Friday, December 4, 2009


We headed out to the farm to camp a few weeks ago. Of course we picked the coldest night so far this year. Seriously COLD!

We got there in enough time to set up our fire and get unpacked. We ate hot dogs and made smores.

I know they've had smores before (well maybe not Morgan), but it had been a while and they were a little reluctant to have some. But of course once you taste a smore there is no going back!

Morgan and mom by the fire. The scariest part to me! I was to worried someone was going to fall into the fire to enjoy the fire.

Dad and the kiddos just before we started cooking our dinner. Fire roasted hot dogs! The kids smoked theirs black - yuck! Mine was perfectly yummy. Seriously hot dogs are the best when cooked over a fire.

We slept in the barn that is being built. I got the comfy blow up bed with Eli and Morgan. Dad and Dylan slept on the floor. The kids slept fine, but mom and dad were too worried about getting cold or rolling off. Plus the ground wasn't all that comfy for Neal (he's getting old - old people don't belong on the ground.) And while the blow up bed was better than the ground, sleeping with 2 children that cling to your side wasn't the best night of sleep either. Thanks for taking the ground Neal!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Rick's Warriors

A few weeks ago our family participated in Light the Night. It's the annual donation drive for Leukemia and Lymphoma Cancer's. Our team was able to collect $1500 in donations. The donations help patients with resource information and groups and co-payment for some of the procedures. It was a great way to rally together to support our dad! Thank you to everyone who donated.
Here is a group photo. Some of us were missing. It was crazy at the venue and we couldn't get around the crowds to get a picture of everyone.
Family picture - with orange glow sticks on. Orange is the color for Leukemia.

Lisa, Jennifer and Devon waiting for the walk to start. We all carried red balloons to show our support for a loved one with Leukemia. Our shirts were designed by Erin - stick grand kids surrounding grandpa with orange ribbons. It was nominated as one of the top 3 family shirts.

My dad and mom! We walked to show our support. Dad was diagnosed 4 years ago. He just finished chemotherapy and is currently on a double shot treatment plan. My boys say during prays, "bless that grandpa's cancer will make him feel better." He's sick, but not so sick that it heavily effects his daily life (tired and achey, but not bed ridden.) So his health is a blessing, but we continue to pray for a cure!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Lots of fun stuff for Halloween this year. Dylan's circus party. Eli's fall party. Cookie making. The Pumpkin Patch. The ward party. And Halloween (sweet candy goodness!) We were so busy that we bought a pumpkin, but never carved it. (Pretty sad!)
Halloween night. Neal has dressed up as Frank N. Steinhour for the past 7 years. Morgan was not a fan! "You scary daddy! " If you show her a picture/toy/decoration of a Frankenstein she always says, "that's daddy, Frankensteinhour"
The trick or treating group. Ethan did a spook alley at his house. He is that bush looking thing on the left. Eli is Peter Pan. Riley is a stick figure boy. Lisa is a ballerina teacher. Austin is a whoopie cushion. Emma is a stick figure girl. Dylan is Buzz Lightyear. Morgan is a ballerina.

Before dinner on Halloween. We had pizza and fries - yummy!
This was the night of our ward party. Morgan has several costume choices thanks to good hand me downs. She went as Tinker belle to the ward party.

Eli at the pumpkin patch. He was in love with the warty pumpkins. We read a book every year about Frankenstein Jr. who wants to carve a pumpkin and he carves one that has bumps on it to look like his dad. I know he wanted to do something like that.

Morgan had a good time running through the pumpkin patch. She found lots of pumpkins that were a perfect size for her.

Dylan's pumpkin patch picture. He had more fun riding on the rocking horse and other toys they had around the patch. But at least he took his yearly picture for me!
Happy Halloween. Hopefully next year we can carve a pumpkin.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Happy Circus Show Day!

Dylan had a circus show today (instead of a Halloween party). It was just what you would expect from 3, 4, & 5 year old kdis! They got to pick their character - clown, cowboy, lion, lion tamer, tight rope walker, or strongman.

I had to convince Dylan to be a strongman. It was the costume I had and I didn't want to make/buy anything else.
He marched around showing off his muscles. He picked up heavy weights and lifted them over his head. He even did it one handed. Then he and some of the other strong men picked up a car. I mean he was seriously SO strong! And smiled the whole time.
Morgan and I waved and smiled and blew kisses. After the show he said, "mom why did you keep waving at me?" Mom, "Well, I wasn't sure you could see me with all the other moms there." Dylan, "Oh" Mom, "Why, should I not wave and blow kisses?" (sad that it might already be coming to that!) Dylan, "No, your my mom!" Yes he doesn't care yet if I show affection to him in public. I hope that lasts for a long time!

He happens to have a friend from his Sunbeam class in his school class. She was a tightrope walker. Brenna loves tutu's - well anything girly according to her mom. She's a really cute girl! (The one in the black leotard.)
Happy (can't say Halloween so we'll have a) Circus Show Day!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

11 years and counting! This year we tried a Brazilian themed restaurant. Meat on a skewer which they cut right at your table. It was really yummy! We followed dinner up with a movie and ice cream. It's always nice to have a quite night out with my hubby. I love you!

This is a picture from my dad's 60th bday party (which I never posted pictures of.)

Neal and I in Arizona.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Does Crazy Even Describe It?

Life is generally busy. I accept that and usually do well with it. But lately it seems like little to no time for the fun things in life.

Sick kids and lots of doctors appt. Trying to start a vinyl crafting company. A busy Relief Society calling. A husband with a new position and in need of more hours than available in the day. My sweet potty training baby girl who does not like to poop on the toilet. A father in law who needs support. A dad and mom who also need support. I think the list could go on and on.

Just wanted to let everyone know I think about you. I want to blog. I love reading everyone elses blogs. And hopefully the holidays will bring more craziness and fun to our busy life.

Keep in touch!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Dylan's first day of school

Dylan started VPK - a free preschool program Florida offers. You can pick your school and kids go for 15 hours a week preparing for Kindergarten. Dylan is at Precious Promises Preschool. (Eli went there for his preschool program too). It's a Christian church that participates in the state program, so they can do Bible stories and learn the alphabet. He goes MWF 9-2:15.

So what did Dylan think about school?

"I like the delicious drink you gave me in my lunch. And I like the playground. The sand box is fun."
Good Luck Dylan! I hope you learn to love learning.

Goodbye Grandma Karen

Neal's step mother passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, August 30th from a brain aneurysm. (A side not: I hate the word "step mom" because it sounds so Cinderella and her evil stepmom-ish. )Karen was a blessing to Neal and then later mine and our children's lives. They married when Neal was 10 and she became a great influence in his life. She was a wonderful mother-in-law. She had such wonderful talent - woodworking, painting, cooking, organizing, decorating. And she constantly served. I enjoyed attending many church meeting with her including most recently one where Sis. Beck visited us here and Florida. We had such a good time being together and learning from a wonderful leader. I am thankful for the things she left behind -her wood art will always be a treasure, her recipes which she willing gave me before she left Florida, and her tamales (we were the lucky recipients of all the tamales they had in her freezer before they left Florida in May -yummy!) I knew she had a testimony of the gospel and tried her best to serve others. As a final opportunity to serve she donated her organs which helped 60-70 people.

The funeral was very healing and I am thankful I was able to attend. I was able to participate in making the casket (sanding it and cleaning the work area) as well as dressing her for burial.

One of the last photos we have of us attending the Monster Jam Festival together (it's not the best photo of her, but my computer crashed and I can't find very many of any of my photos from the past - Darn technology. Thankfully I have a cute one of her with Doug & Eli hanging on our hall wall already - a sweet reminder of Karen in our lives!)

Until we meet again!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Eli's First Day of 2nd Grade

Monday Eli started 2nd grade at Bartram Springs Elementary.

This year we started at a brand new school. They had a ribbon cutting the week before school started, which we attended. Big ribbon, long speakers, and hot weather. The best part was the cake afterwards. But this will be our school for the next 13 years so I thought I should take the kids and let them be part of the history.

Eli in front of his classroom. Only a few of the students from his old school were transfered to this school. He only knows one little girl in his class, but he's seen several on the playground.

Eli at his desk. It won't be good for his talking! First day highlights: the playground has a telescope, I sat at a red table which was right next to a green table (his favorite color) for lunch, your note made people laugh at me (really in 2nd grade they already laugh if mom puts a note in his lunch box :-(, how come you won't let me walk home (from the bus stop - it isn't a far walk at all - but I have 2 concerns 1. it drops him off at a main road where people drive 60 miles and hour 2. Eli would come home by way of every house, swing set, free food, interesting animal...well you get the point.)

Best Wishes Eli!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Three Things...

I asked Eli what he'd like to do before school starts. Go to the beach, go to work with dad, and go bowling.

We went to the beach. They had a great time. Morgan has NO fear of the water so after 2 hours of trying to keep her from drowning, Eli wanting to go deeper and deeper, and Dylan hanging onto me, we wrapped up our beach trip.

The boys got to go spend half a day with Neal at work. They really like going, although this time he couldn't spend as much time with them due to his recent job change.

Finally, bowling. We meet up with lots of family members to enjoy our finally must do thing before summer ends. The boys tied at 80 and I beat them by one whole point.

Eli will start 2nd grade and Dylan will be in the VPK preschool program 3 days a week.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Vivid Vinyl

I started a company....Vivid Vinyl.

Vinyl is the newest home decorating craze.

Visit my website for ideas and pricing. They make great presents and cute home decorations.
I can also make signs, banners, car decals, etc. You name it - vinyl probably does it.

Pass the word on to your friends and family and church members (especially for Super Craft Saturday!)

Thanks for supporting my new adventure!

Here are some of my creations:

Established Name Frame

Frame with Moments to Remember phrase

Turtle, Turtle, Turtle

I LOVE turtles. I don't know why, but I do. Mind you I have never had a pet turtle, but decorative turtles over floweth in my home.

So Neal found a turtle in the garage this week. He opened it up, then came back inside for a minute, then went back out and there he was...

Our nice neighbor helped Neal get him out of the garage. He got stuck underneath Neal's muffler pipe. (Oh and by help I mean he pretty much got it out...Neal was dressed for work and didn't really want to get him out, so thankfully Brian was on vacation and could help.)
He took the turtle to the pond in our neighborhood. I guess he was attracted to our green house, but no pets allowed here!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Happy Birthday Eli & Morgan!

Birthdays, birthdays, and more birthdays! From my birthday on July 17th until my dad's and aunt's birthday on August 4th there are 10 birthdays. It's Christmas in July/August y'all!

We went to Ollie Koala's for Eli's birthday. He turned 7 - yikes I can't believe how fast time flies!

He opened his presents in the morning.

At Ollie Koala's. Pizza, games, and jungle gyms for everyone!

Eli enjoyed yummy shaved ice for his birthday celebration!

We had dinner and cake for Morgan's birthday. She turned 2 - yikes the terrible two's (which started the day before her birthday).
Opening presents. She loves babies and kitty's right now.

"Happy Birthday to you!"

She blew each candle out separately.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Vacations are fun!

We love vacations. It's a great time to relax, enjoy time together, and make memories. This year we went to Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge Tennessee. We spent several days at Dollywood & Splash Country. They are nice parks, kid friendly, and a good price.
We visited several other attractions like a wall maze, the Ripley's Aquarium, and Wonderworks.
We had my birthday dinner at Dixie Stampede. It was fun! They feed us yummy food with no utensils while you watch a show with horses and other animals. Worth the money.

We are never accident free! Morgan got hooked when we went fishing - thankfully it wasn't serious. Then when we went mini-golfing she walked into Dylan "Tiger Woods" back swing and got a serious bruise on her eye.

The boys really enjoyed the mini golf.

Eli was big enough to ride all of the rides at Dollywood. His favorite was the flying disc - which is similar to a rocking ship, but with a new twist. He did not, however, try the upside down roller coaster. Dylan was sad several times because he was just 1/2 inch too small for most of the big rides. He did get to ride the big water raft ride and he loved seeing who would get the most wet. Morgan's favorite ride was the carousal. She squealed with delight when it started. She also really liked the lemon cups aka tea cups. She liked to spin around and dad would get it going fast!

I love family vacations!
(Now I need to get the scrapbook done)

Thursday, July 2, 2009


We had out first emergency room visit. Dylan had to get stitches. He pulled a giant pirate ship off the table onto his face. 6 1/2 hours later he has 5 stitches. The longest part of the wait was my fault. While we were waiting in the lobby we had some Doritos and Mountain Dew. Because the cut was so close to his eye, they needed to sedate we had to wait 3 hours for the food to settle. A little bit much for 6 Doritos and a sip of Mountain Dew, but I can't tell the doctors how to do their job.

He was very brave! When he saw the stitches he said, "cool!"

I handled it pretty well. Neal's out of town. Shelly came to watch the kids. Renea came up to the hospital after we had been there a little while. Neal, Grandma, Grandpa, Amy, and Erin called to check in on us. I did cry when they started the medicine and stitches. The medicine they used put him in more of a twilight state then knock out asleep state. So his eyes were open, but he didn't know what was going on and he doesn't remember anything. It was emotional watching all of it.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Right around 5:00 p.m. on Friday we had a sever weather alert break through the PBS cartoon. I changed the channel to get a better idea of what was going on. On the screen was a water spout. The boys FREAKED OUT! I explained that it wasn't near us, but it was near dad's work. We called Neal and told him - he didn't even know about it. He went to look out his window and saw the water spout in the river pretty close to his office. The water spout was upgraded to a low grade tornado, but didn't do any damage.

So every since then I've had to hear everything tornado - bad dreams, Batman and Spider man getting destroyed by a tornado, is there going to be a tornado today seems to have scared them just a bit.

Pretty amazing pictures taken by someone Lisa knows at her office.