Saturday, August 30, 2008

New Do's...BANGS!!!!

So, after months and months of going back and forth about cutting the girls some bangs, I finally did it today. I know it is only hair and it's not really that big of a deal, I do, but it was a very hard decision for me. My friend Allyson was so sweet through it all, listening to me be crazy and neurotic about it and never once told me that I was being insane. I wanted them to have long, all one length hair (maybe I was trying to live vicariously through them), but I finally had enough of the hair hanging in front of Payton and Bransyn's face because it wasn't quite long enough to stay in their ponies. Because her sisters were getting their hair cut, Kendal decided she wanted to have hers cut as well, so after close to a year of growing them out and going about two years without them, she now once again has bangs as well. I think they look pretty darn cute!!

Until next time...

Monday, August 25, 2008

2nd grade, here she comes!!

Summer fun has officially started today. We enjoyed having lots of family time, visits from Grandparents, had fun with friends, sleeping in, lazy days, trip to Michigan, swimming in the blow up pool and our many visits to the local pool. But...time to get back in gear with the crazy schedules, normal bedtimes and "dragging" ourselves out of bed at a time that I, myself, think is just WAY too early. If you wanted my opinion on the matter! :)
Here she is in front of the school sign, with her new book bag that she just LOOOVES!!!
Her bag made just for her by Aunt Barb. Kendal got to pick out the fabric and all for it so she is very proud of it. You're AWESOME, Aunt Barb!! Thank you bunches!!!
(You can check out all her things at Just a little plug for her) :)

Fighting the sun because I HAD to get a pic of her outside the school.

Here she is with her totally sweet teacher.

Here she is at her desk...IN THE VERY FRONT ROW...that's a bummer!

Here she is on our way home after her first day. Despite getting a phone call from Nurse Gina (really?! on the first day?!) at 11:30, telling me that she was complaining of a sore throat and what she did for her, she had a great day. Amazingly enough, there hasn't been a word about a sore throat since she got home from school. Imagine that!!

Until next time...

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Click to play Payton turns 4
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(Payton's birthday was actually Fri. Aug. 22)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Trip to Michigan

It had been right at 5 years since Kendal and I had been to Michigan to see Uncle Kalin, Aunt Barb and their kids. I have since had two more kids as well as Barb. It had been WAY TOO LONG!! It was so much fun catching up with them and the girls had tons of fun playing with their cousins, Seth (8), Everett (6), Tristan (4) and Addison (2). And Grandma and Papa were excited to have at least 7 of their 9 grandkids together! It got a little chaotic at times with 7 kids and 5 adults under one roof, but it went much better than I thought it would. I'm such a pessimist!! :) Bransyn and Addy had the most conflict going on, but what can you expect when you have two girls only 4 months apart in age?! They did play really well together and Bransyn will still occasionally tell me that she wants to go to Addy's house. Apparently she's already forgotten the loooong drive! Barb said after we left that Addy would ask for her sisters. How cute!! Here are some pics from our trip.

Thank goodness for the invention of portable DVD players!! Payton and Bransyn literally went from one movie to another the whole time on the road with an occasional dozing going on during. Kendal didn't watch as much as I thought she would. Glad I took some of my movies along, I probably used it more that she did. :)

The girls at the hotel, ready for day 2 on the road to Michigan.

They weren't as willing to get up on the morning of day 3. Two days of driving had done them in!!!

Finally got them up and ready. They were excited that this would be the day that they got to their cousins house. They loved riding on the hotel luggage cart!!

More movie time in the car.

Hard to see, but this is the Welcome to Michigan sign. We're almost there!!!

Kendal got in a quick nap before we got there... did Payton...

...but not Bransyn!!

Making S'Mores at Uncle Kalin and Aunt Barb's


All the kids having fun jumping on the trampoline.

Everyone, but Bransyn, that is! Apparently everyone got a little too crazy for her taste.

Mama to the rescue!! Yes, I did get on and jump with them a few times. I'm sure the neighbors got a kick out of seeing that. :)

Bransyn and Addy after a bath. Aren't they adorable?!?!

Having fun playing at the park.

The whole gang

The four girls shared a room which sometimes made it challenging to get everyone to go to sleep. This night, Addy and Bransyn had already gotten in trouble for goofing around when they needed to go to sleep. When us "big kids" checked on them before going to bed, we found the two of them in bed with Kendal. Kendal told me the next morning that they were still getting up and playing around so she told them to get in bed and sleep with her so they wouldn't get in trouble again. What an AWESOME, SWEET BIG SISTER!!

Everyone ready for church. Notice my girls in halter tops and Addy is wearing a sweater. That is because I packed for Texas weather, not Michigan weather. While Texas was hitting the 100+ degree weather, this particular morning was only about 60 degrees. Not kidding!!

Grandma and Papa with the kids

Barb and Kalin with their kiddos

The girls loved to turn on a CD and dance. Which was really just jumping on the mattresses on the floor, but to them...they were dancing. You go girls!!

On the road again, headed back home.

This was the girls after 12 hours driving and just about to stop for the night. They were still in good moods. Kendal said she couldn't keep her eyes open for the picture because of the flash.

This was her solution. HA! What a dork!! :)

Again with the hotel luggage cart. I don't get it!!

The girls in Grandma and Papa's car just before they leave our house to head for their own. They said they wanted to go home with them, even though it would mean another 8 hours of driving. Crazy kids!!

All in all, the total trip was over 40 hours and 2600 miles. The drive there, we spent shorter days driving and stayed two nights on the road, but due to my Grandpa's death, we only spent one night on the road coming home which meant two really long days of driving. The girls did AWESOME!!! I really don't think we could have asked for better. Grandma and Papa even gave us money to take them for ice cream because they did so great. We had so much fun with everyone and I got to catch up with an old girlfriend as well as my brother and sis-in-law! We enjoyed the beautiful, sometimes chilly, weather. They have an awesome big backyard so it was great that the kids would go out and play without coming back in after a few minutes saying that it's too hot. It was good to get home and back on track, even though that meant getting school supplies and gearing up for the start of school. Jeff was really happy to have us home, he missed his girls. AWWWWW!!! :) Hopefully it won't be so long before we get to see them again. Thanks Barb and Kalin for letting us bombard your home, we loved every minute of the time we spent with you. Your kids are terrific! Love you all!!

Until next time...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Saying Goodbye

As many of you know, the girls and I along with my parents went to Michigan to see my brother and his family at the beginning of the month. I will share details and pics of that later, but first I have to share the sadness that started AND ended our trip. Our first night on the road, Monday, Aug 4th, we had just barely gotten into our room at the hotel when I get a phone call from Jeff. He had come by the house to check on our two dogs because of the 100+ degree weather. When he pulled up he saw Utah laying on the patio pretty lifeless. She ended up having to be put to sleep. Needless to say, I was pretty upset and then had to break the news to the girls. Payton and Bransyn didn't and still don't get it. Kendal was upset, but did get over it pretty quickly. Amidst her crying she says to me, "I want to go swiiiimmmiiinnnggg", so off to the hotel pool we went. The trip really helped her deal with it better than had we been here, but when we got home, she went to the backyard to see Bailey and was sad about Utah not being here with her. Utah would have been 12 years old this Dec. Her and Bailey were our kids before we had kids. We will miss you, Sweet Girl!

Utah, when we got her as a 4 month old puppy

Utah and her sister, Bailey

Utah, enjoying the cold and snow this past March

We ended up leaving MI a day earlier than originally planned because my aunt called my dad on Monday, Aug. 11th to tell him that my Grandpa had passed away. It wasn't real unexpected, he had been in a convalescent home and had been in poor health for awhile, but still very sad. We ended up spending the rest of that day getting everything together to leave the next morning instead of Wed. so my parents could get back home to get things done to head out back on the road, this time headed west instead of east. My Grandpa's funeral is today and I am sad that I am not there. I am sad that I didn't see him more and that my girls didn't know him. I am happy that he is no longer in any kind of pain or suffering. I am happy that he is in Heaven with my Grandma and my other Grandpa celebrating with Jesus. I love you, Grandpa!!

Grandma and Grandpa with 2 of thier 4 great-grandchildren at the time. There are now 11!