Sunday, September 28, 2008

BUSY Weekend

Whew, I am exhausted from this weekend! Saturday was one of those days where everything seemed to fall on the same day.

Saturday, we started the day off at a birthday party at 10:30. It was at a miniature train station, and it was so fun! Problem was, Sammi had a soccer game and wouldn't be able to stay for much of the party. So Jason and Sammi left early while Joshua and I rode the train with everyone and had so much fun! Needless to say, we had a pouting 5 year old on our hands who was not too thrilled that she did not get to ride the train too. I think the only thing that made her smile were the guests asking her about her cute soccer outfit she was wearing.

Joshua and another little boy thought the horn was a little "too loud", as he told me over and over. We have riden this train many times, and it is always so fun! I wish I thought about having Joshua's train party here when he turned 2. Oh well!

Joshua and I got to Sammi's game late, then we came home in time for Joshua to have a quick nap while Sammi and I bathed and changed clothes to get the outside sweat and stink off of us before birthday party #2 for the day. This party was for Addison, who turned two, that was at the Little Gym. Thankfully it was at a place full of action so that I could not sit still and realize how tired I was. Jason sat back, watched, and took pictures while I ran between both kids, helping them swing over a bar, walk on the balance beam, or jump on the mats. icing is always fun to show off!

After the party, we dashed home, took a power nap, changed clothes for the 3rd time, took the kids to a friend's house, then Jason and I went to dinner with his cousins Marcia, Angela, Donna, their spouses, and other friends. As always, we had a great time with them!

We went back to our friend's house to get the kids. They were still up at 10:30 just playing and playing. Their son is a little older than Joshua and they play so well together. Sammi had had enough of the boys and fell asleep watching a movie. The boys were still playing, so the adults played Rock Band for a couple of hours. The boys finally crashed watching a movie, then we hauled our sleeping kids home.

So, that was our Saturday! It was full of fun, but thankfully, we do not have crazy-packed days like that every weekend. Today we just rested and watched the Cowboys lose to the Redskins. Ugh! It was awful! I can't stand the Redskins (not as much as the Eagles!), so it was a tough loss for me. Some of you may have heard me screaming at the TV....yes, I am a passionate Cowboy fan and get pretty reved up during the games.

These pics are just random from the past week or so.

My son really needs to get to the dentist!
Sammi was dying for a tea party after school the other day. What you can't see is me dripping in her jewels. I looked simply fabulous, sorry I didn't get a picture of it. Ha! But naturally, Joshua had to be in the middle of it. Sammi wasn't very happy about it, but after a chat I had with her about including him, she ended up pouring him some tea and even shared her muffins. Thanks to April for the much used Disney princess tea set! She gave it to Sammi when Joshua was born as a new Big Sister gift.
Friday, Sammi's class took a field trip to a fire station down the street. I volunteered to help walk the kids to and from the fire station. I always wished I could volunteer for things like that when I was working, so I am taking full advantage of that while I am home. It was fun and was even my first time inside a fire station! I think I was more excited than a few of the kids. The kids were surprisingly well behaved while we walked there. I really thought it would be as hard as hearding cats. :)

Sammi and her friend Tierney inside the fire truck. She loved telling the fire fighters how her Grandpa was a fireman.

The other day, Sammi asked me to get for her a towel, sunglasses, book, and her umbrella. Naturally, I was a little skeptical as to why. She was insistent on just trusting her and letting her have them outside and said she would let me know when she was ready to show me what she was up to. When she was ready, I came outside to see this....where on earth did she get that?? I cracked up, then I thought, what a great idea! :)

This is what you get when Daddy takes the kids to the doughnut shop without Mommy....doughnuts with red icing! What the??? Sometimes I learn through him that I just need to relax more and let kids be messy. I did, and got a great picture from it. Thanks Jason!

Joshua on the soccer sidelines playing with his own soccer ball. We have had to chase him off the field a few times!

My three favorite people after a game.

Ok, I know what you are thinking....when did the Cantrell kids join a gang? Sadly, this was my failed attempt at tying bandanas on their heads to look like pirates. I know, this is pathetic! Instead, they looked like gang members...poses and all. All that is missing are them throwing their gang signs. Don't they look tough? Ha! Man, I crack myself up.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

What The????

What part of ice cream made with human breast milk sounds good to you? None of it for me either. That is the latest effort by PETA to end animal cruelty. They asked Ben & Jerry's to substitute cow milk for breast milk because of the torment the female cows go through to produce the milk. If it wasn't for my favorite local news to be reporting it, I would think it was a prank. Ben & Jerry's kindly refused...thankfully!

A quote from PETA: "The fact that human adults consume huge quantities of dairy products made from milk that was meant for a baby cow just doesn't make sense," says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. "Everyone knows that 'the breast is best,' so Ben & Jerry's could do consumers and cows a big favor by making the switch to breast milk."

Now don't get me wrong, all of my friends know what a huge advocate for breastfeeding I am, but come on! Isn't this taking animal rights a little too far? How do they think they are going to get all of that breast milk? Do they think all of the lactating mother's of the world would be willing to donate their precious milk? Do they envision those mother's shipping off a bottle or two each day that they pumped? When I was nursing, I called that "liquid gold" and it was not going anywhere but to my baby, who it was made and intended for! No way would I back then pump a bottle for baby, then pump a bottle for Ben & Jerry's. It was a pain enough to pump for my own baby!

Sorry if I offended anyone, but I just couldn't believe my ears today when I was listening to the news. I hope you all got a chuckle out of this like I did!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Birds And Bees

As I was tucking Samantha in bed tonight, she said out of the blue "mom, I now know how I got into your tummy" My first reaction was panic! I was thinking, is she already hearing about sex in Kindergarten? Sheesh! Thankfully, her response was very G-rated. She said "you wished on a shooting star". Isn't that sweet? I walked into the living room with a smile on my face and couldn't wait to share the sweet, innocent words from our daughter with Jason. Want to know his response? "he he, if she only knew". Men!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I love my son, I love my son....

I have to keep saying that to myself right now. It is my new mantra for the day.

Let me set the scenario for you: I was sitting in the middle of the floor in the living room, folding clothes. Jason was in the bedroom watching the Ryder Cup (that golf-obsessed man set his alarm clock so that he could watch it when it started at 6 am! On a Saturday! I was not too thrilled to hear that blaring so early. Anywho!), Sammi was on the couch watching cartoons, and Joshua was playing with his cars and trucks on the coffee table. All was well in the Cantrell household this beautiful Saturday morning.

Sammi got up and all I heard was "Josh, no!" I turned around and saw Josh behind me holding his sippy cup (one of those disposable ones) upside down and milk was dribbling out of it. At first I just said "Josh, no sir. We don't hold our cups like that. See the milk coming out?" You know, in my normal, calm, soothing, mommy voice. Then Sammi said "Mom, look at the table" and then I look at the table. I had one of those movie special effects moments where the rest of the room went away and I had a super-zoom effect on the table. There was milk EVERYWHERE. I mean EVERYWHERE. He had several Little People toys on there, a stack of kid books, some magazines/catalogs, mail, a large round candle in the middle....all of it covered in milk. I was so freaked out that I was speechless. Me, speechless. I know, that doesn't happen much, so you can see how upset I was. I didn't even know where to begin to clean it up! And how did I not hear this taking place right behind my back?

First things first, punish the little criminal. No trial needed, we saw him with the weapon in his hand, standing by the scene. Case closed, he is now in jail. Well, if you call taking him to his room and making him stay in there with the door closed jail, then it's jail. He cannot stand to be in his room with the door closed unless he is sleeping. So this is punishment. He keeps opening the door and then I bellow in my low voice "close the door" and then he does, with a lot of screaming and crying.

Sammi, bless her heart, offered to help me clean it up. She has been a big helper lately. Several times a day she says "can I help?" It is so sweet. So this morning, I most certainly took her up on that! It was a mess. As we picked up different items off of the table, more milk just dripped from it. It was as if an entire gallon of milk came out of that cup!

The bright side to this, if there is one, is now the table is completely cleared off, minus the candle. The books are back on the shelf where they belong, the mail is where it belongs, and my magazines and catalogs are in the trash.....I didn't need to read more or order anything, did I? And those disposable sippy cups will NEVER be in the hands of my precious son.

I think I now understand why some animals eat their young. :)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Queen For A Day

Today at school, Sammi was Queen For A Day. Each day for the first few weeks, each student in her class gets to bring 3-4 items that represents what she likes, enjoys doing, or cares about. Each item had to be small to fit in a small bag. When we found out her day was coming up, we talked about what she should put in the bag that will represent her. This took awhile, but she eventually came up with these things:
- golf ball because she likes to hit golf balls with her own putter with her daddy
- soccer ball (it came with a Build a Bear) because she loves to play soccer
- ring because she likes to play dress up
- pink Power Ranger because she loves to watch the show and play with them
If we could have found a tiny computer to put in the bag, we would have included that. That girl will play on the computer all day if we let her! She is just like her dad. :) Below is a picture of her after school with the crown she wore today. She got to do special things with the teacher since it was her day. She loved it!

I had to include some other pictures from this weekend. We didn't get the rain and winds that was predicted from Hurricane Ike, but we did get a nice steady rain all day. We needed it! So Saturday the kids played outside in their swim suits (it got cold, so Joshua wore a shirt too). They had so much fun! The fun ended when Sammi slipped off the monkey bars and landed on the swing. We all know how much that hurts!

Jason keeps a bucket under the gutter to collect the rain water to put in the flower beds. Well, the kids decided to dump it out, which caused a mud puddle. They had the best time splashing in it.

I love this picture of Joshua. It was raining real lightly and I caught him sitting like this, just staring out at the yard. It is rare for him to sit still like this and he looked so cute!

After we dried them off and changed clothes, they wanted to watch a movie in our bed. That is a huge treat for them and they love it! I love them lying in our bed with their own special blankets (my mom knitted both when I was pregnant with each) and their own sippy cups. They were in heaven!

This was taken today....Joshua double-fisting his juice boxes. Hilarious!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I'll Miss You Josh!

I am sure the title of this post caught your attention. I struggled to find the right words for the title of this post....there were many typed and many that were deleted. I finally thought to put down what I am thinking most, which is how much I will miss my dear friend, Josh Harris, for the next year.
Josh is leaving this Sunday for Afghanistan for a year. We have known for several months that he is leaving, and here it is. For those of you loyal readers (ha!) that don't know him, he is one of Jason's closest, best friends. In fact, I met Josh the exact same time I met Jason my sophomore year in college. He and Jason were on the porch of my dorm when they both came up to me to sign their pledge book for their fraternity. He is like family to me. My kids even call him Uncle Josh. And yes, he is partially who we named Joshua after. He is definitely one of my closest guy friends....I have been known to call him to get the "guys perspective" on a few things. :)
It just saddens me to not get to see him for a year. A year! My heart just goes out to his wife Denise, who is a dear friend of mine. I cannot imagine what she is going through right now, probably trying to savor every moment with him before he leaves. Jason and I got the chance to see them both on Wednesday. Denise said what makes her sad are thinking about him not being around for the holidays, birthdays, etc. Their son Cole will be 2 in December.
Having Jason and his previous experience in the Army has taught me so much. I have many friends and family that have been in the military or currently are serving, but having Jason to ask questions to helps so much. I was so naive about military life and issues before I met him. I always have, but through him, I have so much respect for those that currently serve and have served in the military. It takes a special person to sign up to protect our freedom, and I am so glad we have those individuals. Talk about brave people! It angers me that so many Americans take our freedom for granted and are so wrapped up with their own views of the war and forget about our soldiers risking their lives for us. Don't get me wrong, we can have our opinions on whether we should be in war or not. But even if you are against the war, support the men and women that are fighting for us! People forget that part and I get so sick and tired of hearing the actors speak their opinions....just shut up and do what you are paid to do....make movies or TV shows! Really!
Sorry, I get really fired up over people like that. I tear up during the National Anthem every time it is played. I am proud to have our flag waving outside of our house, year round. Don't just hang it up for the 4th of July or 9/11. Have it out everyday and be proud. This Sunday I will be wrapping a yellow ribbon around our tree and it will stay there until Josh is home next year. If you ever see military personnel in their uniforms, just say "thank you". I see a lot in the airport and love to say that. When I first saw anyone in the military at the airport, I wanted to shake their hand and gush about how proud I am of them. I told that to Jason after the war first started and he told me to just simply say "thank you". He said "we know why we are in the miltary and we just want to do our job. So just say thank you" So I do. And I hope and wish others will do the same.
I didn't intend for this blog to go on and on about my views about the military, so I will close this with a few pics I took Wednesday of my dear friend Josh. In a few months when I get his address, I will post this in hopes that my friends and family will send him letters. That is something that really keeps them energized and upbeat, even if they don't know the sender. Please keep Josh and his wife Denise in your prayers!

This picture came out kind of dark for some reason. I call Jason and Josh brothers that were separated at birth, they are so much alike it is scary!

Josh and his wonderful wife, Denise

I went through old pictures to find more of Josh to post...too bad I don't have a scanner to get some from our college days. I found this of them on the day of Jason's graduation.

And this one of the two Josh's right after Joshua was born. It gets really confusing when we are all around on which Josh we are talking about.

I love this one of Sammi wearing Josh's kevlar helmet. She looks like someone from the movie "Spaceballs" with the huge helmet-head.

Bye Josh! We love you so much and will pray for your safety everyday. We cannot wait to see you a year from now!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Sammi's Soccer Game

Sammi's first soccer game for the fall season was on Saturday. Thankfully, the weather was nice! This season her team is Team Dazzle. She did not like the hot pink color, but I did! She loves her new team and coach, and so do we! Last season we had a bad parent on our team that didn't make us enjoy the games very much. She was one of those that yelled at other kids if they missed the ball, didn't go for it, etc. They are 5!! She really made my blood boil, but I am not good at confronting others if I have to see them again when they are wrong. I know, I need to work on that! Now if it is a stranger, I have no problem!
She was so excited to start her first game, which was a huge change from last season. Her granddad, grandmommy, and pappy were all there to cheer her on!

That girl is fast! Maybe a future track star too? Not bragging, but she leads the pack the majority of the game. She loves to run!
She will kill me when she is older knowing I put this up, but it was so funny! It was her turn to kick the ball to start the game. I had my camera ready to get the shot of when her foot hit the ball...only she kicked and missed! I was so ready that I got the slip-up. :)

She is #4.
Joshua and Daddy having fun. I think this was the first game that we did not have to chase him off of the field!

Me kissing my soccer star after the game.

Daddy and his girl.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Family Reunion

Every Labor Day weekend, we go to my step dad's family reunion. We started going when I was in college and have barely missed a reunion since. They are so fun and his family is incredibly warm and welcoming. It all started with the families from 5 Rodriguez brother's (my step dad's granddad) over 35 years ago. It is an amazing reunion to attend! Full of games, kids activities, tons of food, catching up, and just enjoying every one's company. It was held at Lake Murray, OK this year and it was great! Cabins with A/C makes everyone happy! There is always at least 150-200 people in attendance. They are all wonderful people and I am glad that we "married" into their family.
Here is Sammi taking a hard hit at the pinata. Joshua was in line to take his turn, but chickened out at the last minute.
Joshua and Sammi playing a game together....ha! More like Joshua annoying Sammi to no end by running onto the board and grabbing the bean bags and running off with them. Then we had to hear her say "Joooooooosssssshhhhhh!!!!!!" That's my boy! Pushing his sister's buttons is what he loves to do.

Inside our cabin, Joshua kept putting this box on his head, running around, the getting in it. Once in it, he would pop his head out and say "I inna box!"
My precious Sammi

Jason played in the horseshoe competition, like he does every year. He and his team mate came in 2nd. Don't ya love his Indiana Jones hat? He calls it that and doesn't care that most thinks he looks like a dork. I actually admire that in him, not caring what people think.

During the horseshoe games that Sammi said was soooooo boring, she played in the dirt with her Polly Pockets.

For the children's crafts, they were able to decorate a foam visor. She made a huge mess writing her name with glitter glue, but she loved it and that is all that mattered!

They also got to make a bracelet with trendsetter turned it into a choker. I thought it looked great! They also got to make a flower with a tootsie roll lollipop (that she is showing below).

While Jason played in the golf tournament (I know, you are so shocked!), my mom and I took the kids to the pool. Over and over Joshua wanted to get out of the pool to jump into my arms. He kept saying "I wanna shump!". Cracked us up hearing him say "shump" instead of "jump".
Sammi took this of me with my mom. I thought it turned out great!

She also took this one of us....not too shabby!

Joshua with his "Wito", aka Lito.

It was pretty hot and my ever so smart mom brought hand fans for us. Sammi wanted to fan her daddy which I thought was adorable. All that was missing was someone to feed him grapes!

My beautiful boy. The hot, humid air makes his hair curl up so well!
I hope all of you had a wonderful Labor Day!