All because two people fell in love...

We met in February 1989, started dating in May, and got married in September. And Josh came *almost* 11 months later, just in case y'all were wondering. And then no more came. We waited, and waited, and then Lauren decided to make her debut in May 1995 (5 weeks early), and then Kayley 1997, Jacob 1998, Krissy 2001, Lindsey 2004 & Joey 2006. We lived in Texas until 2005, and then we moved to Arkansas, just about 25 miles north of Texarkana, Texas. Fortunately all my children are Texans (and my handsome husband) because Texans are just cool. Wish I was a Texan... but husband had to settle with a California gal, which I think is pretty cool too.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

August 31, 1968... this happy couple began a life together!

To the greatest parents ever! I hope you have a great day celebrating! I am so sorry I didn't plan our weekend better because we could have come! Didn't even cross my mind with Labor Day, kids out, etc... We could have been there last night for the family dinner. I know it was fun! Enjoy you day! I love you Mom & Dad!

In that note...
Happy Anniversary, Happy Anniversary, Happy Anniversary!
Haaaaaappy Anniversary!

Happy Birthday Heather!

Wow! Can you believe it? You are 34! I have some cute pictures of you when you were 14, and a bit younger, and a bit older. I wish I could post them right now. I want everyone to see how cute you are. But, I don't have any on my computer right now. So, everyone will have to see how beautiful you are now. Even if your husband and son are dorks...
I know you love your boys. I thought this one was cute. Don't know when it was taken, but I gather it was recently with Reilly's hair. Heather, you have such a cute family!
I am happy that we are sisters. Even if I don't always call, or chat with you as often as we should, or like, I still think of you often, and I am so thankful that we are sisters! I love you!

(be warned... just because Heather didn't get an "oldie" doesn't mean you won't!)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

To die for...

Found a Sesame Chicken recipe in a Chinese Cookbook that I've had for many, many years, and was finally brave enough to try it tonight. I got rave reviews from my whole family, even Kristen, who swore she didn't like it before she tried it.
Sesame Chicken
If not using boneless chicken breasts, remove all bones & skin; cut chicken into strips (2-3 lbs).
In a bowl, mix well:
1 egg
2 Tbsp. flour
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. water
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vegetable oil
1/4 tsp. soda
1/4 tsp. white pepper
Place chicken in bowl or bag, and cover with sauce. Let sit in fridge for 20 minutes.
Mix 1/2 c. water & 1/4 c. cornstarch; set aside.
In saucepan, heat and mix well:
1 c. sugar
1 c. broth (I added some ground ginger to it too)
3/4 c. vinegar
2 tsp. dark soy sauce
2-3 dashes of chili or cheyenne pepper (or more)
1 tsp. vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
After it has come to a boil, add cornstarch mix, and stir until thickened. Remove from heat; keep warm.
Heat 1 1/2 inches vegetable oil in wok to 350. Add some of the chicken to it, and fry for 3 minutes, or until starting to get brown. Remove from oil with slotted spoon, and drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining chicken until all done.
Heat more oil to 375. Add 1/2 of chicken, and fry for 2 minutes or until done and lightly browned. Remove with slotted spoon and drain. Place on a heated platter. Repeat until all chicken is done.
Heat sauce again. Immediately pour over chicken. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Enjoy!

Happy Birthday Maddie!

To our sweet little 5 year old who loves about everything in life!
I know she loves her little sister, Ella.
And especially loves loves loves her cousins! From what I have heard, Colby is the most favorite boy cousin because he will play house with you! You also love it when Rachel, Krissy & Lindsey come visit because, well you know... they are the girl cousins! I thought this was such a cute picture of you and your cousins eating ice cream & watching TV. Happy Birthday, Maddie! Hope you have a fun birthday!
Wish we could be there to celerate with you!

When you have a large family that I do (my 7 children, + my own 7 siblings + spouses + 18 nephews & neices + Shawn's side of the family = lots of birthdays), there are months that are filled with birthdays! January, March & June are not quite as busy, but the others... WOW! I am going to try start posting a picture of the birthday person on their special day. I may even try to remember anniversaries too, but don't count on it unless I have some pictures. I will try to keep updated pictures of everyone, or if I like an "oldie" better, I will use it! My friend, Kenna, has a brother who does this for his siblings, and it's quite entertaining... he uses "bad oldies" (70-80's era)! LOL!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Oh no! It's Frank & Joe!

My kids got this DVD collection from my mother-in-law. She thought it was going to be the "older" Nancy Drew (how much older could it be?) so she wasn't to "hip" on watching these, so she gave them to the kids. Lindsey will play either with Joey or with her Barbies acting out Nancy, Frank & Joe. It's actually pretty funny to watch her "talk" for them! Today she watched one of the DVD's that had about 6 shows on them. She likes watching the snow one, the fire one, the beach one, but didn't like the one called "Campus Terror." Valerie Bertinelli (ex to John Bon Jovi) was in it. Cracked me up! The snow one (and if you come for Thanksgiving, you've got to watch it!) is another that makes me laugh. It's so staged, and so hilarious!
But really, with the long hair styles and all... Shaun Cassidy & Parker Stevenson aren't that bad looking! I used to have a Shaun Cassidy shirt when I lived in Alaska. I thought it was cool.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad!

Wow! I can't believe Dad is 63! I mean, 63 is old! Just look at the numbers... 6 and 3. Just seems so weird. I remember when my dad turned 40, and then 50, and now 63! Crazy!
This was the state-of-the-art big screen TV back in 1963, the year that Dad graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School in San Jose, California.
Dad and Mom came to visit us this past weekend. I made him his favorite cake, Italian Cream, and it was all eaten! It was yummy! The "6" on the cake is actually an upside down "9", and I am holding the candle behind it so Dad could blow out 63.
Dad aka Santa Claus around the Killeen, Tx area... 2007
Dad really enjoying Mom's hug there... even with 1 eye, Dad can sure text fast!
Dad enjoying all the dogs at Thanksgiving, 2007
Dad & Mimi with new little Eathyn Frank... yes, named after him (for the complete story, go to Brett & Cindy's blog). I know he is proud, because after 11 grandsons his 12th was named after him, even though I tell him all the others were named AFTER him too, but he didn't agree!
Happy Birthday, Dad! I love you!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The baby has arrived!

I am a proud new aunt, thanks to my brother Brett and his wife, Cindy!
Eathyn Frank was born today around 1:30pm-ish in Temple, Texas. He weighed 7#10, and was 20" long. He is joining siblings Brandon, Rebekah, Austin & Rachel.
Minutes old... cute as can be!
Cindy said she made up the spelling for Eathyn (via what Holly said), and so I had to do a google search. Brett and Cindy should be excited to know, that

has their own Eathyn... Eathyn Manumaleuna to be exact. He blocked the field goal attempt to give BYU the 17-16 win over UCLA at the Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 22, 2007.

Congrats Brett & Cindy! Can't wait to meet your little guy!

Monday, August 25, 2008

And the winner is...

All of us! We all got something at the Little River County Fair. Granted, it was not the ultra blue Grand Prize ribbon, but we all got a ribbon!
Heidi: 1st~a cross-stitched picture that I did years ago, 1st~ Apricot Surprise Jam, 2nd~ Blackberry Jam, nothing on the salsa (not even an honorable mention!).
Lauren: 1st~ 2 hats that she made.
Kayley: 2nd~ 2 hats that she made (BTW... same catagory as Lauren); she also entered some cookie bars, but I forgot to get those, so I don't know if she placed on those.
Jacob: 1st~ 1 hat that he made.
The end results will be in the Little River News this week. I am already planning on what to enter next year! I may even enter a few pictures that Mom has done (in her name of course) to see if she places!

New elder in the family

Josh was ordained yesterday to an elder by his dad.

Friday, August 22, 2008

School days school days... yucky yucky cruel days!

I say cruel days, because it is! Getting to sleep in for 2 months until 6:30-7am (haha!), and then all of the sudden forced to be up at 5:30! So cruel!
Lauren, 13, started 7th grade this year. She likes most of her teachers, but says her art teacher is evil! From what I have heard, I think she is evil too!
Kayley, 11 going on 30. She just thinks it's horrible that Lauren can wear a little bit of make-up, and she can't. I said starting at 12... only 7 more months Kayley Kay! She hasn't complained about her teachers, so they all must be great.
Jacob, 9... started a new school this year in 4th grade. He is an avid reader like his dad, and is proudly showing what he is reading. Strage kid... didn't start with book 1! No, he started with 5, then bounced his way around to book 1, and his last will be 7.
Missy Krissy started 1st grade. Has 2 best friends, Lily & Kara, in class with her and nice teacher, Mrs. Green. She absolutely loves school.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Extra pictures

Shawn got 2 new toys from a guy who moved into our ward. He works for Husqvarna, and when they are done testing a product, they toss it. He was able to get Shawn a small chainsaw (perfect for removing brush for the deer stands!), and a leaf blower. We are hoping for a new lawn mower next.

Cousins Joey, Jared and Ella eating Grampa's homemade waffles. I am sure the boys just got done in the pool, so that is why they are only in diapers.

I took Lauren & Kayley, and our new Young Woman in our ward, Jennsine (her dad gave Shawn the new toys) shopping the other day in Texarkana. The girls just needed to get some shoes and their school supplies. Before we started shopping, we went to Taco Bell. Lauren took out her bumper/retainer so she could eat better, and guess what? IT GOT THROWN OUT! But she didn't realized it until after we had already gone to Walmart, and was heading to Target. So I turned around, and went back to Taco Bell. I am pretty sure Lauren was pretty shocked that I was going to make her, not me, but her, dig thru the trash to find it. Kayley & Jennsine were nice to help her...
find it!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Fair Days!

Fair days are starting again for this year. In this area, they always start the week of school starting with the Little River County Fair. This year I am going to enter some food: blackberry jam, apricot surprise jam, salsa & pickles, and possibly a sampler that I cross-stitched years ago (is that allowed?). Lauren & Kayley are also going to enter some homemade things that they have done (baby hats) or will make (cookie bars/brownies) by Monday. I am pretty excited. If we get a ribbon (going for the blue!), I'll post the pictures later. In September will be the annual 4 States Fair. We've only gone 2 times since being married. We have yet to go since moving here in 2005. That fair is just so expensive. I am sure Shawn will be employed with Willis Knighton in November, and we'll go to the Louisiana State Fair because they always have WK employee day, and all family members get in free with free lunch. Only way we can go...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Joey and the orange things

Kayley comes out of the little girls room which has a bathroom in it. Remember that they have the old master room with the bathroom. My bathroom has yet to be finished (or let's say, even started...) so since we have moved here Shawn & I have been using that bathroom.

Conversation between Kayley & me:

Kayley: "Mom, Lindsey wasn't watching Joey, and he has gotten all those orange things in the toilet."

Mom: (thinking to myself: orange things, orange things... what orange things? as I am walking in) "Well, did you get them out?"

Kayley: "I couldn't."

So, I walk in the bathroom, and there they are: the orange things aka tampons, soaking in the toilet. I continued to let them sit for a moment to get soft, and then I flushed.

Nice. Thanks Joey.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Update on the mouse, or mice as you can say...

Shawn and Josh decided to tear apart my oven on Saturday as I was driving home from my parents (BTW... no problems with Suburban or kids). They cleaned, pulled out again, and cleaned some more. No mice. Found part of the remains of the mouse from months before still stuck in the oven. Maybe that was what I was smelling? Shawn found a few mouse turds here and there, and even found a nest, but no baby mice. He and Josh did see 2 mice running from the stove to the dishwasher back to the stove. Josh got one (meaning he killed it), and they couldn't get the second one. Shawn figured the baby mice he kept hearing were these 2 mice having a great ol' time, if you KWIM! That night we set out 4 mice traps. Within an hour, we heard a snap. Another mouse dead. By Sunday morning after getting back from my walk @ 6:30a, another snap... another dead one! And this morning, another dead one. I am going to keep putting these traps out until everyone of these mice are dead!

Now... if I can combat the small roaches living in my dishwasher!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Vacation no more

I am never going anywhere again if it has to involve 3 younger children. If people want to see me, they are going to have to come visit me. I absolutely refuse to take these 3 children anywhere again until they:

  • have quit crying everytime someone speaks to or looks at him
  • have quit screaming bloody murder when having to take a shower
  • have learned to swim

These 3 children have blown every chance of going on a vacation with me again. Why do they even call it vacation when it consist of a mom and small children? In all honesty, is that really a vacation? I think not. My nerves are shot, and I even hope these children even make it home tomorrow alive!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Bows, bows and more bows

I have always been a fanatic about bows. I love bows! Started off with Lauren and continued on with Kayley. I guess I was pretty bad because I had bows to match every outfit (including MAM paci's for Kayley), and my dad would say "here comes the Miller bows!" everytime we visited. Then the girls started getting bigger, and they didn't want to wear bows much. I was so sad. Krissy was born, but Lauren & Kayley would not ever leave bows in her hair. I finally had to put my foot down when Lindsey was born saying to them "If you touch this bow, I will beat your booty!" Lindsey had tons of dark curly hair, and I wanted bows & clips in her hair. Krissy had thin hair so clips just didn't stay in good besides the fact that her older sisters always took them out.

So now my big girls are way big, and I am trying to keep my little girls in bows. They were good when their hair was long and I could pull it back into a pony. Now that I have cut their hair short again, only bows will be in front. I have tons of bows made by my cute friend, Aubrey, who moved before I could get more bows made. I then had a lady in town make some bows for me in May, but they are so not like Aubrey's or as nice as others I have seen. I love bows, and I love nice big bows!

Aubrey is now pregnant, and I think has slowed down on making them. But if she will let me know that she can still make me some, I'll send her some ribbon. I have found a few websites (posted on the left) that I have absolutely fallen in love with. I am going to learn to make the flower ones for Lindsey's hair for sure. I hope Krissy (entering 1st grade) will allow me to put bows in her hair this year.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

5 hr drive turns to 7 1/2

Yesterday I decided to go to my parents in Killeen. Jacob hadn't been all summer, and he was dying to get there to see cousins Reilly & Austin, and I figured this was the best time to go just before school starts Aug. 19th. We load up and leave, and are on the road by 9:20am. 2:30-3pm we should arrive depending on traffic in Dallas and how long I let the kids play at the McD's next to the Dallas Zoo. We sailed through Dallas before and after lunch. I just couldn't believe how there was NO traffic at all. I should have known...

Every single time we go through Dallas, and there is NO traffic and I start boasting to my mom that I just got through easily, something will happen down the road~ take our trip to AZ in June for one. That cost me like $750!

Okay, so here I am sailing on I-35 S, coming close to the I-35 E. & W. merger in Hillsboro. Bam! Traffic comes to a hault. I mean, 50 minute hault that only took me 6 miles. I was almost to the merger (I could see the bridge) when my a/c died and my coolant light came on. Why not? I mean, I only have 10 thousand cars in front, beside and behind me, and so I pull over to the left-side shoulder on I-35 S. I would tell you the mile marker, but my mind has gone blank. I call Shawn. He tells me to lift the hood, and to wait 15 minutes before trying to take off the cap and adding fluid.

Remember now, I am in central Texas... the pavement and surrounding areas according to my temp. gauge is now 120, and it's hot! Suburban is like an oven even with the windows down. I have the kids get outside to stand between the car & cable that now lines the highway to stop car wrecks going into the northbound traffic. Places on I-30 towards Dallas has the concrete barriers. Texarkana and this area of the highway has cable lines. I figured it would be okay since traffic was not moving. WRONG!

You know, before I go on with my story, I want to say that Josh had his Eagle Scout Board of Review on Monday night. Well, let's say he was SUPPOSE TO! Eagle Board forgot, and didn't call us, and so we made a wasted trip into Texarkana on Monday night. But before we left, Josh and I were going over some of the stuff he needed to know... like the motto, slogan, etc... What's the motto? BE PREPARED!

Yah... I wasn't prepared for this trip that well. I didn't have any water with us for the kids. But, I never have ever made sure we had water. If we needed some, we would pull over at a gas station, and then grab some. Never had a cooler with water in it. I bet that will be different on the way home on Saturday!

So here we are... standing in the 100+ heat outside on the highway. Jacob is starting to get hot. I mean his little face is beat red. I am talking to my sister Holly telling her where I was, and how Jacob is. She says why don't I just call 911 to see if a patrol car can come so that he can sit in the a/c until my car cools down. Sure, why not. There is not a gas station in sight, so I call 911. They connect me to Hillsboro PD, I tell them the situation and they tell me that they will send a car out. I was also told that a motorhome had gotten a flat past the merger, so that is why traffic has slowed down. Great! Just as I got off the phone with the PD, kind kind people who are probably on vacation themselves, start rolling down their windows, and handing me bottles of water, Gatorade, Powerade, Vitamin Water, crackers. One trucker left a huge Gatorade bottle full of water for my car. I was very touched. I was getting Jacob cooled down with him drinking the water, and with putting cold water on his head, underarms, etc... Just then, and I swear it was at the same time, 2 nice men stopped, and the police car, ambulance and fire rescue truck all pulled up at the same time, and Jacob was checking his blood sugar again. His blood sugar was 103, so I refused treatment from the ambulance (had to sign a paper) and told them that I was thoroughly embarrassed because I only wanted a police car. They asked me questions for a moment, the 2 men filled my car with water, my a/c started, the traffic started going and we all left. Jacob was fine for the rest of the 1 1/2 hr trip, and for the rest of the day.

We got to my parents at 5pm, and we all went to my brother Chad's, place to eat. Kids came back to swim at Mimi's & Grampa's.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Poor Joey

He's been getting a lot of bad publicity from me saying how he is a constant mess, el distructo, etc... I just wanted you to see that really he is quite calm, and quite cute when he isn't causing a mess somewhere...
Playing with the wooden train set in his room (pink carpet even!):
He loves "reading" the Friend. He can sit for hours, okay maybe 5-10 minutes, just looking at pictures. He especially loves looking at the "real" kid pictures (Friends In The News, etc...)
But, I did have to throw in a couple of messy pictures. This is of my table & floor this morning. You really can't see it, but it's pretty much covered with cereal.
And this is him right after trying to open the bucket of croutons (Josh's graduation gift from Chad's place... LOL!), but he is unsucessful with that (that's another lid on top of the secured lid). Pretty much my kitchen and storage room is a mess too. Why even bother to clean it?
We also discovered this morning that a new dog has joined us. It's a full-blood hound (at least it looks like it... AKA: hunting dog). Very well trained, and no collar. I doubt I'll put an ad in the paper because it cost so much, but we've already fed her this morning, and it chowed down. I figured if she stays for a while and we feed it, at least it's been taken care of. Joey about freaked out when it popped her head at the window, and he wasn't expecting it. We will be calling her Ellie until she leaves, if at all.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Mouse a la mode again?

Ok, I really don't know what is up with mice finding my oven a great place to hide or give birth or whatever. Apparently a mouse, or mice, have died in my upper oven. And it's not like it's easy to get too. At first we could hear some baby mice somewhere. We took out the oven, cleaned everything behind it again, and we did find a nest with 1 dead mouse. No baby mice. One day I decided to make some french bread using the broiler in my upper oven. I don't use that oven a lot as it is not big (see picture).

I turn it on, and within seconds, we can smell something. It was grosser than gross! No french bread that night. I could only smell it when that oven was on, not the bottom one. Fast forward a few months to tonight (yes, you are right... stove has not been cleaned yet because I can't get my husband to do it!)... I turn on the lower oven, and while the smell is not bad, I can still smell something. I open up the top oven, and I almost died. Shawn said that he would look at it tomorrow (wanna take bets?).

Everything is falling apart or not working right, and it's making me mad. Stove, dishwasher, broken chair that is only 6 yrs old (Shawn sat in it tonight and it broke and he fell... it was quite hilarious!), Shawn's nice watch (not drastic, but still), boat, car, shoes, you name it... something else will be broken before the night is over, I am sure. :-(