Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A month of unfortunate events

Looking back over the course of the last month, we've realized what a series of unfortunate events we've faced, including:

A new starter for my car - on our anniversary, no less! Talk about a great gift. I can't wait for what our 20th anniversary will bring us!

A defrost heater for our fridge - the problem with fridge problems is that it costs $$ to just have someone come out to check out the thing. We spent 4 to 5 days of at-home attempts to get it to work. Let's just say the matter was out of our hands. We went for around 10 days without a working fridge.

A new water heater - 'cuz having one explode and/or leak water all over our basement just sounded like too much fun! On the plus side, I can say that we are very impressed with Morgan Miller Plumbing!


A new battery for Trav's car -- but it's okay! It was still under warranty (by like 1 week). We thought it was the starter, but it wasn't! But wait...

A new starter for Trav's car (presumably) -- two weeks after we changed the battery, the starter went out...which led from this:

to this (pardon my buggy windshield):
AAA to the rescue! Technically the car is still in the shop, so it could be something else. However, all indications point to the starter.

Note: the above image was borrowed from Danielle Mousley. Please check her out here. I didn't have any sign showing how early this patch closes, and she did. All credit goes to her - I just marked it up with lovely red arrows pointing to HOW EARLY IT CLOSES!!

Pumpkin patches that close early -- we pre-purchased tickets to a local pumpkin patch. The first time we tried to go, it was packed with school kids on field trips. The second time we tried to go, it was 3:05...and it closed at 3:00. Uncool.

Our computer on life-support -- apparently we have less than 2 MB of memory left on our computer. Probably even less than that by now; we just stopped caring enough to check. Thankfully, the cavalry is arriving soon! I may be actually able to upload my own photos soon!

Bullies at school -- I'll admit that Jack is a sensitive kid, but after talking with his teacher about one child at school, he (and others) are definitely being bullied.  My heart goes out to Jack, but in the same light, I'm astounding that it starts so early. Where do these 8-year-old bullies come from?!

Our pool pump petered out -- We didn't use our pool through the entire month of June because our previous pool service really let us down. Then we couldn't use it in October because it was cold and our pump broke. :-( Bummer. Thankfully, our pool guy doesn't want us to replace it until the spring.

Note: The pool is in front of the chairs...under the snow. By "closing" the pool we mean that we have the drains blasted out, water level lowered and jets plugged. The cover goes on, too.
Our pool closed -- technically this is a good thing. However, considering it happened on the same day we paid for a new starter for my car? Ouch. Our pocketbooks took quite a hit that day.

In conclusion: there's a lot of "good" going on too, but man O'man! I am tired of things breaks and costing major bucks!!

Saturday, October 19, 2013


The last time we tried cheerleading with Zoey, it was quite the adventure.

We waited until she started school to try again, and this time? Much better!

First bonus: The actual clinic was the Saturday before the game, so they had 2-3 hours to learn the cheers and all week to practice them. Plus they had nearly a week to get the shirts ready, meaning she actually had a shirt this time! 

Second bonus: It was a cool night and we had taken the day off (well, Trav and I. The kids had no school that day), meaning everyone was in a great mood. 

Third bonus: She loved being with the big cheerleaders! She had just so much fun. 

She just can't wait to do it again! 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Jack's "all about me!" moment

So, I'm not going to lie -- I know I am late with this. Every single time I tried to ask him to fill this out, he developed a sudden urge to become busy.

I'm heard that schoolwork is more important that an annual set of questions, so I've let him off the hook. We FINALLY were able to find some time (granted, it took all of 2 minutes):

1. What is your favorite color? Green
2. What is your favorite toy? Millennium Falcon  
3. What is your favorite fruit? Banana 
4. What is your favorite TV show? Dog With a Blog
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Sandwiches
6. What is your favorite outfit? The shirt "A Wookie Ate My Homework" 
7. What is your favorite game? Lego Star Wars: Clone Wars 3 
8. What is your favorite snack? Animal Crackers
9. What is your favorite animal? Tiger  
10. What is your favorite song? Home on the Range
11. What is your favorite book? Diary of a Wimpy Kid 
12. Who is your best friend? Bret
13. What is your favorite cereal? Cheerios
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Swim
15. What is your favorite drink? Sprite
16. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas 
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Darth Vader slippers
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Bagels with cream cheese
19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? Red Lobster  
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? Construction builder 

Click here for Jack's survey at age 7

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

7 things I learned over 7 years of marriage

In honor of our wedding anniversary today (where did the time go?!) here are 7 things I learned:

1. Dates should be cherished, especially after kids -- it doesn't matter if it's a movie, games with friends or just watching TV while eating Greek food after the kids go to bed. It's time spent together!
2. There aren't enough practical gifts for men --  I'm sure Trav totally felt the love when I gave him a nose hair trimmer for Christmas or a calculator for his birthday. And alas, the Interwebz are a total fail for ideas.
3. Fresh flowers made our relationship pop -- okay, so I'm no expert on relationships, but one thing has totally changed our marriage this year. That one thing? Flowers. It started in April when I accomplished something really cool at work and treated myself to a $10 bouquet of flowers. Ever since then, Trav has "refreshed' my vase with fresh flowers on a weekly basis.
4. Family is vital -- we are so blessed to have family so near and dear to our hearts and house. I can't say enough just how important it has been to include our families because without them, our lives would be so different.
5. It really doesn't have to be about drama -- so many people think life has to mimic fiction. It doesn't. Life without drama is just fine, too.
6. Don't forget to laugh -- We're had some rough moments in our 7 years. Heck, the last three weeks alone have taken HUGE chunks out of our pocket books. But even during the worst of circumstances, remembering to laugh has been the ice breaker we needed to remember how blessed we are to have our health and our family.
7. Life won't be perfect -- I think Trav is pretty darn close to perfection, but I also know that life isn't perfect. It's not fair. And that's okay!! Most people tell you to accept your spouse for who they are, but what a lot of people don't tell is to accept life for what it is too.

And in honor of our anniversary, here are bunch of movie posters a friend of ours made for us to display all around the theatre:

Friday, October 4, 2013

Take me out to the football game...

Sorry, kids. I'm not trying to offend by butchering the lyrics to "Take me out to the ballgame!"

A few Fridays ago, Trav had worked a day shift. As a result, we had the rare evening to do what we pleased. Translation: we went to a high school football game.

Consequently, all of our home schools were on the road, so we opted for a Blue Valley game instead.

Why not?

First, we took some pictures:

And then we were off!

The drive took about 15 minutes, and we got there plenty early. However, it was truly a learning experience.

1. Blue Valley West is either THAT good or Blue Valley North is THAT bad. Yowsa! It was something like 35-0 at half-time!!

2. Blue Valley people are very, very frustrating. Not only did one family and their friends basically push us out of our seats, but they also kept getting up and walking in front of us. One girl did this at LEAST 75 times during the course of the first half. No apologies. Only laughter.

3. When did football games turn into a fashion show? We saw women decked out for homecoming, and we're not talking about the candidates. I'm talking about the 35-year-old moms who were more prepared to go to church than to a football game. Oh yeah, and that 9 year old who had a Coach purse? AWESOME!

4. Respect is good. Our section had such little respect for each other. I am now focused on teaching Zoey how NOT to act when she gets to be in Junior High. Not that it will help, but we can try!

5. We drive a 2007 Toyota. Apparently this is too cheap for the BV crowd. Yet another reason why our kids won't be going to that school district.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Zoey goes 80s...sort of

As a child of the 80s, I had crimped hair. It's true! I actually had hair down to my mid-back that was crimped (with a nice pink crimper) by my 80's-stylin' mom.

It was devotion, what can I say?

Anyway, so one of our (cheaper) Halloween options was an 80's rocker chick (think: Madonna without the cone bra). Lots of lace. Lots of neon. Lots of crimped hair.

Thanks to gift cards from taking surveys (no, really! I was on a panel for a news wire source and given some nice gift cards for my time!), I purchased a crimper. It came last week and Zoey patiently waited as I crimped her hair.

This is where it gets dicey.

You see, Zoey was tired. And cranky. And knowing that I had worn my crimped hair as a stylin' 6-year-old in a side partial ponytail, I put her crimped her in a stylin' side partial ponytail.

Cue the tears.

No really, cue the tears. It was destined to fail.

I did manage to get her to calm down for a picture:

At this point, I took OUT said side partial ponytail, which is what she wanted all along. Cue more crying. Apparently I ruined her crimpin' style. 

I managed a few more pictures: 

Needless to say, we won't be crimping her hair anytime soon. Who knew it could bring so much drama?!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Disclaimer: We are not getting a puppy. We are not considering getting a puppy. Right now we have one very, very fat cat who is very, very happy to not have any dogs in the house: 

Regardless, our kids still like animals...like, a lot. So what better way to honor this for their birthdays than to spend time with puppies?

We tried to go to an animal shelter instead of Petland, but honestly it didn't fit into our schedule. None of the shelters opened before noon on the weekends, which meant that because we had family coming into town and tons to do for a party, we couldn't wait around

When we got to Petland, Zoey picked out a Papillion:

Isn't it adorable - and just Zoey's size!

I will admit that for a yappy dog, she (he?) was very, very cute! Half of Walter, but still cute.

The next dog was Trav's pick - a  weimaraner. Yup. Hyper dog, ahoy!

Note that NO ONE in the picture is looking at the same camera. Not that there were other cameras, but I love how only Trav is actually looking at me.

We also did this for Jack's birthday, but I didn't bring a camera. I'm glad I didn't! We spent time with a very scared Chiweenie (Chihuahua + Dauchsund) and then a teething Great Dane. WOW! That Great Dane was ... amazing. As in, grabbing onto our ARMS with her teeth! The poor thing didn't know how to control her very, very big paws and flopped all around. Needless to say, she beat us up!

More proof that maaaaybe we aren't ready for dogs just yet.