Monday, January 31, 2011

Time with Gordon

Have I told you lately how much I love this little guy?

Gordon met the cousins and me at Sushi's house for a mid-day playtime while Aunt Nini went to her scholarship's award ceremony. Yep, that brilliant lady is not only starting nursing school, but she's doing it on a full scholarship too! Blessings abound!

I don't want her to be too busy, but then again, if it means more Gordon time...happy studying!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Chain Letters and Coloring

Thanks to the Carders, Owen and June received their first chain letter. Yep, "The Sticker Club" letter arrived. The thing about having a reader in the house, is that it's a lot harder to hide things.

Things I've been caught on lately:
  • The menu offering at school (Oh, you're right. It IS sloppy joe day. My bad. He loves those things.)
  • The time it actually is at night (What? We weren't trying to put you to bed at 6:30. Really...We weren't.)
  • Mail addressed to Owen and June (from the Disney video club...that's right, I don't care when or what is released from their vault of profit and mass merchandising...I'm not buying. I know my friend Heather just had a small stroke reading that statement. Sorry H.H.)
So, when Owen found the sticker club letter from E & E, he read it to find out that if he sent this to 6 friends, he could receive as many as 36 sticker sheets in return. He loves getting mail and June loves stickers. Jackpot!

We began addressing envelopes and apologizing to friends ahead of time. It really wasn't that bad, and I kept hoping our friends didn't feel obligated to send anything. My favorite part about it all was watching Owen hype it up to June every day as they checked the mail.

The result:
A happy baby and content mail box checker.

Along with the stickers, June has discovered the world of markers.

Maybe I'll finally get through the leftovers of my class sets of markers from my teaching days.

Showing off to Mini-Spooky.

Mini-Spooky came from Michael's grandmother's things (she passed away in October). The kids have always been drawn to it when they would visit her, and Michael's mom sent it home with June. June loves to be like her bubba and love on her "Pooky Beh".

What are the odds of finding another hideous orange teddy bear? If you look closely, his nose is a MasterCard logo. Dave Ramsey, eat your heart out!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Fun with Friends

Our college friends Crystina and Ryan came down from Oklahoma for a weekend visit. Pictures of adults? No. Pictures of kids? Some.

With 5 kids in our apartment, our hands were full of fun! Thanks to the Stumps for giving us a reason to go north on I-35. :)

June inspecting Morgan.

More investigating...

Where was Hendrix? Exploring Owen's Star Wars helmets, I'm sure. But, here's Gentry added to the mix. I love this girl. She would follow me around and say, "I hold you?". What a cuddle bug! June didn't know what to do with someone else receiving so much Mommy love.

No Gentry, but more genuine smiles from my crew. So, I added it to the mix.

Until next time...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


In October of '09, I posted some before shots of our apartment.'s January of '11. So for those of you who have been on the edge of your seat for over a year now, these are for you. ;)

Now for those of you who I've been blessed to host in our home, I know you're saying, "That's not your apartment. I've been in your apartment. I almost suffered a high ankle sprain from stepping on toys and 'bout near tore my ACL weaving through books and action figures on the floor. And that couch? It's only slightly covered with the behind of a baby, not fully draped in piles of folded laundry."

And to you all, I say, "You're right."

I put away the Christmas decorations, and I figured this will be the cleanest my living room looks in 2011. I should document this for posterity. And PS: at least the laundry is folded.

More pictures:

A close up:

The dining area. Yes, that's the most cleared off the table will be this year too. I'm trying to have realistic goals for myself.

And this is my least the floor. I might get around to deep cleaning it and showing it in its glory sometime before 2012. But if you didn't learn your lesson last time, let me give you a hint...don't hold your breath. Just come over instead.

Why the difficulty cleaning? Same reason Juney-pants wears no pants. We have other priorities. Like wearing fur lined boots.

May 2011 be a year that you love where you're at, enjoy your space, and share it with matter if it's tidy or not.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Few of Our Favorite Things

Since Owen can write now, he crafted his own 10 (!?) item list for Santa. For posterity, it read:

1. Kong Zoo (Um, yeah. It's the phonetic spelling of the fighting hamsters. Real hamsters would be cheaper and more entertaining.)
2. iFon (even more hilarious! an iPhone)
3. ubrlu (his own he can be P. Diddy's umbrella man?)
4. Toy Store 3 (almost there...Scripps Spelling Bee, here we come)
5. Nija trtls (heroes in a half shell...turtle power!)
6. DS (what? is there something wrong with the used GameBoy your grandma scored for you this summer? Ingrate.)
7. Baklgan (the devil toys that have come into our house thanks to an "innocent" McDonald's happy meal...HA! Bakugan. No thanks)
8. Mreo Wii Game (happy to oblige! Mario rocks)
9. PSP (again...what are you trying to tell me about your GameBoy?)
10. Olr cok (an alarm clock. Your wish to wake up to the world's most annoying sound has been granted. Now, how is it that you and June can sleep through the buzzing but if I dare to step into the kitchen with the pipedream of enjoying a hot cup of coffee from start to finish, you hop out of bed like rabbits?)

Now the list didn't matter in the end because his answer to every adult's prying inquiry ("What are you asking Santa to bring you for Christmas?") was "a Pillowpet". Seriously. I hope the offspring of the Pillowpet and Snuggie inventors marry and have children. I can't wait to see what thing I'm convinced to buy next. Oh wait, it's a Kung Zhu.

Santa had a good time trying to follow the list and still have fun surprises. The robot grabber was a hit. I'd show you a picture, but the camera keeps getting grabbed out of my hand. And ignore the price on the link. A Wal-mart $5 special!

We know some folks who do product review blogs for side income. We earn no income from the following endorsements, but I can pretend...

What else do the Arnold kids love?

Books...oh, wait. That's the instruction manual from Super Mario Galaxy 2. Still, books. And June loves her new cat shirt from Aunt Nini. She's worn it 2 out of 5 days and it was in the dirty clothes for 3 of them.

Books in Sushi's chair with a snuggly cousin too.

Boba Fett the Bounty Hunter Helmet. Thanks to Lee and Nini (Stephanie's nickname), guests may now choose between Boba Fett and Darth Vader helmets when they light saber battle in our home. Thank you. Really, thank you.

Ah, wish #3. Thank you Santa! Good thing we don't believe in the open an umbrella inside and get bad luck because if we did, 2011 is NOT our year.

Now, what I REALLY love!
Not those little buns (though the Christmas Eve pjs were SO cute), but June's new kitchen hutch.

This was a Craigslist find from October, and it is my new favorite purchase from a stranger's home. ;)

Now, if you had $35 to spend, what would you have chosen? Kung Zhus or this beauty?

Sometimes Christmas shopping is a no brainer!

What was your favorite present?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Christmas at Sushi and Opa's

This marks my 31st Christmas Eve spent with my family.

Gordon and my dad, already in their Christmas jammies.
Owen, writing his note to Santa.

Owen and mom making homemade ice cream.
June flipping the switch.

When to open presents? I love reading about when and how everyone does it. As for us, we always open one present on Christmas Eve, and it's always pajamas. It wasn't until I was in the 8th grade that I picked up on the pattern. A little slow.

Then Christmas morning we open up all the rest, and Santa does NOT wrap gifts at our house. How about at yours?