Tuesday, December 22, 2009

More Texas

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Flat Ceana's Road Trip

Flat Ceana is going to take a different means back to class than the mail. We are taking her on a road trip to meet back up with the real Ceana at Grandma's house in Arizona. We left our house in Walcott, Arkansas at 4:00 am on Tuesday, December 22. We arrived in Texarkana, Texas about 9:00 am. Here are some pictures of Flat Ceana at the Welcome Center.

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Greene County Tech Open House

081709-02 Ryans open house

2009/2010 School Year begins!

Ryan found his name on the board outside his new classroom. He will start four year old preschool at Greene County Tech on Friday.

In Arkansas they have open house before school starts. You get to go meet the teacher before class even starts. But the real catch is... They make you buy so many school supplies, there is no way the poor kids could carry them all to school on the bus.

This is Ryan's first time in big kid school with his sibblings. So we are really excited.

081709-03 Ashlee open house

Ashlee will be starting the 4th Grade this year. Her teacher is Mrs. Thomas.

081709-04 Robbie open house

Robbie is in the 5th Grade this year. He is in Mrs. Cox's class.

081709-05 Aimee open house

Aimee is in 2nd Grade this year. She will be in Mrs. Craft's Class. This will be her last year at the Primary campus at GCT.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

081509 Girls Haircuts

081509 Girls Haircuts
Originally uploaded by momjeeps.

Ashlee and Aimee got their hair cut today and are now ready for the first day of school. They start on Wednesday! Ashlee is 9 and starting the fourth grade. Aimee is 7 and starting second grade.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Summer Vacation - Arizona

On Sunday, June 28th, (after arriving at 4:30 a.m. and getting some much needed sleep) we visited with some of our old neighbors. We saw Erik and Nikki Reemtsma and their girls, Emilie and Jacqui (I'm sure I slaughtered the spelling of their names.). We also saw, Marshal Tienken and his girls, Jessica, Kayla, and Amanda. Rob also walked up and saw Paul Aesch while I stayed and chatted with Nikki and let the kids play. Again, I didn't get the camera out. I must be better about this next year!

When we finished there, we met my parents and Curtis' family for dinner at our kids favorite restuarant... Red Lobster. I'm not kidding. Ask them if they'd rather go to McDonalds, Chuck-e-Cheese, or Red Lobster and they will all choose Red Lobster. Anyway, mom and dad treated us all to a deliscious meal.

062809-01 Red Lobster 062809-02 Red Lobster

At some point on Sunday, Robbie reached a milestone in his life. He was allowed to play pool and grandpa's pool table. That is a real coming of age thing! I guess 10 years old is the magic number? Not sure, because he was 10 when we were there in December too. But his dad wasn't there to help in December, maybe that was the deal... Anyway, a photo of the big event...

062809-05 Robbie learns from dad

And grandpa showing off...

062809-07 Grandpa gets fancy

On Monday, Rob flew back to Arkansas so that he could get back to work for the next two weeks while the kids and I stayed on in Arizona for an extended visit.

We did a number of things while in Arizona. A visit to grandma's always includes, trips to the donut shop, playing cards, lots of swimming, bubble baths in grandma's jetted tub, and an endless supply of M&M's, both plain and peanut. We also did a little shopping for kids clothes and such.

070209-03 Boys Bath Time 062809-06 Cards with Grandma 062909-01 Donuts 062809-08 Cousins Silky Party

On Thursday, July 2nd, it was my parents' 44th wedding anniversary. So the kids and I headed up to Curtis and Gennie's neck of the woods to go to their meeting, thus allowing mom and dad some alone time. The photo below was taken at that meeting. I do not know the name of the brother that is stealing a spot in the photo op, but I thought it was pretty funny.

Late Thursday, Charley's family arrived and we had a nice visit with the whole family that would include...

Friday afternoon, Gennie had a whole super awesome tea party for all the ladies (and girls). The boys (men are boys too) went to Peter Piper Pizza. Then on Saturday while all the family was there, we had some fun with a photo taking scavenger hunt. We could not, however, agree on a winning team, so I will just say here, that MY team ROCKED! Also, this weekend Gennie made a super awesome Cream Cheese Pound Cake that I believe she ended up making three times while we were visiting. It was that good!

On, Monday, July 6th, mom and I picked up a good friend of mine, Victoria Fachner at the light rail station in Mesa, Arizona. She spent the day by the pool with us and spent most of the night catching up on things with me. It was a good time. On Tuesday, we all went on one of mom's famous touring drives. She took us past Saguaro Lake and up to Fountain Hills and then on to deliver Victoria back home.

Rob flew back in on Friday night, July 10th and we drove out that night to head home. Our poor van had over 200,000 miles on it and I wanted my mechanic with me on the drive home for insurance that we would not break down. We drove all night Friday night so as to miss going through the Arizona desert and up steep hills in the heat of the day. It worked! We arrived in Oklahoma City on Saturday afternoon. We decided instead of driving all the way through and sleeping all day Sunday, we'd stop and drive in easily on Sunday instead. It was a wise move. We again stayed at a La Quinta. This one was brand spankin' new. They put us in the suite for the same price as the discount rate Rob usually gets on a regular room! WOO HOO! We took the kids to the pool that afternoon and then crashed. It was great!

On Sunday, we drove the rest of the way home, with no breakdown events to report! It was a fantastic vacation, but I was thrilled to be back home in my own comfy bed!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Summer Vacation - Whirl Wind So. California!

062709-05 Kids at Oceanside Beach
Originally uploaded by momjeeps.

OK, try to follow me here...

On Friday, June 26, we left Ma & Pa's in the afternoon. Rob had been working on a plumbing project most of the day Thursday and some of the morning on Friday. It was quite a job, the family was very appreciative and we were glad Rob could help out since usually he is too far away to help when a situation as this arrises.

Since our Southern California time was cut short, we decided to try to fit it all in anyway... We drove as far as Tahachapi, California that night and stopped at the La Quinta. The room was fine and breakfast was OK. We got out right on schedule and arrived at my grandmother's home in Hesperia, California at 10:00 a.m. for a quick visit. She had small gifts for each of her great-grand children, as she always does. But can you believe I did not remember to take my camera out and get any pictures of any of us with my grandma!!! I'm not happy about this.

Anyway, we left there and drove south and met Charley and the twins (Amanda and Nick) for lunch at a McDonald's near Loma Linda. We wanted to meet Amanda and Nick for lunch just in case their jobs kept them from coming to grandma's house in Arizona later in our vacation.

After finishing lunch, we decided to drive on down to Charley's house in Murrieta and pick up Ceana to go with us to Oceanside to the beach.
062709-06 Ryan at Oceanside Beach 062709-08 Girls with Jasmine at Oceanside Beach
We drove to Oceanside, where we met Melissa and Jasmine for some quick fun on the beach. We were at the beach for about an hour and a half. The kids loved it! We will have to spend more time at the beach next year.

We then drove to Vista and went to Dairy Queen with them. YUM. When we left DQ, we were just around the corner from some other friends, Jeff and Gina Fluck. We figured we stop in real quick and say hello. When we stopped they and their boys were out in the pool. So all the kids (still in their suits from the beach) decided to get in the pool with their boys. So we stayed there for another hour or so. Again, I didn't get the camera out. IDIOT!

By this time, the girls (Ashlee, Aimee and their Cousin Ceana) had convinced the parents to have Ceana continue on with our family to Arizona so that they could spend more time together. So back to Murrieta we went to get a suit case that her parents packed for her.
062709-07 Girls in Water at Beach
We then drove on to Arizona, arriving at mom and dad's house at 4:30 a.m. WHEW! TIRED! But lots of fun fun memories were made in that day or so!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Summer Vacation - Day Trip to San Francisco

Today our family took a day trip out to San Francisco area. We went across several bridges. We went a little ways up Highway 1, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge. I remember the kids saying they were scared on the windy steep road. I commented that they should be happy that it was paved. I grew up riding in dad's jeep (or other four wheel vehicle) in some tight, steep, windy spots that were NOT paved and may even have some pretty hairy obstacles.

062509-03 Aimee and Ashlee No Cal Coast 062509-04 Robbie No Cal Coast 062509-08 San Francisco Coast

Back tracking a bit, when we were packing for vacation, my mother asked if we would be packing light jackets. I told her I didn't think they would be necessary, but Rob thought they would be a good idea too. So we put a light jacket in at least for each of the kids. This day would have been the perfect day for them. When we were on the cliffs at the coast the temperature was 52 degrees F. However, we had left said light jackets at Rob's parents' house where it was 100+ degrees F. Wise! And that would be the only time they were needed the entire three week vacation.

On our way up Highway 1, we stopped at a stand where a guy was selling produce and such and bought some cherries, apricots, pistachios and toffee almonds. YUM!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Summer Vacation Begins - Off to California

On Saturday, June 20th, we left to drive to visit the Welch family in Ione, California. We pretty much drove straight through stopping only for gas and potty and maybe the occassional drive thru. But mostly we ate snackies we brought from home.

On Sunday night we stopped in Merced, California and visited with Rob's high school shop teacher and his wife, Doug and Donna Bates. We and the kids were pretty wiped out, so we are looking forward to when they stop by our house on their way through in September. After visiting with them it was another several hours to Rob's parents house. We got in to there place around 1:30 a.m. Monday, morning. Including the stop in Merced and all other stops, it took us about 40 hours to get there.

On Monday, during the day, we set up tents in the yard at Ma & Pa's. All of Rob's brothers and his sister were in town, so the house was pretty full. We set up what we call our "Taj Ma Tent" and were quite comfortable. The kids slept in the living room with the other cousins and had a great time.

I will post some pictures once I retreive them from my mom and dad's computer somehow...

Monday, June 15, 2009

2009 Keep on the Watch District Convention

From June 12-14, 2009 the kids and I attended the Jehovah's Witnesses District Convention in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Unforetunately, I left these pictures on my dad's computer in Arizona when we were on vacation. So I will post more later...

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Last day of school, continued...

060309-03 Aimee and Mrs Whitaker
Originally uploaded by momjeeps.

Aimee is done with first grade. Here she is with Mrs. Whitaker. Aimee made Principal's List this year (the good list). She also got a reading award and a National Physical Fitness award. Way to go Aimee!

Last Day of School, continued...

060309-02 Ashlee and Mrs Kristie
Originally uploaded by momjeeps.

Ashlee is done with third grade. But we will miss Mrs. Kristie Head! Ashlee did fantastic in her class. She made honor roll this year. Mommy made cheesecakes for all the teachers' gifts this year. I had the kids decorate their boxes. Each of them wrote nice notes on the boxes.

Thank you Greene County Tech!

Last Day of School!

060309-01 Robbie and Mrs Shelton
Originally uploaded by momjeeps.

Robbie is done with 4th Grade. Passed with flying colors! He even got a math award for being one of the top scorers in his class!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Ryan's Last Day of School

052809-08 Ryan last day of TLC Lei on Head
Originally uploaded by momjeeps.

Today was Ryan's last day at The Learning Center of North East Arkansas in Jonesboro, Arkansas. He has been going there since just before he turned two. He will be going to four year old preschool at Greene County Tech with the big kids next year.

Click on the picture to see more pictures in this set.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Friday, April 10, 2009


Originally uploaded by momjeeps.

Our family!

Try finding a more handsome pair of eyes!

This one captures the true escence of our family.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Spring School Pictures

040709 Robbie Spring School Pic
Originally uploaded by momjeeps.

The kids came home with their school pictures this week. Actually Aimee's school pictures are by a different company and she only has a proof yet. So her picture is not as clear as the other two. But I think they turned out pretty nice.

040709 Ashlee Spring School Pic

040709 Aimee Spring School Pic Preview

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Yeah, more boxes from the Bates!

031109-01 Boxes all kids
Originally uploaded by momjeeps.

Its always a challenge to get the kids to wait for daddy to get home when the come home and find these on the porch!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Snow Storm Feb/March 2009

030109-05 Snow Front of House
Originally uploaded by momjeeps.

By morning we actually accumulated about a foot of snow. This is the most snow we've had in the three winters we've lived here. It was lots of fun. WAY better than an ice storm!

030109-08 Snow Kids Bikes
How many times have I told you kids to put your bikes away? "What Bikes?"

030109-18 Snow Daffodil
Poor thing thought it was spring.

030109-16 Snow Man
When the snow first fell it was too dry to make a snow man. But before the kids got off the bus mom and dad noticed it was just right... So the kids came home to this.

030109-15 Snow Angel

030109-14 Snow Robbie

030109-10 Snow O
I'm done peeing, can I go back in now?

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Snow Storm 2009 Accumulation 1630 time

022809-13 Snow Storm 2009 Accumulation 1630 time
Originally uploaded by momjeeps.

Four Inches of snow by 4:30 p.m. It was an average of an inch an hour. We had steady snow for a couple more hours after that. Its let up some now. We figure by morning we'll be looking at 6-7 inches, by far the most we've had in the almost three years we've lived here.

022809-01 Snow Storm 2009 Aimee Hot Cocoa

022809-02 Snow Storm 2009 Ashlee Hot Cocoa

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Iced Power Lines

012709-05 Iced Power Lines
Originally uploaded by momjeeps.

Here is my original caption to this photo...

"Ice Storm 2009
We are expecting freezing rain all day and part of the night. The local TV and Radio stations are telling us to be ready for extended power outages and here is WHY!!!"

Shortly after this was taken and posted our power did indeed go out. And it remained out for 18 days!
013009-06 Down Power Pole in Jonesboro More
Here is a cut and paste of an email I sent to a relative describing the adventure then ensued...

We were here in our master bedroom with the four kids and two cats every night. The kids missed six days of school (in addition to two they had already missed for "snow"). After they went back to school, I'd spend the days visiting friends and doing laundry and such where I could find power. We bought a 5500 watt generator after the first few days. So we were able to have some light, the fridge and freezer and such. We have one small propane heater in our master bedroom. The rest of the house was in the thirties for the most part. We ate out and spent too much money. But we also did some cooking on our camp stove and on the bbq outside. After we got the generator we brought in the electric skillet and made pancakes one morning too. We had brought our stainless steel island in and put it at the other end of our bedroom.
012809-10 Ice Storm Uhaul Propane Line
I really can not complain about the length of time out. Our electric coop has about 28,000 members. At the peak of outage they had more than 25,000 without power. They had more than 4,000 poles down. They have had help from all over. They have about 900+ linemen working from sun up to sun down seven days a week. Our main complaint with the way it has been handled is their communication about estimates of when power would be restored. Its seems to me that there would be some kind of estimated schedule and map that they would be working from that they could share with the public. That way we could have made more educated decisions on how to handle things. Instead we would call each day and they would tell us the areas they WERE working in that day and say to call back tomorrow to see where they would be. There are still about 2,500 customers without power for our elec coop. (There are other rural coops just north of us that had it even worse. Some schools were out until today.)
013009-01 Roads Near our house 3 days later
Rob looked into having a whole house generator installed at some point. But for as often as it could be needed I just don't see us spending the money. But boy would that have been nice. I can sure see that lady being grateful on her husbands decision!

We were thankful that we had taken down a tree that sat at the front of our house. Every time significant winds would blow we could hear lots of creaking coming from the tree. Last summer we took it out. When we cut it down a large part of the center was hollowed out. Had that have been there, I'm sure we would have lost the front of our house.
012809-13 Ice Storm Mall Landscape Close Up
On Tuesday night (Jan 26th I think), after the power had gone out, we lay in bed and not more than five minutes would go by before we would hear a branch, tree or power pole snap. It was really odd. I'm so thankful we didn't have to worry about anything falling on the house.
012809-12 Ice Storm Mall Landscape
This past weekend we went to the Branson, MO area to visit my mom's sister and husband. Before we left I was talking to the neighbor across the road and asked if they would fill our generator for us while we were gone. She mentioned that she had talked to the elec company the day before and the indicated another 3-5 weeks were possible. I said to Rob, "I hope they were just trying to get her to leave them alone for a while and that is not true. I don't know how I'll deal with three more weeks like this past three." But when I went to buy the gas for the generator that morning there were trucks with poles working at the end of the street. I was ecstatic! I called Rob and then the neighbor. That night, while we were in MO, the neighbor called to tell us that she did indeed have power. So when we got home around 10:30 p.m. last night we too had power. We had switched off the 220 breakers in the box though. So the house was still very cold last night and we spent one more night with all the kids in our room. But today was a fully powered lovely day! Woo Hoo!

I spent the morning moving the cleaning the fridge and getting some of the kitchen items back into the kitchen. They I went grocery shopping and replaced all the condiments and etc that I had tossed. Its really nice to know that there is not one thing in my refrigerator that has an expired date on it :-) And what a lovely clean fridge it is.

Tomorrow I'll tackle the freezer side. I'll have more time. The kids had minimum day and parent teacher conferences today. My sons grades suffered some during the outage, so we'll have some catching up to do...

One thing that I thought was nice, the big kids school is on the same campus as the jr. and sr. high, so they would let the kids that still did not have power take a shower in the gym each morning.

It was one of those times that will be a memory for the family. But I'm sure glad its behind us.