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.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Busy Summer~ long post!

After we got all our jams and jellies made, we had to start thinking more about our summer.  Let me think back here... s0 much happened in our little neck of the woods.  It usually doesn't.

June 15-18 was Girls Camp for Lauren & Kayley near Zwolle, LA.  It was at the Toledo Bend State Park.  Lauren went her 1st year a few years back, and had a blast.  They both had a great time this year.  Because of the reunion, they didn't go home with our YW girls.  Shawn's cousin, Jeri, who lives near there, came to get them since by the time the girls got home, we would already be headed down, and no reason to pack/unpack, etc... all that junk!  ;-)

June 18-20 was the Miller Family Reunion.  It was also at the Toledo Bend State Park.  Nice cabins, A/C, working toilets/showers, swimming pool, canoing, get the picture?  Kids had a great time visiting with cousins.  It was nice to leave so that I could sleep in my own bed the 20th night.  We did attend church in Many, LA.  Very small ward.  Needs people bad.  Loved that all our children, and the other cousins that were there, were there!  Doubled the size of their attendance, and being June/end of quarter... doesn't that count for monies for the next year?  Only reason why they were happy!  LOL!!!

June 25-July 7th, we were in Temple & Killeen.  We went to church in Temple on the 27th, headed to Killeen that night.  Unpacked, and said night-night to Lindsey, as she headed over to Madi's house to stay the night. Next morning, the rest of the kids and I headed to Bryan/College Station and Huntsville.  First to Bryan to drop off Kayley at her friend Cristina's house.  Then to College Station to drop of Jacob & Krissy at their friends Jonathan & Gracie's house.  Then with Joey still strapped in his carseat, he, Lauren & I headed to Huntsville so that Lauren could attend EFY.  She and her friends Preston & Jacy were going to be there too.  Jacy & Lauren were going to be roomies.  We found EFY, exchanged hellos & good-byes with Preston & Jacy's parents, and we were off... back to College Station first to pick up those 2 kiddos, and then over to Bryan where they all swam for an hour at Cristina's awesome pool before we headed back to Killeen.  No joke, it must of rained all the way there, and for the next 7 days!  It was so not fun even though I didn't have a swimsuit... but kids couldn't swim hardly at all.  On the 2nd I went back to Bryan, stayed the night with Jean Hughes, and was up early the next morning to be in Huntsville @ 7am check-out.  Lauren and I made our way back to Bryan just in time for the Bryan 1st Ward Pancake Breakfast at Austin's Colony Park, and then went home.  That afternoon my sisters and I had already planned to go eat at Cheddars in Harker Heights.  Just not my sisters, but my Mom and sisters-in-laws too!  I was running late though because I just couldn't get my hair to stay dry and me to quit sweating, which turns out to probably have been my Cymbalta mostly that was affecting it all.  After sitting in front of the fan forever, I was ready to go, and got there by 1:20 or so.  So unlike me!  I am always on time!  My mom went out to greet me so I would know where they were sitting, and I get back to the corner, and SURPRISE! Balloons, the sad birthday song being sung, and everyone clapping and cheering... WHY?

Because I was turning

My birthday wasn't exactly on that date (it's the 18th!), but because ALL OF US WERE THERE (minus Sunde because she lives in Boise), they decided to throw me a girls-only 40th birthday party!  It was so not like them to do this!!  Or at least to me!!  I was so happy!  I had never had a surprise party before!  I was like a little kid!  I was gitty and all!!  The "joke" gift is that everyone got me Aqua Net hairspray.  They all know I still use it, and that I go through a can a week, so they made sure I wouldn't have to buy any for the next 2 months!  Fortunately for me, I have cut my hair even shorter, and so now my hairspray is last 2 weeks at a time!  Going this rate, it may be Thanksgiving before having to buy more!  LOL!!!  The 4th of July was Sunday, and Fast Sunday with my parents.  After church, we went back to their house where hanged out until dinner... tacos as usual!  We then went over to the hill to watch the fireworks on Ft. Hood.  I don't know how people enjoy it there, because I didn't!  We have always gone on Ft. Hood, but supposedly no one wanted to go this year since it was on a Sunday, etc...  My kids were very disappointed at not being able to see the fireworks good, or hear the patriotic songs.  I told my kids for now on, Sunday or not, if we are in Killeen visiting over 4th of July, we will go to Ft. Hood!

On the way home on the 7th, we went to the "back way" of east Texas.  They way I hate going via Corsiscana, Athens, up to Canton, over to Mineola (my great-great gramma died there) and then up & over in the Quitman/Winnsboro area to drop Lauren off at Preston & Jacy's house so that she could attend the Gilmer Stake Youth Conference with them.  Plan was to get up early Sunday morning, and drive to Quitman Ward by 10am to attend church with them.  Well, we didn't make it.  Shawn had driven the Suburban to get a lab puppy on Saturday, and blah blah blah... ended up not getting the lab that day, but got to come home early... but he didn't make it out of Shreveport.  A bolt fell off the passenger side back brake, and he was stuck there until I could get down there with some tools, etc... So Sunday morning, no church nor Suburban for me... as it was now sitting at the tire center in Ashdown.  As soon as Shawn got home from work on Sunday night, I headed to Mt. Pleasant to pick up Lauren from the Lloyd's.  We got home about midnight or so.  It was great though.  Had a fun talk with her about Youth Conference and EFY, since when I picked her up, she slept all the way home, and then crashed with Rebekah the rest of the time.

July 17-22 we headed to Galveston, Tx to spend 5 fun-filled days at the beach with Brett's family.  They rented the house, I provided all the food/cooking.  The house was perfect for our families (minus the few lemons it provided here and there), and no way could anyone else even have stayed with us.  Anymore then it would have been way over-crowded.  We were right on the beach... where we could send kids outside, and we adults could watch from the comfort of the home and a/c.  Of course, I headed to the beach Tuesday morning/afternoon... and got burned!  Still peeling, and still itching from it bad.  I have decided that I will stay white for the rest of my life, and if I was ever to get skin cancer, it's because of that day, or all the times I was a stupid teenager and not wear sunscreen EVER!  I just can't explain how fun it was to be with Brett and Cindy and their family.  We went to the Galveston Ward, and the kids met more friends!  I will post pictures as I get them off Facebook and into a folder on my computer.  We had to leave the 22nd as Shawn had to be at work the 23rd, and Lauren had our stake Youth Conference the 23-24th.  I had to have her at our building at 7:30am.

July 24th was the Bi-Ward Pioneer Party at the church.  New Boston was invited too.  Dressed the kids up like pioneers, and off we went.  Really no one had seen us since June 10th, so all was happy that we were home.  While it was nice to be back in our ward the 25th, I couldn't help but feel a bit sad coming back to a small ward, when for the last 3 weeks of church we had been in good-size wards with lots of kids/youth for my kids.  I have really missed that for my kids... Josh had it until we moved here when he was 15.  

We have been planning on going back to Temple & Killeen before school starts back up August 19th, but I just don't know if we are.  If we do, it will be a last minute trip.  Pictures to come soon!

Priceless fun!

I have been trying to organize my pictures better, and I even started a "Walgreens Folder" so I can transfer pictures I want there so I can get printed off.  I need to do it soon, since you know Shawn lost all my pictures of the years 2003, 2004 & almost all of 2005.  

As I was looking at them, I found these cute pictures of Lauren, Kayley and cousin Rebekah in front of the Dallas Temple in March 2010.  Rebekah's ward youth had baptisms at 11am, and ours was at 1pm, and then when my parents decided to go that day too... it was perfect!  Rebekah was able to stay and do baptisms with our ward, and then head home with Mimi & Grampa.  It was a fun day for them for sure!

Kayley & Rebekah

Rebekah, Lauren & Kayley... such pretty girls!

Lauren & Rebekah... poor things are always freezing and have their jackets on!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Alice in Wonderland?

We finally rented Alice In Wonderland from Redbox, and while it wasn't our favorite movie, we thought Professor Snape aka Alan Rickman was awesome playing the caterpillar.  No joke, within a few days, Jacob found Mr. Caterpillar outside our house!  Awesome!

Blackberry Jam/Jelly

I have no idea why my pictures are not going in the right order.  Not any of them!  Hmph!  So the top picture is Blackberry Jelly.  Only a few jars left of the jelly.  Just took to much time to take all the seeds out!

And this is our Blackberry Jam.  Took some of it to the Miller Family Reunion, and I think one of the bottles "sold" for $25!

Jacob smashing the berries!

Krissy helping to rinse them off before smashing them.

Krissy taking her turns at smashing them, as Lindsey watches.

Jacob still smashing, as Kayley supervises.

Joey wanted a turn... Krissy allowing him.

Kayley still supervising with Lindsey

Cooking the juice!

Waiting for the juice to get done.

Lindsey smashing!

And so, this is what we did in June before we started our busy summer!  Tons of berries that were picked and sold.  Can't wait to make more blackberry jelly next year!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

More Cousin Time!

One thing about coming to Killeen, especially during the summer, is that tons of cousins are always around! That's one thing I didn't have growing up. I was a military brat, so we lived away from cousins. I didn't have a lot of cousins like my kids do, or that Shawn had (his dad being 1 of 13 living children with kids), so I think it's cool that my kids always have someone about their age to hang/play with.
In this picture (L-R)
Kayley, Meghan, Colby, Jannie, Madi, Ella, Krissy, Lindsey & Joey
My parents grandchildren are:
Heidi: Joshua, Lauren, Kayley, Jacob, Kristen,
Lindsey, Joseph
Brett: Brandon, Rebekah, Austin, Rachel, Mariela,
Eathyn, #7 due September
Todd: Brynn, Camryn, Luke, Maxwell
Heather: Tyler, Reilly, Colby
Hilary: Nathan, Meghan, Jannie
Chad: Madelynn, Ella
Scott: Jared, Alexis, #3 due in December
Besides Josh being almost 20, the rest range in age
from 16 yrs-17 months old!
And before Holly get upset, she is dating a very nice man who has 3 children: Josiah, LaNae, LaNice. We tease Holly that they aren't official cousins until she and her boyfriend are married, which she claims will never happen, so until then they are un-official cousins, but bestest friends! They love coming over to hang out. The post about the Easter eggs back in April shows a few pictures of the girls.

Monday, July 05, 2010

It REALLY is a SMALL world!

Today I get a letter from Josh, and he wanted to know if Shawn remembered an Elder Smedley. Elder/Brother Smedley thought that Josh looked familiar, and said that he looked like a missionary from his mission. Blah, blah, blah... turns out he was talking about Shawn, and even pulled out 2 pictures of him and Shawn when they were together in 1987. Brother Smedley had served in the Texas San Antonio Mission as Shawn, and was Shawn's district leader. Brother Smedley is in the ward bishopric that Josh is now serving in, and has cancer.
He might need all our prayers.

These pictures I snagged from Amanda's FACEBOOK. He looks really good!

Swimming at Mimi & Grampa's house!

Kids having a great time today (Monday, June 5th) swimming because it's actually pretty nice and not raining! These pictures were taken by Holly, my sister.
It's just to hot to go out there today. I forgot my swimsuit on purpose so I could go buy me a new one while here. I did find one that I thought would look good, but beached whales should stay at the beach! No swimming for me this year!
My siblings tease me about Joey. See what he is wearing? He has one of those floatie swimsuit things on, plus the floaties on his arms, plus the baby float. That kid is determined not to get his face and head wet! Scott said yesterday that as Joey was trying to get out of the pool, Joey fell backwards and even though his head wasn't in the water, acted like he was dying, flinging his arms and moaning like "Ralphie's brother who had the snow-gear on in The Christmas Story."

Joey & Jared, best cousins forever!

Best buds and best cousins forever!!
3 July 2009: Inks Lake, TX
Wanting to go outside, but it was just to wet and muddy.
Mother's Day Weekend 2009: Ashdown, AR
Playing with matching firetrucks. They also love the matching purple Barbie cars.
Summer 2009: Killeen, TX (Mimi & Grampa's house)
The cute 3 year olds!
27 June 2010 (Mimi & Grampa's house)

Fireworks 2010

Every year on the 4th of July, we are usually here in Killeen. Most of the time we head out to Ft. Hood for the fireworks, flag ceremony and just having a fun time. Can't believe it's been a year since we went last year with Josh. He hadn't been to Ft. Hood for many years because of EFY or work, but because he was about to leave on his mission he wanted to go really bad. We had a great time last year. Because we still had dial-up last summer, I didn't post a lot of those picture, if any at all. I know Dierks Bentley (country singer) was there, so Josh was excited about that. But this year, we didn't go to Ft. Hood, even though I really wanted too. Instead we went to Killeen Daily Herald and sat on the grass and watched them. It just wasn't the same, and I was getting bit by mosquitos. Next time we will go to Ft. Hood.

Pictures here of some of the cousins, Mimi, and me. Love the one of me and Joey. I had to wear my glasses or I wouldn't have been able to see anything. I am getting so blind now!!


Whenever we go to Killeen for a long period of time, we girls always find time to go to Cheddars. That is like my favorite place to eat, especially the one in College Station because they have my favorite dessert, Key Lime Pie. I was actually in College Station on Monday (June 28th), so only had time to visit with my best friend for an hour, and that is where we met. Just so I could have a piece of Key Lime Pie. At the beginning of last week, my sister Heather text me (and all the girls) to see if I wanted to do lunch on Saturday at Cheddars. I said I would be there. Fast forward... Saturday at 12:15p, I finally get in the shower, and made it to Cheddars 1 hour later to this: Black balloons, Oh Happy Birthday (sad song that our Mom taught us), and me being embarrassed!!
(Don't look at the spare tire)
All my sisters & 3 sisters-in-law's were there, and I got lots of my favorite things: Aqua Net hairspray & Reeses Peanut Butter candy. I also got some other fun gifts, but these were the focus. It was a fun time, and fun being all together.
Picture were taken, and even the video, and if I can figure out how to put the video on here, I will later. Pictures of the sisters-in-law's were taken too, but I haven't seen any of those downloaded anywhere. This picture is of my 3 sisters and our Momma.

My 40th birthday isn't until the 18th, but this was the time that we were all here.
It was fun being together!!