Our Little Ol' Family

Our Little Ol' Family

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sunday Evening

Quiet Sunday evening around here. Todd's working on his computer, Kylie is watching a movie, Natalie is at Stephen's, Larissa is at Layton's, Tyler is at work, and Lindsey is at volleyball practice. It's been a chilly week outside. Tomorrow we are supposed to be getting a significant snowfall. I'm hoping not too much because we are supposed to have 'Christmas' at my mom's house on New Years' Day. Otherwise, I wouldn't mind the snow. I also don't like the idea of the kids driving in the snow on New Years' Eve when they are out late. We'll see what happens though.

Did you know we have the sweetest dog in the world? I was never a 'dog person' until I fell in love with this little girl 4 years ago. She is so smart and loving. She really has been a blessing to our family. I love how she checks on each member of the family when I let her out of her kennel each morning. I love that she is always so happy to see each one of us, and she lets us know how happy she is to see us. I love that she never has accidents, never jumps up on people (unless they ask her to), and we don't worry about her biting anyone. She comes and gets me when anything isn't as it should be, such as when our old fridge had a leak from the ice maker. She came and led me to the kitchen to show me the puddle of water forming on the floor. I was amazed that she knew to do that! When the microwave or the timer on the stove beeps, she comes to let me know. If someone leaves food where she can reach it, she won't touch it until we give her permission to. If anyone is sick, she cuddles up next to them or lets them lay on her like a pillow and doesn't move at all. She is so good at reading people and knowing when they aren't comfortable around dogs; she doesn't force herself on anyone. Our friend who has autism has never liked dogs, but has really warmed up to Rue and will approach her and carefully pet her. Rue just stands or lays there until he is done, as if she knows just the right thing to do. She would be a great therapy dog. She loves our whole family, but I am the one she considers 'her master'. She gets a wee bit jealous if Kylie or Lindsey get too close to me when we are snuggling, and she tries to carefully wedge herself in between us. We pretend like we don't realize what she's doing, but she is very persistent and it's so cute! She knows our routines. She knows what time Lindsey and Larissa wake up. She knows when Kylie wakes up. She knows that the sooner Kylie gets ready for school, the sooner she'll get to go for a walk or go for a ride in the van. She gets so excited about that! When she sees me getting ready for work, she goes and lays on the couch so that she can watch me leave. She hates to see any of us take a suitcase anywhere. It makes her so sad because she knows that person will be gone for a while. She droops her head and puts herself in her kennel. If she gets into the trash when we are gone, we immediately know because she puts herself in time out in her kennel as soon as we come in the door. She loves her kennel, though. Every night at 9pm, she heads for her kennel to go to sleep. She doesn't like to be alone in the bedroom where her kennel is, though, so when Lindsey sleeps over at a friend's house, Rue ends up on my rug before morning. She's so very social. No reason, really, while I'm writing this about our sweet Rue, just wanted to share with you what a blessing she is to our family!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Thursday Morning

Saturday night, Todd and I got to go on a long-ago planned date night. We were supposed to go with two other couples, Christy and Scott, and Kathleen and Scott, but Christy was sick so they didn't get to go. :( Here are Todd and I in the van on the way over to Scott and Kathleen's house. (Kylie is in the seat behind Todd because she was going to play with Morgan while we went out, and she thought we were nuts taking pictures at the stop light like a bunch of teenagers!)
Then, we had to take another picture with Scott and Kathleen, of course! Then, Morgan AND Kylie thought we were goofy!
We went to a comedy club, which was kind of like 'Whose Line is it Anyway?'. It was a lot of fun!

On Christmas Eve, we went over to Carolyn and Kelly's for supper.  It was yummy!  She made baked chicken and lots of yummy side dishes.  Here are Carolyn and Kelly looking at a photo book we made for Kelly's Christmas gift. It has pictures of Kelly at all of the activities she did with us in 2012. She really liked it, and I'm so glad!

Cookie gave Lindsey a pineapple.  Lindsey LOVES those things!!
Kylie got Taylor Swift lotion!  She was so excited!!
Natalie got her very own pumpkin pie! This is the girl who requests pumpkin pie for her June birthday, rather than cake!
Natalie, Kylie, and Lindsey
I caught Natalie and Lindsey taking pictures of themselves! Lindsey got there a little late because she had to work at Old Navy until 7.  Tyler had to work, too, so he didn't get to come.
Kelly got an I-Pad from her mom and here Kylie is helping her 'Face Time' Maralyn in Texas. (Face Time is a lot like Skype.)
On Christmas morning, Natalie got a Baylor sweatshirt. (Or, as they say down there, a 'jacket'.)
Tyler got some cash!
Here is Lindsey with her fuzzy socks and a stocking cap. Her gift will be here the week of January 8th.  It's a letterman jacket.  She is very excited!!  She already knew about it because she had to be fitted and decide where she wanted everything to go.  I'll post pics once she gets it. I always wanted a letterman jacket, so I was so excited for her to be able to get one!
Larissa got some cute clothes.
Kylie got a ticket to the Taylor Swift concert next year on August 2nd. When she called Morgan later, she found out that Morgan and her daddy have the seats right next to her! Imagine that!!

Rue loves her chew toy!
Tabitha and Tyler!  They had to leave at 11:45 because Tyler had to be at work at noon.  We were glad that we were able to at least spend a little time together!
Natalie and Stephen! They left before lunch because they had to head over to Stephen's mom's house.
Here are Kylie and Kelly playing games on Kelly's I-Pad after lunch on Christmas Day.
Our gang on Christmas morning.
 We had a nice Christmas.  I'm so glad we were all able to be together, even if for a short time!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas Eve...Eve!

Here is our Christmas card for 2012! We had part of them made as magnets this year, so that friends and family could enjoy them on their refrigerator all year.  (I love magnets, and never have enough!)  BTW, Larissa's hair is back to brown now, but it made a nice spot of color in our pictures when she had it!  I also had some other plain cards made that didn't require extra postage, just so we could keep in touch with our non-cyber friends.
Our friends came for a visit, and we went to Todd's work to have lunch with him in their cafeteria.
Our kids love the cafeteria at Daddy's work.  So many good choices offered!
I have a couple of silly Christmas cartoons to share. They are 'my kind' of goofy humor.

I'll write more later.  I have a headache this evening, and think I may just head to bed right now!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Lindsey's Symphony Concert

Last Tuesday, we got to go and hear some Christmas music from the high school Symphony.  Lindsey is just to the right of the director on the front row.  She is 2nd Chair this year, which is wonderful!

Kylie's 1st Orchestra Concert

Natalie and I went to Kylie's first orchestra concert at her school this morning. They've only been playing together since September, but were already able to play 4 little songs for us, including 'Jingle Bells'.
Miss Kylie with her cello.

Natalie remembers her first concert in 4th Grade nine years ago!  Here are Natalie, Ronna, and Kylie

Here I am with my favorite 10 year old in the world!

Kylie with her teacher, whom she loves!

Friday, November 30, 2012

A Friday Funny to Make You Smile

I found this picture I had taken in 2008.  It's a great group shot of the kids and Cameron, other than the fact that Kylie decided to spit over the edge of the railing JUST as I snapped the shot.  Such a goose!  It's so cool, too, to see how much Kylie now looks like Lindsey did in 2008.  It's like twins born 6 years apart!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tuesday Morning

I've been busy with editing the past couple of days.  I had a fun photo shoot Sunday afternoon, then have two more this coming weekend, so I'm trying to get all of my editing done from the first one.  It's chilly here today, but is supposed to be sunny and in the 60's this weekend!  Woo-hoo!

Miss Nat went back to college yesterday.  It was quite an ordeal to figure out how to get her from the airport back to the dorm, as her ride canceled on her.  A friend of ours from SBU was gracious enough to pick her up and drive her part way for us, and his son who also attends Baylor met them and drove her the rest of the way.  If they hadn't stepped up, I was going to have to drive her down and then come back home.  UGH...24 hours of driving.  That used to be no big deal to me, but I don't have near the stamina I used to have.  We had a nice visit with her at home on Thanksgiving.  On Saturday, she went to lunch with some of her high school friends.  I enjoyed getting to catch up with the other college kids, too!
Charleen, Natalie, Travis, and Leah home for Thanksgiving Break!
Miss Lindsey recently got a job working at Old Navy at the mall! She has only worked two days so far, but thinks she's really going to like it. Here she is headed to her first day of work!

Here are some various pics from the kids' cell phone cameras...
Todd and Lindsey

Mommy and Lindsey before the Volleyball Banquet, where Lindsey got her Varsity Letter, an award for Best Passer/Defense, and an award for All-Conference Honorable Mention!
For Tyler's birthday, Tabitha got Tyler tickets to the Chiefs game.  They went this past Sunday.  I thought this picture was so cute of both of them!
Time to get back to editing!  Hope you are having a great week!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving at Nana and Grandpa's!

Yesterday, we celebrated Thanksgiving at my mom and step-dad's house, about an hour and a half away from here. The weather was amazing! It was 68*, which was wonderful! Here are some pictures...
Todd's sister and niece, Carolyn and Kelly, made the drive over to Mom and Albert's to celebrate with us!  It was so nice for us to all to get to be together!  We missed Maralyn, Nabil, Derek, Jamie, Ava, Olivia, Dave, Shawna, and Briannah, though!

My great-nephews, Jacob (6 years) and Donovan (2 years).

One of Albert's great granddaughters, Kayla.  Such a cutie!

The kids loved being able to play outside in the pretty weather.  Jacob and Donovan played frisbee with Uncle Steven.

Albert's granddaughter, Kim, and her sweet little family.

Albert's granddaughter, Susan, and her family.

My brother and sister-in-law, Steven and Adonica.

All of our kiddos and their sweeties.

I went to find Todd to be in a picture with us when Steven snapped this picture.  I love Layton and Larissa's expressions in this shot!

All of our kiddos and their sweeties, along with Todd and me.  Our crowd is getting bigger and bigger!!

Hope the neighbors didn't mind the fact that we lined both sides of the street with all of the vehicles!

Albert's granddaughter, Keri, and her sweet little family.
We had a great Thanksgiving!  Tyler didn't get to stay too long because he had to be back in the city by 3pm for work, but I'm so glad he was able to be there for at least a little bit of the time.  We are very blessed!

Larissa's 18th Birthday Party!

Tuesday was Larissa's 18th Birthday! (Wow!) She loves Chinese food, so I did my best to create a Chinese Feast of some of her favorite dishes. I had never made any of these recipes before, so I was really hoping that they would turn out okay. We had a big group here that night...all 5 of our kiddos, plus their sweeties, and also Cameron and Cyrena. Yep...that's 13 people!  Considering I had to work at the library that day until 4PM, and we had dinner at 6PM, it was a wee bit crazy!  I woke up at 3:30 AM the night before thinking about all I had to do.  I went ahead and got up then and got some things done so it wouldn't be so rushed after work.  Also, Cyrena has a wheat allergy, so I tried to make the recipes wheat free. (I succeeded in all but the Crag Rangoon.) Here are some pics...
Here is the filling for the Crab Rangoon.  Kylie's friend, Morgan, said, "Hey....I didn't know that Crab Rangoon had CRAB in it!!"  :)

Here's what they looked like before I fried them.

Crab Rangoon in the deep fryer.  I had never used a deep fryer before, and was so grateful for a friend who was willing to loan hers to me.


Kylie helped me to make Coconut Shrimp.  (It's Larissa's VERY favorite!)

It LOOKS like the kind at the Chinese buffet!  It passed the taste test, too!  I didn't get a picture of the Orange Chicken because it was gone before I could take a picture of it! :)

Cameron and Cyrena

Tyler and Tabitha

Layton and Larissa

Lien and Lindsey

Natalie and Stephen

Kylie had the honor of lighting the candles.

Every 18 year old's dream...a gas card!  She also got a cassette tape converter thing to play her ipod in her car and a gift card to her favorite coffee house.
Hope you had a great birthday, Beauty Queen!!