Saturday, August 30, 2008

Read at your own risk: major update to follow!

Now that I have forcefully shoved three of my beloved children unwillingly back into school, I have had some time to download pictures, do some laundry, and realize how calm life can be...NOT!
But it is definitely time to put a few more events down for our adoring family and friends!
After coming back from Hobbs, we had a few short days till the Newey's came to Midland for a little before school shopping. Always fun to shop-till-you-drop and laugh till you wet your pants. Mika and I have a friendship that I have never found anywhere else- we understand each other so well and relate in such a fun way that we can't be in the same room without laughing. Our kids can go a year without seeing each other and are like peas and carrots again the minute they are back together. We miss them daily and wish they could have followed us here! Maybe Paul is looking to make a little change?

A short week later we were off for Wisconsin. I hate driving. We travel with more gadgets and entertainment that any three families and that's no joke. Three DVD players (five if you count the two in the two laptops we took) Nintendo DS's, gameboys, books, magazines, toys, and did I mention unlimited text messaging? Still, I guess I should've brought something for the kids! It always seems to take forever. We stayed in Kansas day one, and went on to Wisconsin in time for dinner on day two. So nice to get there.

For those of you who have never been there, I will attempt to describe it. Picture something out of a Norman Rockwell picture.

Little houses, over a hundred years old framed by lush, green yards and flowers that grow without invitation or tending.

Towns are small, but there is a bar on every corner. And bars aren't just for drinking, they are for family dinners, wedding receptions and sometimes bowling! The rolling hills are dotted by little two-story farm houses that peek out from between seas of corn and soybeans. Big red barns, silos and battered green tractors complete the picture. Doesn't that sound fabulous?

We are always treated to great meals and fun days with our family there. No matter how long we stay it never seems to be long enough. We pack a lot into a short amount of time- Cousins, Aunts and Uncles, the zoo in Madison, Land's End shopping, Cartoons in Grandma's bed, Rural Route 1 popcorn (and store!), Euchre, The fish fry at the Tower (also a bar! See?) Bowling and pizza at the Tower (bowling too!) Cobb corn roast (town named Cobb...hmmm.) and baseball game and fair, and eating as many times as possible at Culver's, Grab-a Cone, and did I mention shopping? We really packed it in!

Madison has this great little zoo- just enough to see and leave while you can still walk out, and also FREE! The kids took a ride on the carousel, and Grandpa couldn't resist jumping on too.

It is such a sad thing when it's time to leave. Not only do we hate to say goodbye, but there is the impending weight of the drive home. We stopped in Des Moines to see Tod's mom for a couple days, and it was a nice break in the drive. Tod and I even got to go on a date- we went to see the new Batman movie (a little unsettling, not terribly romantic). When we were driving home we had a blow-out on the interstate in Oklahoma (yet another car problem), and limped home.

The car trouble prompted some serious thinking- time to get a newer car. The ten-year-old model is wearing down and not as reliable as it used to be. We did a lot of Internet shopping and research and finally settled on this:

You like? Same size inside as the Suburban, but a little shorter and better on gas mileage! I wish I could say I could go get in Edward (aah, Edward. The car sparkles in the sun- it seemed like the right name!) and drive somewhere, but he is trapped at the dealership waiting for a new radio. So we are stuck with a little Cadillac crossover for a loaner. It stinks, never buy one! Too crowded! Not to mention, after all this vacation and car buying, we are flat broke, so no travelling for a while, but come on over for Emma's birthday and I'll take you for a ride!

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Has it really been a month? How easy it is to put my blogging on the back burner- we have been in and out of the house, out of the state, out of the time-zone. I think maybe the easiest way to organize all the chaos is to go trip-by-trip.
At the end of July, we made a quick trip to Hobbs. It is always such a great time to see old friends, especially the Neweys. Mika is like my sister. we got such a workout with all the aerobic laughter. I don't think we stopped laughing even in our sleep.
Mika was throwing a Twilight party with our mutual friend June. It was a blast! We ate mushroom ravioli, drank Coke, and even had cheesecake for dessert. Then we hid out in the kitchen while some of the women battled ( and I mean BATTLED) out the question of the night- Edward or Jacob? I'm so glad it's settled now! Then we helped everyone make T-shirts, which was a lot of work, but it was fun to see everyone's personality come out in their shirts. Mine says bite me. Anyone surprised by that?
The kids spent the whole day playing in the backyard on the HUGE inflatable water slide. We may need one.
Paul was SO sweet to babysit all nine of our kids- what a brave man!
The next day we went to see The Water Horse, and then hit the pool. The kids loved the slides and different water toys. I am so glad I remembered the sunscreen, because judging by my burn, they would have fried! It was a very uncomfortable drive home.