Saturday, April 30, 2011

Little Ed's Wedding

Warning: There are TONS of pictures of family in this post.  Proceed with caution!! : )
My cousin Little Ed, who isn't so little anymore, got married this weekend so my mom, the kids, and I headed to Hannibal, MO to attend.  Brad had to leave early Sunday morning to head out for work so he couldn't go with us but I didn't want that to stop me from going.  I wanted to try to see as many family members as I could before we moved to Houston and were that much further from everyone!
When the bride walks down the aisle, who looks at the groom???  I DO!!!!  I love to watch the expression on their face as they see their bride for the first time.  The first picture in this post is Eddie as he saw Andrea with her dad, so sweet!!!  You could tell he was holding back tears!
I've seen this before at one other wedding and I wish I would have had the idea for our wedding, the priest stands in the aisle and the bride and groom turn to face the guests as they say their vows.  It really allows the family and friends to be a part of the vows and witness the sweet moments between the two.  You can totally see their faces verses when they are turned in the other direction!
Here is my Uncle Ed and Aunt Dorthy, I've never seen my uncle dressed up so nice!!!  Since he is Big Ed, that is why my cousin it Little Ed even though he is not much bigger than his dad!  Growing up we would spend summers together.  When my grandma came to visit she brought a car full of cousins that included Little Ed, Dennis, Little Fred (again, he isn't so little anymore either), and Allison.  While we spent tons of time together, I can't remember the last time I saw him.  Isn't it amazing how you reach an age, jr high or high school, and your take on family changes.  You are busy with school, friends, and work and no longer travel back and forth summers like you use to. I'm glad I was so close to the majority of my cousins growing up and seeing them this weekend makes me wish we weren't all so spread out so we could see each other more often and our kids could grow up close like we did!
Maybe things changed when grandma got older.  She doesn't drive around like a gypsy all the time going from house to house and taking any straggler with her.  She stays put at her farm and visits us for big events.  Or maybe it is because we got older and we don't need her to visit like we use to.  Funny though, when I am around her I feel like the little girl that always looked forward to her visit, I, for a moment, forget that I am an adult with 2.5 kids of my own.  My kids now have their grandma(s) that they look forward to visiting and seeing what special guest or treat she will bring for them.
We grow up so fast.  At times, it is sad.  But today, I enjoyed sitting back and watching my kids and all of the other kids have fun at the wedding.  I imagined that they are what I use to be and I now am, what my mom, aunts, and uncles were.  I watch them with a joy in my heart like the adults must have done as they watched my siblings, cousins, and I at weddings.  Funny how things change yet remain the same!
I remember loving weddings as a kid.  It is fun to see all of the fancy things, the fancy dresses, gifts, cakes, and get to dance.  Now, my kids love weddings!  Addyson was eager to help great grandma take her card up and put it in the bird cage that housed the cards!  I bet I did that same thing at a wedding long ago!  You want to know a secret, since you can't see Addyson's face this could be me.  You wouldn't know based on grandma, she has worn that same dress to EVERY family wedding since the beginning of family weddings!!!! : )
When it was time to cut the cake every little kid there knew!!!!  They all walked up and stood around the table.  I don't think they cared about the cake feeding and I don't think they wondered if Andrea was going to smear it all over Eddie's face.  They just wanted the feeding to hurry up and be over with so the cake would be cut and they could get their piece!!! : )
After the cake was cut and set out, each kid nicely got their own piece and walked over to the table.  It was cute to watch how big they all are and the big kids helped the little kids.  It was really sweet!
Then it was time for the first dance as husband and wife and leave it up to Addyson to try to steal the show!!! : )  She ran around them in circles looking up in awe!!!  I couldn't get her to come over to me and I didn't want to walk on the dance floor and get in the middle of pictures.  She was giggling like crazy and thought it was all a game.  I think she had too much chocolate cake!!! : )
To encourage everyone to get on the dance floor they did a waterfall dance where the bridal party started out dancing together and when the music stopped they went and got another guest to come dance with them.  When the music stopped again both people went and got other guests and so on until everyone was dancing.  I got Owen to come dance with me!!! : )
Then Owen went and asked my cousin Michelle (whom I was named after) to go dance with him.  It was really cute.  I asked him if he wanted to ask Elise, Michelle's daughter and closer to his age, but he said no, he wanted to ask Michelle.  He must like the older ladies!
I forgot to ask someone but, no worries.  Little Ed came and asked me to dance!!!  It was nice to steal a quick second with him.  He apologized for not coming over to talk but I told him no worries.  You all remember what it is like to be the bride or groom.  Everyone comes to see you yet you are totally overwhelmed with everything else going on that it is next to impossible to spend quality time with every guest!
After Michelle, Owen wanted Addyson to come dance with him.  Addyson was playing the balloon game on my phone (which is in her hand behind her head) and for one time that night didn't want to dance.  She wanted to play the game.  Owen wasn't going to give up easily trying to make her stay and dance.
Once that dance was over the dance floor returned to "normal" and the kids took over again.  Addyson was in love with Elise!!!!  She loves big girls and she drug Elise around all night.  Elise didn't look like she was having fun, she is a bit shy, but Michelle reassured me that she was loving every minute of it.  It was nice to have her help, I would hear her tell Addyson "No" if she was getting into something she shouldn't.  It allowed me to visit with my cousins and not have to chance her around all night!
Finally, it was time for the dollar dance.  I loved this dance as a kid.  It gave me a chance to go dance with the bride and groom.  I knew when I got married I was going to have that dance at my wedding too!!!  So many memories.  Now my kids get to stand in line with their dollar in hand and wait for their chance to dance with the special couple!
After her dance with Eddie, Addyson watched the big girls dance together.  She stood and stared at them for the longest time.  I would love to know what she was thinking.  Is she already starting to think about her big day when she will get to wear a pretty dress and steal the show???  I know girls start thinking about it young, when does it start?
Owen patiently waited his turn.  He was going to dance with the bride but her line was really long so he switched over to the groom's line.  I tried to tell him he was going to give the money to Eddie and dance with him but he insisted that he was to give the money to Eddie's brother, Cory.  I guess he saw Cory was collecting the money and that's how it went.
After his dance, both kids asked to go to the room.  They were DONE!  I told them to give me 5 minutes as I said my good byes and I think I took a bit longer than 5 minutes.  I looked and they had already left.  They probably knew that the only want to get me to come was to leave and have me chase behind them!  We went to the room and they were both asleep within minutes!!!  What a fun day!  Congrats to (Little) Eddie and Andrea!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Soccer

I use to take the kids to Mommy and Me soccer all the time!  Remember, that was where Addyson took her first step at 9 months!!!  I was hoping that the sitter we found would want to take the kids to soccer for me so they wouldn't miss out, it was one thing I always asked in the interviews.  Ashley seemed up for it but the reality is, she has a 2 seater car and to ask her to trade cars with her mom every other week and install carseats was asking a lot.  So, we just kind of "forgot" about soccer.
This morning the Dixons texted me to see if we were going to go to soccer.  At first I said, "No" since it wasn't on my list and I was hoping to do some homework before school.  Then I told myself that school could wait, the kids LOVE soccer!  The weather has been yucky so they had a lot of energy to burn and soccer with friends was the best answer!
We headed to the All-Star Sports Arena in Springdale and waited for everyone to show up.  After about 10 minutes we realized we were the only ones there and the owner said there was no soccer today.  Great!  He was nice enough to turn the lights on for us and bring down some soccer balls and let the kids have their run of the place.  It was perfect!!!  I was amazed at what a great ball dribbler Addyson was, she takes after her brother!
After everyone had their fill of running up and down the whole court they were ready for a break!  At that point the big guys were coming in to play their game so the kids sat and watched them warm up!  It was so neat!!!  Owen loved watching them kick the ball high and do different tricks with the ball.  I know he was itching to get out there and try it himself!  One day he'll be our little soccer pro!
The girls had fun watching too although they spent more time aggravating the boys by sitting next to them and bothering them!  Gotta love your little sister!!!  Mornings like these I miss and I forgot how much I missed them while I was immersed in school.  I'm thankful the semester is almost to an end and we have all survived and now we can start planning what to do with all of our free time!!!  Hopefully there is more soccer in our future!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Baby Movement!

Call me a natural worrier, I'm okay with that!  You would think by the time you are pregnant for the third time you would have no worries.  You would know the ins and outs and that every pregnancy is different.  Even knowing that, I still have managed to find things to worry about!  I guess when you have a tiny baby growing in your belly that you are responsible for, you want to make sure everything is okay!!!  I felt Addyson move at 16 weeks so, when 16 weeks came and went and I couldn't pin point that I had felt baby move I worried a little.  Not too much knowing that I felt Addyson exceptionally early, go figure, she is a little mover and walked at 9 months!  Then 17 weeks came and I thought I felt something but wasn't sure so I worried that I couldn't "for sure" feel movement.  I told myself not to get too worked up and just wait for my doctor appointment on May 4th when I could hear the heart beat but that was several week away.  Not to worry, FINALLY, tonight, I felt baby move.  I got both kids put to bed and was sitting quietly on the couch and I felt baby!!!  And I know it was baby since it wasn't just a one time movement but baby seemed to be wiggling away!!!  Awwww, the sweet feeling of baby movement in my belly!!!  Oh, how I have missed that!

Dishwasher's Uses

Did you know that your dishwasher has another great function besides washing and drying the dishes without you having to do much of anything besides load and unload it????
My dishwasher is used quit often to let my toddlers help me around the house!!!  The kids want to practice pouring drinks, help me stir the pancake batter, or help me make supper for the dogs and all of the above can be super messy and involve a lot of clean up that often discourages me for wanting to let them help.
I found that if you open the dishwasher and use the door as a work space it allows for super easy clean up!!!  See, if something gets spilled all I have to do is close the door and the mess is gone and will be cleaned up next time I run the dishwasher!!!
The kids get to help and I don't have a mess to clean up... everyone is happy!!!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Rain, Rain Go Away!

It has been raining in Fayetteville for days!!!  And today, it has been raining for hours non-stop.  We look outside and wonder if it is ever going to end.  Times like this take us back to our 2 floods in Lafayette, LA and we are SO thankful we are in the mountains of NW Arkansas where water can flow down instead of into our house.  But, I have to say, this rain storm everyone in town was holding their breath!
We escaped without any damage, just a few of our outside lights were busted from the hail (I think it has hail about 3 days this weeks).  We know people who weren't so lucky, they had water come into their house and I can feel their pain.
Luckily, there is a huge drainage ditch/river beside our house and when we opened our door it sounded like we lived next to a raging river!!!  And when we looked out at the golf course it look liked we lived on a lake!  SO MUCH rain!!
Fayetteville had a record 13.25 inches of rain in 5 days.  This was the (more than) 100 year flood!  I can't find a record just for today but let me say it was enough that the University close for the first time ever due to flooding!  Roads in Fayetteville were closed because they were covered in water.  There was no good way into our neighborhood.  Deane Solomon was covered!  Before they canceled classed I emailed my teacher to say I wouldn't be there, I was afraid that even if I got out I wouldn't be able to get back to my house.  Around 6pm the rain stopped and within an hour or so most of the water was gone and the majority of the streets were passable.  What a crazy, rainy day!  NOW, rain, rain go away!!!  We are ready for some sunshine!!!

What's Sammy Into???

Despite being 2 months shy of 17 years.  Despite being mostly blind and deaf.  Despite being wobbly on his legs.  Despite the fact that he sleeps most of the day.  Somehow, this old dog's sense of smell is still good AND
he was able to find the chip bag with crumbs left in it AND he was determined to get every last one of those crumbs!!!!!!!!!  We heard him barking and couldn't figure out what the deal was.  We quickly found him and saw the problem....
He was stuck in the bad!!!  Silly, ol' dog still gives us a good laugh every now and then!!!!!
He somehow senses when food is out and will wake from a deep sleep to find it!  That's my Sammy Dog!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hunting Eggs

Since my mom hosts a HUGE Easter Egg hunt every year I don't take the kids to a lot of the Easter Egg hunts around time.  Our family event is really special and I like to keep it that way so I don't want hunting eggs at several events to be "just another egg hunt".  So the kids hunt eggs at school and then with my family.
Usually we are at a park with eggs EVERYWHERE and we run around like crazy (well the big kids do) pushing or shoving to get the best egg.  This year, ALL the rain we've had put a damper on that plan.  It was raining all weekend and there was 100% chance of rain this morning so my mom called to tell me she was canceling the egg hunt and would just have baskets for the kids.
I was REALLY bummed and I think she could sense that but we couldn't figure out a better plan.  At that moment I was wishing I had gone to the several Easter Egg hunts around town.  Oh well.  Something would work out, it just had to... this was a tradition!!!
So my mom and brother Kellen prepared my mom's house for an Easter Egg hunt!!!  We went over to mom's for breakfast and then after breakfast the kids and men hid in Kellen's room while the Easter Bunny came to visit.  Once he left, the bedroom door was open and the kids were off searching throughout the whole house!  When Owen found something good Addyson tried to get him to give it to her!
Luckily the Easter Bunny brought one of each thing for each kid so no one had to go without!!!  Smart Bunny!
I love how kids are so.... not greedy.  Look, there is an egg here and Owen looks at it and watches as
his little sister comes over and gets it to put in her basket.  My brothers would NEVER do that for me.  They would be pushing me out of the way to get that egg knowing there might be money in there!!!!  I'm glad my kids relax and enjoy the hunt but I know a time will come when they too are pushing each other out of the way!
But for now, they hunted peacefully looking high, low, and behind things to fill their Easter Baskets with goodies.
And then they sat down and went through their loot
"oohhing" and "aahhing" over every little thing.
"Has anyone see the blue whopper egg???"
Then it was the big kids turn!  My mom made it sound like there wouldn't be much for the adults this year and I tried not to be disappointed.  Afterall, I am 32 years old and most people my age DO NOT hunt eggs at Easter time.  But again, I'm a stickler for traditions!!!
So my mom came up with a game sort of like musical chairs.  We walked around the chairs and when the music stopped we got the bag that was on the chair we sat on.  We did this three times so we each got 3 bags full of goodies, each one different.
Then we all went through our bags and made a bag of our own with stuff we didn't want.  I put oranges and some chocolate in mine and kept the good food and gift cards!!!  We then took those bags and put them back on the chairs and walked one more time and got our final goodie bag.
Gina was the lucky one who got Brad's bag.  Funny guy put a pair of Kellen's boxers in the bad.  Gina was a bit shocked to see what was in her bag and the rest of the family, besides Brad and I, were also stunned.  Brad and I just laughed.  Leave it to him to put a spin on the game!
Then it was time to get serious!!!  It was true musical chairs for the final BIG prize.  Now the competition was ON!!!  Not super safe for kids so Troy sat and watched and Brad carried Addyson.  I think he was hoping it would get him the sympathy chair!
No such luck.  Didn't stop Kellen from trying to push him out of the way!!!  When it got down to the final 3 we had to tell the kids to stay back!!! : )
And the final two came down to Ryan and I.  Do you think he would be easy on his pregnant sister like Owen was with his little sister??? No such luck! The music paused so we both sat.  Turned out it was a false alarm.  Thank goodness because I think he would have had it.
Finally the music stopped for good and I had a seat!!!!  Yay for me!!!  Winner of a gift card to Olive Garden!!!!  Yummy!!!!
So despite the rain and threat of a canceled Easter Egg hunt all was well and fun was had by all!!!
We all left with bags full of goodies and bellies full of a yummy breakfast followed by a dessert of chocolate!!!  Now it was time to take this sugar filled kids to church!!!!
Happy Easter from the Zantow Family!!!  Gina, Troy, and Ryan
Happy Easter from the Brewsters!