Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Just HAD to post about this!

If you are not accquainted with our family or our lives you may not understand the import of this event in our lives. You may continue to read if you wish. I just wanted to give you fair warning to bail if you want.

This has been a truly amazing few days for our family. Sunday we had a wonderful meeting in Delta. A young lady who has been going to church with us for about 3 years gave her hand to be babtized after church. After speaking with her mom (who lives in Denver), she asked that we wait until 7pm so that her mom could drive over to be here for it. Her family is not in the faith, but her mom made the drive and was very happy to see this all take place. Afterward, Glenn & Diannes son Mathew gave his hand to Bro. Darrell E. Then a bit later Mandy S. asked Bro. Glenn, then shortly after Glenn's oldest son Raymond asked his Dad to babtize him. So we had a Sunday of great rejoicing.

Yesterday was my birthday. We had an ordinance supper in the new Delta building. Its not quite done, but should be soon. We had a huge crowd, as most of the Delta and Montrose brethern showed up. Truly a very spiritual supper.

Following the double ring greeting my oldest son Tyler gave his hand to be babtized. WOW!!!
I was completely thrilled. Uncle Ray Bellew babtized him at 10:30 last night. I could not have dreamed of a more perfect birthday present. Just wanted to share with you all. I know we all wonder if our childern are understanding anything we are trying to teach them. It is nice to have evidence of your teachings be manifested to you.

I don't think I will be posting much anymore. Our lives have seem to have moved into hyperdrive. I start each day with a list a mile long of all that must be accomplished and rarely do I get it all done. So I am going to try to focus more and play less. I love you all.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Countdown to OREGON

The kids and I are leaving for Oregon next Thursday!! Whoot Whoot! Can you tell I am a little bit excited. Family reunion time is here. It is going to be so awesome to see all your smiling faces once again. On the 13th Shae & I will be attending the homeschool exhibit at the Oregon Convention Center. Rosalie has graciously agreed to take the kids to the zoo. So Yay! A day with Shae. I wish we could stay out for a couple of week and go to Oly and Brewster also but, alas my husband thinks he really needs his slaves to come back and go to work. But you all know I love you anyway. I have a million things to do today so I'd better get busy!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I got a new program for my computer and am slowly learning to use it. It is the awesome Photoshop Elements 7. I took a few pictures of the kids yesterday. These are not retouched. I just wanted to share them with you.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy Times

As most of you know Steve & Shae came to see us last week. We had such a great time catching up with them, but what really amazed me was how our kids picked up right where they left off. As if absolutely no time had passed since they last saw each other.

We spent many hours visiting and making more memories. Friday we went with Randy & Cheri up to Ouray. The picture on top is of Rueban, Shelby & Tyler rock climbing. I thought the shot of Shane in front of the mountains was just a great picture. I plan to do some embossing on it and send it to Shae.

I can't wait for June.

This probably wouldn't be so amazing but they see each other only about once a year. It is so awesome to have friends like this.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Scary Mountain Passes

Last Friday I got a call from my dad asking us to drive down to Pagosa Springs to meet him at Franks. No problem. Except that my husband has finally got some wells to drill and would be spending the weekend getting his equipment ready to leave the yard. Which meant I would be doing the driving to Pagosa by myself .....well, by myself with five kids in tow. I am fairly used to going places without Alan as his job doesn't always allow for him to take off in the summertime, but drive to Pagosa is a bit of a challenge.

But with a determined heart we set off at 7 am Saturday morning. Our first stop was the bank. I never leave home without my credit card and at least 40.oo in my pocket. You never know.
Then it was straight to Wal-Mart to rent some movies from the RED BOX. I LOVE the RED BOX. Also know as saving a mothers sanity box. The kids happily watched a flick while I drove valiently on over the mountains.

To get to my brothers house I have to drive to Silverton (thats pass number one). The road has many hairpin turns and switchbacks as well as some none existent shoulders. You do not want to day dream even for a second on Red Mountain Pass or you might wake up well you know.

Once at Silverton we immediently started on Coal Bank Pass (thats number two). It was at least as bad as the first. But the kids were happily involved in their movie. Except for Emily, who had chosen about that time to get carsick. Well she didn't upchuck, she just threatened to repeatedly. Finally we arrived at Durango, where we stopped for gas and snacks. As an experienced mother I allowed all the kids a drink and candy. This is not a time to preach good nutrition habits, this is a time to keep children happily sugared up and starting at a screen. We still had 50 miles to go.

We found Franks house without incident and the kids enjoyed their time with my dad & their cousins. We decided to spend the night because the thought of driving the passes at night gives me the willies. Plus I really didn't want to risk Emily making good on her promise to upchuck in my van. We made it home with out incident, but the next time dad wants to see the grandkids I'll stay home and get the equipment ready and Alan can take the kids.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Miss USA

I, as most of you know, am a fairly conservative person. My hubby is over the top conservative. A couple of days ago the Miss USA pagent was on television. We did not watch this as we/mostly I, are morally opposed to parading young women out and judging them based on their looks, and figures, for the most part. As if young women don't have enough self-esteem issues already.

However, the next day, Fox News was replaying a portion of the contest, The interview question, due to the fact that one of the judges was extremely biased due to his own lifestyle. He had asked the question of Miss California, "What is your OPINION of gay marriage in the United States, should all states follow the lead of Vermont and legalize it?"

To which she replied as for me & my house I am a Christian and do beleive that marriage is between a man & a woman only. Or something to that effect.

The moronic judge who asked the question gave her a ZERO out of ten. How is some openly gay internet celebrity blogger even given the opportunity to judge that contest. How sad that the extreme left of this country has taken over every area of the entertainment industry.

I for one was very proud of her and her answer. It did cost her the crown. She came in first runner up. And now I have an even lower opinion of Miss USA constests!

Thanks for letting me vent.

Friday, April 10, 2009

I got the WORM!!

A couple of days ago my computer started acting funny. Not funny ha ha, more like oh no what is going on funny. Anyway by yesterday it was taking my computer 20 minutes to boot up when I turned it on. Yikes. Then it decided it did not wish to allow me to actually use any of my programs. It refused to let me get on the internet and what not. This is not good. My hubby has jobs to bid. I have paperwork to do and blogs to read for goodness sake. So this morning with hubbys blessing I joyfully drove to Office Depot, one of my favorite stores of all time, and met with an awesome geeky tech guy named Miles, and explained to him the situation with my wreck of a computer. Oh, well, it sounds like you got infected with the April Fools Worm.

Is THAT all??

It has basically rendered my computer useless. So I got a new shiny one today. I am in the process of restoring my files to this computer (thank goodness for Carbonite), and everything should be back normal tomorrow.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


I am blessed to have many very close friends. People I truly care about. People who I could call on in my hour of deepest need and I know without a doubt that they would come to my rescue.

Some of those friends have taken up permanent residence in my heart and no matter how far away I physically move from them I carry them with me every day. You all know who you are. My BFF celebrates her 38th b-day today. I love her so much and totally miss her. But, very soon she and her family will be coming to visit. I can hardly wait!!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

My Life Without Pepsi

Almost 2 weeks ago a friend passed away quite suddenly from a heart attack. He wasn't very old. We will miss him very much. The whole episode got me thinking how I should probably be taking better care of my health. I have a great fear of developing diabetes when I get older. I also have a tendency to like, I mean really like, OK LOVE, sweets!! I know from experience that I cannot/will not give up all sweets at once, so I decided to change just one thing.

Last Saturday I gave up Pepsi. For those of you that know me well that is a HUGE step. I have drank Pepsi most of my life for goodness sake. But it has been a week now, and although I have had a slight caffine headache for a day or two, for the most part I am feeling really good. Whodathunk it! For those of you who are thinking about joining me on my quest let me give you a few good reasons.

1. Pop is expensive. I figure I am saving at the least $10 a week. Right now that is quite a bit of money to us. Plus by not stopping by the convience store to get a Pepsi I am not tempted to pick up the occasional candy bar or pack of gum.

2. Less sugar in my diet. This is huge and truthfully the reason I gave it up to begin with. As much as I love sweets, sugar makes me feel bad. That is after the initial sugar rush.

3. My stomach does not feel bloated all the time. I didn't really realize this until last night. But it's true, tummy feels a lot better.

4. I don't pass gas as much. At the risk of sounding crude I can tell you this is a big plus. Especially for my husband & kids.

5. I sleep a thousand times better at night! No kidding. If you are having trouble sleeping give up pop and remember to pray before bed. Your body feels better & your mind is at peace.

6. My teeth don't hurt. The fizz in pop eats away at the enamel on my teeth & the sugar makes them hurt.

Let me know if you have anything to add to my list.

I will now get down off my soap box and wish you all a very good week.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Man Jeans!

Whoever gave little boys permission to grow up? I know I constantly tell them to learn how to take care of themselves, learn to work, learn to cook, learn to do your own laundry, ect. ect..

But why oh why did they start listening to me? Who gave Tyler permission to grow into man jeans?

It used to be so easy to buy clothes for my oldest two boys. They started out in size 2T slim wranglers and through the years they just graduated to a size larger each year. Made it real easy to shop. Fashionista's they are not. So when did Tyler decide to mess with my system? He was doing quite fine in 16 Slims, until I realized one day that Mason was wearing them also. And Tyler informed me that he did not have ANY jeans that fit him properly. Yes the boy is growing into this huge Teen/Man Thing. Now he is exactly two sizes smaller than his daddy. Thats Right. Alan in 30x34, and Tyler is 28x32. The jeans fit great with his mansized feet, and mansized hands, and that head of his oh my it sure is big! But come to think of it, the head was big to start with.

It all scares me sometimes. My oldest baby is now counting down the days until he gets his drivers permit! Eeek! Don't they know they shouldn't give small childern permission to drive large motorized vehicles on public roadways? Before you know it he will decide to up and buy a house or something, equally adulty. In case you all can't tell I am slightly freaked out by all this growing up business.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Movie Night at the McCrackens

It is no secret that my husband doesn't like going out on dates. That is unless the dates include standing in freezing weather at some equipment auction, in that case, he's all for it. So through the years I have taken the kids in small groups to do "date night with mom!" Tyler & Mason have gone on several dates with me, bowling, out to dinner, movies, different stuff like that. Emily & I occasionally do a girls night out with a little shopping thrown in. Amy is the baby and since she is with me 24/7, we have many lunch dates & park dates. For some reason I don't think I have had a date with Alex in a very long time. Probably since he started school.

Yesterday Alan suggested that I surprise Alex with a date night, just Alex & Mom. Sounded like a great idea to me. So after I picked him up at school and sprung the big surprise on him, he says,

"Oh, That is so awesome! Can we bring dad? And the boys? And the girls too?" I gently explained that date night was just for him and me to spend some time together. He was a little let down by that. Then he said that would be fine, could we go to McDonalds, and bring Amy too so he would have someone to play with. Well OK then. So I asked would he like to rent a movie and get some movie theater type snacks at Wal-Mart, and then we could do a movie night at our house for the whole family.

Yes! This is going to be the best date ever mom. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!
Hey what can I say, some of my best ideas come on at the spur of the moment.

Off to McDonald we went for our date dinner. Just Mom & Alex & oh yeah, Amy. Where I proceeded to purchase two happy meals, of which, one went 80% uneaten. When will I ever learn. It isn't that they don't like chicken nuggets, it's just that running around and screaming in the play place occupied most of their time. After the customary 5 minute warning, they came back and ate up a bit more of their food and off we went to Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart is the motherlode for Theater Style snacks. We got Fruit Punch, Pepsi, and Sierra Mist for our drinks. We picked up a case of Mega-Butter style microwave pop-corn. We got ice-cream treats, and we finished it off with huge packages of different kinds of movie theater candy. We were determined to have the best Theater Snack Bar in the valley.

The tricky part came when we went to find a movie. We had planned to rent "Space Buddies" and "Beverly Hills Chi WaWa", but apparently every other family in the Montrose area, had the same Movie Night at home plan that we did. It must be the economy. Finally we found a couple of movies that would make for a good substitution. "The Original Pink Panther Cartoons" & "The City of Embers". After watching an hour of pink panther I called it a night. But the party animals stayed up much later.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Hawaii Trip Report - Long & Involved

This review was written for cruise critic. A message board I used extensively in planning our vacation. Forgive the impersonal tone. I have edited it where I felt it was needed.

I began planning and saving for this vacation about 2 years ago. We took this vacation to celebrate our 15th anniversary and to get away from our five childern for a week. We love em, really we do.
The Tuesday prior to our departure a representative from NCL called and asked if we would be interested in an upsell to an AE Penthouse suite. We had originally booked a balcony on deck 10. After a quick discussion with my hubby, (while holding the gal on the phone, I did not want her to get away) we decided that for 500.00 more we would definately take the upsell. Thus began our adventure in the Suite Life.My sis & her hubby were then upsold to our now vacated balcony for a very miniscule amount, and we were all happy with the world.

Day #1We were picked up at our home by my hubby's cousin who so graciously had offered to take us to the airport. Our little airport is an easy five minute drive from our place, so we arrived much earlier than nessecary, but hey, we were excited!We took United to Denver than on to HNL. I must say here that this was the absolute worst part of the whole trip. I am not a big fan of flying as it is, but this experience just was the worst. They pack you in like cattle and then expect you to sit down shut up and don't ask any questions.
I am not a fussy person at all but when the fellow in front of me spent the entire trip with his head in my lap I really began to fuss. Not outloud of course, I just set there and quietly fumed to myself.

We arrived in HNL at about 4:14 pm. Our luggage was super easy to find, and then it was off to find a cab. The cab ride cost about $25 into Waikiki. In retrospect I wish I would have sprung for a limo into town. It would have been a bit more, but due to the time of day it took quite a while to get to the hotel. It wasn't an uncomfortable ride but it would have been nice to unwind a bit after the plane ride.Our luck however was about to change.

We arrived at the Wyland Waikiki to find that they were having a huge Pro Bowl Pool Party. Yikes!! Lots of people, Lots of noise! The Assistant General Manager approached us and let us know that they had indeed oversold the rooms for that night....So they would be putting us up for the night in the Penthouse!! No Kidding. It was a beautifully decorated two bedroom place with Wyland Art everywhere. Our deck was essientially the roof of the hotel. We had an amazing view of the ocean, city & mountains. We had deck on three sides of us. We had a great view of the fireworks at the Hilton that night. The decor is lovely. The location is fantastic. The beds are incredible.

Sat. 7th of Feb
We were up bright & early this morning. My sister Beth came by and curled my hair for our departure day, but due to the humidity in Waikiki it had uncurled itself by 7 a.m. We ate breakfast at the IHOP which is across the street from the Wyland. We spent most of the morning exploring The International Marketplace. There are some great deals to be found there.

Took a morning stroll on Waikiki Beach and was amazed at the number of people out that early. This is a no sleeping town. At least it seemed that way. Took several pictures of us messing around at the beach and then headed back to our penthouse for a relaxing snooze on the deck while we waited for time to go to the ship. One thing the manager told us when we first got to our room that everything there was for us to use. He said help yourself to the liquor cabinet. Well seeing as how we don't drink that little perk was wasted on us. But..... Wyland had a stash of Hagan Daaz Icecream in the kitchen freezer, which we happily indulged in with Beth & Robert.

It cost about $20 for a cab ride to the pier, but with the four us splitting the cost it was very doable. We dumped our luggage with the luggage folks at the pier and got in the first line (security). It wasn't too long of a wait even though we showed up right after noon. Due to our Penthouse upsell we bypassed the regular embarkation line and went to the Latitudes line. We were on the ship within five minutes.We were given champange glasses full of orange juice because we don't drink, but no one else greeted us or anything. We were not offended by this or anything. We just took off to explore the ship on our own. This was my first cruise ship experience so I really had no idea what to expect.

Keep in mind we didn't book the cruise for the cruise sake, but for the purpose of seeing as much of Hawaii as possible in the short amount of time we had.Our Penthouse Suite was incredible. It was the size of a very small hotel room, but for a ship's stateroom it was considered large. It had a king size bed, a dressing room and table, a full sized bathroom (although a small one). It did have a small bathtub, it was very nice to soak in after a day of sightseeing. The balcony in this room is the greatest. It held two loungers, and a table with four chairs. It made everything much more spacious. Our cabin steward introduced himself immediately. His name was Conrado and he was the best.

Our Butlers name was Sean. Sean brought us Choc. covered strawberries daily and delivered movies to us on request. We really did not use Seans services much. He is trained to wait on us hand & foot, and frankly we just didn't know what to do with all that attention. He tried not to be intrusive, but he was a nice guy overall.Our first dining experience was in the Aloha Cafe for lunch. I don't care for buffets on the mainland & the same was true for the ship. I don't like the cattle call feel of it, I prefer to be served for dinner rather than serving myself. I wait on six people day in day out all the time, on vacation I like people to wait on me at dinner. The food at the Aloha was fine, but the experience really wasn't what I wanted. This was the only time we ate there.Our ship left port right on time at 8:00. It was fun watching it pull away from the port. Next Up.....Hilo.
__________________One fantastic benefit for being in an AE Penthouse is that you get to have a set down breakfast every morning in the Lazy J cafe. Doing so allows you to get to know the Concierge James, and the Restaurant Manager Thomas as well as most of the dining staff, because they actually have time to speak with you in the morning.We really enjoyed our morning breakfast. We were allowed two guest each morning so my sister & her husband ate with us. They have a fruit & cereal buffet & a menu to order of off. It was all very yummy.

In Hilo we rented a car from Thrifty and made the long drive up to VNP. This was my least favorite of all our days. They had closed most of the trails leading out to the lava crust due to VOG. It also rained continuously. What a bummer. We went back to town and drove over to the Rainbow Falls. We had a great time swinging from the branches in the Banyon Tree Forest. So the day wasn't a total loss. Back at the ship we ate dinner at Little Italy and then went to the Captains VIP Party. I really didn't feel much like a VIP but then again how often am I going to meet the captain of a cruise ship.The water was pretty rough that night so walking about in high heals on the 13th deck was not an easy task. But I managed. I did have to explain to people that no I was not tipsy, but just slightly uncoordinated.Sleeping on the ship came easier to me than I would have thought. The movement of the waves acted as a giant cradle and I fell happily asleep by 9 pm most every night. Waking up wasn't too hard either, as I had planned each day and didn't want to miss to much of my vacation.

The next day was the first of two in Maui. The ship docked, we had our breakfast and then off to rent a car. Major point here. If you think you might be needing a car for any of the ports RESERVE IN ADVANCE. Most generally they are all reserved and getting one is a major undertaking if not done in advance. One couple attempted to board a shuttle bus and was told that a car for one day would cost $200!! Yikes! Glad that couple wasn't us. We had reserved a convertible for the two days we were in Maui. We drove THE ROAD TO HANA. Was it worth it? I don't know. Our main point in driving up was to play in the falls at Oheo Gulch, but when we got there the Rangers said No Way! Too much water coming down out of the mountains. The sceanery was very pretty, but I grew up in Western Oregon and I have seen A LOT of pretty sceanery. So for us I think we would have enjoyed an extra day on they beach near Lahina.Day two on Maui found us headed south to Lahina & West Maui. We rented two boogie boards at Mr. Frogs in Lahina and headed up the west coast to find a place to use them. We found a great beach and and boogie boarded the day away. Honestly one of my favorite days.
__________________Our big mistake in Kona was not renting a car. We really should have. Taxi fares ended up costing us over $50 for the day.We had VIP tender tickets, (I was really enjoying all this VIP stuff)! We were on the first tender off the ship & really would have had time to rent a car, but didn't because the snorkel place told us it would put us late getting there. Instead we were a good hour too early!!Anyway aside from that we had a good day. We were on the Fairwinds II which ended up going to the exact same spot as every other snorkel company. The snorkeling was fun and I really enjoyed using the view boxes because I am very near sighted and needed my glasses to enjoy the experience. The water was very clear and we spotted many interesting fish as well as a moray eel! Very cool! The water was also very cold. . The people on the Fairwinds were all very nice. The grilled hamburgers were decent. We did a little shopping in Kona & then got in line to tender back.The night before the Kona stop we attended the Chris Alpine show. We were very pleased with it. It was clean comedy & he was very funny. My husband doesn't usually like comedy shows because they tend to use a lot of foul language and such, but even he liked Chris. After the show we attended the Not so Newlywed game. It was pretty fun & entertaining. We actually set next to one of the couples when we were returning from Kona the next day. A little bit uncomfortable knowing too much info about the strangers next to you. We left Kona & headed for my favorite island Kauai.
__________________Kauai 1st DayI really enjoyed our day & 1/2 in Kauai. The people there are exceptionally friendly. We disembarked early, as usual, and were met at the dock by a gentleman giving out "Kauai Loves You" buttons. This is my favorite keepsake from our trip. Everywhere we went there the people went out of their way to be friendly to us. It was a nice place.We rented a car from Thrifty that day. Head up...Thrifty Car Rental is not located at the airport with the others. It is a completely different location. We drove to Princeville Ranch Adventures for our Zip -n- Dip. This was our funnest excursion of the trip. Our guides were Kyle & Steph and they were a blast. They made sure everyone was enjoying themselves and were always making jokes. Nobody felt rushed. Everyone in our group was very easy going. We zipped I think it was eight lines. They were all pretty long. Then we hiked down a very steep trail,(100 times steeper hiking back up), to have our lunch and do the Dip portion of the trip. The water was very brown due to excessive mountain rains, but the diehards in the group jumped in anyway. Not me. I don't like swimming in dirty water. Even if it is clean dirt. Most people in our group tipped Kyle & Steph $20 a couple, I was glad about that, they certainly earned it.

During our excursion we met a couple who own a condo on Kauai and they invited us over to visit for a bit afterwards. They were lovely and we enjoyed ourselves there also.We decided to find a beach to play on and ended up at Hana Lei Bay. We spent all afternoon & evening there. This beach was a lot of fun. Then after pulling my hubby & B-I-L from the surf we went to find something to eat. We found a place called Tiki Man Pizza. The fellow working there was by himself, but he managed to take orders, answer phones, & make pizza too. He owned the place. There was a band playing at the bar next door & they were very fun to listen to. One thing to remember when renting a car is that shuttles back to the ship stop at 7. We got there at 8. Ooops! However the nice lady at the rental desk got one of the car detailer guys to take us back to the ship. Whew! It was about a four mile walk otherwise & I was wearing a swimsuit & it is rather cool in the evenings in Kauai in winter. All in all it was a great day.
__________________Day 2 KauaiWe were picked up from the ship at about 9 am for our helicopter ride with Safari Helicopters. It was a very nice experience. Not life changing but nice. From the helicopter you get to see parts of Kauai that are so remote you wouldn't see them otherwise. Our pilot was a nice guy although I can't remember his name. We received our DVD in the mail last Saturday. It is fun to go back and relive the experience again.After our return to the ship we ate lunch in the Lazy J. A perk of Suite VIP service. Unfortunately we didnt get to stay on Kauai as long as we would have liked. We will definately vacation there in the future.End of the TripThe last day we disembarked fairly early, as we had a car reserved to explore the Northshore of Oahu. Disembarkation was simple. It is very stress free. However, lugging baggage around the airport is not fun. If we had it to do over again we would have used Easy Fly. It would have been nice to not worry about luggage and all later in the day.After renting our car we headed out to Haiwea. My sister & I did some shopping, and I got my first Shave Ice. Oh My. It was delicious. Then we started up the coastline and finally stopped at Waimea Bay, (I hope thats how its spelled). We changed into our suits and even though the weather wasn't the greatest we still had a blast playing in the surf for a few hours. We then continued our drive around the island. If you have a chance I highly recommend the drive. It is so beautiful.

After some Waikiki shopping we were off to return the rental & wait for our flight. We (as usual) got there extremely early. I read 10 chapters of my novel just waiting for time to pass. It was a good book. Our flight left at 11:30 PM. I don't care much for night flights over the ocean. We had however booked extended leg room for this United flight, so it was much more bearable than the first. The following are random things I would do the same of differently knowing what I know now.

1. I most definately would not fly United to HNL again. I would try to get a flight on Hawaiian instead.
2. I would take an upsell to a Penthouse Suite again, given the opportunity. My husband, however, after this experience said he would just save the money up and book the Penthouse Suite from the start. We really loved the room and the service. BTW we did tip our Butler & our Room Steward well at the end of the trip. They deserved it.
3. I would not make the drive to VNP unless the weather was clear. We all felt like it was a waste of time to drive up there and not get to see anything. I would instead use the time to see more of the waterfalls around Hilo.
4. I would not do the Road to Hana. Very, very long drive. Would have rather had another day at the beach.
5. Probably would have booked the Molokini snorkel excursion at Maui instead of Fairwinds at Kona. This would have freed up some beach time for Kona beaches or maybe shopping.
6. Absolutely would do Princeville Zip-n-Dip again. Well worth the time and the money.
7. Wouldn't be in such a hurry to get to the airport for home. Could have spent that time at Waikiki beach.
8. Would have scheduled more time pre cruise & post cruise for Hawaii. I think having time to adjust to the time change would really let you enjoy things more.

It was a wonderful vacation. Next time we go to Hawaii we plan to stay on Kauai and bring all five of the kids with us.

Friday, February 20, 2009

More Hawaii Pictures

Thats all I've got time for right now. The water in Hawaii is really, really blue. At times it looks like blue ink. Very pretty & warm. We had a wonderful time. I hope someday we will go again and take the kids.

Monday, February 16, 2009


I'm Baaaaack!! I will post more photos. But here is a preview.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Picture loud, rauncous, headbanger, 80's music in the background. Its not actually playing, but whenever I think of the above title the music is ringing in my ears. I seem to have spent way too much time listening to 80's Rock Music in my youth. You'all can forgive me for that can't you.

Only less than 8 days until we board our plane and are Hawaii bound. Hope, Hope, Hope for good flying weather. I have only had one truly bad flying experience in all my years of flying. When I flew to OK for Drave & Kristas wedding the plane made a very sudden drop and was being bumped about as if we were on some central America potholed road in the sky. I gripped the arm rest so tightly that my hands and fingers turned white, all color left my face, I must have looked pretty bad because the elderly gentleman sitting next to me started patting my hand "It's going to be ok honey, now don't you worry, these pilots know what they're doing, ect...
And they did of course. We landed safe and sound. After which the pilot got on the PA and spoke these comforting words, "Ladies & Gentlemen, I apologize for the bumpy flight, However, we were able to keep the airplane on the very outskirts of the tornado, I hope you enjoy your stay in Tulsa." WHAT??? Did that guy just say TORNADO? But, after I got safely off the plane little Miranda who was about 9 at the time said," Oh, J....I am so glad you are safe I was praying, and praying cause you were up there in that tornado. Ahhh, what a sweetie.

This time however I am not flying to OK in Tornado Season. No I am flying to Hawaii in the middle of winter via Denver (I see no problem at all here, do you?), with my loving & patient hubby, who I might add, hates to fly. I'm sure everything will be fine. Heh, heh. Well if everyone is praying for us I'm sure it will be.

Currently I am going through my piles of clothing and trying to figure out what to pack. I just know if I try on a thousand different ensembels I will hit upon the perfect outfit to wear to dinner our first night. As for the trip out there I shall wear a pair of jeans, good tennis shoes, a t-shirt, covered by a warm sweatshirt. And possibly a floatation device.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Up & At 'em Bright & Early

I had a horrible headache last night. My body is still trying to recover from being thrashed about by a semi. I woke at about 4:30 this morning and after 30 minutes of tossing & turning I got up & dressed and went to work on the house. Started a load of wash. Cleaned the kitchen and walked for 30 minutes on my treadmill. Not wanting to waste this running start to my day I woke Emily & Alex up for school at 6:15. Their bus comes by at 7 :20 and I knew Em needed a shower, and Alex tends to be extra slow on Mondays. So after the usual Monday morning crisis they were dressed and shoed and ready to head out the door. About 7:30 Emily came back in and told me they must have missed the bus. Oh pish posh I say, she is probably just running a bit late today give her a few more minutes. So they waited. And waited and waited. Well gee they must have missed the bus. Emily says "Mom, did you know that today is Martin Luther King day?" WHAT?? Perhaps I should check the school website.

No School Today. My childern are overjoyed. I am slightly embarrassed.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The News of my demise.....

has been greatly exagerated. Thank Heavens!

As most of you have no doubt heard by now I wrecked our new van last Friday morning. Don't try to take on a semi--99% of the time you will lose.

I hit some black ice on the way to grandmas and flew (like a bullet shot from a gun) through a stop sign. I had absolutely no traction so couldn't turn or stop or do anything. There is usually no traffic on Falcon road at that time of day so I thought I might make it to a stop on the other side of the road. Problem is there was a small semi-truck & trailer on Falcon and well, I hit him. I hit the trailer not the truck so the driver is uninjured. That is truly a blessing.

Amy & I are both ok. My neck is still pretty sore on the left side, and Amy is accquiring her very first black eye. It actually just started turning colors yesterday. Before that it was just very red. She hit her head on the door, but she has bounced back from this very quickly.

I just heard from the insurance company that they have totalled the van (no, really??) So I am without a vehicle, and now without a payment also. We will need to be finding me something to drive, but hopefully not until I get back from Hawaii.

On a lighter note, Alan & I went to the pool this week and practiced snorkeling. It was a bunch of fun. Hopefully we will get to go once or twice more before the trip so we will be semi capable when we go out on the snorkel boat.

Yesterday Amy & I went to Grand Junction with Mom Mc and dropped her off at Aunt Lenores. The Amy & I went to JCP and had her pictures taken. It was the first time I've had them taken professionally since she was a year old! She will be five next week. I am a HORRIBLE mother. Time passes much more quickly the older you get and I just let it get away from me. I didn't intend to have her picture done, but we pulled up outside the mall and I thought "I could be going to a funeral today for this little girl, instead of taking her shopping", I realized how close I came to losing her and decided then and there that we were doing pictures. So I rushed in a bought her a new outfit. She looked adorable by the way. The lady didn't have any other appts. that morning so she took quite a bit of time with her. The pictures will be in Jan 21st. I will post some online so you'all can see how cute she is.

While I was there Uncle John called and said that Lanise had a baby girl!! Yey! I am so happy for them. Of course we had to stop by and see her on the way home. She is a beauty.

All your phone calls, thoughts & prayers have been greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Still Alive & Kicken'

So rather than dwell on all the horrible stuff that happened last year I have finally decided to post again and let you all know what I am truly thankful for in the year 2009. I know it isn't Thanksgiving anymore, but just work with me here people.

1. I am so thankful to be in the Faith & to be able to raise my children in this wonderful home with their awesome daddy. I know too many people for whatever reason don't have this.

2. I'm thankful for Alan, who has to be one of the nicest, kindest, best looking (ya'all get the drift) men I have ever known. It has been an absolutely amazing 15 years with him.

3. I'm thankful to only have less than 30 days until our trip to Hawaii!!! Can you believe it?? I still drool over the beach pictures daily. Sis & I talk several times a day about our upcoming vacation. Working out every single detail ahead of time, because I am such a "Type A" person. I must be in control at all times. Plus I just really like to plan.

4. I'm thankful the youngkids finally came to our house last Sunday just to hangout and I didn't totally stress out about everything. They wrestled in livingroom (after pushing the new furniture against the walls), they played the Wii for hours, they ate chips & pop, and cake, and pretty much whatever we had in the house. All in all a very good day.

5. I'm thankful Aunt Debbie Smith got to come and visit us for a weekend even if the reason for her journey wasn't the happiest. (Bro. Buds Funeral).

6. I'm thankful that I have 5 healthy happy kids who occasionally drive me crazy.

7. I'm thankful to have so many people I can truly call friends. Some that I only get to see very occasionally and others who are an almost daily part of my life. It is a great feeling to not feel like the social outcast that I was in grade school. To finally feel grown up enough to know what true friends are and how to be one to all of mine even if I sometime fail at the attempt.

8. I hope you all know how much I love and adore you. You West Coasters who I miss so much. You Okies whom I don't get to see enough of and all the others who I have not had the privelage to meet face to face yet. Someday, maybe. I'm even thankful for the lurkers out there who are too shy to come out and say high.

Thanks for listening to my trials and travails of the last year and lets hope for sunshine and happiness in 2009.