Thursday, July 31, 2008

Eventful Roadtrip

Tuesday morning we headed to Branson. We purchased season tickets to Silver Dollar City, and we have had a blast getting our money’s worth out of them! (For those who aren’t local, this is an amusement park. It is sort of similar to Knott’s Berry Farm).

We decided to take the REALLY long way to Branson. We decided to visit Aaron’s grandma “on the way” and turned a two hour drive into a five hour drive. It was worth it though. She was so happy to see the kids.

Here is Grandma Patterson



Usually, the “eventful” part about a trip to Branson is kids throwing up on the winding roads. Not this trip. Everyone had been given the appropriate Dramamine doses. The “eventful” part of this trip was that we arrived at grandma’s house 3 ½ hours late and driving this:



Most of you probably know that we have two minivans…but neither of them is red!

We were driving down the interstate minding our own business, when we come across a piece of metal in the road. No biggie…we can straddle it. But we hear a REALLY LOUD noise and brace for a blown tire. But the tires are fine. Aren’t we lucky. But we start to smell something…is that gas? Better pull over.

We get out at a gas station, look under the van, and we are gushing fluid. Did I mention that it is $3.65 per gallon fluid? Oh yes, we are steadily leaking gasoline!

I yank the kids out of the van and send Aaron- alone- to a “service station”. The only problem is that we are in podunk Arkansas. The good ole’ boy at the shop says he can’t fix it and we need to get to the dealership a few miles down I-40.

What do you think I said when Aaron told me that I had to load my four children back into a vehicle leaking gasoline? No way!

This is the only part of the story that is good. We decide to say a prayer and ask Heavenly Father to help us get to the car place safely. And since I am here typing, you know that the van didn’t blow up. So…this gave us lots of opportunities to talk about how blessed we are that Heavenly Father kept us safe (and helped us get to Silver Dollar City!). I only wish that we had prayed to help mommy stay sane for the two hours she was locked in a tiny waiting room with four children, no toys, and limited snacks. For some reason Aaron stayed out in the service area the whole time…hmmm.

The van needs a whole new gas tank. What are the chances that they would have the part in stock? Umm…NONE! So our van is three hours away and the part won’t be in until Friday. Wonderful. Bye-bye Borders Breaking Dawn release party…

We were really lucky to get a rental vehicle and we were able to finish our little vacation. We arrived at our hotel at 11PM (a little late for the 8PM Bart Rocket magic show that we had free tickets to) but we were safe and the kids love the bright red van. It’s a Dodge Grand Caravan…really nice, but horrible on gas! Both of our vans do way better. But the fact that it is not LEAKING gas makes it a clear winner.

Despite the inconveniences, it could have been WAY worse. So I am counting my blessings. Here are my four little blessings having a blast at Silver Dollar City.


 

 

 

 
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Friday, July 25, 2008

Crack Addict

Well, I'm not exactly a crack addict...but that's what my husband keeps calling me.

I have been moody, compulsive, irrational, depressed, and obsessive. I may not be addicted to cocaine, but I am addicted to something else.

Internet access.

Wednesday afternoon I got on the computer and found a BLINKING RED DSL LIGHT on my modem. Panic. Shut everything down, wait 15 seconds, restart. Darn. Check all cables. Darn. Place frantic call to at&t.

I have called at&t nine times in the past 3 days. They can't get anyone out to check my line until WEDNESDAY!

So I am cut off from all communication, banking, shopping, bill paying...my lifeline!

So you may be asking yourself "how are you posting this blog?"

Well, you see, an addict will do whatever it takes to get her fix!

I contemplated my options.

1. The library- not the best option with four kids
2. Using a neighbor's wireless connection- all of my stinkin' neighbors have their networks locked- yes, I really tried it!
3. Begging a friend to take pity on me and let me come over to use the computer.

Then this morning it hit me. When we signed up for DSL (like 5 years ago) they told us we could access our internet from anywhere using dialup. I have never had a need to use this because I make sure we have an internet connection anywhere we go!

So I call at&t (this is call #9) and ask for information. After a 20 minute call to some guy in India, I heard the most amazing thing.

The screeching and squealing of my computer dialing up to the world wide web! I can't explain my euphoria. I hadn't heard this sound in 10 years, but now it was about to reconnect me with my beloved email account. It's slow, but I'll take it...at least until Wednesday.

I immediately called Aaron at work to tell him the news. He said he didn't even know that existed. Hey, a junkie will get pretty creative if she has to!

So, if you call my house you will probably get a busy signal. Try my cell phone :)

No pictures today...I am definitely not patient enough to attempt uploading pictures on a dial up connection!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Summer Fun!

This weekend we drove to Russellville to see our families (after being reminded repeatedly that we hadn't been down since Chirstmas!)

We celebrated my mom's birthday and had a lot of fun with the cousins.

Aaron's sister has a pool...it doesn't get any better than that! We swam for hours, and had a blast. The only downside was that I got stung by a wasp! It attacked me. I had to jump into the pool to get it away from me! I threw everything I was holding (including my camera) but it looks like it is ok. I thought I would share some pictures of my four little fishies!


 

 

 

 
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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Not So Technologically Inclined

I used to think of myself as quite technologically savvy. I knew my way around a computer, a cell phone, a camera, and any other device thrown my way.

Then one day I got old. OK, I am going to be 29 next month...that's hardly "old"...but in technical terms, I'm practically ancient!

I was in high school when the internet got going...in college before I had ready access to it. My family had a computer growing up, but I only used it to play Oregon Trail. I got my first cell phone when I was pregnant with my first child. Back then they were used for talking. I have sent exactly ONE text message in my life...it took me 10 minutes to punch in 4 words. My niece has since given me a tutorial, so maybe I will attempt it again one day.

This is my ipod.

 


Aaron got it for me a couple of years ago, and I have used it only a handful of times. I am going to pitifully confess that I avoid it because it is too complicated! What's so bad about popping in a CD? Simple...easy...no cords...no synching...no uploads...downloads...no software...no silly little buttons. Which brings me back to my point.

My status as "old person" was sealed yesterday.

As everybody knows and is insanely excited about, the final book in the Twilight series, Breaking Dawn, comes out in 15 days, 10 hours, and 39 minutes. Well, I NEED to read the first three again before the release. Since there is no way I can neglect my family that much, I decided to listen to it instead.

So I dusted off the ipod.

My dear husband loaded the books onto the silly little thing, and I began happily listening to my love story about a whiney teenager and a vampire. I went about business as usual, until I had to vacuum. The sound wouldn't go up! I couldn't pause it either! None of the buttons would work! So I had to let the drama go on without me as I speedily ran the vacuum through my living room.

I finished, popped the ear buds back in, and called Aaron. I was whinier than Bella as I informed him of my disobedient ipod. He calmly said "do you have it on hold?" What?!?!? Hold? Ohhh...you mean the big switch on the top that says "hold".

 


Apparently the hold switch "locks" the buttons, and I had accidentally flipped it on!

Aaron called me an old person...and I had to agree!
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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Naturals Game

Last night we had some family fun at the Naturals game. This is the first year for northwest Arkansas' brand new Minor League baseball team. They beat the Travelers (the other team from Arkansas) 7-4. We were able to keep the kids in their seats for the first five innings, then we went to the playground.

OK, I can't write anymore...I am listening to Twilight, and I refuse to turn it off. I just realized how hard it is to write when your brain is otherwise engaged!

I didn't have my camera last night, but Abbott had his. He is becoming quite the little photographer! I did notice that all of the pictures were of the game...none of his family. I guess we aren't as interesting as a giant caveman in a baseball uniform.



Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Photo Scavenger Hunt

I know I’m not the only one that has been working hard to keep my kids busy this summer. I thought I would share one of our favorite activities. We do a photo scavenger hunt. I gave Abbott my old digital cameral for Christmas, and I let Aiden use mine. I come up with a list of things that they need to find and take pictures of. I like to do things they have to think about…and I am always impressed with how creative they are!

Here are a few of Aiden’s pictures:

Something Special

 


Something Girly

 


Something Red

 


Something Mom Doesn't like (ok...so I sometimes complain about loud movies, but I wouldn't say I have anything against the surround sound speaker!)

 


Here are a few of Abbott's pictures:

Something Hard



Something Soft



Something Round



Something Loud (his alarm clock on his messy dresser!)



Here's the list we used yesterday if you're interested!

1. Something shiny
2. Something blue
3. Something wet
4. Something expensive
5. Something girly
6. Something high
7. Something outside
8. Something alive
9. Something small
10. Something big
11. Something yummy
12. Something yucky
13. Something red
14. Something plugged in
15. Something colorful
16. Something mom doesn’t like
17. Something breakable
18. Something round
19. Something soft
20. Something loud
21. Something special
22. Something green
23. Something metal
24. Something hard
25. Something fun

Monday, July 14, 2008

Chess

We go to church at 12:00, so we spend the morning trying to keep the kids entertained without tv, wii, computer, gameboy, etc. Yesterday morning I walked into the living room and found this

 


Anna had picked up her sister and set her on the stool for a game of chess

 


Adeline was not very cooperative...she was either eating the pieces or throwing them.

 


I don't think Adeline is quite ready for chess.
 
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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Ice Cream for Dinner...seriously!

I have decided to start a new Patterson tradition. Once a summer, we will have ice cream for dinner! I can't claim credit for the idea. I heard about it on an episode of Jon and Kate Plus Eight and I thought it sounded like so much fun! On my weekly grocery shopping trip I bought four different kids of ice cream and hid it away in the outside freezer waiting for the perfect night.

I set the table with my brightly colored fake fiestaware bowls. The kids groaned...bowls mean soup, chili, or something else meant only for adults.

I told them it was a surprise...and when Aaron got home I told him the same thing. When they were all playing in the other room, I set it out. I called them to dinner, and you should have seen their faces! I wish I had captured it on film! I kids were ecstatic and Aaron thought I had lost my mind.

I was worried he was going to have me committed, but he just said “you guys are so lucky to have such a fun mom!” I thought that was very sweet.


 
 
 
 

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Friday, July 11, 2008

Wobbly Baby Steps

Adeline is now officially a walker. I have now watched four babies learn to walk and it still amazes me! I love her wobbly steps and her determination as she gets back up each time she falls on her diaper padded behind. She sees the world in a whole new way...and she loves it! I am thrilled to watch her master this new skill, but at the same time, it gives her an independence that I'm not sure I like. She's going to stay a baby forever, right? This video was taken a week ago

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video

This one was taken yersterday...she's come so far...she's even evading her sister...important skill in this house!

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video

Now she has moved on to carrying her belongings around the house. She got this doll and bear for her birthday. She was determined to carry them both at the same time!
 
She left the bear behind...
 

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Then went back for him...
 
She did it!
 

Thursday, July 10, 2008

4th of July

Our 4th of July was perfect. Just the right mix of food, family, fun, and relaxation. On Thursday evening our subdivision had a party with fireworks and lots of fun stuff for the kids. I am the newest member of the Wildwood POA Board (oh, I'm so important!) and this was my first event to help out with. I am going to use this as my excuse for forgetting my camera! (Alissa...if you read this...send me some pictures from that night! It was a huge success and I met lots of new people. I have to admit though, I spent most of the evening in my comfort zone...next time I will get out there more :)

Friday we planned to have a garage sale (for the second weekend in a row) but it was rained out. Bummer, but at least we got to sleep in.

There was a big party at the church that evening. The kids got to decorate their bikes and put on a little parade.

 

 

 

 
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After the parade we headed to the community fireworks. It was an amazing show! The kids had a blast in the muddy field. Anna did not like the loud fireworks and kept her fingers in her ears the whole time!

 

 

 

 
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The next day we went to pick blueberries! This is one of our FAVORITE things to do. The kids did great. I was especially impressed with Anna's dedication. She was so careful and such a trooper! I think we ate as many blueberries as we put in the buckets.

 

 

 

 
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