Thursday, March 22, 2012

But No Elephants!

Yesterday, we pulled out the paints, and the vegetables and got to work... 

It snowed all. day. long.  

It sort of reminded me of the book But No Elephants when Grandma Tildy refuses to let the elephant come stay with her...

"and it kept snowing"

"and snowing"

"and snowing"

Except for our day didn't end with the elephant walking our house to a sunny place.  

Kind of a bummer. 

That's okay though, we "kept eating!"

"and eating" 

"and eating"

and as most of you know, I love food, so my heart was in a warm place.  

Or should I say my stomach?

Don't worry I didn't eat the paint, and I'm actually happy to say that no one ate paint... that I'm aware of, at least. We did, however, have a discussion about eating paint.  Droiy insisted on telling Madi she would die if she ate it.  I disagreed, but didn't argue. Such is the life with a 2 and 4 year old.  

Emmitt snoozed.  

This morning we woke up to even more snow! And we decided to make a snowman since we're quite certain the elephant isn't taking us anywhere warm and sunny by now.  

But that's okay, spring break has officially arrived! (A day early, thanks to the snow!)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


The snow is falling. The kids are sleeping.  I have a pile of Starburst jellybeans at my fingertips. My coffee has been re-heated (twice), and I have endless piles of laundry to fold. Aw! Life is good!  I mean after all, how boring would life be if everything that needed to be done was always taken care of and in its place? 



For some reason I get awfully distracted when giant white flakes are falling from the sky.  Time somehow stands still and I am mesmerized just staring out the window.  It's beautiful...even if it is suppose to be spring.  It makes me feel cozy and thankful all at the same time.  Thankful for a roof over my head. Thankful for a heated home. Thankful for food on our table and pouring out of our tiny cupboards. Thankful for washing machines. Thankful for my children and amazing husband. Thankful that I get to spend all day with my kiddos, picking up after them and reading books on the couch. Thankful that spring break is next week and we get to spend some time together as a family! The list goes on and on...

 Speaking of family, this last weekend was spent hustling and bustling from one place to the other.  We tried catching up on our social life spending time with loved ones that we haven't seen enough of since bball started in September! Friday night was spent at the Moodys over a delicious dinner.  Saturday we went to Matt's older brother's house and visited with almost all of the Olson clan and Sunday we went from the Dukes' house to my parents' and ate way. too. much. food. And lots of ice cream, but probably not too much.  I don't think that's possible...

All in all it was great and made our hearts a little bit fuller...

Matt's mom graciously offered to go pick up Grandpa and Grandma Olson from Kennewick and bring them down to the valley so that they could visit family and even meet the newest great grandchild! 

It was so great to see them and have everyone in the same place at once! 
...Except for Grandpa ):

These boys don't look like family at all...

Grandpa Olson, Kyle (brother #3), Neal (brother #1), Riley (oldest nephew), Matt (brother #2)

Sweet baby Liv needed to keep her eye on Great Grandpa's doggie too!

Watching Riley race his car!


All further pictures were taken inside and the lighting was poor. =( I need to work on this skill...

 Attempting to fix the car after Uncle Kyle and Uncle Matt "made" Riley wreck it! ;)

Mads and sweet Aunt Stacy...

Kyle and his family...

Neal and his family... =)

Uncle Eric and Aunt Dawn...

Whitney, Baby Brandon and Grandpa & Grandma...

A rare picture of me and Mr. Smoochers himself! ;)

Grandma Missy and sleepy-head Mr. Smoochers! =)

Great Grandma enjoyed rocking the youngest grand baby to sleep! 
(Brandon turned 2 months old on Friday!)

More story tellin'... ;)

Silly boys! 

Mads and her fun cousin Cam!

What a fun weekend, indeed! Love this family and the time we got to spend with them!  Grandpa and Grandma have always been faithful about coming to visit their family in the valley.  Unfortunately, their declining health has forced them to stay in Kennewick and even their ability to drive around town is coming to a quick end.  =(  They still have lots of lofty plans to camp in a tent trailer this summer and visit grandkids over in Pendleton. Bless their hearts, but I'm not sure that will be as easy as it sounds.  

We might just have to camp in their backyard again this summer instead...

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Friday, March 9, 2012

Flowers, Coffee, A Card, and Sunshine!

The ticket was bought. The laundry was done. The list was written and our bags were half-way packed. Our chauffeur was scheduled to pick us up at 4:30 in the morning. But for some reason, it just wasn't meant to be...

For about a month now I've had a weekend with the girls planned!  Emmitt and I were headed to Minnesota to spend a long weekend with Beth and Christine enjoying each others' company!  I was SO excited and couldn't wait to get on our way.  Matt had a fun weekend with his little girl planned.  According to Madelyn they were going to have a picnic in the park together!  She was excited to spend  ALL weekend with Daddy and I suspected she would probably sleep in our bed the whole weekend and not eat a single vegetable.  Well loved. 

As you're probably sensing, nothing worked out as planned.  Matt got home at 3AM on Wednesday morning (my birthday ;) after a LONG trip home from Kennewick in which he had to make eight pit stops to throw up on the side of the road.  Yeah, eight. He slept until I finally let the kids wake him up around 10:45 that morning and tell him it was my birthday, which he didn't realize. He was that out of it! ;)  We went on with our day and let him continue to sleep. (Madelyn got to make me cupcakes with her Nana and I was treated to dinner with my mom, Haley and my favorite little people! :) 

Matt thought things were better that night and decided to try a piece of toast.  Bad idea.  The convulsions started again and I told him to call a sub for the next day so he could continue sleeping.  

I was paranoid. PARANOID that I was going to catch it! I tried to stay away from him as much as possible, but our 1,100 square foot house doesn't lend well for quarantining, especially when 'Daddy' had already been gone for 5+ days.  

So... last night when I was folding the last of our clothes for the suitcase I noticed Em was acting rather docile.  Matt thought he was just tired and he certainly didn't have a fever.  We stuck him in his jammies and then I decided to give him a little food (mashed banana & prunes) before I nursed him and put him down for the night.  He gave me a funny face and pinched his lips together.  Clearly not interested.  Then he gagged a little and I stepped out of the way just in time for a man-amount of vomit to come projectile-ing out of his poor little body and across the kitchen floor.  

I cried. 

I was so sad.  I knew deep down there was no way I could take a barfing baby on an airplane.  I just didn't want to admit that our trip was ruined. 

He continued to vomit (A LOT) over the next few hours, and the inevitable was decided.  

We were staying home.

Honestly, I'm just glad the time-bomb exploded before we were crammed on an airplane with 80 other people.  I know that would have been miserable and I would have paid any amount of money to avoid a situation like that.  =(

Unfortunately, because my ticket was a "companion ticket" it is/was non refundable.  =(

Thankfully it was half the price of a normal flight and money is just money, after all...

I was, however, so sad this morning and very unmotivated to 'unpack' our bags. 

I cuddled the kids, made some oatmeal, and then read lots of books to Madi while Emmitt slept some more.  The sun was shining, but I honestly would have preferred the rain to go along with my sour mood.  

But, just when I was in the middle of my pitty-party, my husband dropped by with a beautiful bouquet of flowers, a peppermint mocha, and a very sweet card.  

All of the sudden I was glad the sun was shining and I had miraculous motivation to unpack the living room.  

Made. My. Day. Week!

Thanks, Babe!

And so, Emmitt eventually woke up.  I put the kids' laundry away and cleaned out Em's too small clothes from the closet while they played on the floor and then we snuggled Emmitt back to sleep and headed out into the sunshine.  

Yes, the bright, warm, gorgeous SUNSHINE!!!

Madi had been asking to go outside since she woke up at 7:30!  She loves playing outside and I'm SO thankful she appreciates the great outdoors!  

She insisted on wearing a 'sun dwess' because it was 'sunshiny out', and I complied! 

(An all-natural Madelyn look!  Bed Head!!!)

For some reason we weren't meant to get on that plane.  I wish I knew why; but then again, it's just best I leave the future to God's hands.  

One of these days we'll spend the weekend together girls! Until then, I'll continue to nurse the sick and wait for the rest of us 'time-bombs' to explode (without contaminating you)!  You DON'T want this nasti-ness!!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

A Whirlwind...

Sometimes just thinking about something can make me want to take a nap... that's how this weekend was.  Matt's team took second in their conference, so they packed up Friday morning and headed to Kennewick, WA to play in the final tournament of the season! The NWAACC's!!!  I debated whether or not it was worth it to drive up and watch the tournament (we hadn't gone to any away games this year, so it wasn't a norm...) and finally after texting my cousin who lives a little over an hour away decided it would be worth all the effort!

And it was.  

So... on Friday morning I called my mom and convinced her that it would be a fun weekend excursion to take the kids on a six hour drive to visit great grandparents and watch a few basketball games!

It was totally worth it!

Em playing with Grandma Chandler... Look at those baby blues!!!

four generations!

My sweet Grandma and Emmitt!

Madelyn and her Great Grandma! 

How beautiful is my Grandma?!?  All 84 years of her!!!  She has spent the last 22 years of her life as a widow.  We ate lunch together on Sunday and reminisced about my grandpa's funeral service that had happened exactly 22 years earlier!  I don't think a day goes by that she doesn't shed a tear for him.  She loved him SO much.  Two years ago she told my mom that if she had known when Grandpa died that she would spend the next twenty years without him, she never would have made it.  I thought about how true this is... how many of us would have a desire to keep going if we knew about all the mountains that lay ahead of us?  Thank you Jesus for giving us enough grace for each day!

We took off Saturday afternoon and arrived in the Tri-Cities around 7:30 on Saturday night! We visited with Grandma and Grandpa Olson and then headed to the Toyota Center for a 10PM basketball game!!!  Seriously!  We're crazy! 

But our presence mattered and the girls advanced to the next round!  Off to Grandma Chandler's house we went!  Thankfully we spent all day on Sunday visiting with family and then headed back to Kennewick that night for an 8PM game (a little better, right?!?)!

Sunday night resulted in another win and the girls (and boys, actually) both advanced to the final four and semi-finals of the NWAACC tourney.  

We headed back to Moses Lake on Sunday night and spent one more night with Grandma before saying our goodbyes on Monday morning.  

One last stop at Grandpa and Grandma Olson's house, where we passed on our tournament passes and left our good luck dust... unfortunately it didn't help.  The girls lost on Monday night (we didn't stay for the game) and so they play for third place tomorrow.  

Our trails were marked with silliness, songs, and a little bit of screaming (all Em, of course ;).  Madelyn travels like a champ!  She sang songs, practiced knock knock jokes, entertained her brother (and us) and was just all around silly!  After practicing knock knock jokes, Madi attempted one of her own.  It went like this:

Madi: "Knock, knock"
Mom: "Who's there?"
Madi: ***pause*** "MEEEEEEEEE!"

And it was funny!

Emmitt slept some, laughed at his silly sister some, and then screamed some.  All in all, he did great!  I hope he turns into a jolly little passenger like his sister when he can sit up and see out the window!  These two will make some GREAT road trip companions! =)

Emmitt met his Great Grandpa Olson and Great Grandma Olson for the first time!  He charmed them, as usual...

*This picture is super grainy, but Madi is such a nut that I just had to post it... Weirdo! ;)

53 hours and 900 miles later... we are home alas!  Now we're counting down the hours until Daddy comes home and basketball season is OVER!  Or should I say, "over"?  (Madelyn had a complete meltdown when we got home tonight and Matt wasn't here.  Thankfully a quick phone call helped ease the pain!) The babes are sleeping and I am contemplating CRASHING instead of unpacking the bags and starting the laundry... my bed sounds a-mazing.  

It was tiring, but I'm SO glad we made the effort.  (Definitely couldn't have done it without my mom though!!!) I love spending time with these people and I always come away with a deeper appreciation for life and the people that mean the most to me.  I'm challenged to think about what the most important things really are - serving our Jesus and loving our family?!?

If only I had the insight and wisdom of an 85 year old in my (almost) 27 year old mind...

I hope and pray that our children will have the opportunity to remember their great-grandparents, and I know that the more they see them the more likely that is to happen!

Thanks for the fun weekend, family.  Thank you Lisa for convincing us to come, and thank you Chemeketa for the excuse to visit our great-grandparents!