Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Toys Coming Out of My Ears


I once read that the average child in America receives 70 new toys a year.  SEVENTY!

It sounds outrageous, but the more I began to think about it, the more I realized that this may, in fact, be true.  Averages are just that- averages, which means that some children get less and some get more.  You can imagine different scenarios based on income levels, parenting styles, etc. that could result in such a high number. 

Imagine birthdays and Christmases with lots of presents, Easter baskets, valentines, Halloween presents (yep, I’ve heard of those), not to mention the random new things throughout the year, kids’ meal toys, and toys bought with birthday money and allowances.  The numbers add up quickly.

I don’t think my kids get that much in a year, as our holidays and birthdays generally stay pretty small, and we don’t spring for happy meals very often, however, a peek at their rooms beg to differ! 

Several times a year, the kids and I have to go in and clear out!  I hope it’s normal and my kids aren’t the only ones to accumulate so much junk, but how do they get so much stuff?!  And if I step on one more lego or one more marble…

I write this because once again, their rooms are an unorganized mess, and it’s bad enough that I need to put it on my priority list for the next several days.  I normally can only do one room a day, and since real life is still going on around us, I rarely can work on rooms on consecutive days.

Maybe I just want another mom to commiserate with me…maybe I want someone to tell me their kids are the same way…maybe I need to get off the computer and pick a room with which to start…

Friday, February 15, 2013

Love is Forever…and so are Roaches

My husband is an…interesting…sort of guy.  This was my Valentine’s Day gift.


Yep, he had a cockroach named for me.  Isn’t he great?!  “Cockroaches can survive a nuclear holocaust, and so can our love.”  His words.


It’s gross, disgusting, and possibly insulting, but to be honest, I’m smiling as I write this.  Somehow he came across this and couldn’t resist, and it IS kinda funny :)

And he was smart enough to bring home flowers and chocolates…

Colorado Vacation Finale

Edited to add: I just noticed that this never posted…so much for setting a date to do it automatically!

One of the last ‘touring’ things we did was to visit the Olympic Training Center.  Honestly, while I enjoy watching the Olympics when they come around, I really didn’t care if we missed that one, but it turned out to be one of my favorite places we saw.

It’s a guided tour, and we were guided by an Olympic-hopeful.  We got some inside information and will be looking for her in 2016!  We saw many of the training areas, walked through the hall of fame, and watched a very inspirational video.  They house many trainees in the Olympic Village, and the trainees can be as young as 15 years old.  I just can’t imagine sending my 15-year-old off to live elsewhere for years for the sake of a sport…






We also celebrated Twinkle’s 3rd birthday on New Year’s Day.  As you can guess, it was a small affair- just dinner, presents, and cake.


“I’m fwee!”



Early the next morning, we headed out!  We decided to spend a day with my aunt in Show Low, AZ so we took a longer different way back.  We decided to stop at Four Corners, the only place in the US where 4 states meet at one point.  There is virtually nothing there but a nice little monument and wide open land.  Oh, and let’s not forget the toilet seats placed over a hole in the ground.  All of that only cost $3 per personSeriously, it’s an outrageous price, but we figured it may be a very long time before we ever have a reason to be up that way again.  So now we can say that we’ve been there, done that, got the T-shirt.  Oh, wait.  There were no t-shirts…or magnets…or coffee mugs…or anything else…



And that’s it!  The first thing my kids did when we got home was run to their beds and hug them :) 

We had a fabulous time and look forward to seeing all the family again.  Colorado is beautiful, but as the saying goes…there’s no place like home!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Colorado Vacation Episode 3

Let’s combine a few days, shall we?

The next day, we were able to go to Pikes Peak!  My uncle secured a tour bus from his workplace and we all got to drive together like the good, little tourists we were!


“We got the front seat!”


“Look Mom, I’m a big kid!”

No, we did not hike it- it’s winter, after all, and we’re not crazy!  The rode the COG, as in a gear, train.  It normally goes all the way to the top, where there is a gift shop and some secret-recipe, high-altitude donuts.  Unfortunately, the storm that had just rolled through kept the train from getting all the way to the top.  We only got about 2/3 of the way up, no donuts for us :( but it was still a beautiful sight!

Here are some pics of us waiting:



And from on the train (which blessedly was heated!):


Apparently, you can see 4 different states from the top.







“I have reception!!”


Colorado Springs is also home to Focus on the Family, and with my sister’s recommendation, we went to tour the place.  It was very nice, with the top floor devoted to the strides FOTF has made in the pro-life, pro-family movements, etc., and the lower level devoted to the kid stuff.

When you go downstairs, you’ll find Whit’s End (from Adventures in Odyssey), a nice, little soda-shoppe, and a playground similar (but better) to what you would find in a fast food restaurant.  Then you can walk around ‘Odyssey’ and explore the different stores and businesses from the show.  They also have a recording studio, in which you can record and ‘adventure in Odyssey.’  Hero and Awesome McAwesome wanted to do that, and they did a great job!  Yours truly was the foley, and the sound effects were superb, if I do say so myself :)


Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Colorado Vacation Episode 2


This is what we woke up to Christmas morning!  My aunt says she has lived in Colorado Springs for 19 years, and they have never had a white Christmas.  I told her we brought it with us from Arizona ;)

All the family would converge that afternoon for Christmas dinner and exchanging gifts.  I was very proud of my kids for not once asking to open their presents early.  Of course, that may have been because they were too busy playing in the snow!


McAwesome was the snowball king!

My brother gave us their sled and once Grandpa tied some rope to it, they were set to go sledding down the street!


Whoever pulled the sled would get a running start, then fling the sledder on down the street.  The kids loved it- and the neighbors thought we were crazy to be out in the cold so early in the morning!


There goes Minion 2!


Hero is such a good big brother!


Tank wasn’t overly impressed with that cold stuff :)

Later, the guys took the kids to a nearby school to sled down a bigger hill, while the ladies got dinner ready.


Dinner was delicious (there was WAY too much food!), and afterwards we opened presents.  Because I was holding the baby, and trying to help the kids open things, I didn’t get too many pictures, but here are a few from the day:





Our main gift to the kids this year was a trip to Legoland (this Spring).  Every one of them (except the baby) is completely into all things Lego, and have been asking to go for a while now.  I gave them each an envelope to open that contained a ‘ticket.’


Opening the envelopes.  What could it be??


McAwesome got his opened first.


They were a little excited!


Finally, we squeezed everyone in for a big family pic!


To be continued…

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Colorado Vacation Episode 1

After a VERY long day driving, we wanted to get right out the next morning and see some sights!  Of course, it was Christmas Eve so there wasn’t a whole lot open!

We decided to drive through the Air Force Academy.  It was a beautiful area in the winter and very large and spacious.


Air Force Chapel- famous for its tall spires


Minion 1 loved the jets!


The grandparents with (almost) all the kids


I haven’t seen my sister in a long time!

After that we met the rest of the family for a drive through the Garden of the Gods.  There were beautiful red rock formations similar to what we have in Sedona, AZ.


Dad with all of his kids!


Balanced Rock


Hero and McAwesome holding up Balanced Rock


Minion 1 and Minion 2 found a jungle gym

That evening we went to my brother’s house for pizza and games- none of which I won (but I’m not bitter).  The grandkids played together and before long we noticed that it had begun to snow!  So, of course, my kids had to go out and try to catch some snowflakes on their tongues!


Stay tuned for the next episode…