Wednesday, June 30

Happy Wednesday


Linking up with The Miller Racing Family for the first time on Wordless Wednesday!  Here are a few pics from Natalie's first birthday party when we were on vacation:







Tuesday, June 29

The "I Forgot" Vacation

During our recent trip to the Midwest, several things were forgotten.  My husband, who never leaves anything anywhere it doesn't belong, somehow left his Rayband prescription glasses at a restaurant in Chicago.  Ouch.  (When he does lose something, he does it well!)  I wisely refrained from commenting.  A couple days later, I left my phone charger at the hotel we stayed at in Michigan.  Tom wisely returned the favor and said nothing.  From all collected reports, I've heard that we also left a pair of chonies and a Beauty and the Beast hair clip.  For five of us, I'd say that's pretty good.  But being home for the first time in several years, I realized I'd forgotten several other things:

I forgot how cool thunderstorms are - I love rain!  But I also forgot how bad the resulting damage can be.  My parents' area had hurricane-force winds while we were there, and 80 trees had fallen onto power lines just in their small town.  They were without power for a day, but many had no electricity for several days.  We had a stick-collecting contest when we got home :)  Kids will do anything if it's a race!!!

My parents' front yard had tons of small and large limbs

I forgot how adventurous travelling as a family can be.  We were a party of 14 for the better part of the week, which meant we always had a caravan of 3-4 cars.  On the second day of vacation, my sister's brakes went out, which resulted in a 2-hour detour at a restaurant just outside of Chicago.  Who needs the zoo when you have free refills?  Then two days later, the car we were driving to Michigan started smoking and refused to accelerate on the freeway with transmission problems.  This turned into about a 4-hour adventure in a location with no electricity or water for 20 miles around because of the storms the day before.  Thankfully, we were by a welcome center that (although closed) had a beautiful playground/picnic area.  The kids just thought we were taking a break!  A big thanks to my parents' church, who ultimately rescued us by letting us borrow their van-mobile.  What a lifesaver!!      


Never underestimate the power of a church van.

I forgot how cute kids can be when they're out of their natural environment.  Kinda like tigers, or elephants.  My adorable one-year old decided to take up screaming - at everything.  Move me from my spot?  Try to take my toy away?  Put me to bed?  Let my mama leave?  You'd better have earphones!!!!  Our five-year old was close behind on the obnoxious scale, as she took up the wonderful habit of fibbing to get herself out of trouble with grandma - several times.  Luckily, she's not good at it, and I pray she never is!!  


Look out, she's gonna bloooowwww!!   

Let's see...I also had forgotten how much fun it is to get wet!  My middle daughter, Hannah, is a little wary of things that splash and sprinkle without warning (she needs to get over that before she's a mom), but she agreed to go in the water zone with me in the children's zoo area.  It was so much fun!!  We stayed in there for about an hour, and I think the kids liked it almost as much as the zoo.  Of course, this was after the 2 hour this-car-can't-stop-we'd-better-pull-over adventure, so we were pretty hot and tired.
 
It was more fun than this pic looks, really is was.
 
But most importantly, I realized that in all the busyness of our day-to-day lives, I'd forgotten what good friends three crazy, squabbling sisters can turn out to be.

 

Just like my girls, my sisters and I couldn't be more different, but I know I'll never find more loyal and honest friends.  Thanks for a great vacation - love you guys!!
 

Recipe Time - Mexican Lasagna


Linkin' up with my friend Jocelyn for a "Tempt Us Tuesday" recipe swap.  Only I'm trying not to bake so many sweets because I find that's how I wind up eating them - does anyone else have that problem?  ...so here's a great main dish that always seems to go over well.

We have people over, like, all the time.  At least several times a week I find myself staring at my recipe books, thinking, "What did I make last time this family came for dinner?"  Or worse..."Does everyone in town talk about the fact that I almost always make lasagna the first time we have someone over?"  Silly, and vain, I know, but that's how my mind works.  I even used to have a book listing what I made whenever we had people over, but then I lost the book...anyhow, this yummy Mexican Lasagna is a nice change, and not quite so rich as its Italian counterpart: 

Mexican Lasagna

10-12 tortillas

1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 1/2 t. cumin
1 T. chili powder
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. red pepper
1 t. salt
1 t. black pepper
1 can (16 oz) chopped tomatoes
1 c. small curd cottage cheese
1 c. grated Monterey Jack cheese w/peppers
1 egg

Brown ground beef, drain thoroughly.  Add all spices and tomatoes, heat through.  Cover bottom and sides of a 13x9 casserole dish with tortillas.  Pour beef mixture over tortillas.  Place another layer of tortillas over meat mixture and set aside.  Combine cottage cheese, Jack cheese, and egg; pour over tortillas.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.


After removing from oven, top with the following ingredients, according to your taste:

2 c. shredded lettuce
1/2 c. grated Cheddar cheese
1/2 c. chopped tomatoes
3 green onions, chopped
1/4 c. sliced black olives

I like to serve it up with beans and rice (original, I know).  Enjoy!!

Monday, June 28

We're Back!!


 Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

It's Miscellany Monday, time to think of all those tidbits that haven't made it into your blog but you feel the need to share anyway :)

1.  Weddings make me all romantical.  We went to a wedding for a dear friend from college last night.  The best part was enjoying it all with just my husband, we had a babysitter all afternoon and evening!  I felt like Cinderella.  It was gorgeous.  And expensive.  And ethnic.  We were the only white people on the groom's side - we actually got asked if we were seated on the wrong side! 

2.  For a treat, sometimes I let the girls have "banana splits" for breakfast.  We chop up bananas and strawberries, then put yogurt and sprinkles (sometimes a little whipped cream) on top.  They get so excited, they don't even realize it's mildly healthy!  Now if only I could convince Tom to eat one too, I could get out of cooking breakfast entirely!

3.  I <3 Scentsy candle warmers.  I'm totally addicted to candles, but I quickly found out that they don't mix with kiddos.  When my oldest was 2, I thought I'd try to light one.  She has always been an extreme legalist, so I told her firmly not to touch the candle.  She could just look at it.  I watched her as she obediently watched the candle, then I resumed exercising.  I glanced around glanced around a minute later because I smelled something akin to burnt feathers, and I saw Linsey with her head over the candle, still dutifully watching it, with her bangs on fire!  Lesson learned :)

4.  Hannah, 3, absolutely loved flying on vacation.  She keeps saying, "When I get big, I'm gonna fly the puh-lane!"  So I asked, "How old will you be when you're big?"  "Six," she replied certainly.  Linsey, the know-it-all big sister, piped up, "Hannah, you won't be big when you're 6!  You have to be at least 13.  But you're not going to fly the plane, I am.  You can be the lady that passes out the snacks...doesn't that sound fun?"


5.  My husband finally talked me into getting rid of our home phone.  We don't have long distance anyway, and pretty much only telemarketers call us on it since we both have cell phones.  He's been trying to convince me for months, but I'm glad I held out so long - he bribed me with the new iPhone 4!!  

Friday, June 25

Teaching Moments

We just arrived back from Chicago, visiting my side of the family.  We had tons of adventures and misadventures, and I promise to let you in on those later!  For now, here are a few highlight photos and lessons we learned along the way:

When life gives you more than you think you can handle, go ahead and give it your best shot anyway.



Don't complain about your food...it could always be worse!


Fun is always better when it's shared.

When your road gets a little slippery, don't be afraid to ask for help.

You can do anything you put your mind to, as long as Grandpa lets you!!

In the real world, even princesses have to clean toilets.

  And finally, remember that sometimes you have to kiss a lot of frogs...

In order to find your Prince Charming.

(Seriously, we found out later they did in fact kiss the frogs..."But don't worry, Mom, they didn't turn into princes!")  Hope you're having as great a summer as we are!!

Monday, June 14

Obsessions

My girls have all become obsessed with some crazy stuff recently.  Veggie Tales, I understand.  Princesses?  Sure.  But since we did a homeschool lesson on dollar bills, Linsey has been obsessed with George Washington.  This has gone on for more than a year now.  She says stuff like, "And when I go to heaven, I get to meet George Washington!"  Then she stops and looks at me, "Mama, is he dead?"  "Yes sweetie..."

Hannah, on the other hand, is obsessed with monkeys.  She LOVES Boots the monkey from Dora the Explorer.  And she'll play the Monkey pre-school game for hours on the iPad, it's the only time she sits still (we're def taking this on the airplane when we go on vacation!).  And she loves, loves, LOVES Curious George.


So the other day, these two obsessions collided at the breakfast table.

Linsey:  George Washington was so amazing!  Was he the leader of the whole world, Daddy?
Tom:  Not the whole world, but he was a great leader of our country.
Hannah:  He was a good monkey.
Me:  What, Hannah?
Hannah:  Curious George was a very good monkey.
Me:  Oh...yeah, he was.
Linsey:  (annoyed) Not Curious George, Hannah - George Washington!  He was the leader of our country...
Tom:  Okay, girls, that's enough.  Eat your food.

Natalie, not quite as advanced as my older two, is currently obsessed with A&D ointment.  She opens the closet and gets the tube of it out all the time and uses it as a teether.  If we take it away, she screams like an animal caught in a trap, and no substitute is acceptable.  We do always take it away though!  Still, it's on her clothes, our DVD collection, and did you know A&D ointment makes wood floors REALLY slick?  Just an FYI for ya :)  

Anything your kids are obsessed with, or am I alone on this one?

Such is (My) Life

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

1.  I find weird stuff in the dryer - often.  Money is a luxury; usually it's crayons, balls, small stuffed animals, USB drives, shoes, plastic bananas, etc.  The other day I found half of a paperback book, kinda weird... then a couple days later, I ran outside because I saw Nattie scraping goo off the patio and trying to eat it (not usually a good sign).  It turned out to be the rest of the book, it shot out my dryer vent.  So...does this make her a 'bookworm?'   

2.  I spent way too long trying to convince my daughter yesterday that someone' s dress size is not necessarily their age.  Finally she said, "No, really, Mom, I think she's six."  (she's not) But I gave up.  For the record, though, I'm pretty glad my dress size doesn't go up as fast as my age does anymore!!!

3.  Yesterday was even busier than usual for our little pastor's family.  We had about 10 key church workers call to say they wouldn't be there at the last minute.  As I was busy at home getting things together for the preschool class I was covering, I noticed my one-year old eating my Curious George flip-flops.  Not having time to take them to my room, I just slipped them on and continued singing out orders.  "Brush your hair!"  "No, you can't take your marbles to church!"  "Stop eating what's in the garbage can!"  After making sure everyone was fully clothed and had a bow in her hair, we ran out the door with 2 minutes to spare.  Feeling like Supermom, I waltzed into choir and flawlessly organized our quartet (that's all that showed up).  After practice, I sighed with relief and reached down for my purse.  There, peeking out from under the piano, were my perfectly manicured toes sporting Curious George flip-flops.  Slightly deflated, I hopped back in the van and drove down the block back to my house.  Funny thing is, that was the most alone time I got all day!!    


4.  A dear older lady from our church recently bought my older daughter 3 BOXES of Polly Pockets and my younger girls a DRUM SET from a garage sale.  Sigh. We used to be such good friends.  Oh, well, as Forrest Gump would say, "And that's all I have to say about that!"

5.  With my first two babies, most of the weight I had gained came off within the first 6 weeks of their lives.  With my third, however, my body rebelled.  We argue constantly.  So for the past two weeks, I have strategically had a delicious shake for breakfast, one for lunch, and then a sensible dinner.  This wouldn't be so bad if I lived alone, but I still have to get to cook three meals a day for my stringbean family.  As I labor lovingly over their bacon, eggs, and toast with jelly every morning, I can't help but drool a little.  Then I mix up my powdered shake and sit down at the table with them.  And every morning, it's the same response, "How come Mommy gets to have chocolate milk for breakfast?"  "Can I have what she's having?"  Talk about adding insult to injury!   Hmm.  Maybe one day they'll understand, but hopefully they'll just get my husband's genes!


Have a great week!

P.S.  It's meet and greet Monday at the link below, too fun!


 

Wednesday, June 9

Once Upon a Time...

 Mama's Losin' It




I linked up to a cute writer's workshop blog this week, you can click on the button above to go there.  One of the topics I just couldn't resist, "Before I Was a Mom."  Truthfully, my mind gets a little fuzzy reaching that far back, but here's my life as I remember it:   


Before I was a mom...




...I slept whenever I was tired.




....I thought you could control how big you got during pregnancy.



...I assumed breastfeeding came naturally.


...I thought I knew all the excuses for getting out of bed.

...I didn't understand there is a difference between "Be quiet!" and "Stop talking!"

....I was convinced that child-rearing books could answer all my questions.  But really, what do you say when your child is convinced that vinyl fairy wings can really make her fly?  Or that Skooter from The Muppet Show lives in her closet?


...I didn't know how interesting diaper contents could be, or how much I'd talk about them with my husband (sorry, honey!)

...I kept up with the laundry.

...I didn't know I'd melt whenever my daughter wrote "I love mama" on a piece of paper.


...I rolled my eyes when my mom got choked up and said, "When you were a little girl..."  Now I'm the one who says that!


...I knew exactly where babies came from.  Now that my 5-year old's asking?  I'm flabbergasted.


...I totally underestimated how amazing my mom is. (Thanks, Mom!)

...I knew my children would never pee in public.  Or pick their noses.  Ever. 


...I couldn't imagine laughing at a mess my child made, much less taking a picture.


...I could type 90 wpm, but I couldn't change a diaper on my lap or take a shower holding a baby, and I didn't know what happened If You Give a Pig a Pancake.


...I couldn't understand why women always compared childbirth stories (think war heroes, guys!)

...I could laugh without leakage :)

...I was disgusted when I saw a mom give into a screaming child in public.

...I could close my door to get some privacy.

...I didn't look forward to bedtime nearly as much.


...I swore I'd never say, "Because I said so!"  

...I didn't realize that when your child comes out of your body, she takes your heart with her.



Conclusion:  Before I was a mom...I must have had a pretty boring life!!

I'm Gonna Be a Star!

     We homeschool, and I am determined my kids will not wind up...weird.  There.  I said it.  I truly think we can raise intelligent, Christian young ladies who are still able to get along in mainstream society.  I even know a few people like that, and it gives me hope :)  One way we're doing this is by making sure they are involved in some social activities with neighborhood kids, like t-ball this spring.  Linsey was super-excited to be on the team with one of her best friends (at 5, they're not allowed to be more than "just friends," but we're pretty sure they're secretly engaged!)



     The first few practices had her all pumped up, even though the tee saw a lot more hits than the ball did.  I was so relieved that they get to bat until they hit the ball in bounds! Makes for long innings, but no tears.  The night before her first game, Linsey was lying in bed, daydreaming, er, night dreaming?  I came by her room, and she sighed, "Don't worry, Mom, I'm gonna be a star!"

     T-ball is SO much more entertaining to watch than baseball.  Most of the time, 4 or 5 kids run for the same ball, but no one can throw all the way to first, so it's like an assembly line getting there.  Our team was a little better than most, probably because we had 7 boys and only 3 girlies, so cute!

     But when it started getting hot, whining commenced. "I don't think I'll go to t-ball today."  "I think you will."  "But Mo-om, my legs get so hot!"  This went on for several games, then I got smart.  I let her trade the thigh-high baseball socks (she has chicken legs) for ankle-length Dora ones (her pants totally covered them), and we ditched the belt that was uber-uncomfortable and not required for t-ball. 
   Then, when talking to her grandma one night on the phone, Linsey told her, "I'll run real fast for ya, then I'll call and tell you all about it!"  And she did.  In fact, she started thinking of people to run for, and she got so much faster!  I asked her before one game, "So, are you gonna run fast for grandma?"  "Uh-huh, and for you!"  she replied.  I was touched.  "So you'll have to run fast twice then!"  "No, Mama, three times, " she said. "I told God I'd run fast for Him too!"  She did, and I think they were both proud of her.  So was I.

The coach pitched the last game, this was her first hit ever!

Monday, June 7

Happy on Monday

 Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Happy Monday!!  Link up with Miscellany Monday above, too fun! I probably spend more time than I should thinking up random things to say, but I guess that’s part of the fun of it for me, so here goes:

1)   1) My mommy philosophy:  Why get mad at a mess when I can laugh and take a picture of it?  A seasoned mom (don’t you love those?) once advised me:  “Never get mad at your kids for acting like kids or because they inconvenience you.”  That has stuck with me over the years, and I try to laugh and make the most out of accidents and messes, rather than being frustrated.  I don’t want my kids to remember me yelling all the time!  Here’s my youngest last night, she crawled outside after dinner (we had company) and amused herself in the pool (it only had an inch or so of water), church clothes and all!!  


2)   2) This morning, a friend of mine and I took our friendship to a new level – we worked out together!  We walked and jogged w/Leslie Sansone amidst 5 kids under 6, an overturned bowl of Cheerios, and lots of laughter.  Thanks, Kim!  P.S. I <3 Leslie Sansone videos because I can do them anytime, anywhere!  She calls it “the no excuse walk.”  I've managed to come up with a few excuses, but she's pretty much right!!

3)   3) We went to see the Lion King musical last week in Vegas, so we’ve had the CD playing around our house all week.  My girls have wanted to watch the DVD several times too.  Now my youngest keeps running around saying, “Oh no!  She’s gonna EAT ME!!”

4)   4) Speaking of kids and scary animals, it’s so amazing to watch how children in the same family process life so differently.  Linsey, 5, is terrified of barking dogs.  We were walking the other day and one came to the fence and barked, and she yelped and ran on my other side.  Hannah, on the other hand (she’s 3), got close to the fence, stared the dog down, and said, “ROAR!” in her deepest voice.  Funny enough, the dog scampered away :)

5)   5) I have gone from trying to understand my husband, then trying to change my husband, to finally just trying to work with him the way he is.  My sister calls this “marital maturity.”  I call it my sanity saver :)  Happy Monday!






Friday, June 4

Another "One of Those Days"

Today I felt a bit like this soda we found in our freezer...all stretched out and ready to burst. (and no, I'm not pregnant, mom!)  If you read my post last Thursday, you would think I had learned not to take all three of my kids out by myself...well, anywhere.  If nothing else, bathroom trips are horrendous to manage.  But my sister-in-law needed a ride to the airport, and I'm a softie.  On the way to the airport, we only got lost once or twice - I've been to the Ontario airport (near L.A.) just a few times alone, and it's about 90 miles from us.  The real fun started when we dropped my sis-in-law off.  I missed the "leaving the airport" exit, so we circled around.  The girls were getting antsy, so I promised them we'd stop for lunch since they had already eaten the lunch I'd packed.  I also told them we'd shop somewhere - visions of Ontario Mills Mall or even the Target we'd passed were dancing in my head.  Then I started seeing these detour signs for the freeway I wanted, but some of them were covered with garbage bags.  I was so confused!  *It should be noted at this point that I have NO sense of direction.*

I got on the first freeway I came to (wrong instinct), and drove about 10 minutes, hoping that since it was "east" and the other freeway I was supposed to get on was "east," things would work out.  I began to have doubts and called my husband, hoping he'd reassure me.  Wrong.  I'm the mercy-giving, laid-back optimist in the family (as you can see by my map-following philosophy), and he's well, Type A.  I'd say AA to give more emphasis, but that sounds more like a training bra :)

So, following my new marching orders, I got off at the first exit I came to in order to turn around.  Turns out I didn't need to go east, but north...hmm..  Only I couldn't find the freeway entrance, or even a fast-food restaurant for the promised lunch.  Daughter #2 suddenly announced she had to "peep."  My mommy eyes spotted a big gas station promising hot dogs, a restroom, and hopefully, someone who knew where the freeway was.  So we pulled up, and I gathered up all the perkiness I could muster.  "Guess what, girls?  We're going to have a picnic in the back of the van for lunch!! And you each get to pick out a treasure in this big store."  At this point, hopes of finding my house, much less the mall, had pretty much vanished, but I thought I'd make the most of it.  "Yippee!!!"  It is so easy to get pre-schoolers excited if you use your happy voice.

She ate the plastic straw stem. Really, not kidding.

We began hunting for treasures - they were really drawn to those mini-balloons you put in bouquets, and the one Hannah picked said, "Get Well Soon."  I hoped to.  Once we found those, Hannah confessed that she was about to peep all over herself.  So we put down our treasures and raced to the bathroom.  Out of order.  Of course!  That totally fit my day.  We walked outside with promises of returning for the balloons to figure out an alternate course of action.  Nothing without crossing a busy street, and I wasn't about to buckle them all in again.  We grabbed wipes from my never-ending car supply and headed around the corner of the building, by the shrubs.  Positioning her over the dirt did not help.  I immediately saw the puddle creep down the concrete towards my sitting one-year old, and my purse.  I moved those out of the way, and Hannah cried, "Mom!  I'm peeping all over my shoes!"  Trying to console her, I replied, "It's okay, Hannah, you peeped all over my shoes too.  Just finish."  As if weedling on someone else's shoes should make her feel better.  (At least hers weren't canvas like mine!) 

We er...wrapped things up outside and came back in to some evil glares, but I didn't care.  It wasn't my fault their bathroom was broken.  We purchased our treasures and some snacks (not for me, as my diet lunch was melting in the van) and headed out to our "picnic."  Unfortunately, I had forgotten that the hatch of our van wasn't working, so we had to eat with it closed, and today it was over 90 degrees.  I also forgot a blanket to eat on, but I needed to vacuum out the car anyway.  We finally finished lunch and I called my husband.  He laughed and sighed at the same time.  "You really stress me out!'  he said.  I shot back, "I stress YOU out?  You should try being me!!"  He said he could only dream...well, maybe he said, "I can't imagine!"  But I think that's what he meant :)

We hopped back on the road and we were doing great.  2 right freeway turns in a row, I'm on a roll.  And I'm back in familiar territory.  Then my oldest daughter announced she "had to go and couldn't wait."  I didn't even consider getting all three of them out of the car again, so, like a good mom, I told her we were "almost there."  (she can't tell time yet)  The cries persisted, so we pulled over onto a dirt road and assumed the position between bushes and the open car door.  I think I'm an expert now.  "Mom, I peed all over myself."  Maybe not. 
"Bad, or just a little?"  I was desperate. 
"I'm soaking wet." 
"Ok, I think I have extra clothes in the car, just take your bottoms off."  We got in the car and ultimately found a pair of pants belonging to my 12-month old.  They looked like biker shorts on Linsey, but they worked. "Cool!  Can I wear these when we get home?"  "No.  Yes...talk to me later."  This was no time for small talk.   An hour later, we made it home.  Everyone was hot and tired, so I let the girls play in their little pool as I unloaded the heap o' trash and treasures we'd accumulated.  Then I washed my shoes :)  Happy Friday!!

Wednesday, June 2

The Great Escape

 My husband and I had been plotting our getaway to "Big People-ville" for several months, and the time finally finally arrived.  Last week, we went to Las Vegas (about 3 hours from us) to see the Lion King Broadway musical.  My husband skateboards and plays video games - I love music, cooking, and crafts, so there are few activities we actually enjoy doing together, but we both really like going to see Broadway shows.  Kind of an expensive hobby, so we only hit one every year or two.  It was AMAZING!  The music was superb, the costumes outrageous, I'd highly recommend it if you're into that stuff.  Tom's summary:  "A white man's way to enjoy ethnic culture."  We loved it!


The girlies stayed at our house with a wonderful mom friend of mine who has raised 5 kids - I figured she was more than qualified for my 3 little ankle-biters.  Plus she had my 5-year old, who's pretty sure she knows everything about running our home.  The only questions the sitter texted me actually made me feel like a slacker.  How much candy is Linsey allowed to have before dinner?  She said YOU let her buy some at t-ball.  Then, Does Natalie have pajamas?  Linsey is saying that she DOESN'T.
{Admittedly, I've given up on jammies for my last two babies once they start squirming and resisting changing clothes.  I feel bad even saying that, but I wind up having to wash them every day anyway because something spills either coming in or going out of some orifice, so I've taken to just a onesie and random not-so-nice pants when it's nice weather.  There, I said it.}

ANYWAY, we had a great time, we were a little bummed that most of the good restaurants were closed by the time we got out of the musical, but we ate at a great American place called "Red, White, and Blue," I think at Mandalay Bay.  It was well after 11pm by the time we finished, and I begged, begged, begged my husband to take me to see the water show at the Bellagio hotel.  We were told it was about a 15 minute walk from Excalibur, where we were staying (found a $36 room priceline.com!).
 We walked as fast as we could, and it took us over half an hour, going up and down the bridge walkways and dodging slightly inebriated people.  Vegas looks so appealing on TV and in ads, but it's actually kinda dumpy and a little scary, like most big cities - at least on The Strip where we were.  I definitely understand why most of the pics you see are taken at night, and why the casinos are indoors without windows!  Anyhow, I had those 4-inch high heeled sandals on I mentioned in my last post, and my feet were KILLING me!  We got there just in time for the last show at 11:45, and it was spectacular, almost worth walking 70 minutes round-trip in high heels. :)  Aren't we women crazy??  The things we put ourselves through...
 
We fell asleep after 1am and slept until almost 10 - I don't remember the last time I slept for such a long time!  My husband blamed me for closing the curtains, but I absolutely loved it.  I loved all of it, even the 3 hour car rides with just the two of us.  I mean, how often does that happen?  We had a nice breakfast that morning and returned home, totally refreshed, to happy kids, a clean house, and a bleary-eyed babysitter.  (apparently she and my youngest had a long night!)  I know the kids had fun, too, because we had to remind them to hug us, they were so excited to tell us all they did.  And when I asked my three-year old if she missed us, she replied honestly, "Um, yeah...but I REALLY miss grandma and grandpaw!!"
I love my husband <3
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