Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Accelerated Reader...

We just got word in the classroom newsletter that Will is one of the top three Accelerated Readers in his class! How it works: The students read different AR program books and then take tests on the the computer to show their comprehension. They get points for each book read and test passed. So, congrats to Will on his accomplishment!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

This weekend...

The big events for our family this weekend was my birthday on Saturday and Will's soccer party at the skating rink today. For my birthday, the boys wanted to take me to Waffle House for brunch, so after opening a few gifts (The Big Love TV show season DVDs I've wanted for a year now, and a "voucher" for roller skates)

we went and ate. Afterwards we headed out to do a little Christmas and birthday shopping (needed to find those skates for the skating party the next day!) We found roller skates for me - and for Will and Rodney, too! We all enjoy skating (some of us more than others, but said others realize this is good, active family time) and the skates and the roller rink are just awful, uncomfortable, the wheels would lock up, etc.

So, on Sunday afternoon, we were all smooth sailing around the rink, including Xan who sported Will's old Fisher-Price in-line skates. They have three roller settings, locking up fewer wheels the better you get, and Xan made it up to the second setting, even skating away from the wall on his own a few times. Will got the hang of his roller skates (he had a choice between skates and blades at the store and chose skates - he doesn't care if the other kids make fun of him, he said) in no time and was off helping other kids who were having a tough time, including his brother a couple of times. And many of the kids had skates, not blades, so there was no making fun at all. Rodney likes his skates, although he said they were faster than we he would like. At least we found some that were big enough for his huge feet! We also got our family Christmas picture taken at the rink, but you'll just have to wait to get yours in the mail before you can see what we all look like in our skates!

Neither Will or Xan had very good naps, so Xan got tired quickly, and chose to "my drive" for awhile. Will got his trophy from Coach Sean and had a quick picture with his team. Everyone seemed to have a great time.

And last but not least, here's a shot from Friday of Rodney in his Bravo uniform. Enjoy!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Good-bye, Slade...

My first "son," Slade passed over the Rainbow Bridge today. His physical heart just couldn't keep up with his emotional one anymore. Thank you for 11 wonderful years, my protective, popcorn-loving, cat-chasing, talkative, tongue-bathing Slader-Pie. I'll miss you, baby.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Blue Angel Homecoming Air Show

Will, Xan and I fought the masses as went to the annual Blue Angel Homecoming Air Show today. We had a great time checking out the static aircraft displays and watching the different planes do their tricks in the sky. Of course, the big part of the show was the Blue Angels, who are based here in Pensacola. They have been a team since 1946 and were first based in Jacksonville, FL. Here are some photos from today ...

One of the first things we did was stand in line for half an hour to sit in the cockpit of a Blue Angel FA-18 Hornet. While this one does not have an actual engine in it, it is the same aircraft that the Blue Angels currently fly and have for 21 years.

Will really wanted to sit in this small Marine Corps helicopter, so here he is "flying" it very seriously of course, and then the pilot poster shot.

We waited in line for another half hour for lunch - hamburgers and fries. We watched some more planes perform - this is a performance display of new and old aircraft.

Will got this photo of Xan and and while we waited for the Blue Angels to perform.

While waiting, the wind got even more biting, so we headed off to walk around and look at some more heliocopters. Here is a shot of the boys inside one.

And then it was time for the big show. The Blue Angels did not disappoint and seemed to come from all angles to complete their fabulous stunts.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Bass Pro, beaches and bean bags...

Rodney and I attended the 233rd Marine Corps Birthday Ball at the Sandestin Hilton in Destin, Florida. I had a kidney infection all week (but didn't find out until Friday when I went to the ER - I thought I had the flu) and my antibiotics had finally kicked in, so we drove the 1.5 hours and managed to get to the ball with plenty of time. We did get photos taken, but they will be shipping them to us later, so nothing to share there. Actually, if you look at last year's photo, it will look a lot like that, only my hair will be down. Both Rodney and I wore the same outfits. :)

The next day, after sleeping in a bit and grabbing a bite to eat at the Waffle House, we, of course, had to stop by the Destin Bass Pro Shop Outdoor World. Here are photos of Rodney at this male Mecca:

The next day, he headed off to Illinois to go bow hunting with his buddy Jesse. Rodney managed to shoot both an 8-point buck and a doe in the first couple of days. We have plenty of vennison, enough to goive to a friend of him snd still have plenty left over to make summer suasage with a recipe from Grandma Velma. I guess I will have to give it a try.

Here on the home front, the boys and I are keeping busy. Both boys had Veteran's Day off on Tuesday, so we went to the beach. It would have been pleasant, but there was a brisk wind off the coast. We still hung out for over an hour, ate lunch and played in the sand.

Today I surprised the boys with some bean bag chairs for their play room. They didn't have anywhere comfortable to sit, so hopefully these will remedy that. They seem to like them.

Tomorrow I plan to brave the crowds and take the boys to the Blue Angels Air Show. It is their annual homecoming show and I think the boys will enjoy it. Hopefully the weather is nice!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Been down for the count this past week....

... what started out as fever, chills, aches and pains usually assosiated with the flu, turned out to be a kidney infection. Thanks to an ER doc I saw on Friday afternoon ordering a urinalysis, we found out the true cause of all my agony. Thanks to some antibiotics and am on the mend. So, my poor Mom got to care for me while she visited (she leaves tomorrow... I started feeling MUCH better today), but I was so glad she was here. Rodney, for all his endearing qualities, is not a very patient nursemaid.

So, I don't have any new pics of the kids, although I hope to go do some fun stuff with them this week while Rodney's gone bow hunting white tail deer. Wish him luck, by the way, he has been preparing and anticipating for months. I'll post any available photos I can!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A collection of photos

I have been struck by the flu, and I only feel OK when I am sitting still, and I'm sure you guys all know how much I love that! So, I am keeping busy with computer activities, downloading photos, uploading photos, organizing my web sites, etc. So, here are some random photos I just downloaded off my cameras. Enjoy!

This past Sunday, Rodney and I went to the Larry the Cable Guy show at the Pensacola Civic Center. We enjoyed it, but were surprised that the center was only about half full. It really shows how hard the economy has been hit because I cannot count the number of trucks around here with 'Git R Done' on the backs of them.

We went to the beach on Sunday, also, well, the boys, Grandma Nancy and I did. Rodney stayed home and napped, since we all know hoow much he likes sand. Xan did his usual screaming routine when we suggested he put his feet in the water, but this one was only about 2 minutes. Then he was playing "jump the waves" with Grandma Nancy.

Will was a little fish, as always. Actually, he was the only one in the water without a wet suit on - crazy child! And we let him pick out his own shorts. I think these are an old pair of Rodney's.

While Xan got brave dipping his toes in the water, he still wasn't ready to go get his own pail of water, so Will helped out.

Slade is doing well. He's gotten skinny, but still enjoys eating, laying in the sun and stealing balls from the kids, so we just put a flannel shirt on him to keep him warm at night. It gets down into the 50's at night now.

Rodney and I spent two days aways from home, heading to Biloxi so Rodney could play some cards. On he way back home, we stopped at the ultimate man store, the Bass Pro Shop Outdoor World. It reminded me a lot of a natural history museum with all the great wildlife displays. This is the waterfall and pond at the back of the shop. Despite all the camo and bows, I was still impressed and kept busy for about 45 minutes looking at everytign while Rodney shopped for bow hunting gear. He is quite excited about going to Illinois next week to hunt.

Rodney was here :)

This is us in front of a pumpkin display the Biloxi's Beau Rivage hotel, where we gambled, had a couples massage and had a great steak dinner.

This is a business sign I saw when I was in Sacramento last month. I got Rodney a book of matches with this on it, too.

This is a typical Xan eating photo from September. I just thought it was cute.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Halloween Hoopla

Xan still wasn't a big fan of his cowardly lion costume, as made obvious by these pictures.

He also wasn't a big fan of Will's Storm Trooper mask.

Will was quite excited to finally get to wear his costume he had chosen several months ago. He already hads next year's costume decided: He wants to be Elvis.

Trick or Treating started about 6:45 p.m., once the sun had gone down. There were HUNDREDS of trick or treaters in our neighborhood. After walking a few blocks, both boys were loaded down with candy and ready to head home. There were still plenty of Trick or Treaters out and about, so Will asked if he could hand out our candy He had a great time greating everyone and handing out candy.

Today was a pretty relaxed day for us. We had to get up pretty early to make it to Will's 8:30 a.m. game. He scored two goals and Xan can;t wait to play next year. Afterwards, we all got busy around the house. I took down the Halloween decorations and put up fall ones. Grandma Nancy trimmed back the rose bushes and Rodney, with the help of Xan, weeded the flower beds.

Oh, and Rodney and I completely organized Rodney's closet, and we discovered that it actually has a floor!

Rodney's friends Jesse and Nicole took the boys to see the "Igor" movie this afternoon, and filled them up with popcorn and soda. We then went and met them at alocal Japanese restaurant. Quite tasty! Both Xan and Will did great with their chopsticks.

Unfortunately, the mix of foods did not agree with Will and he felt sick in the middle of the meal. Rodney took him home early, although by bedtime Will was feeling better, but never actually "got sick." Hopefully he will be feeling better tomorrow.