Sunday, March 29, 2009

How Do YOU Eat Spaghetti?

Welcome to Sunday dinner at the Ervins...
video


When it was all said and done, a great time was had by all - especially Connor!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

We're not in South Carolina anymore!



A week ago, we had this:

This morning, we woke up to this:




But it didn't stop there... it started coming down again...


And after a while, we had this:




WHAT??

Friday, March 27, 2009

Picture of the Day

No Excuses

I just read a comment that Jayne had left on my last post about how cool/strange it was to read scriptures on her blackberry while in the car wash. And it reminded me of a thought I had a couple of days ago when I signed up with the scripture reading website. I realized that there really are no excuses anymore for not reading the scrptures. And it was sobering to me. I mean, really. What are my excuses for not getting my scripture reading in?

I forget - It's like my current RS president (Amy) said: "I can remember to brush my teeth every day, why can't I remember to read my scriptures?"

I can't seem to find the time - I'm kidding myself with this one. How much time do I spend during the day watching the weather channel? Or blogging? Or on facebook? Or looking at real estate listings? Or doing puzzles? Reading other things?

I can't seem to focus - I have found that when I try to read during the day when the kids are awake and active I can't focus on what I'm reading. I always have half my brain attuned to the kids and what's going on around me. I need silence, people!

I fall asleep when I read - Don't laugh, but this is really one of my excuses. I really do fall asleep. When I get up early in the morning to read, I doze off. When I read just before bed, I doze off. It's not that I find them boring, it's just that I don't wake up before a shower in the morning, and after a shower I've gotten into my day and it's not quiet anymore. And at night, I just get so relaxed...zzz...

I like my excuses! They have worked for me for YEARS. But now I have realized that I am out of excuses. I have a daily email reminder, so I can't forget. The past few days I've been reading my scriptures online along with the audio, and just really been enjoying myself. The audio helps me focus on what's on the page, and as for needing silence... I even read them a few minutes ago with my headphones on while Ben was watching a movie on the TV which is 3 feet from my head. And if you had to sit in this chair to be on computer, you'd see just how impossible it is to fall asleep in it. With the technology we have available, we are all out of excuses. Sobering, isn't it?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Daily Feast

I heard today via Sherrie's blog about a website that just might change my life forever!

First let me say that I really do have a testimony of the benefits of daily scripture reading. That having been said, there are only 2 times in my life that I have been successful in maintaining daily scripture study. The first was the months before, after, and during my 18 month mission to New Jersey. The second was the 2 years I spent teaching early morning seminary.

I don't know exactly why it has been so hard for me. Maybe because I'm the type of person that seems to always stay busy. It's hard for me to sit down and read, and especially now that I have kids awake for most of my awake hours, when I do slow down and read at night, I usually want to read something more frivolous - like my current read: Brisingr.

However, on Sherrie's blog yesterday she posted a link to a website called www.ReadTheScriptures.com that will email you your daily scripture reading assignment to you. Considering I am ALWAYS on my email at least once a day (with the possible exception of Sundays) this is a bonus for me! I'm sure these have been out for a while, but I didn't even think to look for them, thus my excitement in this new "find". And it appears that I can even be part of a discussion group (if desired), highlight meaningful passages, track my progress, and even listen to the audio of the scriptures while I'm folding laundry. Can it get any better than this? We'll see...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Help Me, O Blogger Gurus!

How the heck do you put in a link to another page without putting in this really long web address? You know, where you're just reading along on someone's blog and you can click on a highlighted word which is apparently some top-secret hyperlinki...? I know it can be done, but how? How?!?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Tricks

Connor learned a new trick on Friday afternoon. I had changed his diaper and left his pants off, as you can see in the picture. I then put him on the floor to play. A few minutes later I heard a rustling and looked down - Connor had pulled off half his diaper! I'm going to have to watch this one...


Also, this morning the girls were trying to all get under the blanket with Connor. The result was cute, so I took a picture, of course. Poor Kelsey looks like Cousin It... (usually we pull her hair back out of her eyes, I promise!)



So then, this evening it was so nice and breezy outside that we decided to go on a family walk up to Bronco Lake, which is really just this big fountain on campus at UCO. We got up there and the girls wanted to play on this little ampitheater. Ben and I had a seat, and Kelsey decided she wanted to take the stage. I assumed she'd sing us a song or something, but no... she wanted to do tricks...

video

Well, once Kelsey finished Olivia decided that SHE needed to do some tricks. If you watch nothing else, be sure to watch the last 15 seconds or so of this one. Olivia tried to do the "catapillar" move. She's really... well... I guess you just need to watch it.

video

Friday, March 20, 2009

One more...

I forgot to post this hilarious video of Connor in the "hayloft" at the Clydestale barn. He's apparently scared of statues...


video

Makeovers and Mayhem

We have had the most fabulous week visiting with Noni. The weather has been wonderful, so we have been out exploring and having picnics almost every day.


On Tuesday afternoon we went to the Express Clydesdale Barn in Yukon, OK. I've never been around horses this huge. They were just massive and some of the most beautiful creatures... This one is 18.3 hands tall!




Wednesday morning started with laughs as Olivia entertained Connor with her antics. I guess this is why we have older siblings - parents don't have the energy to keep this kind of thing up!

video

Then on Wednesday afternoon we went to Stevenson Park (the one with the rocket-slide) and to the Children's Center at the Historical Society's museum next door. This is a "hands-on" exhibit that allows the kids to dress up and experience the "old west".

Kelsey was looking really fancy and too cute in her vest, kerchief, and boots (on the wrong feet).


We had a little tougher time convincing Olivia to put on the outfit, but once she was in she played the part of the sherriff in full!

Sherriff Olivia bought groceries while Kelsey played the part of the shopkeeper.

And she even put Kelsey in jail.

Connor even got in on the action and played in the teepee for a while.

On Thursday, Ben took a half-day off of work and we took Noni to Bricktown to see a pretty canal and a Bass Pro Shop. It's a nice walk, but unless you're looking for a good restaurant or bar, or an overpriced boatride, Bricktown is pretty much a whole bunch of nothing. The girls had fun posing with the bear in the Bass Pro Shop, though.

Afterwards we went together to see Race to Witch Mountain (fabulous movie!!) and took Noni to a great local restaurant called Italianos some friends here introduced us to a couple months back. The girls were pretty well-behaved, but it didn't stop Kelsey from knocking her full cup of Sprite off the table about 3/4 of the way through dinner. We worked our waitress hard, I think. But don't worry, we tipped her well for the extra trouble!

By the end of the day, we were full and tired. And I was a bit sore. Connor started this really painful habit yesterday of pinching my arms when he's nursing. He hadn't done it before Wednesday night, and on Thursday I noticed he was bruising up my arms. I tried to flick his fingers when he'd do it to get him to stop, but he seemed to think it was a fun new game and started laughing each time. Today he hasn't done it at all, but I am wearing longer sleeves...

Which brings us to today, Friday. It's Noni's last day here, so we're taking it a little easier so we don't wear her out before her big day traveling tomorrow. So this afternoon we packed a picnic and went to the duckpond at Hafer park. We tried to eat lunch in the pavillion on the pond, but there was a brisk breeze off the pond, and it was just too cold in the shade so we quickly retreated to a bench in the sun.

Then when we came home, it was time for makeovers. Noni and I painted toe nails and fingernails (ours included!) and then came the makeup! Kelsey did Noni's make-up, and Noni did Kelsey's. (Note: we didn't let the girls use dark colors on us...we have company coming tonight!)

And Olivia and I paired up as well. Olivia wanted to have my bright red Patsy Cline lipstick on, so I acquiesced. She's looking so grown up these days...

Tonight Noni is cooking us dinner - gotta love those southern women!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Oklahoma City National Memorial

Today we went to the Oklahoma City National Memorial. Although I'm going to a post tonight or tomorrow about our whole day, I feel the need to do a special post specifically about this memorial. I'm not sure why it's taken us this long to go visit, but as Noni said today, "That place had quite an impact on me."

We had been living in Edmond probably a month or two when I was walking around UCO campus one afternoon, and was admiring a particularly nice garden. I started reading the plaques set around the grounds, and realized that I was in a memorial garden honoring the victims of the Oklahoma City bombing from 1995. I never really put it all together to realize that I was living within minutes of where that bombing took place. It was sobering and sad. I've developed a love for the midwest, and the people of Oklahoma in particular. Even though OKC is a big metropolis, it doesn't feel "big city" like LA, NYC, or Washington DC. You don't really expect bad things to happen here. But on April 19, 1995 something very bad did happen: the bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City.



Part of the original building is still standing. You can see the shattered edges with rebar sticking out.

There are 168 empty chairs on a grassy field - one for each victim that died in the bombing. The chairs are in 9 rows - each row representing one floor of the building. The chairs are placed on specific rows depending on which floor the victim was on when he/she died. Partway around the field, I noticed that there were also many smaller chairs in the rows - representing the children that died.

There's a wall made up of some of the ceramic plaques sent in by the many children that participated in the recovery effort.

There were several of these that really brought it home what a heart-wrenching tragedy this was for the children of Oklahoma.

Some of the original "memorial wall" has been left with many items left over the years - pictures, crosses, wreaths, etc. Olivia even added her hairbow to the memorial.

I can't say enough how much this visit impacted me. I haven't had to explain tragedy like this to my kids before, and it really brings home the senseless nature of terrorism. The victims are most often the innocent. I know the scriptures tell us that things will get worse before they get better, but I hope that there aren't too many more occasions like this that will cause the nation to weep.

Monday with Noni

Ben's mom (Noni) flew in this past Saturday to come and stay with us for a WHOLE WEEK! We're all very excited. Kelsey especially has gotten in some good snuggle-time...


Since the kids are on spring break and we want to show Noni around, we decided that we'd plan a different outing every day, and include a picnic lunch since the weather is so nice.

Monday we went to the library and downtown Edmond to go "antiquing" and admire the artwork. The girls get really bored with the antique shops really fast, because they aren't allowed to touch anything. This meant Noni only got about an hour to browse instead of the SEVERAL hours she'd normally take. If we can swing it, we'll go back later this week without the kids...

Then we went to a new park that we haven't been to before (Mitch Park) for a picnic and found some beautiful tulips in bloom.


We ended up at a very busy playground and came home around 1:30 or 2:00 just plain tuckered out! Well, the adults were, anyway. The kids were ready for the next adventure.

While we were at home in the afternoon, Noni started talking about Connor's special skills with his arms & abs. He often flails his arms like he's trying to fly (or trying not to sneeze like his aunt Kristi, according to his daddy). Also, when he sits on the floor he likes to lean way back. You can see his heels come up off the floor when he gets too far back. He's got better abs than me, that's for sure. And such a cute giggle... Here's a video we got that demonstrates all of the above.

video

Bashful

This is a cute video that I took of Connor the other day - it's too adorable not to share!



video


And here's a bonus picture of Kelsey all dolled up with her new umbrella...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Dazed and Confused

My body is so confused! On Monday, it was 86 degrees in Edmond. EIGHTY-SIX! And it wasn't a fluke. One day last week almost to 90 degrees! Tuesday it was supposed to be a high of 71, and it was about 60 degrees at 8:00 a.m. so I let Olivia dress in capris and a t-shirt. Off she went to school without a coat. Kelsey went with a light coat, because it hadn't warmed up all the way by noon. I didn't realize that it had already hit the high for the day, and it was going to 45 stinking degrees by the time school let out at 3:00. Poor Olivia had to play outside for recess and informed me in no uncertain terms that she had been freezing the whole time. This morning (Thursday), I wake up to ice, ice, and a little snow. Observe (and yes, this is our new van!):



School has not been cancelled of course. This isn't South Carolina after all, where they cancel school the night before because there's a 20% chance of snow that never materializes. This is Oklahoma where they won't call off school unless the snow has already been on the ground overnight and the roads are completely impassable. Of course, once they call off school here it seems like it takes forever for them the "call it on" again... But if you would have told me a year ago that I was going to live somewhere that had crazier weather than South Carolina, I would have scoffed.
And, as a bonus picture, here's Kelsey after I did her hair for school on Tuesday. We did this cute new thing with some braids. She was so adorable. And when I went to take her picture she insisted on giving herself bunny ears - three of them to be exact.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Family Fun Day

Last Saturday we decided to take a family trip to the Oklahoma City Zoo. Although the kids and I have been a couple of times, Ben never has. It's so large, I've never been to the entire thing, but we decided that we're going to do, come what may. Well, I decided and I dragged the rest of the family with me...
Connor crashed in the stroller as soon as we got there.
For some reasons, our daughters think they need to climb every stinkin' rock they see - big and small!

This same rule applies for all the bronz statues...

The real thing was bigger and better than the statues, but the girls weren't allowed to ride those.

There were birds, birds everywhere! Their chittering and twittering and song were so loud the whole day. It was beautiful.

There are several rhinos... (note Olivia's sly look in this picture!)

We also got some great footage of the lion "cubs". They weren't actually watching US in this video, by the way - their food/meat cart was going by.

video

And bison are big, by the way.

Eventually Connor woke up to join the fun. He was making a rather detached face, and when I tried to capture it on camera, he turned and gave me this cheesy grin he's been doing lately. He squints his eyes up really tight - so cute!

As we passed the eagles, the girls had to see how they compared. Kelsey has a good way yet to go.

Olivia, not so much...

The elk gave us a dirty look. It must have known we were taking the picture to make Mike jealous.

The daffodils were out in great numbers, and the the wind...!

And in the end, I wore them plumb out.

Even Connor.

He perked up on the way home though. Here he's wearing the cool sunglasses Olivia got at the zoo store. What a cool dude!!