Monday, December 28, 2009

Up Sand River -- Geocaching again.


Kids sitting on a fallen tree by "Sand River".

This was the 'path' we had to take to find the cache. Let me tell ya... the kids enjoyed the water. Around the bed was a narrow crevice that we were able to climb up. The kids had fun!!! Paul and I had fun too!!
Below is a video Paul took after we found the cache and made it back to the water. When he shows you the water we had to cross -- remember, we were each carrying a child when we jumped over it. haha! Tons of fun... wet feet and all.

video

After this one we went and found the one hidden at the library. Yes, there's one at the library. hehe!! ;)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas morning....


Here's the kids booty... haha! They have been thoroughly spoiled. =o)
Santa gave them the Elefun game, socks, two small toys, an orange, and 3 peppermint sticks
Paul and I gave them each their three gifts for the wise men. Precious gifts - a board book about adoption (R) and a music box (C); Fun gifts - Handy Manny's Motorcycle (C) and babydoll accessories (swing, stroller, high chair, changing pad, potty, baby monitors...etc) (R) ; Practical gifts - church shoes (R) and jeans (C). Everything else came from extended family and friends.

Here is Ronni eating her breakfast while wearing her tutu and headband... which she is wearing again today.

Collin loved his music box. He just laid there on the floor listening to it for a while. Let me give you background on the music box though. Collin used to dream all the time that he had a music box... the kind that you open the lid and it plays music. Then he would wish on a star most nights for a music box, the kid even prayed for a music box. haha! Now he has one!

Geocaching...


This is a new hobby our little family has gotten into. It is tons of fun! The picture above is of Collin finding his first cache!! He was so proud! =o) It was our... fifth cache I think but the first one he spotted on his own.

This was our first microcache. I don't know if you can see it but if you look closely in Collin's hand you can see a little black spot. That is the cache. The roll of paper in my hand is the log. It's a little slip of paper that was rolled up so that it would fit in that little cache. haha! Fun!

This was us hanging out in the woods in search of a cache. We were waiting for the GPS to figure out our location.

This was our very first cache and the start of a very addictive hobby. =o)



If you are curious about geocaching then check out this video from youtube. It sorta sums it up...

Gingerbread House...




The Sunbeam class at church all met w/ their teacher one Saturday to decorate gingerbread houses. Unfortunately, Collin and I were both sick that day -- I mean, puking sick -- not fun. Anyways, his teacher saved the gingerbread house she had put together for Collin, along with a bunch of candy and the directions to make the glue, I mean icing, to decorate and hold all the candy on. Collin and I brought it home and I let him go crazy with it. haha! I tried to make a little path in the front yard. It's made of jellybeans and lined with gumdrops but Collin put so many decorations in the yard you can't find the path. LOL! He had tons of fun and the whole family has enjoyed munching on it throughout the Christmas season.

Collin's b-day.... Dec


Somehow I didn't get a picture of Collin's cake but it was a great cake for him... orange and green! His two favorite colors. Anyways... for his birthday he got skates, safety pads and helmet, a toy bulldozer and $30.

Nap time? It is in her opinion....


This one was just so cute I had to share. Ronni was playing in her room. She likes to remove the sheets from her bed and just make a mess of her room. I noticed things were really quiet back there. Those of you who know Ronni know that she and quiet just don't blend. When I went back there to check on her I found her like this -- asleep under the beds. haha! So cute!!

Ronni' Second Birthday.... Nov too!



We gave her the doll baby. It's actually really creepy but she loves it. It coos and laughs and makes sucking sounds when the bottle or pacifier is in its mouth. She also got a toddler's laptop with tons of games and another baby along w/ $30 she has yet to spend.

ZOO -- November 11


The kids checking out the elephants...

It's a diver! It's a diver!!

Just chillin'. We were waiting for the rest of the gang. My kids were the oldest kids in the group and were the first to get bored so we were way ahead of the rest.


I thought this was the coolest picture! Collin watching the penguins.

Like I said before... it's been a while so I need to catch up. This trip was the result of a potty training bribery for Collin that was about 6 mos late.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Our Christmas Letter

Here's the letter we sent out in our Christmas cards... everyone didn't get a card... sorry folks. It's b/c you already know what's happening in our lives. =-D



Merry Christmas everyone! I can’t believe it’s already Christmas again. This year seemed to go by faster than normal. Lots of things have happened in our little family. We are still in Aiken, SC, in our tiny house that we are slowly outgrowing. My (Linda’s) mom is serving a mission for the Church in Rochester, NY mission. I am very proud of her. 2009 has been a good year for us.

Paul’s life hasn’t changed much since last year. He told me to just write, “see 2008 Christmas letter”. I decided not to do that and to just update everyone on him. He’s still the executive secretary at church. He is also still in school BUT (there’s a big ‘but’) he only has ONE semester left. We are all very excited about this. It seems like he’s been in school for forever. He is also still at Chick-Fil-A as the night manager.

There have been a few changes in my life. Instead of working mornings I work nights now. The kids never even know I’m gone because they’re long asleep by the time I leave. I also started school in July and I’m majoring in elementary education. I was called as the primary president in June. This has kept me very busy. I never realized so much was involved in running the primary.

Collin has become quite the computer nerd. He takes after his father in many ways. He loves to play games on the computer. He can get you from the computer being completely off to getting you online to pbskids.org or one of his other games. He even knows how to reboot the computer if it freezes up. He turns four this month and he is so excited to be the same age as Caillou (a character on a children’s show). He loves to learn and still wants to be an astronaut when he grows up. He was so excited to have had the opportunity to pretend to be one for Halloween. We found him an astronaut costume online and he waited in the window many days wondering when it would get here. He is a complete momma’s boy and I love it!

Ryanne is very much a talker. She gives you a play by play of what everyone does all day long. She will cuddle when she’s in the mood and is very stubborn. She loves to eat. In fact, that’s what she asked for Christmas. I ask her what she wants for Christmas and she replies with one of two answers, “eat food!” or “pizza!” We think she’s going to be the artistic one of the family but she’s only two right now so we’ll just have to wait and see. The most exciting thing that happened for Ryanne (and the rest of us too)this year was that the adoption was finally finalized on August 31. It was an awesome day!

Our lives have been good. We have been richly blessed and I am so grateful for the birth of our Savior and for this wonderful holiday season! Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas!!!


Ronni posing for the camera. Isn't she beautiful?

Collin is such a ham! He wouldn't smile for the camera when it was just him. Either that or he was making a face or his eyes were closed. This one I had to crop out of a pic w/ both of them only Ronni was making a goofy face in this one. haha! No cooperation, I tell ya!

Goofy kiddos!

This one was funny b/c Collin was hugging his sis but Ronni doesn't look too happy about it... maybe lack of oxygen is doing that to her. haha!

Wow... how did I get so behind with this? I remember when I used to blog every couple of days and no it's every couple of months. I am so sorry! I probably have no more followers. haha! I will try very hard to be better. ;)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween!!!


It's pretty self explanatory... =D Above are the kids in their costumes... astronaut and a flightless fairy (I never got a chance to make her wings). Below is me... I'm a... uh..... I'm not sure. I am whatever I could throw together. ;)

WOW!!! I think we have enough candy to last a while. Collin already has a mouthful, we ate candy while trick or treating and this doesn't include the candy we got yesterday at a party. ;) I think their rewards box will be stocked for a while. ;) I pulled out a handful of the candy that they get to eat but the rest they have to earn. Collin earns stars and Ronni earns flowers. Collin is already talking about how he can't eat too much candy b/c it's bad for his body. LOL! He's been really good at not pigging out. Ronni.... that's a different story. She has quite the sweet tooth. =D

Saturday, October 24, 2009

What a FACE!!!!

That stuff on her face is ketchup!! haha!

The Big Mo

We went to The Big Mo (a drive in movie) last week. It was so much fun. Last time we went Collin was still nursing and Ronni wasn't even with us. This time we went to see Where the Wild Things Are and My Sister's Keeper. It was tons of fun! We had a picnic in the back of the van, the kids played some on the playground and Collin went on the kiddie ferris wheel. Tons of fun!! The above picture is a shot of the kids in their warmest jammies, ready to go. ;)
This is Ronni -- totally out. She was wrapped up in the blanket, just a bit of her forehead peaking out. haha! She made it for about ten minutes after the movie started before she was asleep.
This was out seat in the back of the van. Collin was already asleep. This was intermission and Paul and I were trading places. I had already made it through the incredibly long line to the bathroom and Paul was trying to convince himself to get up.
Once everything was over we put Collin in his booster seat and he asked for a pillow and another pillow and then another pillow until he was like this. haha!! I just thought it was so cute!!!

Here is Ronni and her friend Cate. (Sorry Candace -- Ronni's a bad example. ;) One of Ronni's favorite places to be is at the window. Her bed is right in front of a window and she sits there very often just staring out the window. In the living room she stands on the back of the couch and watches out the window. She showed Cate how to do it, too. They stood there together, watching everything out the window. hehe!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Update on us....

So... it's been a while since I've posted updates on everyone so here is an update...

Paul - He's still in school full time and working full time and is also the executive secretary at work. Needless to say, the poor guy stays pretty busy.

Me - I am still in school full time, working part time and I'm still the primary president as well. I keep the kids during the day and work at night after they're in bed and Paul is home. I am homeschooling Collin 3 yo preschool. Ryanne participates with a lot of the stuff too. It's lots of fun.

Collin - He loves to learn! He asks questions all the time and wants real answers so we're often doing experiments. He can explain how radio waves get into the radio, how lightning makes thunder, why the sky is blue, and the evaporation cycle. We normally do experiments to explain things. Like for why it rains, I boiled water with a pie pan above it with ice in it so Collin could see the "cloud" (pie pan) create rain from the steam. It was fun and he was very excited about the rain. He loves playing computer games and learning about space. He is very excited about this Halloween b/c he's going to be an astronaut.

Ronni - She loves to talk and tends to talk all the time. haha! She gives a play by play of everything that we do throughout the day. It's pretty funny. She is a little daredevil and loves to climb and jump off of things. A little scary for "mommy" but she's always laughing about it. Everytime she's about to do something she yells "Vatch, Mommy! Vatch!! She pronounces her "w"s as "v"s. She says "vet" instead of "wet" too. It's kind of funny. She's loves to give hugs and play with my hair.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The new bed!!!


Here is our incredible deal. Everything... almost everything you see here cost us $100. I <3 Craig's List!! Whoot! We got the bunk bed, mattresses, and sheets (not the blankets). YAY!! We thought it was an awesome deal. Yes, that's the crib mattress on the floor. We thought it would be best while Ronni gets used to sleeping in a bed with no railing. The toddler bed had a railing on the top half. I just hope sleeping goes well tonight in their new bed. Ronni kept wanting to climb in the top with Collin during nap time. It was rough.

Friday, September 11, 2009

This is why mom and dad don't sleep well....


He crawled into out bed and took over. Note the bottom sheet has even been pulled from the mattress.... *shrug*

Monday, September 7, 2009

A working student mom


This is what happens when I try to do homework. haha!! Notice cats are w/ me too. haha! Ronni was already in bed. I just didn't last long enough to get Collin there too. Paul came home from work and took this lovely and flattering pic of me. =D I just couldn't keep my eyes open any longer. Apparently, neither could Collin.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

SHE'S OURS!


The court hearing was yesterday. It was very nerve racking for me just b/c I don't like public speaking and I had to sit in the witness stand and answer questions, so did Paul. Ronni decided to run for me when I was on the stand so Paul jumped up to stop her but the judge stopped the lawyer to tell us that she can run around if she wants to as long as she's not endangering herself. Even the bailiff was playing with her as she was running around the court room. At the end the judge said she's ours. We started getting up to leave and Collin asked, "Is she ours forever now?" haha! So cute!!! I've attached a pic with the judge, lawyer, case worker, guardian and us. Whoot! I'm so excited this step in our life is finished. YAY!!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I need more daytime!!

I was just re-reading the Twilight series and realized how beneficial it would be to become a vampire (vegetarian only) and not need sleep. I could get so much more done in my day. I really want to go to the gym but it takes so much out of my day. The kids and I just go for a walk every morning. My day starts at 7am. I feed the kids and get them dressed then we go on a walk from 7:30-8am and I come back home and shower while Paul watches the kids. Then he gets bathed and dressed and leaves for school and work (since he does both full time). After that, my day is spent being a mom, student, maid, driver, primary president and cook. Finally, it's night time and time for bed... for most ppl anyways. I, then, have to get ready to go into work. I get home at about 1:30am and go to bed for about 5 hrs to start the whole thing over again the next day. I'm tired! I want a little more time. I would love to be able to go to the gym every morning and to get a couple of hours sleep. Maybe have more leisure time to read a book or something. I am glad that I have a job (that I work 7 days/week) and that I'm back in school. I LOVE being a mom and I LOVE being in primary. I don't want to stop anything I'm doing b/c I have fun w/ all of them. I just want a little more daytime... is that really too much to ask?? hehe! =D Thanks for "listening" to my vent.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

YAY!!!!

Several new things have happened. First, my work schedule has completely changed. My boss is fabulous and she found out that I was trying to get up before work and do school and stay up after kids were in bed to do school. We have now changed my work schedule to 11pm-1am. It's kind of nice but I do miss my regular morning drop offs and their owners.... =(

Also, the other thing that I'm super excited about... I passed my second class. Only 4 classes left for this semester!!!! Hooray!!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

wedding pics...


Collin in his ring bearer tux. He did have a jacket but he wasn't wearing it here. We only had him put it on for the ring ceremony b/c it was sooooo hot!

Here's part of the gang. Here's Collin, Maya, Ronni, and Olivia. Olivia and Maya are Collin and Ronni's "adopted" cousins.

Mom and son dance.... awwww...... ;)

Father - daughter dance.

Collin, with the other bachelors, trying to catch the garter (sp?).

Collin was a dancing machine. I don't think he ever stopped. He even walked over to get some cake and punch and I watched him wagging his shoulders the whole way over there. Poor kid has no rhythm but he didn't let that stop him! =D

Ronni was a big hit. This is her dancing with her buddy, Cassidy. They made friends quickly -- he was the best man.

Groom and flower girl.

In case anyone is wondering.... wedding days are long for the bride and groom but even longer for the ring bearer. Especially when he has to go to the temple as well. He was at the temple, the ring ceremony and the reception. We had to drive 3 hours from the temple to the ring ceremony too so he was a little exhausted by the time we were heading for Nana and Papa's house afterwards. This is how he fell asleep. Yes, he was wearing his seat belt but he moved the shoulder belt to his armpit and was out. haha!



These are obviously not the professional ones... hopefully we'll get some copies of those b/c I didn't have a lot of time to snap any photos. I was guiding a couple of kids to do what they needed to but they sure were cute!! The wedding was beautiful and lots and lots of fun. My brother in law and new sister in law were married in the Memphis Temple and had a ring ceremony and reception after. These are mostly pics from when we were getting ready for the ring ceremony/reception and during the reception.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

School and adoption....

Just wanted to update..... We finally have an adoption finalization date!! Whoop!! Whoop! YAY!!!!

Another update --- I'm in school! My classes for this semester are Education Without Boundaries, Language and Communication: Essay, Language and Communication: Research, Language and Communication: Presentation, Health and Fitness, and History.

Final update: I am the primary president now. For those of you who don't know the primary is what we call the children ages 18 mos - 11 years. This means I'm over all the teachers, kids, Sunday activities and Wednesday activities. It's fun though! I love the kids!!! =D

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Vacation!! Camping at the Beach... hooray!!!


Ronni didn't really like the waves the first day. She was content sitting on the blanket w/ her cup and building sand castles w/ me. She finally liked the waves by day 3. I was having to hold her back so she didn't go too deep. LOL!

Collin loved them from the moment we got there. He chased them and ran from them... found shells and played in the dirt! What a blast!

Life in the tent. After dinner we took the kids to the showers then stuck them in the tent and didn't allow them out until morning. haha! They just got so dirty and I didn't want to sleep in it. ;) We had toys and books so it was fun. We just played and hung out for a couple of hours every night.

Paul slept in and had to eat breakfast alone.... not really alone b/c we were all in the campsite together.

Ronni's swimsuit used to be white.... hmmmmm.... will it ever be again?