Saturday, October 30, 2010

Bath Time Contest

I am so excited to have a picture in the final running of Photo Freak's Bath time contest!

Here is my entry:

You can vote for your favorite photo here.   You'll definitely want to see all the cute little bathers!

Thursday, October 28, 2010


I had a wonderful time at a play date with a few friends.  We are members of our local MOPs group.  If you are the mother of a  preschooler, I highly recommend joining MOPs.  It's a place where you can meet other moms in the same stage of life you are in.  Friends who can emphasize with your daily life because it's theirs too.  Friends who can give you advice because they've just been through the challenge that you are going through.  Friends you can stand along side so you both know that you aren't alone in this journey of motherhood.  Anyway, I wanted to share some of the pictures of our recent outing.

 Okay, confession.  This is where I saw my friend's kid doing something potentially dangerous, yet really cute and took a picture before warning my friend.  Oops!

 I just love the lines in this one.

 You can't beat this for sweetness.

 My daughter was sad because I wouldn't let her play in the water.  She had just gotten over being sick and it was a bit chilly.   Can you blame me?

And yes, I know, I have beautiful friends!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Simplicity: Portrait

The theme at Simplicity this week is portrait.  I didn't get a chance to take any portraits today but found this one that I took a little over a year ago and had never edited.  Here is my entry, can you believe how tiny G was and how little hair she had?

October Vacation Day 2

Okay, so I forgot the biggest detail of day one.  I guess it's been long enough since the actual event that I've blended the days together in my memory.  So anyway, we stopped for dinner in Tuba, then continued to drive, hoping to make it much further down the road.  About ten miles before we got to Kayenta the van started to "miss".  We had been driving along just fine until all of a sudden the van was sluggish and making a loud humming noise.  Fortunately we were right across the street from a motel (the only hotel within miles).  Well, either fortunate or like something out of the Twilight Zone.  Doo-doo-do-doo, doo-doo-do-doo....  At first we tried to push on to Kayenta since there were obviously no mechanics in the area we were in (there was NOTHING except that hotel) but soon realized that it was a foolish idea to try and press on.  We turned around and headed back to the hotel, the Anasazi Inn, to be specific.  We made it just into the parking lot before the van completely died.  It did start again a couple minutes later.  Kim went inside with my Mom to get us rooms.  My Mom was a bit disturbed by the people behind the counter who didn't speak to her because they were too busy sitting on the floor trying to fix a broken computer.  Eventually they rented her a couple of rooms.  We pulled the van over to the parking spot in front of our rooms, directly behind a sign that said something to the effect of "Establishment not responsible for theft or vandalism".  Needless to say, we brought EVERYTHING in from the van that night.

Okay, this picture was taken the next day, it was pitch black when we arrived.

Our family was in one room and my parents stayed in another.  Kim and I shared a bed, of course, Emma and Hope shared another bed and Gracie slept in the port-a-crib.  We eventually got everyone quieted down and sleeping but it was after many kicks and giggles from the older girls.  Gracie was more than happy to fall asleep for us.  

In the morning, Kim got up early with the big girls while Gracie and I slept in a bit.  Actually, I slept in a bit and Gracie slept in A LOT!  I got up, showered and packed up the whole room before Gracie woke up.  Poor baby was exhausted.  

When I saw my Mom she said that she had been talking to the "neighbors" (people staying in the room next to them).  These were her exact words to me, "There is a carnival in Kayenta and our neighbors are carneys!  They aren't working today and offered to take the kids into town to the carnival!"  I stared at her for a bit with my mouth hanging open before I said, "Well, I can guarantee you, that is not going to happen.  Are you serious Mom?  You would send our kids off with total strangers?"  My Mom replied that they wouldn't be taking just the kids, they would take us too.  I asked why she thought these people were so trustworthy that she considered it a good idea for us to drive off with them (I was still hung up on the word "carneys" and the  idea of them taking just my kids).  Her reasoning, "Well, TorchAnna (Tor-sha-na) is from Texas."  Oh, that's right, EVERYONE from Texas us trustworthy, I forgot.  Anyway, I ran it by Kim, mostly to see how much I was overreacting, he had the same reaction I did, so I didn't feel so bad.  Needless to say, we didn't go to town with the carneys that day.  Once I met them myself I saw why my Mom had liked them.  They were very nice people and extremely helpful.  TorchAnna sat by us at breakfast while we discussed our options and was more than willing to help in any way she could.  She also informed us that it was a good thing we had broken down where we did.  Apparently, due to the carnival, all of Kayenta's hotels were sold out, as were all the hotels in the last town behind us and even if we were to get a room in one of them, they charged double what the Anasazi Inn did.  God was definitely looking out for us on this vacation!  It turned out that everyone we met at the Anasazi was very nice and helpful and their food was wonderful!  We also found out that they had free Wifi although we didn't discover that until right before we left.  We didn't even think to ask since none of our cell phones would work out there.

It wasn't too odd that cell phones wouldn't work there since a lot of vehicles seemed to have problems there too.  Cars would backfire as they drove by and even "the neighbor's" van wouldn't start after breakfast.  My parents carry a battery charger so they were able to help with that.  I did wonder if there were such a thing as a mechanical black hole.  Good thing I didn't try my computer there, who knows what would have happened!

Before breakfast, Hope thought she would try her hand at fixing the van.
The girls had fun wrestling with Dad on the hotel bed.

 At breakfast.  Ganma's hands are so very interesting!

Gracie learned the finer arts of drinking through a straw.

 Okay, so we live in AZ and it hasn't even thought about getting cold yet, so I had to pull out winter clothes for the trip.  I had the girls try them all on first but somehow, even though all Hope's pants seemed to fit before I packed them, they were all too big by the time she wore them!  I had to make her a belt out of braided yarn.

My parents decided to try to drive the van into Page and see how much it would be to repair.  Hooray! The van made it, they found a great mechanic and it was fixed at a much lower price than my Dad was dreading!!!

 It was a dramatic farewell.   Everything with Emma is dramatic!

I know it's ridiculous but it was chilly out and I didn't want to put on tennis shoes just yet.
My parents driving away with only a small puff of smoke out the tailpipe.  They had taken a test drive earlier in the AM and the smoke was billowing out!

Kim, the girls and I spent the day at the motel.  I knitted, Kim read and we set up a little movie theatre for the girls.  It consisted of their car seats and my Mom's tiny travel DVD player, they loved it!
After a while we decided to take a walk. 

We had been hearing bells all morning and finally discovered where they were coming from.  There were a bunch of sheep and goats wandering around outside, eating anything they could find.  The girls wanted to go pet them but mean ol' Mama made them stay at a distance. 
I was glad I did too, some of them were pretty uppity.

I found this cute staircase so I thought I should take some pictures of the girls.  At first only Grace would cooperate but her sisters soon joined in.

As Grace reached through the railing we realized that she could easily go right through.  We both lunged towards her.  Kim got there first.  Probably because I was still clicking away as I was lunging and yelling, "The baby, the baby, catch her!!!" 

Some random purple flowers. 

 Hope took a moment and posed for Mama.

Yes, that is a random toilet out in the middle of nowhere that my family is posing on.  It's a good thing I wasn't in the picture because if I had been Kim would undoubtably still be wanting to make it our Christmas picture. 
Potty-training at it's finest.  Just kidding, she's already trained (that way at least). 
Where the sheep hang out by Tsegi Canyon. 
Hope climbing up a pretty steep incline on our hike. 

I brought my reflector with me to practice on vacation.  This was the only day I actually brought it out and it probably wasn't the best idea.  It was incredibly windy and the reflector was hard to hold still. 

 Grace was happy to pose with Emma but as soon as Hope climbed up there too, forget it!!!!

The smiley face that E drew in the sand.  Pretty creative using paw prints for an eye and nose.
Her X marks the spot for pirate treasure.  We didn't bother telling her that no pirate ships could sail into the AZ desert. 

Some interesting artwork on the barbed wire fence. 

 H was holding her arms out because she was being blown "away" by the wind.
 This is as far as she made it before wanting to be carried.
 Good thing for us, her pout goes quickly back to a smile.  Of course the smile only came after I said that I would carry her on my shoulders up the big hill.  Why did I say that???????  It was hard, very steep and against the wind.

 Queen of the rock!
At this point I had Grace so H had to walk on her own.  This is as far as she made it w/out prompting.  G, however, climbed this hill herself just holding my hand.

Needless to say, after the walk, it was nap time for ALL of us.  Hope slept the longest.  Kim took E and G out when they woke up and I stayed in and read while I waited for H to wake up.  When it got too dark in the room to read I went ahead and turned on the light.  H yelled, "Giddy-up!  Then, still sleeping got on all fours and proceeded to turn in circles on the bed while making horse noises.  I couldn't help but laugh.  This woke her up.  A few minutes later she looked at me with sad eyes and said, "Mama, I don't like to dream."  Poor baby.

About this time my Mom called to ask if I had gotten any pics of the sunset.  I went outside to see, this is what was left.

 The girls loved the red light on the motel sign!

This is practicing with the off camera flash.  I was holding it in my hand at arms length, so it's not the best lighting , but I do like the look and will have to practice more!

 When my parents got back you could see my Dad's relief to have a working vehicle.  Happy Dad!
 Patiently waiting for dinner, or so it would seem from this picture.
The end of Day Two!  We slept at the Anasazi one more night and were off in the morning!