Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Saturday, April 26, 2008

A Fancy Party

Ruth has long been a fan of the Fancy Nancy books and an even longer fan of anything over the top.When we celebrated my Mom's birthday earlier in the week, she was impressed that my dad (who had come from work) was so dressed up for the party, and she got the idea of a fancy party stuck in her head. When she found out we would be having a birthday party while we were in Vegas, she immediately made sure everyone packed some "fancy" clothes to wear to her party. Yesterday, Mimi took her to The Cupcakery to pick out some fancy cupcakes and gave her some fancy restaurant choices, of which she chose The Elephant Bar and Grill. So, tonight we got all dressed up in our finery and headed over to the restaurant for a wonderful meal. But the big surprise came after dinner. Unbeknownst to Ruth, Mimi and Grandpa arranged for a limo to pick us all up at the restaurant and take us on a little drive down The Strip. Ruth was absolutely thrilled and just felt so grown up. In fact, we all had a blast! It was the perfect gift for such a fancy little lady and she will certainly remember it fondly for years and years.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Safe and Sound

The kids and I arrived in Vegas safe and sound yesterday afternoon. (Jeff went on to Phoenix to meet with some of his consulting clients and joined us here this evening). I have several beefs with the whole air travel industry, but that is a rant for another day. The point of this post is to let you all know we have arrived in Vegas and are having a blast. Today was unique grocery stores, parks and ice baths--I mean swimming pools. Tomorrow we have a serious (early) birthday party planned for Ruth--and many yet unplanned adventures as well, I'm sure. So, in order to be at my vacation best, I must hit the hay. I'll try to check back in tomorrow or the next day.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Vegas, Baby!

Well, we are off to visit Jeff's parents in Las Vegas tomorrow. They are coming home in June, supposedly for good, so we had to work in one last trip out there. (We went at the end of Jan./begining of Feb. last year, Jeff and Weston went in Sept. and Jeff went by himself in Nov.). I will be taking my laptop so that, hopefully, what happens in Vegas won't have to stay in Vegas, but I'm not making any promises. I hope you all have a fabulous week!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Saturday, April 19, 2008

This One's Dedicated To My Mother-In-Law

Because only she really knows what it's like to try to motivate Jeff Watts to go shopping for new clothes, and then to go along on such a shopping trip. She's lived through it, and for that reason she deserves our respect. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), it doesn't happen very often. But today, with the big kids visiting their aunt, uncle and cousins, I convinced him it would be a good time to go. And I have to give the boy his props. He went with a good attitude. He was willing to try things on. And he didn't complain about how much money he was spending. It was actually even sort of fun. And Jeff now has a new wardrobe--from shorts and swimsuits to sports coats--that should carry him handsomely through the next five years or so.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Love Letters

Today I happened across a box of old letters from Jeff to me, spanning the whole of our early relationship--from the first time we met at Student Council Camp up until right before we got married. Some of the letters were written in 1994, and this just floors me. How is it possible that we have known each other for 14 years (and been married for almost 10 of those years)?! I didn't have time to re-read all the letters, but I couldn't resist a few. And it was fun to take that little walk down memory lane. Some were silly. Some were serious. Some were encouraging. Some were passionate. Some were just full of the day-to-day. All of them were perfect. We don't often send each other letters anymore, but Jeff's still my best friend, my confidant, my lover, my encourager, my everything; and I love him more today than I did way back then (when I thought I loved him as much as was humanly possible)!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Sky Is Falling

Maybe not, but here are some things that fell around here today:

  • A huge limb out of a tree in our front yard. We suspect that the trash truck must have rammed it pretty good.
  • A little boy--off the couch and onto his head. On purpose. Over and over. (For some reason this activity seems to be hilarious).
  • Snot. It's everywhere.
  • A dead squirrel. He seems to have fallen right out of a tree in our backyard. Yuu-uck!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

An Old, Old Story

The other day we were having a family Bible time and talking about the Lord's promise to Abram (Abraham) to have many descendants, even though he was already an old man without any children. We read this:
And He took him outside and said, "Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them." And He said to him, "So shall your descendants be."
Then Jeff asked the kids if they could count the stars. Weston guessed there were probably 5. Ruth thought more like 90. We talked about how there are so many stars that no one in the world can actually count all of them. Then we talked about how amazing it was that the Lord would give Abram such a promise. And that's when Ruth piped up and said, "Well, of course, old men can't really count that high."

Of course.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Just Another Manic Monday

The first thing my eyes spied when I came downstairs this morning were cracked eggs all over the kitchen floor. That's how the day started. Here are some other highlights:

~Egg also all over the interior of the refrigerator.
~Cereal carefully placed in a left-over cup of milk in the fridge.
~Chips crumbled on the part of the kitchen floor not covered with egg.
~Unauthorized throwing away of half-full boxes of cereal and crackers.
~Snot, snot everywhere.
~Tears and more tears.
~Rebellious two-year-old on the loose.
~3-month pictures cut short by tears and more tears.
~Small boy falling out of tall chair.
~Rebellious foot-stomping episode presented by oldest child.
~Baby poked with straight pin by brother.
~Iron Chef mess to clean up.
~Purse-sized Kleenex package emptied.
~Loose Kleenexes shoved randomly into Mom's purse.
~Kleenex box emptied.
~Loose Kleenexes filling toilet.
~Did I mention snot?
~How about tears?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Iron Chef Jeff

Jeff and I are serious Food Network junkies. Among our favorite shows is Iron Chef America. So, when one of Jeff's co-workers threw out an Iron Chef Challenge on Friday, Jeff was instantly drawn in. (For those of you who don't watch this show, the idea is that two chefs--and their sous chefs--face off against each other in Kitchen Stadium, having an hour to prepare at least 5 dishes. The catch is there is a "secret ingredient," which the chefs supposedly don't know anything about until just before the face-off but must feature in all of their dishes. The chefs are judged on taste, originality and plating). In this work version, the secret ingredient was given on Friday, and anyone who wants to participate just brings their dish(es) to work to share with everyone tomorrow at lunch time. The secret ingredient was lime. There are no real winners (or losers) here. It's all just for fun.

So, today we transformed our kitchen into a kind of ghetto Kitchen Stadium, with Jeff acting as chef and Ruth and I taking on the role of sous. Jeff has a real talent for this kind of stuff and came up with some fabulous dishes. He made Chipotle Guacamole on Mango Lime Salad with Chile Chilaca sauce, served with Masa Lime Tostadas. He also made a Papaya Limeade, which was absolutely wonderful. We all had a great time working together in the kitchen and sampling all the yummy dishes. If there was going to be a winner in the competition tomorrow, I'm certain Jeff would win.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Dropping In For Lunch

We had lunch today at The Salt Lick. So did lots of other people. We went by van. Some of the other diners arrived by bus. Some on motorcycle. But one or two diners arrived by helicopter. No kidding. We didn't find out who the VIP was, but we did snap some photos of the chopper.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Instruction Manual

You've heard that kids don't come with an instruction manual, but I found one today that they are sure to start handing out with the pink and blue blankets at the hospital.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Ugly Betty

So I have this *friend* who is feeling a little blue. She had a baby about three months ago and still hasn't gotten back to her regular size, which she had pretty much done by now with her last kid. (Of course, she can't seem to break her pregnancy binge eating habits, so that definitely isn't helping). (She is working out, though, so she feels she should be seeing at least some progress). Her weight actually isn't too bad, but none of her curves seem to be in the right place. She doesn't so much enjoy the task of picking out clothes in the morning. And if that weren't bad enough, her feet seem to have grown as well--about a half size. Also, she rather foolishly picked this exact time to attempt to grow her hair out, because she hasn't been really and truly excited about any of the stylists she's gone to in quite a while. And she is noticing more and more gray hairs when she looks in the mirror. She seriously needs a pedicure and probably a dozen other beauty treatments she isn't even aware of. Poor thing. I really do feel for her. I hope she can pull out of this funk quickly. I have suggested to her that she just avoid mirrors when possible, 'cause "what you don't know can't hurt you." And I keep reminding her that her children and husband don't seem to be bothered in the least by the things that are bothering her.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

God Bless The Resale Shops

I have long been a fan of the local children's resale shops. You can get everything there--from clothes to gear to toys--at a fraction of the cost of the regular stores. And that's super-important when your kids are outgrowing their clothes and shoes every other month or so. I recently ordered something for Max online (after shopping around to find the best price). Today I found out they weren't going to be able to ship it until May 1, so I just canceled that order and headed over to one of my favorite resale shops. They had the exact same thing for exactly half the price. And it looks brand new! So awesome! Plus, most of the children's resale shops around here have a play area so the kids can play while you shop. You definitely don't get that in the regular stores! It's just an all-around happy experience.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Three's A Crowd

2, 10, 5, 15, 4, 7: All acceptable numbers of little girls that can play happily together. The only number that just doesn't work is 3. This has been true at least since I was a kid, and I find that the formula still works now that I have a little girl of my own. It remains to be seen if this is a cross-gender phenomenon, though I suspect the trouble lies almost solely in double X chromosomes. This makes certain play dates a little difficult, though no less insisted upon. Hopefully, it is something that will be outgrown at some point--or at least overcome by sheer force of will.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Something New For You

I thought the blog needed a Spring-looking facelift. So here you go. Let me know how you like it.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Pass The Biscuits, Please

It was a big day around here. Ruth finished Jungle Book today, and Weston kept his big boy underwear dry and clean all day. So, tonight we went over to Central Market to see the Biscuit Brothers. So much fun!! The kids danced and danced, and we all had a blast.