Welcome to the life and times of John, Alisha, Micah, Caleb and Lima the dog!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

No hitting!


I just wanted to post a picture that shows that once in a while, my boys are nice to each other.  No children were harmed in the making of this picture!

The Pumpkin Patch

I've been running a little behind on actually posting pictures of our trip to the pumpkin patch.  While my parents were here, we all went up to Avila Valley Barn.  We thought my parents would enjoy getting to see the boys feed the animals and go on the hay ride.  We had a ton of veggies that needed to be gotten rid of, and the animals were grateful for that.


We went on the hay ride, which took us out to the pumpkin patch.  This was Caleb's first hay ride, and probably the first one Micah remembers, since the last time we went was when Micah was just a baby.


Here's Caleb and me on the hay ride.  It's kind of unnerving knowing that you have to hold onto your kid when the hay ride is bumping around.  I always worry that I'm going to be the mom who drops her kid off the hay ride.  Those kinds of things seem to happen to me.


Here's a picture we tried to take with my dad and Micah.  As you can tell, Micah was having none of it!


Here's my dad with Caleb on a pumpkin.  I think my parents really enjoyed themselves.

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I don't really know what Micah was doing in this picture.


And this is our 3 generation picture.

We really enjoyed going to Avila Valley Barn.  If you are ever in the area, I recommend you go.  They have things going on all year round.  And the baked goods are delicious!  The boys also enjoyed themselves, which is the best reward.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mmmm...Bring out the sweets!

We had a horrible tragedy in our house the other day.  We ran out of COOKIES!  Oh no!  I had decided to make peanut butter cookies for John the other day, but my old standby is chocolate chip cookies.  Sometimes I need a couple just to make me feel better after an especially trying day with the ragamuffins.

Our nieces were over the other day, and they and Micah finished off the last of the chocolate chip cookies.  And John had taken the last of the peanut butter cookies with his lunch that day.  So we were in a real cookie emergency!

I've been looking at a lot of different blogs and websites that feature recipes and savings ideas.  So that got me in the mood to make some sweets. 

I started off first with an all time favorite of mine.  They are chocolate oatmeal no bake cookies.  My dad always made these when I was growing up.  I had everything needed, so I thought I would whip some up. 

Here is the recipe if you want to try it out yourself.

2 cups sugar

1/4 cup cocoa

1 stick margarine

1/2 cup milk

3 cups quick oatmeal

1 teaspoon vanilla

pinch of salt.

Mix sugar, cocoa, margarine and milk over a medium heat until it boils.  Remove and cool for one minute.  Add all the other ingredients, stir together, and let rest.  Spoon out onto wax paper and let cool.  It's as easy as that. 

Well, I was still in the mood for more sweets.  I was looking through my cookbook, but I didn't have the ingredients for many of the recipes.  But I did have everything on hand for simple fudge.  I've never made the recipe, but I thought I would give it a try. 

The no bake cookies are ready, but the fudge is still chilling.  I'm trying to use my willpower to wait until John gets home.  Still a few more hours yet.  We shall see if I can hold out that long.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Attack of the kitchen appliances

Well, I have answered one of life's many questions. We all know the most popular questions is "how does the washing machine eat our socks?". But only second to that is "where do all of our little toys go?". Well, ladies and gents. I have the answer. Our kitchen appliances eat them! And I have proof. (Just ignore the 70's laminate flooring!)


This is how many toys can fit under the oven.


And this is how many toys can fit under the fridge.

How did I figure out this long unanswered question, you may ask. Well, we were wondering where Micah's Lightning McQueen car had gone, as well as fridge magnets that Caleb had gotten for his birthday. I took a peek under the oven, and I found the mother lode! And on another hunch, I peeked under the fridge, and found the rest of the mother lode!

Now, looking under the oven or the refrigerator is not for the faint of heart. There are lots of things that don't like to see the light of day. So if you too want to discover the answer to that second most important question, be prepared. I'm warning you!

Monday, October 20, 2008

My little super heroes

I took the boys the other day to get pictures taken of them in their Halloween costumes.  Normally, I would just take them myself, but I got this package where I could come anytime I want and not have a sitting fee.  You know me...I like a bargain, so I plan on getting my money's worth. 

Micah wanted to be Spiderman for Halloween, since he's thought he was Spiderman ever since his birthday.  So we got him one that even has muscles.  Then we were looking around at WalMart for a costume for Caleb, and Micah saw the Superman costume and wanted that to be Caleb's costume.  And you know I like my guys to be matchypoo if I can, so I thought it would work out.

Micah really enjoyed getting to take these pictures.  He really thinks he is Spiderman, so he kept jumping around and doing super hero moves.  As you can tell from the picture of both boys, he was in motion, but the girl was able to take the picture without any blur.  Plus, it helped that we didn't have to worry if he was smiling or not.

So here are the pictures of my super heroes.





Micah's first paid-for haircut

I know you've already seen Caleb's new haircut pictures.  But Micah got his first actual haircut that same day.  We have usually done his hair on our own, but with all of his cowlicks, they usually turn into buzz cuts. 

I really recommend Whipper Snippers, the place where they went.  There are really cool things for kids to do to help distract them from getting their hair cut. 

So here are some pictures of Micah's haircut.




Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Caleb's first haircut

We took Caleb and Micah on Saturday to get haircuts.  For Caleb, it was his first haircut ever, and this was Micah's first professional haircut.  We have always cut Micah's hair on our own, but it almost always ends up being a buzz cut because of all of his cowlicks.  But Caleb had all of those curls, so I didn't really know how to cut it. 

We took the boys to Whipper Snippers, a really cute place where they specialize in children's haircuts.  They had chairs that were airplanes and cars, and some that were hands.  Micah chose a car to sit in, and Caleb sat in the airplane.  They also have movies playing at each station, or they could play video games to keep them occupied.


Before the haircut                                                                                              


Not so bad yet...


He didn't like the clippers.


That boy sure is pretty, but I miss the curls.

All in all, Caleb did pretty well.  He only cried a little bit, and mostly only when I moved too far away.  I like his new haircut, but he looks so different than he did before.  I guess it just seems like he's growing up.  With the curls, he still looked like a baby.  I know...I'm just being a sappy mama.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Micah's first birthday party...well, sort of

We took Micah to his first non-family birthday party on Saturday.  His friend Noah from his Sunday school class turned 3, and Micah could not wait for the day of the birthday party. 

When we got the invitation, I told Micah that the inside of the invitation said, "It's Noah's birthday.  Can Micah come to the party?"  I kept it on the refrigerator, and almost every day Micah would pull it down and show it to us.  He would open it up and say, "It's Noah's birthday!"  It was so sweet that he was so excited to be able to go to his party.

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Lunch was hamburgers and really huge hot dogs that looked like they were on steroids.  I thought that Micah and Caleb could share one, but Caleb ended up eating one whole hot dog!  I think he has a hollow leg or a tapeworm or something.

When lunch was done, there was Madagascar bingo, and then pin the tail on the donkey.  But it was a blow up donkey.  I had never seen one like that before.  All the kids got to put on a hat and then get blindfolded.  The picture above shows what good aim Micah has.  Caleb played to with a little help from one fof the girls.  We didn't even attempt to put the blindfold on him, though.


And John is always up for a challenge, so he tried his hand at pin the tail on the donkey also.

They also had a pinata, but not one that you hit with a stick.  This one had streamers on the bottom, and you keep pulling them out one by one until the candy falls out.  Micah really enjoyed that.  He got a lot of candy.




Caleb kept going up to the donkey to check him out.


This is Noah opening the tool set that Micah and Caleb gave him for his birthday.

We all had a really good time at the party.  Micah enjoyed running around with the other boys with the balloon arrangements that were the table settings.  They kept using them as punching bags.  When we left, both boys got to take home goodie bags and a balloon.  The balloons have provided fun every day since then as well.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Far Away Friends

So my friend Jacquie posted on her blog some pictures of her friends, and I thought that was a nice idea. John and I have been talking about some friends of ours who have moved away over the past year. If we were rich (cross your fingers!) we would be able to go and visit them as often as we would like. But finances being what they are, that just isn't possible. But it is so nice to have the conveniences of email, Facebook, and MySpace. It's amazing how addicting these things become, especially when keeping in touch with our friends and family. So here are some pictures of our friends.

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John with Chris and Kayla Alverson. They moved to Colorado Springs before Caleb was born. Chris was the best babysitter we ever had. Micah loved having Chris watch him!


Our good friends, Kim and Denny Alverson. They are a great example of a loving Christian husband and wife. John and I really look up to them.


Here are some more good friends, Jacquie and Justin Crutchley. They recently moved to Wichita, Kansas. We hope they don't get carried off in a tornado like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz.


And finally, here are Ryan, Liz, and Ryder Miller. They just got transferred by the Air Force to Colorado Springs. Ryder was born two months before Caleb. Even though they were here only a short time, we really got to know them well, and we miss them.

John and I have realized that God has really blessed us with good Christian friends. Even though they are far away now, we remember the times we have shared with them. Hopefully, we will be able to travel to visit them one day.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

How precious life is...a gift from God

I have just had a reality check on how precious life really is.  I had gotten a forward to a link called 99 balloons.  John had gotten it from one of our friends, and told me to be prepared to cry, it was so touching.  He said he even shed some tears. 

Well, the email has been sitting unread in my inbox because I knew that I would cry while watching it.  Those of you who know me know that I am a crybaby.  I cry at touching commercials and things like that, so I had been avoiding watching the link.

Today I had some down time and I felt mentally ready to watch, so I opened the link.   The video is a story about Eliot, a baby born with Trisomy 18.  Be prepared.  This video will touch even the hardest of hearts.  After I watched it, I just went to both boys and hugged them close to me.  It really makes me feel blessed to have both of my boys healthy and happy.  I realize now that that doesn't always happen for everyone, and I am just thankful that God has given me these two boys for as long as He has.

Here is the link:  


The parents are coming! The parents are coming!

My parents are coming to visit us this weekend.  I'm excited.  I know, you would think that with me living so far away that visits would be few and far between.  That's the beauty of my mom working for Southwest Airlines.  Like they say, you are now free to move about the country.  So we are really lucky, because the boys and I have been able to go to Texas fairly frequently, and the best of all...for FREE!  And my parents will always fly free even when my mom retires, so they will always be able to fly to California to see us. 

I know they really only come to see the boys.  Once you start producing grandbabies, you are nudged out of the picture.  But I'm in therapy, so I should be able to cope with that soon.  Ha! Ha!

It's only a quick trip for my parents this time, since they have to be back at work on Monday.  They'll get in very late Thursday night, and leave very early Sunday morning.  But it will be nice to see them.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I'll take game shows for $200, Alex

Well, Saturday morning I was up bright and early (thanks to two little ragamuffins). My second test for Jeopardy! was in Buellton at 9:00 a.m. I drove up there, and there were just under 100 people there from the 1,000 people that took the test the night before.

We were allowed to answer practice questions as a group to get us into the Jeopardy! question mindset. You know how they form their answers in order to give little clues as to what the question will be. Then they gave us our answer sheets, and told us the questions would be on the screen and one of the clue crew would read them to us as well. We were given 8 seconds per question to write down our answer. Once the tests were complete, they left the room and graded them.

They came back about 15 minutes later and called out about 8 names of people who had passed the test. Unfortunately, my name wasn't on that list. Too bad. But the best thing about the whole experience is that I had a good time, and maybe I'll be ready for the online test in January. It will be another 50 question test but we can do it from the comfort of our own home.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Big Fun!!!

So John and I went and tried out for Jeopardy! tonight.  I passed the pre-test!!!  How exciting!  I got an invitation to go to Buellton tomorrow for the next round of testing.  I will take a 50 question test, and an interview.  There is also a mock Jeopardy! game I guess to see how we will do on television.  So wish me luck and I will keep you updated!

Jeopardy! Here I Come!

Tonight's the big night!  The Jeopardy! Brain Bus is coming to Santa Maria.  John and I tried out a few years ago in Santa Barbara but we didn't get on.  But it was still so much fun!

Maybe tonight is our night.  How it works is that they have a written pre-test that you take.  If you score enough correct answers, you get asked back either the next day or the near future.  Last time, I missed one too many questions. 

The Clue Crew is there emceeing the whole thing.  They have little buzzers set up where you can actually play a little Jeopardy! game.  They give you the answer and if you buzz in fast enough you can give the question.  I think I almost wet my pants I was so excited the last time.

Anyway, wish us luck.  I will update later on all the excitement and the results of our quest for game show fame and fortune!

Another enjoyable day

The boys and I got an early start today, even with the gloomy weather.  It looked a little gray out, but I thought it would be good for the boys to get out of the house.  So we packed up and went to our new favorite park in the Village.  I had thought it might be a little sunnier out there, but it wasn't.  We had the playground to ourselves. 

Micah decided he was the police.  When he says it, it sounds like Po-Peace.  Too funny.  He wanted me to play too, so I was PoPeace Mama and he was PoPeace Micah.  He kept running off to catch bad guys, and then he was putting them in jail, which was a storm drain with bars on it.  He pronounces jail like the lady's name Gail. 

Meanwhile, Caleb is continuing to explore the world of climbing.  This was a great place to do it because the playset has stairs.  He would climb one step, and then stand up and start yelling out his victory.  Then he would do it all over again with the next step. 

It is so fun to watch the boys change and grow, with Micah learning to pretend things and Caleb learning to climb.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Just another day in the life

I've decided that I might try to involve our many thousands (ha ha!) of blog readers in the mundane goings-on of our lives.  So I am going to make an effort to update the blog more frequently. 

So here goes...

We had an unexpected visitor in our bed this morning.  Micah climbed into bed with us at 5:00 this morning.  Not so fun.  He hasn't been taking naps on most days, so by 7:00 pm he is definitely ready to go to bed (by our standards, not his).  Unfortunately, that lately seems to mean that he wakes up earlier and earlier.  He has always been an early riser, but this  isn't going to fly.  Luckily,  he cuddled up to me and fell asleep pretty quickly.  Unluckily, I wasn't able to do the same.

A few weeks ago, I took Caleb to get his 1 year pictures taken.  I got the call that they were ready, so the boys and I went by today to go pick them up.  Since we were going to be in Santa Maria, John met us for lunch at Chuck E. Cheese's.   The boys really enjoyed running around and playing the games.

Then it was off to the mall to get the pictures.  And no trip to Santa Maria is complete without a trip to Target.  We don't ever get too much when we shop at Target, but since we don't have one in Lompoc, it's fun to look around.

We got the boys into their pajamas, and they were playing around.  Micah had thrown a pillow by the coffee table  The next thing you know, Caleb had climbed up all by himself onto the  coffee table.  He looked pretty proud of himself.  He was announcing to the world that he had reached the top.  It was so cute, and made Mama so proud.

The boys went to bed, with Micah including a little temper tantrum for our viewing pleasure.  And then that wonderful time had come...you know, Survivor!  I watched that while John went to his softball game.  And that is the end of our mundane day.  Hope you enjoyed your glimpse into a day in the life.