks and play all the video games you want.  They have all the old games, Donkey Kong, Burgertime, Frogger, Ms. Pac-Man.  Yes, they have some guy games too, but these are the games I loved!  Lots of fun!  Above pic is Clay and Madison playing Asteroids, I think.  It was clean and no riff-raff allowed, so we will for sure be back there sometime!
Of course, we woke up Sunday and the blizzard had reached Springfield.  So, Clay didn’t get to miss driving in it after all, but that was ok.  We were glad we had another day of fun with them. 
Again, we are so excited to be close to family.  Here’s hoping all of our family can make it here at some point, and all of our friends from North and South!  We have a great area to visit and we’re not bad company!  So, who’s next?!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


We are so lucky to have bunches of cousins for the kids to play with.   We are so glad to be closer to Oklahoma so that we can spend time with all of them.  Clay came with his kids during their Spring Break and we had a great time!  His kids are twelve, ten, and six, so they have always had so much fun playing together.  It is nice that his oldest two are girls because Callie is in love with them, so they were pretty much stuck with her the whole time!  I guess nice for me, maybe not so nice for them!


Callie and Gannon watching for them out the back window :).

blogsb2 They hadn’t been here very long before the manicures began.  Callie chose lime green sparkles this time.


Madison and Callie sitting at the little table coloring.  Callie was in heaven with a girl to play with!  Sometime I need to dig out pictures we have of Kellen and Madison sitting at this table when they were two.  Amazingly this little table has lasted through all the moves!


blogsb5The guys assuming their Spring Break position.


Kellen and Mallori checking things out in his room.


Gannon and Mason sharing a  MP3 player!

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Callie just knew she would be able to sleep with “the girls” downstairs.  I think Madison and Mallori wanted her too but they would have been sorry when she woke them up three or four times during the night!


The first night they were here they did a haunted house for us, complete with costumes and all.  It was hysterical! 


Here they are walking around being scary.  I hate to tell them they are all too cute to be scary!

blogsba4Callie getting in on the action with the night vision goggles.

Whew!  And this was just the first day!  I’m going to have to turn this into two or three posts we had so much going on.  But, they had a great time, snow and all.  Yes, we had two gorgeous days, then two days of rain, sleet and snow.  Hello mother nature, it’s spring break!  Luckily our kids are good at making the best of the situation, so they had so much fun!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Birthday Party

Backtracking to what we’ve been doing the last few weeks, we will head to Kellen’s birthday party. We decided to invite some of his friends and their families.  Since we do things pretty last minute, only one family could come and two friends came without their families.  Turned out great!  Since this was our first “company” in this house it was good to start small!


Kellen with Abe, Garrett and Christian.


Kellen blowing out his candles.  He chose brownies and ice cream, so I was off the hook for making some lame cake!  Not that cake is lame, but when I try to decorate one, it comes out lame!  Our friends  Steve and Amy are looking on.  I love how it looks like Steve is blowing out candles too!

We ate pizza and the boys all played hide-and-seek in the dark in the basement.  They had a GREAT time while the parents got to sit upstairs and visit.  Works for me!  After everyone left, Kellen’s friend Hunter spent the night.  Kellen and Hunter have become fast friends here in Nixa.  This is Hunter’s first year to homeschool, which makes it nice for them.  The boys have similar schedules and interests.  We are so glad to have found Hunter!










This is Hunter carrying supplies out to the “fort”.  We have this little stretch of trees out behind our house.  The boys have been spending many hours out there building and arranging and I don’t know what all! 

IMG_0003 The fort.  Love the pizza box in the middle!  They are really roughing it!IMG_0004 Garrett digging a hole.    IMG_0009     Kellen, Hunter, and Garrett

A great birthday party with new friends!  We have been blessed here to make friends so much faster than we usually do!  I don’t know what it is this time around, but it has been fun!  The boys are having a great time being outside.  Still no neighbors, so they have the run of the place!  And this little stretch of trees is as close to nature as I ever plan to live, so they are enjoying it while they can!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Be afraid. Be very afraid!

Callie has taken to picking on Gannon when she gets the chance.  I don’t know why.  All of my younger kids have done this.  Gannon would bite Garrett for no reason.  He never did it to Kellen, just Garrett.  Callie will pinch Gannon, not Garrett or Kellen, just Gannon.  I think they just know that that is the child closest to their age so maybe, just maybe they can take them.  Who knows!
Well, the other day Callie decided to stand on Gannon.  He was laying on the floor drawing, she walked over and just stood there on his back.  I was at the sink with wet hands so while I finished what I was doing, I was giving her the evil eye.  (She, of course, was just giving me the I’ll do whatever I want smile that she has mastered!).  After a few seconds, she jumped off Gannon, ran to Kellen for him to hold her and said “I’m scared of those eyes!”.
You better be scared sister!

During a not so scary moment!  Callie ready for summer with her pink flower pants, pigtails, and Sonic!  The best time of the year!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Double Digits

I think turning ten ranks up there with the big birthdays like sixteen, or eighteen, or forty!  At least it has been that way for my boys.  Something about going from one digit to two is a big deal, your not a little kid anymore.  Garrett turned ten this week!  He was beyond thrilled!


This is Garrett doing his Oscar Winning act after seeing his Nerf Bow and Arrow that he has wanted forever!  (He is really not crying!)



Excited about some Yankees World Series figures!  (It’s a guy thing!)

bloggarrett4  Ten!

We spent the day doing our usual birthday activities, starting with no school!  We take the day off of school work when it is a child’s birthday, just because we can!  We got a double bonus yesterday since it was daddy’s day off.  So, Garrett started out the day doing whatever he wanted, which for us usually includes shopping with birthday money and eating.  What’s not to love!.

I have a love/hate relationship with my kids birthdays.  It is so exciting to see them be so excited.  But, it is so sad to see how fast time flies!  Ten years is a long time, but I can remember the day Garrett was born like it was yesterday!  Again, we decided not find out what we were having, but I just knew it was a boy.  I was so excited when he was a boy so that we would have brother’s in our house.  I must say I was shocked that he was so different than Kellen.  I know, it should have been obvious, but you think, ok a baby, a boy, I can do this.  Wrong!  He is his own kid and I am so happy about that!

Garrett is such a fun-loving guy.


Garrett at the Hollywood Wax Museum

He is always up for doing something fun, and he would love it if that fun involved a ball of some sort!  He has energy that never goes away.  Garrett is also sensitive and thoughtful.  He is not vocal about it, but you can see in his face that things really bother him.  Things like his siblings being disciplined. He can’t stand it!  He gets very upset if they are upset!  Tenderhearted would be a great word to describe him.  He will be a great husband because he is so fun, but so sensitive.  And he can fix anything!  He loves to work with his hands and will work at it until he gets things done.  A quality everyone should have!

Ok, I’ll try to not go on and on, but one more!  Garrett is so great with his siblings.  He and Kellen can play all day, any number of things.  But then Garrett can play with Gannon and be a great playmate.  And Callie.  It has been such  a joy to see the boys with a girl.  Garrett especially.   I really think he is in awe of her.  It is funny to watch her with him.  If she needs a drink or some kind of care, she looks for Kellen.  But, when she is ready to play, she looks for Garrett.  They run, chase, tickle, wrestle.  You name it, and she loves it.  And so does he!  He is a such a good big brother to her.

I am so thankful for God’s blessings in my life.  I am so thankful for the blessing of Garrett being our son.  We can learn so much from our kids if we take time to know them and I have learned so much from Garrett.  I am thankful for this time.  Garrett really does make me look better than I am!

Happy Birthday Garrett!  Your daddy and I love you more than you know.  Your brothers and sister love you and love spending time with you.  Thanks for being you and loving God in the process.  You are the best Garrett I know!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Behind. Behind. More Behind.

Are you wondering what I am going to write about?  Well, if you know me at all you know it is not what the title could be about.  Well, maybe it could be about that.  Besides getting more and more behind in just living, I am getting more of a behind in the process!  But, I don’t think we want to hear about that.
I haven’t posted much lately, as I am behind in everything.  I have moments like this every so often, where there are just more things that need to be done than can get done.  I know some of this is because I tend to make things harder than they have to be.  But, hey, at least I made it to Easter before I failed my New Year’s resolution! ( New Year's Post here :) )
So, hopefully, I’m back on track and will be catching you up on our lives from the last few weeks.  Spring has spring and we are excited!  Spring and summer in a new area, so there will be lots of exploring and adventure!  I’ll try to keep up with blogging about it, I know all three of you that read are sitting on the edge of your seats!