Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Wonder of Wonders...

Wonder of wonder #1: I filled up our Suburban for "only" $2.08/gallon this morning!
Wonder of wonder #2: We seem to have finally rounded the corner with Owen on the potty training front!
Wonder of wonder #3: Hold on to your seats, folks! This is the biggest one of all! Brian finally entered the modern world and got a cell phone! And you know he's just dying to chat for hours, so be sure to ask him for his number!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Good Ole Pumpkin Hollow

Pumpkin Hollow has been a tradition for our kids ever since we moved here 5+ years ago. The last couple of years our trip has gotten rained out, and it was looking like this year's trip would as well. But, the sun emerged today and the mud wasn't too bad, so we had an awesome trip!
Kellen was out of school today for teacher in-service, and we let her invite a friend along as well. This was Bella's first trip to Pumpkin Hollow, and I think she had a lot of fun.
I took pics of each of the kids in front of this height meter, but the look on Dawson's face was the cutest, so he won the spot on the blog!
Bella Boo lives up to her name--belle meaning beautiful--isn't she gorgeous???
Kellen leaping off the haystack. All the kids spent tons of time climbing, sliding and jumping on these bales.
Me and my kiddos on the hayride. I'm slightly biased, but I think they're pretty darn cute!
Amanda, my helper when the kids aren't at pre-school, came with us today for the trip. She was a huge help in corraling all the kids, tromping through the pumpkin patch, and leading the caravan through the corn maze!
Owen feeding the pony.
Run away! Run away! "He licked my hand!!!"
Fast friends. They really seem to enjoy spending time together, and I'm not sure I've ever witnessed any friction. A couple of giggle-boxes, they are!
Bella just loves Dawson! She's disappointed if he's napping while she's over playing. She's bummed if I come to lunch at their school without him. She always says hi to him and wants to play with him and lug him around. He's got another built-in big sister!
Searching for the perfect pumpkin to take home! The boys are on either sides of the pic, and you can see in the middle that Kellen has found hers! Pate and Bella are in the far back.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

So proud....

Well, here's our big 1st grader! Isn't she beautiful? This is her school picture this year and I just love her smile!
Her school just had an awards ceremony for the first nine weeks of class. Kellen won an Academic Excellence award and Student of the Month award. Here she is with her beloved teacher, Mrs. Craft. We're proud of you, Kellen!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pre-School Fall Festival

Peyton's & Owen's pre-school had a fall festival tonight. Might as well get multiple uses out of those costumes, right? What do you think of our firefighter and his dalmation???
Here is our beautiful ballerina!
And a leopard!
We brought Kellen's friend, Betsy, with us. They both went to Kindergarten there last year, so they have good memories of past festivals, plus loved seeing former teachers and friends.
Owen and his good buddy, Meyer. Meyer is a big topic of conversation around our house. Owen colors pictures for him, tells me what they played at school, etc. Meyer is even the incentive we've found most useful for potty training Owen! We told him he could have Meyer over for a playdate when he's potty trained!
Dorothy, er, I mean, Deann, and Peyton have been good friends since they were together in their 2 yr. old class. She's a sweet, sweet, girl!
Betsy and Kellen. They first met during their 4 yr. old year of pre-school, and play so easily together. They seem to have loved each other since day one, and take good care of each other. We loved getting to bring Betsy along with us tonight!
One of the many "stations" they had tonight was a little train ride out in the parking lot. It was a hit!
The big blow-up slide had to be the other top attraction. I couldn't even count how many times I saw one of my children flying down this thing!
Of course these kinds of events have to be parent-manned, so Brian and I's favorite parts of the night (NOT) were working the tattoo table and soccer goal game! Feeding 7 of us for $9 was a deal, though! And thankfullly, there was a $25 cap on the wrist-bands, since we had 5 kiddos with us! Ahhh, the things we do for our kids!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Working on our marriage...

Well, here's a picture of my wedding ring. Brian and picked it out together and bought it at Bernard Lewis in Paducah, KY. It's a Gelin & Abaci tension set ring with 95 pounds of pressure holding the stone in place, instead of prongs. It is so unique and we fell in love with it right away. It is definitely one of my most treasured worldly belongings!
Brian and I went to a marriage conference this weekend, so it got me to thinking about all things wedding and marriage related. I have found myself just staring at my ring again the last couple of days, like how you stare at it that first month or so after getting engaged! It brings back so many wonderful memories and is such a great symbol of our life together.
The conference was good, and though Brian and I are already blessed with a great marriage (see posts on Sept. 3rd and 4th!), it was a good reminder to purposely work on our marriage and not to just drift along in life together. One of the best pieces of advice I've ever received was from my sister-in-law, Arlene, as Brian and I were about to be married. She told us to never allow ourselves to just become roommates. That really hit home to me--that we are to live our lives together, and not just side-by-side.
I'll leave you with a quote from this weekend that I thought was really good: "Most marital failures are not caused by a blow-out; they're caused by a slow leak."

Friday, October 10, 2008

We're going to the zoo, zoo, zoo. How 'bout you, you, you?

Does anyone else know that song?

Disclaimer: For those of you who know Danna, please lower your expectations for this post. She's the funny one and has already done the "witty petting zoo blog piece"!

SOOO....here we go....Peyton's pre-school class visited the ASU Farm's petting zoo on Thursday and it was quite an adventure! The kids loaded up in parents' vehicles and we had the pleasure of taking Peyton's good buddy, Layla.
It was a very entertaining ride!
Loaded up on the trailer, all excited for the hayride.
Peyton's teacher is in the middle, (Mrs. Kelly), with various children lined up looking at the animals we passed on the hayride. Susannah, Emily, Xander, Brianna, Wyatt, Logan.
Pate petting a calf.
Being handed a bunny, which promptly hopped out of her lap. Mind you, this was immediately after she dumped a duckling out of her lap!
Mrs. Kelly's class, minus Daniel (sick) and Eva Grace (Disney World!!!). L to R, Brianna, Susannah, Xander, Layla, Peyton, Jenna, Carson, Logan, Sophie and Wyatt.
Peyton and Layla atop a hay bale.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Our Group ROCKS!!!

So who would've thought that just wearing wigs out to dinner would bond a group so closely??? Well, we tried it, and it sure did!
This weekend was our Community Group's (small group from church) retreat, and man, was it memorable! We started out with an amazing dinner at "TACO" (as Lorie puts it), and sure got some looks and laughs while we were there. After dinner we walked next door and crashed Tropical Smoothie so we could visit Lindley and Susan. The rest of the evening was devoted to a "Rock Band" marathon! Enjoy the following slideshow of the festivities! You sure learn a lot about your friends when hanging out like this! All sorts of different sides of peoples' personalities come out, and a million inside jokes are formed. It sure set the stage for good talks and sharing and praying together this morning. You guys "ROCK"! ;-)

Enjoy the Show!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Yeah for popsicles!

Well, Kellen is going to get her tonsils out. In hindsight, I wish we had been encouraged to do this a year and a half ago when we first visited the Ear, Nose & Throat doctor. So, I'm writing this blog to 1) get advice, stories, etc., from anyone who has been through a child getting their tonsils out and 2) to educate people of the potential side effects of chronically enlarged tonsils.

From February through April 2007, Kellen had about 8 ear and throat infections. That was probably more than she had had in her whole previous 5 years of life! Our doctor sent us to see an ENT for an exam and to have her hearing checked by an audiologist. Well, her hearing was within normal limits, but he was still talking about the possibility of ear tubes and a tonsilectomy to stop the infections. After several rounds of meds, her infections stopped, so we were just thankful at that point to have avoided our little girl having surgery!

Unfortunately, her tonsils continued to be enlarged, (though no ear or throat infections in the last year and a half!), which causes her to sleep with her mouth open. At our most recent trip to our dentist, he told us that Kellen needs her tonsils out and also has to begin orthodontia work!!! Can you believe it? Age 6??? He explained that when you sleep with your mouth closed, your tongue presses on the roof of your mouth every time you swallow, and spreads out your bite. Well, since Kellen sleeps with her mouth open, her bite is very narrow. For example, she has lost 3 top teeth and the front two have come in and taken up all the room. So there is no room for that 3rd tooth to drop down!

So, we visited a different ENT yesterday who concurred that even the best orthodontia work won't truly fix her teeth until her tonsils are taken out. So, surgery is scheduled for November 4th (the doctor is taking vacation during the holidays, otherwise we would've done it right after Christmas!) It will be the first surgery for any of our kids. She will be put completely asleep! She will have to miss about 5 days of school and can't do any running or activity for 14 days. We scheduled it then because it's after soccer season but before basketball season, and hopefully she'll be in tip-top shape before my Mom arrives from Idaho on the 16th for our trial. Believe it or not, Kellen is SUPER-EXCITED to have them taken out and is just focused on the fact that she'll get to eat popsicles, ice cream, milkshakes, etc.! Then come January or so, she has to go in for an "ortho work-up" to take molds and for our dentist to come up with "The Plan" (in other words, how much money can I get from the Churches for my kids' college funds?) Ugh.

Any words of wisdom? Personal experiences? Warnings? Advice? "Comment" me, people!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

How Many of Me? How Many of You?

LogoThere are
people with my name in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Saw this on my friend Sarah's blog back in good ole Boise, Idaho. Thought it was interesting to check it out, and was pretty surprised there were this many of me. Checked my maiden name, though, and there are only 2 Kelly McMonigle's out there! Now you all go look up your name, and put it on my Comment page!