Sunday, April 18, 2010

Ice Cream Man Horror and other Stories...

Yes, mom goes away for the day and comes home to this.... Brock and Aimee have made their way down the street to the Ice Cream Truck, the chimes of the old music playing in the distance was beckoning them. A nice neighbor friend offers to buy all of the kids on the street (who happened to go along with Brock and Aimee) a nice cold popsicle on such a lovely day. Jason shows up just in time to see Aimee with a popsicle stuck to her tongue, crying in horror as she can't get it off. As Jason is calming Aimee down and trying his darndest to get it off, our neighbor comments about Brocks face, Jason turns to see....

Yes, that is Brock, not with lovely cherry popsicle melting on his face, but with blood from his torn lips and tongue after sticking a deep freezed popsicle in his mouth and not knowing what to do when it stuck, he just yanked on it and pulled it out. Oweeeee, yes that is the difference between tough boys and pretty little girls. The girls will scream and the boys will take care of the situation and not complain.

This next story will explain the black eye that Brock has in that first pic, and it is already two days old, in the second pic it is a week old. All four of our kids went out to play quickly after finishing dinner on a lovely Friday night. Jason and I were left to clear the table and then go out to play with them for a bit. The only thing is, that after only maybe 5 minutes we heard screaming, again it was Aimee who had fallen off her scooter and scraped her knee. As I was bandaging it, I heard more crying coming from someone outside. In the door walks Ashley with Brock. Ashley is crying nearly as hard a Brock as she tells me, that the reason Brocks eye is purple and looks like it is about to pop is because she ran into him with her bike and her handle hit him in the eye. Complete accident, and needless to say, after Aimme saw Brocks eye that quickly calmed her down, she realized there was someone who was probably in more pain then her. All Brock had to say about the whole thing was, "I'n alright mommy,"

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

It's Been Almost A Year....

O.K., so it has almost been a year since I last updated our blog. I am really stretching myself now, because this time I am going to attempt to add some pictures to this blog, so you all better have a look!

Alot can happen in the course of almost a year. In our case, since the last time I wrote, we drove from Charlotte, N.C. to South Jordan, Ut., Attended one more year of school (Jason, Ashley, Brady, and Aimee in preschool), Ashley got baptised, sold a home, moved into a condominium - short term, Brock broke his thumb, got a graduate degree from BYU (Jason), celebrated by driving to Southern California for a family vacation to none other than Disneyland-including a visit from Grandma and Grandpa Smart and Uncle Nate, drove back to South Jordan, Ut., had car problems, returned to S.J., diagnosed car problems, bought a newer suburban, sold the old one- just in time (yes, in that order), to drive back cross country, stopping in at Black Hills, South Dakota to see Mount Rushmore, then on to Cincinnati, Ohio. Through the course of the summer, we have seen the Zoo, Children's Museum, Clermont County Fair, spent countless hours at the community pool- with some swim lessons, taken tennis lessons (Ashley), taken golf lessons (Brady), broken an arm (Aimee), and not to leave anyone out - Brock has bumped his head to many times to count! Seriously!! Now, this is where we will reside (in Loveland a suburb of Cinci) for who knows how long, but we will enjoy it while it lasts!!

Today was Ashley's and Brady's first day of school, and first day of riding a school bus to school. They couldn't have been more excited, a big day. I love the fact that the bus stop is right in front of our house (that will be great on yucky weather days)!

Ashley is in 3rd grade and has a new teacher, Mrs. Hess, at Loveland Elementary (which comprises only 3rd and 4rth grades), she likes the fact that the teacher is new, because Ashley is new as well. Ashley reported today that her teacher was really nice! She likes the fact that she has a locker of her own (this is an older school that used to be a high school) .

Brady is in 1st grade and has Mrs. Flick (who just had a baby so, she won't be coming until after Halloween, in the interim he has Mrs. Mellet). We have been informed by numerious people that Mrs. Flick is the nicest 1st grade teacher at Loveland Early Childhood Center (a school for just kindergarten and 1st grade). Brady reported that he had a great day and enjoyed touring the school and having recess!! Doesn't surprise me.

I love to see my kids growing and doing new things and having new experiences, and starting a new school year. After having two summers in a row that were basically 4 months long each, I have to say that I am glad to see my kids back in school. I don't think I could take another day of them all (all 4 of them) at home grating on each others nerves. That is what happens when you spend that much time together.

Now, don't get me wrong, I love them, every one!! Very much, but enough is enough, it is time to move on.... so here we are the beginning of a new adventure for our little family. I will work on keeping things up to date on the blog, and keeping in touch with the loved ones better, but if I fail at it every once in a while, please forgive and know that we are always thinking of you all (and you know who you are) and missing you very much!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Welcome to the Midwest...tornado sirens and all!

Well we made it, yes we have now been here for one whole month and I am just finally getting around to updating things on our blog. I know that I haven't made any entries since last summer, but I now hope to make this a regular thing. Living away from our entire families and all of our 'Utah' friends, I will do my best to keep this thing up to date....(I promise, I think).

We survived the drive here (all 4 days of it), we even stopped off at Mount Rushmore on the way to see the largest man made sculpture in the world! We were amazed! Even the kids thought it was great and didn't understand exactly what it was, but now I am sure they won't ever forget what it is either. The Black Hills of South Dakota is truley a beautiful place and there is plenty to do and see there. I wish that we would have had at least one more day, but we saw what we could and then we moved on!

The first night in a hotel on the drive was in South Dakota and Brock decided to tackle the table in the hotel room and he just about lost to it. He ended up with a 1 1/2 inch gash in his forehead that luckily didn't pierce the skin deep enough to need stitches, in fact for being a cut, it really didn't even bleed either. It just left a goose egg the size of Texas right in the middle of his head and I am sure he will have a scar there for years to come.

After that first stop we were down to business. We made it to our new home 6598 Miami Trails Drive, Loveland, Ohio three days later.

Ohio is a beautiful place, and I can't help but always think about the pioneers and how they lived in this part of the country, the woods, the rivers, the wildlife, the beauty to take in everywhere! Did I mention that the first week here I was looking out my kitchen window and two deer just went walking right on through the backyard!! I go on morning walks, or jogs and see bunnies hopping across the neighborhood lawns and then just this week was on a bike ride with Brady and we came across a Turtle in the middle of the path that Brady decided to pick up because he wanted to bring it home and then it happened to 'wet' on him! The wild life is crazy, but we love it. All of us that is except Ashley, she seems to take issue with the increased amount of bugs than she is used to. The Lightning Bugs have to be here favorite (if there is one) so fun to watch in the evenings, until Brady decides to step on one and smoosh it across the pavement, just to see it glow.

Now the weather in this part of the land is another story, we heard the Tornado Sirens three times by the time we had only been here two weeks. Little did we know that meant things were really serious and we should be hanging out in our basement, instead we were out on the driveway watching the coolest storm move into town that we had ever seen!! Sort of like 'Something Wicked This Way Comes', it wasn't until later when a neighbor called us to tell us that she would take it upon herself to call and let us know when we should be moving downstairs for the time being. Our neighbors were probably all laughing at us, what a sight to see!

Well, the kids are keeping us hopping we are working on getting them into school for the fall, but this week Ashley finished her first set of Tennis Lessons, (we hope to do more this summer). She loved it and her coach said that she is truley a natural, so I guess we better keep up on this sport! I think we will focus on swim lessons next, since we will be spending nearly everyday at the neighborhood pool this summer.

Jason is at the Emergency room tonight with our little Aimee, who fell down on her arm and may have broken it. I am still waiting for the phone call to see what he finds out! I sure hope she isn't in a cast (I guess that would change the everyday at the pool situation for this summer, right?)

Jason was just recently called as the Elders Instructor and I was called to the Primary as a Sunbeam Teacher and Activity Days Leader. I am soooo excited, I get to work with Ashley at Activity Days and teach Aimee's class on Sundays!

This is quite a post, I look forward to keeping in touch with all of our friends and family where ever you may be.

Monday, September 1, 2008

New School Year, (Last One for Jason)

Yes, we are officially starting the second and last school year for Jason tomorrow. What an amazing trip this has been so far, everything and I do mean everything has fallen into place soooo well for us, up to this point. I can't help but know that the Lord's hand is in our lives and the decisions that we make, the people that we meet and the experiences that we come across.

We had an exceptional time in Charlotte, North Carolina this past summer. Some of the wonderful people that we met are as follows and in no particular order... Janice and Ron Roach and boys, Bonnie and Phil Erhardt, Scott and Michelle Jolley, Dave and Jenn Softley and girls, Doug and Blythe Gunson, Jeremy and Jenn Mordock, Svetlana and Dragon and Phillip ?, and babysitter Polly Hibbard. I am sure that there are some names that I have mistakenly left off, please don't be affended. We love you all and enjoyed getting to know you and hope that we can keep in touch through the years ahead, whether we end up back in Charlotte or not.

We are awaiting contact from Bank of America and should be hearing from them within the next couple of days. Jason has been told he will get an offer, it will just depend on what that is and some other factors that come in to play, like distance from family. I will just leave it at that for now.

Our drive home was interesting to some degree. I guess it depends on whether you would define it at interesting or entertaining.... We left on Saturday the 16th of August in the morning. We drove to some place in Kentucky and stayed the night. The following day we got in the car early and headed for St. Louis, Missouri. We saw the 'Gateway Arch', and then back in the car we went. Our plan was to drive as long as we could and then stop and stay somewhere for a rest. However, I got sick to my stomach, so I was no help driving. I spent the day sick and then finally at night fall threw-up in a bucket that I was smart enough to bring with us on the way home. At that point Jason was so sick of being in the car, after two days of driving, he made the decision to just keep on driving until we made it home. Well, we ended up driving all day, all night and half of the next day with a one hour pull over at an exit so that he could get some shut-eye for a little bit. I was mad that we couldn't stop, but the next day I was extremely thankful that he had decided to do that, because by noon the next day we were HOME! That never sounded so good!!!

You know, I had always wanted to drive across the country, now I am just thankful that I can say that I have and NEVER, EVER do it again... I hope.

So we start the chaos tomorrow, that of full time student (Jason), bus driver (me), ballarina (Aimee), Jazz Dancer (Ashley), Soccer Player (Brady), and busy as ever baby (Brock). Sounds crazy, but I am excited for this year (or the next eight or nine months), and I can't wait to see where we end up this time next year. I know that it will be different, but those who accept change, grow and that will be a good thing for our family!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Time Goes So Fast....

Here we are on our last week in Charlotte, and it goes to show that this last month just flew by. I failed to report our doings, so here goes a quick update, I say quick because now I need to spend my time getting the house in order and clean for our departure.

On July 18th, Jason and I went on a date to celebrate our 10th Anniversary. We had a great dinner and went to catch a movie "Batman, The Dark Knight". I thought it was a bit Dark, but needless to say Jason loved it!

On July 19th, Ashley and I had a chance to get a way with our friend Marci McKay to see the Biltmore House (the largest house in the U.S.). We enjoyed spending time together and the house was amazing, I didn't know that someone could find a need to have such a large space, so large you could get lost in it, if you aren't careful. The house itself is about 175,000 square feet, the land the owner has is 8,000 acres. The gardens are amazing, there are many beautiful gardens to explore and the owner had built his own winery, and River Bend Farm. This was intended on being a self sustaining home. Needless to say Ashley was amazed and so was I. That was an all day even with a 1 1/2 hour drive to Asheville and then the drive home, and to tour the house it took us about 3-4 hours. Wow, we loved it.

The week of July 21st, Ashley and Brady started swim lessons, and they quickly became fish out of water. We spent an extra amount of time at the pool and their instructors name was Brennan, he taught them at the community pool and that was rather convienent for me. I swam with Aimee and Brock while Ashley and Brady learned much about swimming. by the end of just 5 lessons that were 1 hour long, they were jumping off the diving board, swimming from wall to wall with out any help. They did a fantastic job.

Saturday July 26th, Jason took Brady on a boys day out, and can you get more appropriate than a trip to Lowe's Motor Speedway. Brady thought it was so cool to visit a real race track. They also got to take a bus/van ride around the race track to feel the tilt of the track and they got to go 80 miles an hour, not even half as fast as the actual race cars. But they loved it and Brady got to bring home a starters flag. Jason and Brady had a wonderful time together.

On July 29th, Mom and Dad Kirkham along with Cody, decided to come and visit us. They arrived late Tuesday night and by Thursday morning we all headed to Cherry Grove, a part of North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It was only a 3 1/2 to 4 hour drive and the beach was a lot of fun. We were only going to be there for 3 days, so on the first full day there we spent the majority of it at the Beach. The second day we stayed at the Condo's in the lazy river and pool. It turned out that as excited as the kids were to see the beach, they weren't used to the salt and sand, and they prefered the cleaner feel of the pool. I guess going to the beach has to become a regular thing to be able to get used to the things that come with going to the beach. We had a good time and the kids were sad to see it come to an end. When we got back to Charlotte, my parents left the next morning, early. It was a bit of a whirl wind trip, I guess. We enjoyed having them come and visit, and share in this experience with us.

When we returned from our trip we had to get our Suburban into the shop, it turned out it needed a new starter motor, and a few other things, so after spending nearly 2K we hope that it lasts us at least 3 or 4 more years. That way maybe we will have time to save for a nice family vehicle and pay cash instead of financing another vehicle. I will say it has been nice to not have a car payment for a couple of years now!

On August 6th I got to go out on a girls night, we went to see 'Mama Mia', it was definetely a chick flick, and we all totally loved it! Dinner was great too at Firebirds.

Jason just started to get his Final Presentation put together on the 6th, and today he presents at 3:00, we are all rooting for him, I personally think he has done a Fabulous job, and apparently his boss thinks so too. I guess all we can do now is wait and see what happens. The Bank has said that they will be issuing offers on Sept. 1st, and so I guess we can wait that long to find out if Jason gets an offer. Life is strange, at the beginning of the summer, I was leaning to the fact that I could live without the humidity, and bugs, and I honestly miss the openness of the West, however, as the summer has gone on, and a lot has changed with the economy, I feel like we would be blessed to get an offer, and we would have to pray and see what feels right at that time. I really don't have my doubts, I think Jason will get one, I guess if we continue to pray, the Lord will continue to bless us in our efforts to do what he would want us to do, and be where he would have us be.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Every Family has to have a Life Lesson like this...

So, we headed out to Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown (the Historic Triangle) in Virginia on Thursday the 3rd of July to spend the Holiday weekend in the first US colony, I thought that would be a fitting time. I was so excited to learn a lot and see what had been stated as one of the '15 Must See's' for children from Parent magazine. What I didn't expect would be that my children just weren't ready for it, on many levels.
Well, Aimee woke up sick the day before we had to be leaving on vacation, Brock started to show signs of teething (he has six teeth, but still needed to get his two front top teeth), but you know we had a reservation and it was none refundable (because we thought there would be no reason we would cancel this trip, and we got a better deal on the accomodations). Even with kids that didn't feel 100% well, we hadn't even thought to cancel.
The drive was fine, it was only a 6 hour car ride, (you know a few movies on the car DVD player), time should go by fine, it did. I have to tell a little cute thing that happened with Aimee on the way. The week before I had bought some small jugs of Sunny Delight and she saw them in the pantry. She asked if we could take them on the trip. On the way, she hadn't realized that we had actually left for the vacation, and out of nowhere she says, "Mom, are we going to see the fireworks?" "Yes, Aimee", "Oh, are we on the trip?" "Yes, Aimee", "Mom, we need to go home and get the little orange juices to bring them with us!!", "Don't worry Aimee, I got them packed", "Oh, good, cause we need to have them for the trip!" Anyway, it was really cute, and a great reminder to us how simple little kids are, she is sitting there thinking that was one of the most important things that we needed for our trip, while my concerns were on different things that I would find important as an adult, I wish life could be that simple sometimes.
It all started was when we got into the hotel room at 9:30 p.m., our kids were tired so we proceeded to try to get them in their p.j.'s. All of the kids had pent up energy from sitting still so long, so here they are not listening to a word that we say, as the time continues to tick and it is getting later and later, they start to get adgitated with every little thing each of them do to each other, they start to argue, and pretty soon Jason and I find our selves threatening that we will leave in the morning if they don't quite down and get along and stop bothering the people in the rooms next door to us. Needless to say, they continue.... by the time they all fall a sleep, we are almost certain that if we don't get kicked out of the hotel the next day and things don't start better we will turn around and go home, (having not seen anything yet).
Can you guess what happened? Yes, the next morning starts early with them all waking up at 6:00 a.m. (not a normal occurance for our kids), once again already on each others nerves. Nothing changed with a little sleep. They are yelling at each other and ignoring what we ask and say. So as to not lose our respect as a parent, we loaded up our kids (and much to the disappointment of Jason and Angie) we headed back to Charlotte, where we had come from.
If a 12 hour drive in a day and a half doesn't sound fun, try doing it with nothing to show for it, but $200.00 worth of gas guzzled by your SUV and a $89.00 hotel bill.

Our next family vacation is now up for debate. We want to head to the Beach, either Myrtal, or Surf City in about 4 weeks, but the kids are now being judged nightly on their behavior for two weeks straight before we will even attempt that one. (the up side, is that the beaches are only 3 hours away, and hopefully they will be looking forward to that one a lot more), so far so good.

We did end up having a wonderful weekend at home in Charlotte with the kids and we all got along great, probably better than they have in a long time. I just know that looking back on our family experiences our kids will always remember the time we went on vacation and just turned around and went home. I hope we can get a lot of laughs out of it.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

A Lot Happening, Not Too Much Excitment

Well to catch up on the past couple of weeks... All of the excitement happened nearly two weeks ago. On Wednesday June 18th Ashley was going on a walk with the neighbors, who happened to be walking their dog. Well, she decided to hold the leash and wrapped it around her wrist and during the walk the dog got spooked and took off running. Well you can imagine what happens to a 7 year old girl who weighs about the same or less as the dog?? She got dragged a bit and it tore up her knee pretty bad. So, here I was left to wonder do I take her in or does it look worse than it actually is? After figuring all the insurance "stuff" out, I decided I better take her to an after hours clinic and get it checked. Turned out it was o.k., she was just not allowed to swim until it healed. Now a week and a half later she is about ready to hit the pools. (It is a hard thing to stay out of the pools when that is what everyone seems to do with all of their spare time in Charlotte, every subdivision has a pool of its own).
On Saturday the 21st of June we took the kiddies to the Discovery Place Childrens Museum. We had a good time learning and doing all of the fun things there are to do at a place like that. We spent nearly 5 hours and didn't even see half of it, however we got ourselves a season pass (which happens to last us 2 years since they are starting a renovating job on the one in Charlotte this year and only half of it will be opened soon. Also, the pass is good to a number of Museums Nationwide, one of which happens to be the Discovery Gateway in SLC! So, Angie is excited to be able to take the kids there on a number of ocassions this next school year.)
On June 24, Jason and Angie celebrated their 10th Anniversary!! Can you believe we made it this far?? (Not really a question, just a statement) Well, we celebrated like a lot of parents of four do, we didn't go out we had take out Chinese in, after the kids went to bed and planned to hopefully get away for a nice dinner later, since Angie failed to get a babysitter for Friday night, it will be a few weeks later.
Friday the 27th, we went out to eat as a family (for the first time since arriving in Charlotte) to a place called BRIX, it is a pizza joint and it was yummy, mostly we had been told my many people that we had to go there while we were here, so we did.
On Saturday the 28th, we had a ball. We went to the Lazy 5 Ranch. It is a ranch on a very large piece of land where you can either drive your car or take a Wagon ride through a 3 1/2 mile road and see many animals from all over the world. We saw water buffalos, giant cows, giraffes, rino's, pot belly pigs and piglets, deer, and many more.... one fun thing was that we got to feed the animals and they would come right up to the wagon and open their mouths, and some of them had mouths as big as my little kids arms. I am sure from their point of view it was a little scary, but none of them complained.
After the Ranch, we went to a BYU get together that all of the BYU graduates who ended up in Charlotte have every summer. They kind of have a sort of reunion of sorts, and invite all those who are interning or live here to come. It was fun to get to know other families just like us, who have similar circumstances and are doing similar things. All in all, we had a very packed day and we even got to see Lake Norman (a lake in Northern Charlotte area, that is huge and absolutely stunning). We are really enjoying all the fun things there are to do!