Thursday, February 26, 2009

The missing photos...




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Thanks Mandy

The tea party was (again) super cute. I really do like all the fun things Mrs. Simon does with the preschool class. Who knew 18 3 year olds had the ability to sit still and drink tea? OK, what I am really saying is, who knew Ashley had this ability:)? Cute to see in person, but the pictures I took were just so so.

However, I took some cute pictures with Mandy's kids. Thanks Mandy for having such cute kids and letting me "use" them in my photos.



If I could "pre-arrange" a marriage, I would so pick Ryan. Too cute and they share the same birthday!!!


Ryan and his mommy (hope you don't mind Mandy...it was just a fun picture!)


Ash and her future sister in law, Madison:)!

Getting Ready...

A few photos of Ashley before the tea party. I have to say, she looked so cute. She even wore little white gloves, a watch/braclet, and of course some purple marti gras beads!!! Nice, I know!


I really like this old photo action.



A face I see way to often!!!!


Ashley and Chevy.

I'll post photos of the actual tea party this afternoon...
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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Lake Michigan


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I sometimes forget that I live less than 2 miles from Lake Michigan. We NEVER go there..I am not happy with my body (public), I am afraid to take the three crazies to the beach alone (what if something happens to one, what do I do with the others?) and most important, my parents have a pool. They make it too easy for me...clean, safe..help!!!
I realized over the weekend that the kids have never seen "ice bergs" on the lake. I take these things for granted, so yesterday on the way home we stopped to see the lake. BEAUTIFUL!!! I did not have my camera, only Jimmy's little one, but the pictures still turned out OK. Much prettier in real life!!!!
This year, I am making a promise to myself to enjoy the lake. Jimmy and I are on a "spending freeze" and decided to take a weeks vacation at home this summer. Enjoying the lake and Grandma's! Come on, I have to be real, we LOVE Grandma's...it is still cleaner, safer and way easier!!!

Is This Normal



Yes, you are reading that correctly. I had 10,497 unread emails. It was not intentional, it just sort of happened. I always meant to get back to the emails and read them, but never really got to it. Don't worry, I tried to scan them daily and read the "important" ones. If I never got back to you, I am sorry, you are important, I just over looked it:)!

I got "in a mood" yesterday where I decided to "fix" things in my life I didn't like. I think I should have control over my happiness and no one else. To make me happy, I wanted to delete ALL of my email. Jodi tried to McGiver (I know I am spelling that wrong, but you all know what I mean!!!) it up and delete them very quickly (yes, that is a roll of mints and a rubber band!). Unfortunately, it did not work and I had to delete them 20 at a time. In case you are wondering, you can not hit delete all when you have that many and when I contacted AOL about deleting that many, they told me "not to worry, you have unlimited storage!" NICE!!!

Long story short, I am free and clear of all old email!!!!
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Monday, February 23, 2009

Blushing Buttercream Pettiskirt GIVEAWAY!!!!

Blushing Buttercream Pettiskirt GIVEAWAY!!!!

OK, this really is too cute. Go check it out!!!

Very Tricky

If you are ever having a bad day and need the BEST laugh...take your kids roller skating. I have never laughed so hard in my life. No matter what the kids did, they could not seem to get it. They tried hard. VERY HARD!!! They never said they couldn't do it. Isaac just kept saying "this is very tricky!" Yes Isaac, keeping your feet under your body with wheels on them can be very tricky. I can't even describe what they looked like, but as I type this I am laughing!!! Isaac was in the splits more than not. Alli never let go of my hand or wall the whole time. Ashley "got it" the most...thanks to Ericka who can skate backwards!!! Oh, I just loved it. Can't wait to go back again. Thanks again Ethan and Olivia...and Happy Birthday!!!



Eating cake and ice cream, Ashley's highlight of her day!!

Allison and "her wall"

Trying to get the hang of skates on their feet. I think they thought it would be really easy...ask Jimmy how easy roller skating is:)! Shoot, ask me...I thought I could jump on skates and landed square on my butt. Oh...it hurts so much more than it did 25 years ago!!!


Check them out getting their skates on for the first time...
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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Definition of twin????


This sweet, cute, adorable little girl (I am trying to be nicer...liker of 3 year olds!), who yes, wears a bathing suit in the middle of winter, asked me to have another baby. Her reason?? So she could have a twin like Allison and Isaac. Who says twins can't be 4+ years apart???? You really do got to love this girl!!!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Who Says You Can't Like Winter???

Not Isaac...



Where is my love for winter? I am really ok with it being done:)!


Friday, February 20, 2009

Cousins...

On Wednesday's my sister is nice enough to help "a sister out". Every other Wednesday, I help in the kids class and have to be at school at 8:15. Anyone who knows me, knows I am not a early riser nor do I function 100% in the am. I am so lazy that I shower at night just to get my extra 20+ minutes of sleep. So to be ready, out the door, at Shelly's to drop off Ashley and to school by 8:15, not going to happen. I can, however, be out the door and have Ashley at Jodi who does have a little time, to take her to Shelly's. Thank God she lives next door and Shelly's is on the way to Tami's OK...not really on the way...

Anyway, Jodi and Keith both had something going on this morning, so Kyle came to my house. He walked in the door wearing the same sweatshirt as Allison. I so could not let this moment go by with out getting a picture...and doing some editing:)! Love this 8mm look.


Oh, and another quick thanks to Aunt Jodi. It so pays to have a sister that only has boys. When she is shopping and sees cute girl things she has no choice but to buy them for the girls. This latest find for a whopping $3.00 (originally $25, I might add) is too cute on Miss Allitude!!!!
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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Nothing to Report

Nothing new to report here. I just had to change my header (it's not Valentine's anymore:)!) and made my colors green in honor of St. Patrick's Day. It won't last that long...the kids have a birthday coming up so I will have to "honor" that. Three kids birthdays in 2 1/2 weeks...yeah for me!!! (Then Jimmy 1 month later...expensive time of year:)!) Life is crazy busy and boring all at the same time. I am on jury duty this week; I am interested to see how it all "goes down", but my life is to complicated to be on a jury. Who will take my kids to and from school?? More important, how would Northland ever survive:)??? When would I blog????? Two days down, three to go.

I am SUPER excited...my girls and I are meeting for dinner next week. Can't wait to see everyone. I also have been busy planning 2 birthday parties for my kids; a girls only and a boys only. They have never had a "friend birthday", so this is all new to me. Allison is having a princess party at Clippers and Isaac is having a party at Craig's Cruisers in GR. Jimmy has enough of his friends coming that every child will have an adult. He knows I am a little crazy about this and I am not going because I am a girl. For the record, Isaac did ask me if I could go, "you know you said that Mom's don't count on the boys only rule!" I have said that a time or two:)!!!! It's hard for me to let these kids grow up and have parties...does that make me a bad mom??? I like that they are growing up and in a VERY WEIRD way getting a little easier, but I miss them being little. Most of all I miss them being so naive to the world...

Well, it is almost the end of the work day and I have a few things to get done. Have a great day everyone!!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ashley's Valentine Party

Ashley had her first Valentine's party today. I would say that she did a good job, but that would be a total lie. We have not had a good day of getting along. It has been that way for the past, oh, few days. I will be glad when she turns four. Of course, I will have to come up with another excuse why she is so naughty when she is 4, but in the mean time, I will keep my fingers crossed that she will calm down and listen. I keep my fingers crossed versus holding my breath because it will NEVER stop!!!!



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Monday, February 9, 2009

New Orleans

We had a great time in New Orleans. Not a place I would rush back too, but it was a lot of fun. There was a lot of GREAT food...it is the place to go if you want to eat and drink. We walked the town (french quarter) for several days...basically the same spot over and over, took a tour of where Katrina hit. That was very emotional. Seeing it on TV versus seeing it in person 3 1/2 years later is just awful. When the National Guard came in, they had them make "x's" on the houses. The top of the x they put the date, the right side, the state they were from, the bottom of the x had how many dead inside and the left side had the number of animals dead and alive in the house. To hear stories, to see it first hand was really quite astonishing. I wanted to go on the tour to see this, but a few minutes in I had had enough. They have 7.5 billion dollars to rebuild with, but no one wants to live there and rebuild. Like the tour guide said, "We have a people problem, not a money problem!" I wish them ALL well.

St. Louis Cathedral...very pretty!!


A classic place to eat biegnets. BY FAR the cheapest meal. If you ever go to New Orleans, bring your wallet...food is NOT CHEAP!!! Delicious, but not cheap. We were walking the streets the first day when this guy came up to us and said, "oh, I need to make you something!" So he proceeds to make us these lovely balloon hats, then offers to take our picture. All I could think was this man is going to steal my camera. So he took our picture and said, "OK, that will be $10...I get $5 a piece for the hats!" What??? We had $5 total...which was $5 to much if you ask me!!!


At Preservation Hall (Jimmy can not take a good picture to save his life!). Listening to bluesy jazz. WONDERFUL!!! Jimmy was not a fan. I thought it was pretty cool and bought their CD...he loves that we brought this GREAT music home with us!!! I wanted to buy another CD when we were at the cafe, but Jimmy told me no. Can you believe it...no to a silly CD. I pouted and still didn't get my way...what is the world coming to????



Outside out hotel. BEAUTIFUL hotel, would recommend it to anyone. It is a haunted hotel. I learned all about it on our hotel tour. Yes, Shelly and I took a tour of the hotel. We looked like absolute fools wearing these "i-pod things" going from place to place and staring at different things. We stood in the lobby for a good 5 minutes just staring at the grand father clock...people thought we were crazy. After that we took the elevator up to the 15 floor where the Ernest Hemingway suite was. I was listening to the "tour guide" trying to find my hotel key (thinking it would get us in to see the suite), looking at the name plate on the door, when the "tour guide" had us go to the next penthouse suite. Yes, that was it, we got to look at the name plate on the door. We really were crazy...best part was, we did it 2 more times. What can you do? We had limited funds and this (AND ONLY THIS!!!) was free. Good news, we ended up seeing Jeff (he skipped out on a meeting...and ended up skipping out rest of the day) and I just kept texting Jimmy (per Jeff's idea) until he got fed up and left his meeting. Yeah...I won!!!
Jimmy holding our drinks in the above picture. There was a lot of really good drinks. I am not a big fan of alcohol, but they had some good stuff. Several bars on Bourbon Street had slushy machine...like at Target, only they were alcoholic...good stuff!!! BUT, beware of Bourbon Street, just walking down it, I felt dirty. Nakedness EVERYWHERE!!!!!


Outside the hotel




On a ferry boat ride to Alger's Island...a slave place.




Jimmy looking thrilled...it was out last day...the only day that was actually warm...look at the pretty blus sky!!! On Wednesday it was a high of 48 degrees. On Thursday we went swimming in the roof top pool at night (the water was like bath water...almost as warm as a hot tub), it was windy and my hair was frozen. Way to cold for this far south!!!


There was a lot of antique shops and art galleries. I don't do antiques unless I know who's they were and heaven knows not to let me into an art gallery...I would so break/hurt something. So that left me taking pictures of the architecture. I am not a picture taker of scenery...I like people or at least people and scenery, but I had no people...so building it was...I only took about 30 pictures total the whole week. Not good!!!



favorite picture I took. Actually ate at this restaurant. Yummy!!




Got beads thrown at me from this building (at night, Bourbon Street, enough said...and no, I did not show them anything:)!)


They have a lot of carriage rides everywhere, but no horses, instead they use donkeys. Why? I have no idea!!!!

sisters

Come on, I went a week without seeing or talking to my sister...we had to get an updated photo:)!
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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

What a Day...

OK, so this is the "gist" of the day. So much more happened, but this is the basic run through

6:15 am get up and start getting ready to leave.

6:45 am.. get the kids up (earlier than normal, but they still did good:)!)

7:15 am get everything and everyone in the car

7:28am leave Aunt Jodi's house ( 2 minutes ahead of schedule) start heading to Jeff's house. Originally when we planned this trip we were going to fly, but $500 a ticket x4 was more than Jimmy wanted to pay. Besides, Dirk told him it would be a 13 our drive. Crazy fool was wrong, it was an 18 hour drive and we were leaving at 8 which would put us there around 3 am in the morning, but you have to do what you have to do. We have three kids that needed to get to school.

7:45am going down us31 between Sherman and Airline at about 15mph. Very icy roads. Getting a little behind schedule.

8:30am finally getting to Jeff and Shelly's. Get everything packed up and we are on our way at about 9:00am

9:02am snow starts fly...can't see 1 foot in front of us.

9:15am someone (I honestly don't know who) said "Are you sure you don't want to fly, it's going to be a late night?"

9:16am Jimmy tells me to get out my lap top and see how much tickets would be

9:20am Have tickets available for $328 round trip a person + ticket taxes.

9:21am figure out ticket taxes about $150

9:22am Jimmy says book the tickets and we are on our way to Midway

Yeahs through out the car!!! Everyone starts to relax, mainly my husband who does not travel in vehicles well:)!

11:00am with all of our new found time, decide to hit Michigan City for a little shopping. Life is GRAND!!!

12:00 pm Get to Chicago with a good 1-1 1/2 before we need to be at the airport. Decide to eat downtown.

12:15-1:00 drive around downtown, not accomplishing anything but seeing some buildings

1:30pm entering Subway parking lot...we have 5 minutes to eat. Wanted to be at the airport at 1:30.

1:45 getting gas and Jeff is checking the air on our tires-you know with all of our spare time!

2:00 get to airport

2:05 taking shuttle across large Airport

2:20 get into airport to check in, remember we do not have any print out...did everything in the car. Notice these large signs.

$15 for first checked bag, $25 for second. Anything over 50 pounds $50+

Well, we have 3 bags and the Rylaarsdam's have 3 bags + they add more taxes to the taxes so for another $150 we are through the ticket check in.

2:30 we have been "selected" by the airline to have "special treatment". Due to the fact that we bought our tickets this morning, we raised some concerns and had to go through "the puffer"...their words not mine. Basically you stand in this machine for about 5 minutes were the "deionized" you...locking for traces of explosives. Classic!!! Chaos follows me!!!

2:45 our bags are being rubbed down and analyzed on a computer. Nice!!

3:10 we are through and heading to our gate about 300 yards ahead, our plane leaves at 3:40 when we hear this announcement that it is the final call for our plane and the gate will be closing. Jimmy and I freak start running, Jeff and Shelly follow. We actually board the plane behind the captain who is laughing at us and telling us not to worry. They like to be on time and has no idea why they have last call 1/2 before take off.

5:15 arrive in Atlanta (you know, Atlanta is right on the way to New Orleans:)!) 20 minutes ahead of schedule. Imagine that!!

5:30 At TJI Friday's having some dinner

7-8:00 Watching Unbreakable waiting for the plane. Can I just say...I LOVE LAP TOPS!!!!

8:10 decide I needed a coffee from Starbucks

8:20 arrived back at the gate to get on the plane that was leaving at 9:00

9:30'ish watch two people going at it on the plane. They were going for a membership in the sky high club!!..and the rest of Unbreakable...love M Knight movies!!

10:25 arrived in New Orleans...15 minutes ahead of schedule. I recommend Air-Trans...just be early!!!

10:45-11:00 get a tour of New Orleans via the airport shuttle. The man was a mad man. CRAZY!!! We literally saw every block in RECORD time...including the dark alley way were two "ladies" came out of the wood work "looking for a good time". Not to worry though , that was at the BACK of out hotel

11:00 we arrive at the Hotel Monteleone. Very nice place, old with a lot of character. Not old like yucky old, they have kept in up and kept it up to date, but still kept with the "original" look of the place.

Hopefully, I can get some pictures today. Not sure what we are doing to take pictures of, but I am sure I can find something.

Gotta go have my pedicure....

Monday, February 2, 2009

Thankful For A Few Reason....

First, I have to clarify something that I think needs to be clarified. In a couple post back, I talked about it being Chinese New Year, which it is, but what I did not mention was that it is also Vietnamese New Year. Poor Hien was kind enough to let me use her Vietnamese traditions and I didn't even give her the proper credit. So thanks again Hien and I am sorry that I did not clarify that better. Thanks for the continued stories. I love them, I really do.
Second, in my last post about Mom's my "good-est" friend Jennie made a comment about my mom having "those" eyes and I want to say I TOTALLY agree and thanks for noticing what a great mom she is and THANK YOU EVEN MORE for thinking I have those same eyes. What a GREAT compliment, thank you!!!!
Third, thanks Mom and Dad for taking the crazies this week. I am looking forward to the lack of responsibility that I am about to have..not to mention a little sun...AND GRASS...oh, I am so excited to see grass. I think my husband is starting to wear off on me!!! Thanks for being great parents that give their daughter a break from reality and even better grandparents to love your grand kids enough to take them for a week...and entertain them every minute. That is the only bad part about going to Grandma and Poppy's, the weeks of "untraining" that WE do not do something every minute of everyday...THAT is only at Grandma's.

Last but not least a story...a little back ground...Alli is VERY dramatic...VERY!!! She gets her feelings hurt very easy and tends to cry...A LOT!!! She has been doing a little better with the crying and more with the sass...but that is not the point of this story:)! So we are in church yesterday, pastor is giving his sermon, the church is quiet...because the Chaos kids are eating cheez its, when Allison leans over to me in her non-whispering voice (for the record Allison can not whisper to save her life...middle of the night...dead quiet, sound asleep, she will come into our room screaming..."can I sleep with you?" Honestly, I don't know if it has to do with her hearing loss or what, but she can not whisper!!!) and says "My tooth just fell out (handing me her tooth), but don't worry I can still eat!" For as dramatic as she is...loosing teeth doesn't even make a blip on her radar! Gotta love the Tude!!! You have to love the "two toothless Tude" smile even more. It is fantastic!!!! Sorry I left me camera at home today so I will have to post a photo later:)!!!