Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Flying Solo

I'd like to say congrats to my wonderful husband on his first solo flight in the Harrier! He took off today after being canceled for one reason or another the last two days. He said it went very well and he enjoyed it. I'm learning (not by Mike necessarily) that this jet is highly complicated and harder to fly than most of the other jets. I think Mike doesn't tell me this because he doesn't want me to worry! :) Anyhow, please pray with me for his safety in flying it every day.

Way to go, Mike! (This is the jet that Mike flies, but no, that's not Mike in there. We're not allowed to take pictures in the area that they train, but I hear rumors of a Family Day coming up, where we get an opportunity to photograph them flying.)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Few Quck Observations

The wonderment of dipping. Abby Kate dips her chicken nuggets in ketchup. Normal, yes. But when she proceeds to dip her apple slices in the leftover ketchup... well, that's just weird. No matter how much I tell her 'hey, that's gross!' she just gives me a cheesy smile and rakes the next one, stuffing it in her mouth while exclaiming, 'I'm dipping, Mommy!' The excitement of dunking food in sauce clearly trumps good taste any day.

Imitation. Seeing Abby Kate instruct her babies not to be scared, not to stand on the couch, not to scream, how to go on the potty, etc., amuses me to no end. I love catching her imitating us because it's just so funny. And heartwarming are the times when she hugs and kisses her babies and tells them it's OK and that she loves them.

Ease of amusement. Stickers do the trick for my little one. She will do anything for a sticker. (Let the bribes begin. haha) She also loves to sing. To get us through the grocery store without any whining, I simply get her to sing. She'll sing Jesus Loves Me until the cows come home. It keeps her entertained and makes everyone around us smile - which I must say is better than the scowls and huffs that crowded grocery store aisles usually breed.

Intelligence. The things Abby Kate learns when we're not looking astound us. Earlier this week she sat on the couch beside me one morning as we watched Fox News. Here's the dialogue:

AK: Mommy, that's a lady. [pointing to the woman on the screen]
Me: That's right, that's a lady.
AK: Mommy, you a lady?
Me: Yes, I'm a lady.
AK: Riiiiiiight!
Me: [after a few moments] Abby Kate, are you a lady?
AK: No, I'm a little girl.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Trip to the Mountains

Mike casually mentioned one day, "Hey, do you think we should call up the Newbolds and see if they want to take a trip to the mountains for Veteran's day weekend?" And of course I was online with Sarah minutes later to find a place. We searched that night and more the next day for a place reasonably close by and pet friendly. We ended up finding "Alpine Cottage" in Cherokee, NC, a beautiful log cabin in the mountainous, western side of the state. We packed up the car and headed out minutes after Mike finished his last flight of the day on Friday and met up with the Newbolds six hours later at a Red Roof Inn just short of our destination. We stayed the night and then - after a yummy Cracker Barrel breakfast - left the next morning for our wooded haven in the Smokey Mountains.

We had a wonderful, relaxing, super-fun time hiking, hot tubbing, marshmallow roasting, sipping coffee-n-Bailey's, stuffing our faces, laughing and enjoying watching our girls experience the mountains. We ate chili and Sarah's awesome potato soup to warm up the cold nights. And then we ate some more just because we could. "Hey, who cares?! We're on vacation!" we said many times. We played board games and chubby bunny (I'll explain) and chatted fire-side late into the nights. The girls had a blast and were real troupers on our hikes.

It was the perfect get-away with great friends! Some highlights...

Our cabin, complete with gas fireplace, flat-screen TV and hot tub!

Even Junah had to dress warm. :)

I unsuccessfully attempted to rescue Eden from Colin who was trapped between very slippery rocks out in the middle of the creek. As I reached out for her, I shifted and ended up submerging my left foot and ankle into the creek. Colin and Mike decided to "roast" my sock and shoe. Several other falls by Colin, Eden and Maren resulted in more wet pants and shoes, as well as plenty of laughter.

"Baby Jack" joined us for hiking one day as well.

Gotta love having strong men to carry the goods!

Enjoying the beautiful landscape.

Newbold Family enjoying the scenery from the porch. We are so thankful they joined us!

THIS is a glimpse of the fun game called "Chubby Bunny." The goal is to get as many marshmallows in your mouth as you can while still being able to say 'chubby bunny.' Colin was the winner with more than 17 marshmallows stuffed in his cheeks! Mike chose to stuff his cheeks with a burrito instead. haha

This picture cracks me up because Sarah and Colin look like they are having a casual conversation albeit loads of marshmallows in their mouths.

A seasoned hiker by the time we left.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Buzz, Buzz...

Apparently witches, ghosts and skeletons are only scary when they are not handing out chewy, chocolate-y goodness. Abby Kate won't even look at a skeleton or witch in a book, but when I told her, "Hey, that witch wants to give you some candy. Just say trick-or-treat and hold out your pumpkin," all fear subsided. After that, our little bee was on a mission, as well as a sugar high. She walked past all kinds of scary costumes on streets and front porches and didn't even seem to notice. She was completely focused and could see nothing but the people with the bowls of candy. One time, she forgot to take her little pumpkin up to the door. When it was her turn to get the candy, she realized she didn't have her bag and almost started crying. She said, "oh no, Mommy, puuuuunkin!" I guess she didn't think she'd be given any candy without her pumpkin.

We drove her over to our friends' neighborhood (our neighborhood still has a lot of construction going on and only a handful of the homes are lived in). She was happy to be able to trick-or-treat with Eden and Maren. Eden was a very cute pirate and Maren was dressed as a little monkey. Maren cracked us up. She was so excited to eat the candy along the way that she just bit right into it without unwrapping any of the pieces. Every time we looked down she had bitten into the side of a Tootsie Roll or chewed the top right off a box of Nerds.

Maren and AK got started off right with mouthfuls of candy!

Mike had duty on Halloween, unfortunately, but he was able
to come by for a few minutes to see AK in her costume.

We had a fun time before it got too cold and we had to call it a night. Abby Kate enjoyed her treats and has asked for candy ever since. Today, when I asked her what she wanted for lunch she said simply, a jellybean sandwich.