Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Could this possibly make you smile as much as it makes me smile?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Grandpa R comes to town

We love company! My dad came to see us for a few days. The weather was gorgeous, fun things were going on, and the kids LOVED spending time with one of their grandparents.
First up, we went to pick up Jake after leaving the airport so we could go straight to the fair. You know how I adore the state fair.
Here is Dad, me, and Big Tex:
One can't miss place is the petting zoo.


We also hit the Doberman Dog Show, the car shows, the arts and crafts display (my favorite), and a few other places. We made sure to try a couple of state fair treats. We chose fried Autumn pumpkin pie and fried lemonade. I'm a sugar lover, but my tongue is still smarting from the thought of the intense amount of sweetness from the fried lemonade. Here we are in a small corner of the auto show with some antique cars:

We left the fair to get dinner at JG's Hamburgers --which is always a hit.
Another day we headed off to the Heard Nature Museum in McKinney. Tessa was so excited to see the rocks, minerals, and fossils (really?) and ran back and forth making sure we all saw them as well.
Both kids were great with the small dinosaurs that started the Dinosaur Nature Trail, but once they got bigger, Cole didn't want much to do with them.
These dinosaurs moved and made noise. Even the eyes moved, which was really cool. Tessa knew the name of this particular dinosaur. (Cryolophosaurus???) Thanks again, PBS.


Neither of the children wanted anything to do with the T-rex. Size may have had something to do with it.
That same evening we went fishing over at Bethany Lakes Park. Cole was ready to rumble with his Cars fishing pole and his fishing hat. Man, this kid's cute:

Once we moved to a different location and were ready to call it quits, suddenly we found the hot spot. In a speedy amount of time we caught a total of 5 or 6 six fish. They weren't very large, so we threw them back. But it was fun to catch them.

Tessa caught the biggest one, which happened to be a Big Mouth Bass. Here's his big mouth:
I think she was really pumped that it wasn't a catfish. She is a little terrified of catfish and was not happy when we went to look around at Cabela's because she knew those ugly things were swimming in the tanks at the back of the store.
We had picnics, yummy Mexican food, World Series watching, more fishing, shelf building, and overall just a really nice visit. Thanks for coming, Dad!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Owens Pumpkin Farm

It's that time of year again --when the mommy blogger world is inundated with pictures of their kids with pumpkins. I am not one to disappoint.

I proudly present: My Kids and Pumpkins 2011.

He's not quite the poser his sister is:

When we got to the end to pick out our small pumpkin to take home, Cole was running away from me and throwing pumpkins over the fence. That was our cue to go home and nap.

We met a few friends here to hang out and have lunch. We had a really nice morning, which included feeding some goats and going on a hay ride.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What has two thumbs and loves Halloween?

THIS girl. (Me, you goofs.)
Oh, the things I would do if I had a space in the budget just for Halloween. It's fun anyway. I make due with what I have for now. Especially when I can laugh at myself for doing this:
Steering clear of traumatization, I'm trying to teach my children how fun and PRETEND Halloween is. How can you not love a holiday where it's perfectly acceptable to dress up like a zombie, Care Bear, or Mr. Belvedere and venture into public proudly?
Tessa is getting pretty comfortable with Halloween fun as long as we stay away from spiders, bugs, and snakes. She'll get there too one day. Not that I'm a fan by any means, but they are fake and fantastic for decorations. Cole for now, though, does not appreciate the Halloween decoration aisles at the store with the skeletons, mummies, and giant spiders. That'll change when he's older, I'm sure. Until then, he's certainly happy to perfect his villain laugh while wearing a witch hat:
It makes me laugh so hard. Tessa, Cole, and I have had a few villain laugh competitions. My children are quite talented in this arena, if I say so myself, and are perfecting them for the end of this wonderful month.
And, like true Halloween lovers, they are excited for the coming candy.


Getting Prepared

Oooooh, pretty shelves:I have been feeling like I needed to move it along on the preparedness front for a while now. We didn't even have a 72 hour kit, which I think is probably a good first move. I've got some #10 cans of food, but a can of dried peaches is a little more on the long term storage move and doesn't do you a whole lot of good in a hurry up and take care of things now emergency. We had some water stored in our garage, but with the Texas heat, that's not the best place. We needed to make some space in our storage unfriendly home to put it. We want to keep moving forward in emergency essentials and food storage. You just never know, right? We had a preparedness specialist from our ward come and chat with us one night about our goals and where to start. She gave us a date to have our family's 72 hour kits finished and to have water stored in the house. (Did you know a water pipe broke somewhere in Florida last year and there were a ton of people without fresh water for a few days? Yeah. There are a few reasons to have water stored.)

We did it! We met our goal. I'm missing a few Power Bars in there, and a couple other things I'd like to squish in, but we've got a family set of 72 hour backpacks. I was able to get a hygiene kit created as well. Our 72 hour kits are not perfect, but they are mobile, and they would keep us alive and well enough until we could get help if something happened. That works for me. We've got our fancy old fruit punch jugs set up on those shelves and sports equipment moved to the garage. The satisfaction of putting this together is enough to keep me from sneaking into the kits to steal the fruit snacks. I'll enjoy them in 6 months when we switch out the food.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tessa's First Days

It's taken me a while, but here are the pictures I took of Tessa on her first day of preschool:
She started preschool the day after we got back from England (beginning of September) and managed just fine. She's loved it, as I knew she would. Brother gets a little jealous when we drop her off, but it's only 2 1/2 hours, two times a week, so it's not like he's dashed to pieces over it. As long as he gets a sticker from the teacher when we pick her up, he's happy. Tessa has brought home all kind of art projects, and I'm grateful for a place that fosters her love of all things crafty --since I'm not winning any prizes in that area.

Then, this last week, we FINALLY started dance. You can watch the class on a monitor in the lobby area, and I had a lot of fun watching. Cole did not. He did have fun with the sucker Ms. Sharon gave him after class, along with the other students. Here is the hammy girl at home after ballet/creative movement class:
Cole wanted to get in on the pictures, but mainly he wanted to chuck a ball at us.
I'm excited to have Tessa in a studio where they can track her progress and be little more personal and interested than the community classes we've attended (which have been great, they're just over in 6 weeks). There were only four students in her class, and I loved that I could see the individual attention each received as they went through the class.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Beauty Parlor

When Dad took off with friends for dinner before the priesthood session of general conference, the kids and I had friends over for dinner and beauty parlor time. I knew Tessa would LOVE to do something like this, so we made the plan a few days before to have the girls get their hair and nails done by the moms and to dress up.

Here are the final photos:
I put pink lip gloss on the girls, and they acted as though it was liquid gold :) Nice shoulder action, Tess.
Interesting eyes only pose, but we'll take it!

I had such a great time pampering Tessa because I could tell she felt like a million girly bucks.

They make me laugh.
He probably wondered what in the world we were doing:
And Cole got red racing stripes on a few of his nails. He was not about to be left out. When we were taking pictures, he was pretty upset that he didn't have a dress up outfit... until he got a hold of the swords and attacked us with them.
The happiness that comes from bludgeoning your mom:

Friday, October 7, 2011

Baby #3 Ultrasound Pics

We've had issues with our scanner making nice with the computer, soI finally had Jake get it figured out enough for me to get these up.

She is a wiggly girl.
Here you can see a forearm and hand:
We've got a brief head/body shot:
Next is the twist around into a high five:
And then the left leg with the other leg folded under to show the right foot:
Jake took a long lunch so he could join us for the ultrasound. Cole didn't have a clue as to what was going on, so he was happy to wander around the office. Tessa knew what we were up for (thanks internet for the example pictures!) and was as supportive as a four year old could possibly be. She was fascinated by the screen. She kept telling me, "Good job, Mom." Thanks. Working on hard lying on this here table. And then I'd get a loud whispered, "Mom! Mom! I love you." My favorite --"Mom!" and then when I looked over, she had two thumbs up next to her huge grin.
We had a fantastic explanation as to what we were seeing. Everything looked good and healthy, and then we were informed we had a little girl coming our way and we could take that info to the bank. Tessa let loose an "I knew it! I knew it!"
Smiles all around, especially because I like having some shred of knowing what to expect. Hooray!
On the way out of the hospital, Jake had Cole, and I had Tessa by the hand. Jake said, "Tessa, you're going to have a little sister. You will have to teach her how to dance and be a princess."
She responded with, "Yeah! And math."
I gave myself a silent and proud pat on the back for having a child who can enjoy and also defy the normal stereotypes by providing another facet to being a girl. "Yes, Tessa. AND math."
She then looked up at me and asked, "Mom? What's math?"
We burst out laughing.
Then we headed to Chili's for lunch.