Saturday, November 29, 2008

What a Weekend.

Wow. What a weekend it has been. All five Dees grandkids were here at mom and dad's for the weekend. Multiple kids were sick. There was vomit. There was a whole lot of crying. Basically, mom and I each held a crying baby girl for 36 hours straight while Dad wrangled the three little boys. 

I'm working on about 9 hours of sleep in the past 48 hours, which is not even close to meeting my minimum "Hours of Sleep Required to Function." Dad, Mom and I are all exhausted- and tomorrow we will put together our big turkey meal and celebrate Thanksgiving (a few days late since some siblings were out of town on Thursday). I sure hope the kids are all feeling better, or perhaps we will have to opt for buying a Bucket O Chicken somewhere instead. :-) Even so, there is a lot to be thankful for. Especially if all the kids sleep through the night and wake up well! 

Friday, November 28, 2008

Girl's Day Out!

Today my niece Hadleigh, Maggie and I got to have a day of girlie fun together! Mitch and Steph dropped off all three kids last night, and the Dees house quickly turned into a Kung Fu Panda Par-ty. This morning, Mom and Dad loaded up the three older kids and took them to Branson for the day to see an incredible musical production of Noah's Ark. 

While they were gone, Hadleigh, Maggie and I got out for a bit and even ran into Santa. I love these girls!

Crazy Black Friday

6:07 a.m. Dad and I are just pulling out of the Walmart parking lot. I have never seen anything like this retail frenzy! We got up at 4:35, were here by 4:54 and had to park at Lowe's. It was a fun shared experience, even for two non- early risers! Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Giving Thanks

For life and love
And a friend's embrace
For tiny fingers within mine laced

For warmth and peace
And a Savior's Grace
For all of these, we give You thanks.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Magical World of Disney

Wow- we just arrived in Arkansas, and we're already having such a special time!! 

My youngest brother Tyler, who is about the graduate from JBU in three weeks, is now working for Disney Consumer Products in Bentonville, Arkansas- home of Wal-Mart headquarters and the corresponding "vendorville" (vendors to Wal-Mart).

Today,  he took me, mom, Meagan, Max and Maggie on a tour of their Disney facility called "The Lab." This is the building where they set up elaborate displays of current and future licensed merchandise. It is also a facility for corporate meetings between Disney, the manufacturers, and Wal-Mart. The tour was really interesting!

Max and Maggie were pretty oblivious to the business facts of the tour.... but they sure were interested in the stuff!! 

At the end of the tour, Tyler left for a few minutes, and then returned with another Disney employee. They had gathered armfuls of wonderful toys for the kids! Maggie got a huge stuffed Nemo, and Max got Red the firetruck from Cars, along with lots of other goodies for both of them. What a special surprise- it felt like Christmas.

I told Tyler his new job might just seal his status as "favorite uncle"... which is no small feat in this family! Don't worry, all you other fabulous uncles out there... the kids have a new favorite uncle every other week. :-)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

We are here!

We are here safe and sound with my parents. Thank you all for your prayers yesterday... Our flights went so well, I know it could only have been the Lord's gracious intervention! We're looking forward to some really special time here!

Monday, November 24, 2008

And We're Off!

In just a little bit, the kids and I will be departing for Arkansas via plane. We're so excited to be going!! I'll be triple excited once we are actually settled in with my mom and dad in their cozy home. If you think about us, please pray that the flights and long layover go smoothly for us today.

My wonderful hubby is staying home to bring home the bacon and finish up his semester. He'll be joining us soon... but not soon enough, I'm sure. 

Bon Voyage!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Earliest Christmas Party in the History of Christmas Parties

We just celebrated the earliest Christmas party in the history of christmas parties. And it was awesome. Mollie and Monroe came over Friday night and we played Christmas music, enjoyed a meal together, baked and decorated gingerbread men, opened presents and packed a box for Operation Christmas Child. What a night!

I hadn't realized until Friday morning how I had been just a little bit sad that I wasn't going to be able to decorate or celebrate Christmas in any way in my own home this year (because we will be celebrating with my family through all the holidays, which we are SO excited about!). When Mollie had the idea to bake gingerbread men with the kids, I decided to make it a full-blown Christmas bash. It was so nice to be able to celebrate in our home, even for one evening.

Warning: Lots of photos to follow. We just had such a great time, I had to give you all a peak:

Before the decorating began

After the decorating was complete. Max wasn't really into the whole "Less is More" idea.

Monroe's perfect creation. What an overachiever. :-)

Max's Creation.

Mollie works diligently on her "Little House on the Prairie Girl." This must be where Monroe gets the overachiever gene. Or maybe it's Gene with the overachiever gene. Ha ha. I thought of that little joke all by myself.

My little gingerbread Lucas. Isn't he adorable?

Lucas made a storm trooper.

Packing up our box for Operation Christmas Child. I won't mention the fact that Max threw a knock-down-drag-out fit when he found out that the box was not in fact for him, but for some poor child in a third world country. What a selfless little angel we're raising. We'll keep working on it. :-)

Thanks, Mollie and Monroe, for a GREAT early Christmas celebration!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow!!

My dad just called with GREAT news from my mom's scan reports this morning! Their oncologist told them that the MRI showed no cancer in her brain, and the CT scan showed that the size of her cancer tumors have actually been REDUCED since the last scans, which were taken after she had completed chemo. Her doctor was so very pleased with her status, that he told her she now doesn't even have to come back for another set of scans for two months! 

I am overflowing with a thankful heart to our gracious God, and I can't think of a better gift that He could have given us for the holidays. Thank you, LORD!

I think he's really pretty great.

Just for fun, here's a snapshot that our friend Michele took of dad and me this weekend. I love this picture! My dad looks so happy. Yep, he's basically the best.

P.S. Back by popular demand (okay, well just Aunt Suzie, but she's pretty popular): The former blog template. I agree, Aunt Suzie, the white background is easier to read than the black background. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Back in the Land 'O Potatoes

We're Home!

For the sake of sanity and positive attitudes in general, I will not recount the event that Maggie and I made out of our final leg of our flight home. Let's just suffice it to say that when we landed, the pilot came on the intercom and said, "Hooray. We're here." And it was in reference to us. Every seat was taken on the flight, and Maggie wailed like she was dying for 1 hour and 39 minutes: gate to gate. 

Poor Maggie. She was doing the best she could. She was sick and exhausted... two states of being that carried over into our night last night. She hardly slept a wink, and so now we're all feeling a bit beat up around here. It has not been a fun 24 hours, but I told Lucas I'd do it again ten times over to get to be a part of the conference this weekend. 

We're going to spend the next week trying to recuperate, get packed, stock Lucas up on some meals for the two weeks we'll be apart, and get together with some friends here in Idaho before we take out again on Monday for our holiday extravaganza. I was dreading having to do the whole travel/flight day with both kids alone again next week, but then I realized that: a) I will probably be a little more rested by that time than I am today, and b) I won't have to turn around and do the return flight day three days later like I did this weekend. So I think we'll be just fine.

AND FOR THE RECORD, the flight attendant on one of the flights made a point to stop at our seat to give me discourse on how kids "are really pretty easy at this stage" (referring to Maggie) "Believe it or not, they just get harder as they get older," She said. She went on to tell me that she has a 7 year old. Can ANYONE out there in blog world vouch for the fact that 7-year- olds are more difficult to take care of than 1-year-olds? Because I'm not buying it.

Seriously, people. Someone needs to inform the world that the phrase, "It only gets harder"  is NEVER an appropriate thing to say to a mom of toddlers. Particularly in airports, which seems to be where I hear it quite frequently.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Women's Conference

My mom teaching at the conference. Isn't she lovely?

My mom and Grandma. They look nothing alike, huh? :-)

I'm not quite even sure that I can tell you, O Blog World, what a special time I had this weekend at the conference. My mom did a fantastic job speaking, and I have several little nuggets tucked in my heart that I know will always be with me. I also got so see so many special people to me, including my dear group of high school friends, lots of friends from Owasso, my grandma aunt and cousin, and many others. My heart is full of thankfulness for the gift of being here this weekend. It was a profoundly special few days for me.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A few stats

Maggie and I arrived safe and sound in Arkansas tonight! Here are a few stats about how long various activities kept Maggie occupied during our flight:

Eating airline pretzels: 1 minute, 43 seconds
Playing "find the doggies" in Sky Mall: 36 seconds
Throwing plastic cups on the floor and then retrieving them: 54 seconds
Looking out the window at the airplane wing: 9 seconds
Watching movies on the iPhone: the remaining 1 hour 45 minutes and 23 seconds of the flight.

Needless to say, the iPhone was my hero today. I really don't know how I would have kept her occupied for two hours on my lap without it. But I suppose it is possible. iPhones haven't been around forever, you know.

ANYWAY... we are so glad to be here with my mom and dad for the SCCC women's conference this weekend. I can't wait for the conference– I really think God has great things in store.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Our Fun Sunday

We had a great day yesterday! First, we had a great morning at church. Max learned that God is Omnipresent. The teacher said he was really quiet during the lesson until she said that Omnipresent meant God is everywhere.... even DisneyLand. Max suddenly got very interested in spiritual things.

After church, we got to meet up with Gramma Cheryl and Pops for lunch. They are moving from Denver to Oregon, so we were a stop on their path! Max had A LOT to talk to Gramma Cheryl about:

Maggie tried to impress Pops with her yogurt eating skills.
We were so glad to get to see them!

After lunch and naps, we got to help our buddy Ruthanne celebrate her first birthday! It was a great birthday party, and we had a ton of fun. Ruthanne's mom was even nice enough to set up special places for Max and Maggie to eat their cake. 

Speaking of cake, I wish I would have taken a picture of Ruthanne's birthday cake. It was awesome, and her mom made it. It had an adorable yellow ducky on the top that Ruthanne dug into. Happy first birthday, Ruthanne!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Earn Free Gift Cards: Swagbucks

Okay, I just have to tell you all about this really cool search engine: Swagbucks. Basically you use this to search just like you would Google or any other search engine. 

The great perk is that the site randomly gives 1, 2 or 5 Swagbucks when you search... and you can later trade these Swagbucks in for gift cards to great stores like Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Macy's, and the list goes on and on. You also get Swagbucks for making online purchases through the site as well and trading in your old cell phones and iPods. 

Pretty sweet... I thought you guys might like to check it out and get free gift cards for the searching you're doing anyway!! To get started, just click here!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Christmas Wishes

It's that time of year again: Christmas Wish Lists. Once again this year we are posting a wish list of a few things the kids would enjoy for Christmas. Disclaimer: The reason we post the list is simply because some of you have said it is helpful. We don't need or expect any of this! We kinda like smiles and hugs as gifts. :-) But if you're interested or find this helpful, here you go! 

Hmmmm....... Interesting

Well, I gladly did my civic duty today. Thankfully, I was able to walk right in, register to vote in Idaho and vote in just a matter of a few minutes.  I heard that in Virginia and some other states, people were having to wait six to seven hours in line to vote. Woh.... hats off to those folks. That's commitment.

Get this. On the Idaho ballot for U.S. Senate, there is a candidate named Pro-Life. Yes, he legally changed his name to Pro-Life to run for this seat. On the ballot, it lists the three other candidate's names and then said this for the fourth candidate: "Pro-Life (This is a person, formerly known as John Doe)." Except instead of John Doe, it listed his real former legal name. Crazy.

Now Lucas and I are settling in to watch the results come in. Call us All-American Nerds– This is great!