Monday, July 30, 2012

I will do that...

Olympic fever is high with us.. watching prime time and tuning in at times during the day.  My phone ringer is even singing me that glorious theme song!

The kids have endless questions about the sports, the scores, the medals, and the teams. Addison decided there should be a purple team... hummm wouldn't they have to add a ring for that? ;)

I've realized there are some real teaching moments within these conversations .. today it was about building each other up.  Addie said that she wants to be a "gymnasticer" when she grows up. She was watching the gymnast on the tv flip on the beam. She looked impressed and then stated "I will do that." 

Earlier in the day Garrett was "air swimming" during a race.. he then said "Mom, I think I will do swimming in the Olympics."  I of course told him i would be there watching (even though I know my heart couldn't handle that.. )

So at this point both kids that can talk have declared themselves top athletes, bound for the Olympics. 

Addie started doing her tricks and started crying because she can only do cart wheels and rolls.. not the tricks she was watching. Garrett then told her she couldn't do tricks like that.. to which Addie said "I will do that." And again,G told her it wasn't going to happen. 
{Enter teachable moment}

At that point they got an earful about telling someone that they cannot do something.. and how if you hear it enough - well you know. 

My point is.. it was a good life lesson. And a chance to show them that cheering for each other takes everyone further than contradicting a dream or goal.  Pointing out how the athletes cheer for each other even when competing is easy.. so take the next two weeks to pick out some teachable moments and really cheer for each other.  *\o/*

Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.
~ romans 15:2

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Olympic time!

I LOVE the Olympics.  Absolutely Love.  

Sport.. Love of the game
Pride.. for our country
Underdogs.. the comebacks
Bios.. the amazing stories to become an Olympian
Ceremonies.. medals, flags, podiums, & anthems
Tears.. of joy
Unity.. of the nations
 Celebrations.. of personal & national achievements 
Records.. the unbelievable performances by the athletes.
Song.. the Olympic song

I just love it all.  

Friday, July 27, 2012

travel ... let's take a break

catching up a little on our trip diary...

Hanging out in Indy was one word.. FUN!!
Upon waking the kids paired off again... girls against and boys.  Girls dawned tutus at a tea party while the boys had serious conversations about collecting coins, the arch, and beyblades.... very serious topics.


Next we were "Party rockin in the house tonight... everybody have a good time!"   Seriously these kid were crazy..Dance Party Central!!   It was a great mornig and we stayed in our pjs till after noon.

Let me mention that having 6 kids in one house was of course loud... but also a perfect chance for Matt and I to catch up with our long time friend.  The kids played so well together and kept themselves busy .. we actually had our own time!

Aub took me around their town of Carmel, IN... which has a very cute downtown area.  We did a little brousing ..all the while with a non-stop dialoug of catching up on everything from our latest pins on pinerest to how hard it was to say good bye to friends in NV. It felt so good to sit down and have a real conversation - face to face.  Our luck with living near eah other coldn't have been worse.  No sooner did we get stationed out in San Diego from Maine, they moved from Long Beach (would have been 2 hours away) to Chico in northern CA.   then when we moved up to northern NV (would have been a few house away) we missed them by a month as they moved to Indy.  Can you believe that?  man ... seeing it in writing makes me think they were fleeing us!! LOL.

We went to a cute cupcakery and had the most delicious cupcakes ever! Adds sweetness to the memories!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Travel take 6

After a relaxing evening of Panera (yay!!) & some night time swimming we were off to the St. Lewis "Gateway Arch".  Matt and I chatted on our way about how we were here 5 and a half years ago.. with Garrett just a little older than Micah.. crazy.  This time Garrett was soaking up the museum of Westward Expansion just as fast as he could.  He was especially interested in the peace coins that were traded when signing treaties.  Addie liked looking at all the displays.  Micah pointed at every animal and said "dooowg".  It was nice and cool in there.. so I was happy. (Can I just interject that the humidity is going to be so hard to get used to again. I have not missed it.)
Garrett is really not fond of heights .. so I wasn't too surprised when he didn't want to go up in the arch. So we checked out the gift store... turning. 51¢ (x2) into two flat pennies pressed with the arch.  Garrett also chose to buy a mini arch .. complete with facts and Addie chose a "wand" (a pencil with a large arch earaser).
It was a Fun morning!!
Then back into the car for a rather short, in comparison, drive.  A destination of Indianapolis was next. G wrote more in his journal.. citing the large white cross we passed and the baseball and football stadiums to a growing list.
We arrived at Aubrey... my bff's... home and settled right into immediate fun. Boys went into her son Mason's room and girls went into her twins room. Addie fit herself in as the *blonde* triplet. She raided Kiah and Theia's closet.. sharing even pj's! The big boys went to work on boy things like building a fort and comparing rare coins... oh and spying on the girls! They were busy :) Which meant WE could talk.. real face to face catching up!!
So happy.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Travel.. take 5

Crossed over into Missouri after our restful night in Topeka .. said with some sarcasm.   Micah fell asleep and when we arrived at the hotel.. he woke Up!  He happily entertained us until 1am.  ... Actually, I just cant complain. They all have done so well on the trip.. and poor little dude stuck turned backwards in a carseat listening to Garrett read us facts about the St Lewis arch or the state ir Ohio. .... so a late start to the car was welcomed.

When we crossed the MO state line I texted my friend Stacia... mom of G's kdg bf .. Lucy.  Jokingly I asked if they were close to highway 70 at all as I knew they were visiting the state. Of the entire state of MO they were only 45 min away! And for military friends with a chance to meet up... that is so not far! So Stacia loaded 3 of her 4 kids into the van.. told us what Mcdonalds to meet them at and we had a plan!!

We surprised Garrett who was completely shocked to see his friends. They chatted non stop and they all enjoyed a humid time on the play ground. The sweating was well worth it.  No one wanted to go.. but promises of seeing them soon in Jax made it better.  Thank you so much Kemna family for meeting us... love you and see you soon!

Back in the car we went... but not too far. We had a destination of St Lewis... and a date with an arch and museum in the morning!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Travel take 4

Amber waves of grain.... go on and on.

That's Kansas in a nutshell.  Not a whole loot to look at from the highway.  Honestly, I was hoping for more windmills.

Since I couldn't click my ruby studded heels to be sent home (oh come on.. I had to have one Wizard of Oz reference).. we just drove and drove and drove. Kids did great. It is questionable if I would have made it had I not driven most if the day.

Garrett entertained himself by taking pictures of himself.

Even though Kansas was seemingly unending... it redeemed itself at one of the last exits... it was the site of the First Dunkin Doughnuts that we have seen!! We didn't need a heart or a brain... just caffeine!! The Griffins are finally running on Dunkin again! !

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Travel take 3

We had a great day on day 3... no real travel progress.. but a fun family vacation day.  We decided to go to the Rocky Mt National Park since we had to forgo going up to Yellowstone, the Badlands, or Mt. Rushmore as they were all too far off the highway for our young travelers... pocket that for when they are older.  And judging by the way they enjoyed the one day they spent being "Rangers".. they will love that someday plan.


It was a beautiful day up in the Rockies.  Warm and sunny.. then a quick change to cloudy and rainy.. then back to sunny!

As we were driving up we stopped at one of those lookout points. Garrett was happy to see a grey jay through "benoculars" (he still calls them that). He also got to pet a chipmunk as it was scurrying away.  Getting back into the car,  Addie said "well. Hiking is over now." .. haha we had only walked from our car to the ridge a few feet away!

We traveled up to Ridge Path Road, the highest paved road in the US. We were over 12,000 ft high! Above the tree line.. where nothing but mossy stuff grows. The mountains were green and rolling up there.. which forced me to bust out with a fabulous rendition of "The hills are alive... with the sound of music...." (to which addie covered her ears). 

The huge rocks were fun for us all to climb. Addie was successful and proud. Garrett scaled them in sandals.  And Micah had no fear.  Sadly we didn't see any big horn sheep or elk as Matt had hoped ... but as Garrett recorded in his journal we saw a few butterflies, some flies, a bird, and a marmot chewing on the wood at the bathrooms.  Now really.. what's an elk when you see all that?!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Travel take 2

Long day of traveling.  Utah was beautiful.  I declared myself a tree hugger once again.  Must be the hippie OU in me ;)  Then we crossed into Wyoming. Uhhh.. sorry to the "Cowboy State" but I am not a fan.  Seeing a lot if antelope and buffalo was cool though. Garrett even wrote about it in his journal as something to remember. 

We crossed back over to the green again in Colorado.  Oh my... I just love Co!  I saw Denver earlier this spring and it was awesome.  This time we were in Fort Collins ... again,  maybe it's the hippie OU in me but I felt right at home in that little college town.  The downtown is so quaint and unique.  I'm thinking i should finally take Matt up on his GI bill and go back to school at CO State.  I could be a Ram fan!!

We had a great dinner. Stopped at a cupcakery. Listened to a band at an in town festival. ... great night!

Next up.. a "Vacation Day"  (no traveling!)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Travel take 1

We are not the most punctual people. Nor do we succeed in leaving bright and early for road trips.  So it was no surprise to me when we left Fernley at 3:30. Yet still,  I've got to say I was frustrated. I had said my goodbyes. I had cried.  The kids were also over the goodbye process and quite bored in our empty house.  Poor Matt.. he is taking the heat here.. but it wasn't his fault. Checkout at work was less than organized and quite annoying.

However, we were finally off.  We waved goodbye to our small town. Before long Fernley was in our rear view mirror. A mixed bag of emotions.. wrapped in excitement for the journey and adventures ahead.

The kids got their first "surprise" (just fun car ride keep busy stuff) and went to work... making me happy because they used their travel clip board cases.  Soon Addie and Micah were sleeping and G had on his head phones to accompany the book he was reading.  I soaked up the peace and quiet for a good while... knowing there will be many not so peaceful times to follow.

After 3.5 hours we stopped for dinner at the mecca of sandwich artists .. Subway of course.  We got out ... and Addie said "Is this Jacksonville?!" Oh my.. we were still in NV!  We kept going and still made it to Salt Lake City like we wanted to, however,  we didn't get to see the city, lake, or swim at the hotel. Seemed like a beutiful and clean city... at least from my hotel window this morning.

Happy trails! Utah is beautiful :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Travel Clip Board Cases

I was going to get the kids some cute travel cases with a clip board lid... hand painted all cute... but then my DIY mind took over and said "do it yourself!" (what else did you think a DIY mind would say?!)

I got the bins at Target... they are great because they are squat yet fit papers with out bending. Good for little laps that need to be creative during a long car ride across the country!

I had clip boards already that I had inherited a while back.  I used a few for teacher gifts when i made the Chalkboard Clipboards.  Happy to use a few more!

I got patterned Duct Tape.. been wanting to try it!

oh and i used my new Exacto knife with a swivel blade.. love it!  (it's just a cheapie but works!)

These are so easy and take no time!!  Make one before your next summer trip :)

Garrett's finished Clip Board Case
I stretched the Duct Tape from one side of the lid to the other.  Be sure to press down into the groves of the lid and along side of the clip board.  Trim at end.
For the extra space on the top at each side of the clip,  I laid the tape down and used the Exacto Knife to trim around.

I did Addie's first.. and i laid the tape vertically.  I noticed it started to bubble up in the middle.  So when I did Garrett's I laid the tape horizontally and creased it into the grove and up and around the edge of the lid.  I think that way works best.. so I suggest that :)  

Car Ride.. Here We Come!!
(oh yeah, I'm convinced these will prevent all "are we there yet?" questions.  NOT!)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Boxes and Boxes of Life

This is the view from my computer right now....

I am actually Relaxing for the first time in a few days.  Pretty much what I can do for the move.. at this point.. is done.  I like that.  We have moved 6 times already... I have no need to worry that my job is over.  i Know what is waiting for me on the other end!  :)

Seeing all these boxes used to stress me out. I used to worry so much about something getting broken.  Now I just sort of hope it doesn't .. and expect that it will.  Of course I hope it's nothing of great value or worse something sentimental... but really, it is out of my control.  and If it can be packed in a box.. ultimately it's just not that important.

I am so glad that my sense of worth is not linked to what can be packed into boxes.  or how nice the stuff in the box is.  I like nice things as much as the next person.. but when you are sitting here looking at your "life" in boxes, you realize it's not your "life" at all.  God has blessed me with a wonderful husband and three little ones for us to love and raise together.  And those are the things that cannot be boxed up.  (not to say i haven't thought of shipping myself to avoid the long car ride..hehehe!) 

That being said... there are some things Inside those boxes that just really really mean a lot.  They are things that need to be taken from place to place.  From home to home.  They make things feel normal, good, and safe.  If you have a child who has a special blanket or animal to sleep with.. you know what i mean!  In our case it's "Bubby".  And I'm willing to bet you too would open 10 boxes in a little boy's room to find said "bubby".  Yep .. last night going to sleep we couldn't find Garrett's bubby (it's a bunny from Bunnies By The Bay and when G was little, he couldn't say bunny.. so it's been Bubby ever since.. even for Addie and now Micah asks for "bu-buh").  Yes, Garrett is almost 8... and maybe he shouldn't have Bubby any more... but really, it's not hurting anything. He only sleeps with it.  And it's a constant for him.  I'm ok with it.

There we were Opening 10 boxes in Garrett's room.  Let's just say I was a little jealous that I had opened 9 and Matt walked in and opened 1... and scored!   But I was sure relieved that we found Bubby.  We taped up the boxes.... shhhhhh.. Don't tell the movers.... they can think they successfully packed up our "life".
Bubby 1. 2. and 3.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Firecrackers & Friends

I Love the 4th of July!!  
This year we spent it with our friends, the Stangers, that have become extended family in Lake Tahoe.  Not a bad place for the 4th :)   It was awesome.  So relaxing. We spent the entire day on the beach watching the kids have a blast!  The water is way too cold for my liking but the breeze kept us cool and the sun was hot!  The kids braved the lake, the pool, the hot tub, and a boat ride!  Snacking and sipping cold drinks was the extent of "work" for us... and we were all just fine with that!  We had a delicious American meal and headed back to the beach for the fireworks.. which did Not disappoint.  A great display!

A nostalgic day .. loved hearing Addison refer to it as "America Day" while waving her flag in her "American babing suit" (no that's not a typo).  But a twinge of sadness crept up often .. though successfully suppressed for now.  I can't bear to think about saying good bye to my dear friend Jessica and her lovely family.  So it's hard not to think about it being "the last" or that we won't be able to do things like this in the near future.  We've agreed not to deal with it right now.. so i'll move on to cute pics of the kids!   and very uncharacteristic of me, I didn't take many pics :(  but here are a few faves.

Miss America

Cutest Patriot Award

Happy America Day!!!
Beautiful Lake Tahoe at sunset
Toes lookin festive!
Waiting for the fireworks.. with swimming eyes
joined by a friend..... sigh

Hope you had a wonderful 4th of July as well!!!  Happy Birthday USA!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

when in doubt.. craft

I'm in the not so exciting season of saying "good-bye" or rather "see you later" right now.  It can become very emotional and at times very dry.  Sometimes I can't stop crying.. sometimes I feel like i should be crying.. and I can't.  It's hard to explain.  .. and maybe only appreciated by someone who has been around the block a few times. 

Saturday night was sort of one of those nights.  I didn't want to say good-bye to my friend Kristyn.. and i knew it would be hard.  But at the same time we are both excited for the next few weeks... many fun things to come! 

Kristyn still had to pack for her big trip up to Washington .. so I was just hanging out there, keeping her company.  She had this crazy idea that she needed to get her "July" wreath done and on her door.  So I figured I could craft away while she packed.  It fit perfectly for us... as we have spent many nights working on projects together. 

I told her it was fitting that her "military friend" made her "red white and blue July wreath"  :)

i made a mini one for myself too

Happy 4th!   or   Go Team USA!!

Totally simple.  Just cut strips of felt.  Wrap and Glue. 

When in Doubt... Craft!