Sunday, November 21, 2010

Veteran’s Day

We had a jam-packed Veteran’s Day this year!  Some friends and fellow homeschoolers set up for us to go listen to a man, Mr. Strine, talk about his experiences in WWII and the Korean War where he was a POW for two years.  It was so interesting!  He was a great story-teller and had saved a bunch of “stuff” from his time in the service.  A bonus for the day, his wife made amazing homemade cinnamon rolls for everyone!   IMG_1138     Here we are checking out all of his war memorabilia.IMG_1144 IMG_1145 IMG_1148 IMG_1149 IMG_1150 IMG_1153
It was such an honor to be in these peoples home and listen to their stories about war and life in general.  They were so excited to share with the kids too!  IMG_1155a
After the visit we went to a park to play and eat lunch.
We finished up the day by visiting Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield.  We started out following the trail that the Civil War soldiers would have taken (roughly!), but it was taking forever with seven kids!  The park was about to close so we went back and got our cars and drove through the park.  The boys favorite was of course Bloody Hill.  I think they really thought they were going to see blood!IMG_1162  Boys acting silly in the battlefield museum.IMG_1168
Boys sitting outside the Ray House that ended up being used as a hospital after the battle.
We had a great day and all the kids were great listeners and learned a lot.  We are so proud to know Mr. Strine and his wife and so proud of all the veterans we know.  Thank you!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Today is my dad’s birthday.  I guess I won’t put how old he is, except that I really don’t think he would care.  He is a laid back kind of guy like that!
I wish I had pictures of the things I remember about my dad from when I was at home.  But those things are not really things you think to take pictures of.  I don’t really know how you would get a picture of someone sitting in the car honking on Sunday morning when a certain someone wasn’t ready for church!  I do remember a lot of that.  But, I also just remember a lot of calm.  I think now that Todd is a daddy, I can put into words what my daddy was and that was calm.  I can feel the calm when Todd comes home.  Even if things are still spinning out of control when he walks in, I know he is going to be able to get it straightened out.
I don’t remember ever getting in trouble by my daddy.  I am sure I did, but I don’t remember it.  My brothers may sing a different tune, but not me. :)  Of course since he was the daddy, he worked all the time.  Now I feel a little sorry for daddies because I see how much they have to miss in their families lives.  There is probably a lot they are glad they are missing, but I think there is some more of life they would like to be here for.  My dad worked nights a lot of years, so he really missed a lot during the week.  But, the one thing he never missed was Sunday morning.  He was always the first one up, dressed in a suit and tie (which he still wears!), reading his Bible when everyone else started getting up.  Church was his life, and still is.  He was always teaching, filling in for preachers and song leaders, what ever the need may be.  Now he is an Elder and is well-deserving of that honor.
I also remember when he would come home it would just be calmer.  Something was always going on when daddy was not home!  Whether it was fights, stuff breaking, whatever!  But, when daddy walked in the door, we knew it was going to be taken care of one way or another.  He could fix anything.  Something I am sure he wishes I would forget since he has fixed many a things on my houses and cars!  Several times he has fixed my car over the phone!  I call him before I call a repair man!
Daddy was always calm when I was scared of the dark.  I can’t tell you how many times he walked around the house so I could go to sleep at night.  I just knew someone was out there to get me!  He never got mad, he just did it, calmly.
So, thank you daddy for calm.  Thank you for making the church the priority in our house.  Thank you for walking around the house a million times.  Thank you too for the many horsey rides, the songs you sang with your guitar and banjo, the many miles you drove us to go on family vacations, the many hours you worked so we could have more than we needed.  Even though you couldn’t be home all the time, we always knew you were coming home and that was the best gift of all!
Have a Happy Happy Birthday!

Daddy reading to me.  Lovely pants.
 Teaching me to ride my bike!
 The family at my college graduation.
 My wedding.  He is such a smart man, he never asked how much my dress cost, he just said it was worth it! 

 Grandpa and his train.

Garrett and Grandpa at an OU football game.
 Grandpa holding Gannon.
 Grandpa and Kellen at the Brewers baseball game.

 Grandpa holding Callie.
1Grandpa with my kids Thanksgiving 2009.  We have many pictures like this.  Kids with Grandpa in “his” chair!
blogeaster6 Grandpa flying kites!

Ok, I know these are lot of pics with my kids, but even better than calling him daddy is calling him grandpa!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Ugh.  Halloween.  I started hearing about Halloween costumes months ago, so by the time Halloween actually got here, I was done.  Kellen, bless his heart, is too creative for his own good.  He has elaborate plans every year for just the right costume and all the pieces that go with it.  Problem is, they are usually more than I want to spend or not even possible to find.  This year he had his mind made up to be Joker.  Well, Joker wears a lot of clothes!  Anything official is way to expensive for a Halloween costume!  But, in the end, it turned out great.  Even if I was sewing on Halloween afternoon!  Yes, I know, he’s known for weeks what he wanted to be.  I just kept hoping I would find the right the thing so I wouldn’t have to sew!  I like sewing what I want to sew when I am in the mood to sew!
bloghalloweenHere is the crew in the garage.  We didn’t think to take a picture in the house and it was too dark outside, so you get a nice picture of our garage!  Gannon is a Blue Clone Trooper, Kellen is Joker, Garrett is a Henchman (?, I guess he is Joker’s helper.  All I know is his costume cost me $3.00 and he painted it himself.  Love it!)  Callie was a pink polka-dot fairy princess.  She decided that in all the pics she needed to turn around so we could see her wings.  :)  Yes, her costume is totally random!  I just used a bunch of pink stuff and painted some sparkly polka-dots on her wings.  This was better then her choice which was War Machine.  I told her no and she said “but he goes with Ironman!”.  No, she has not seen the movie.  This is just some of the random information she and I unfortunately glean from living with four guys!  
bloghalloween4We were able to go trick-or-treating with Kellen’s best buddy Hunter and his family.  They came over to eat then we went to the neighborhood across the street since we still don’t have enough neighbors to have a party!  Callie wouldn’t stand with the guys in the picture because she is scared of Hunter!
bloghalloween5Gannon, Hunter, Garrett, Kellen, and Bryce
bloghalloween3Trying to get an indoor picture after the trick-or-treating.  Seriously Callie, turn around!
bloghalloween2Thank you!

We had a good time.  The neighbors all sat out in their driveways and decorated to make it fun for the kids.  Of course Kellen and Hunter wanted to go off by themselves, but we didn’t let them.  Sorry guys!  They all had a good time.  Callie had no idea of course.  We haven’t trick-or-treated since she was born, not that she would have remembered anyway.  But, she had heard so much about it that when we pulled up and started to get out she was beyond excited and said “I am just so excited about the candy!”.  It was the cutest thing!  She was one determined girl  She marched right up to every door, even if it was decorated scary.  I wish there would have been a way to get her on film, but it was so dark!  So, all’s well that ends well.  All the kids were happy with their costumes.  They actually trick-or-treated this year.  They got just enough candy to make them happy but not make me nuts trying to keep it away from them! Happy Halloween!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Odd And Ends, Take Two!

October was more of the same.  Baseball (they won the championship!), gymnastics, co-op, etc….:)!  But, we did have a few highlights!


My birthday is in October and my mom and my grandma came for a visit!  We had the best time.  Above, Callie is watching out the window for their car. blog8

We talked and talked.  Then we went to lunch, then the cupcake place, then the botanical gardens.  Then we talked.  Then we went to dinner.  Then we talked.  Are you getting a theme here?

blog4Callie running through the botanical garden.  The gardens had done a big redo this summer and my birthday was the big dedication day.blog5

I let the boys take my cameras since the botanical gardens was not something they thought sounded fun!  I got lots of pictures like the one above.


And this.


But, I got a lot of pics like this too!  It was really beautiful, even though it was fall.  I can’t wait to go back in the spring and see it in full bloom!  We kept talking about what beautiful mums they had and Callie said “and dads too!”  Too cute!


Just us girls before they left for home and we left for co-op.  Remember, our photographers range from 6-13!  Callie cried and cried when the left :(.  At one point in the visit she looked at me and said “Grandma Lanier cracks me up!”  I don’t know what Grandma was doing, but Callie loved spending time with her!


Gannon lost a tooth!  He has since lost anther one and he is so excited!  Apparently there is a new tooth fairy since his brothers lost teeth since he got five dollars and his brothers always got one dollar.  I think the female has retired and the male has taken over.  I guess the he tooth fairy has a money tree that the she doesn’t know about!


Glenn, Kerry, Taryn and Jack joined us on their fall break.  It was a quick little trip but a nice break for us all.  Todd had to work most of the time so Glenn offered to stay with the boys while the girls did some running around.  Actually, I don’t know if he actually volunteered or if we just kind of suggested it to him.  :)   Thanks Glenn!  We had a great time!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Odds And Ends

Here is just a sampling of pics from September!


Callie in her OU dress with her umbrella, in case of rain!


Garrett riding a pony at Lambert’s.  Ha!  he would be my cowboy if we would stay somewhere long enough to find him a place to ride horses!



My parents came for a visit and took this family picture for us.  Didn’t get any pictures of them!  Oops!

blog18blog2  Callie dressed for game day.  How cute is this!


blog4We had a bunch of rain, right at the beginning of fall baseball of course!  The boys were enjoying singing in the rain!

blog10 Garrett doing some kind of bug experiment at homeschool co-op.

blog12 On one of daddy’s days off we went downtown Springfield to eat and try out the cupcake place!

blog13 Gannon’s yummy choice!

blog14 Callie is loving her cupcake!

blog15I took a few days and went to Dallas, BY MYSELF!  I made an IKEA run and did some other shopping!  A much needed break!  Thanks Todd!!


The boys started fall baseball.  Yes, we are backwards this year.  Spring football and fall baseball.  Oh well! blog19blog20 blog28


Baseball fans!


The Sam’s stores in Springfield had a combined picnic complete with blow-up activities for the kids.  This was some kind of thing where you push the other person off their little perch.  I think they were loving it!

blog22 blog23 blog24Gannon and Callie enjoying the bouncy house.