Friday, November 30, 2007

little singers

The boys have started singing a lot lately. They like to sing the song from Elmo's World, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, Old MacDonald, The Wheels on the Bus, and Jesus Wants me for a Sunbeam. They are getting pretty good at it and can get most of the words in there, and if not, they mumble until they get to words that they do know. It won't be long before they are singing Christmas songs too with as much as we are listening to them lately.

Here is a sample of them singing with their puppets this morning.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

before & after

When we moved to Florida a year and a half ago, Bart bought this old dresser from a tiny secondhand store in a small, rural town outside of Gainesville. When I arrived in Florida with the boys a few days later, he showed me the treasure he had found. Other than the fact that we desperately needed a dresser and had no money to purchase one, and the fact that this dresser was structurally in great shape, I despised this hideous thing. If you can't tell from the picture, it is a cream color with gold accents. I have been wanting to paint it since the moment I saw it, but could never decide on a color. Our bedroom is done in turquoise and chocolate brown, but there is already so much of that color combination in there, I thought it needed something different. Well, I decided last April to paint it Vintage Bouquet and chocolate brown, but for the past seven months it has been too hot in Florida to paint. So, I finally painted it this week.
It's hard to tell from this picture, but it is actually more purple than it is pink. I knew I couldn't possibly make it look any worse than it already did, so it was fun to try something a little different. It looks really good with the other colors in our bedroom. Between the paint and new handles, it only cost me $14 to fix it up, and worth every penny.

Friday, November 16, 2007

a fun-filled week

I just realized that the last few posts I didn't mention anything about what we have been doing around here, so here you go. Bart is almost done with his rotation in the pediatric ICU, and he has really enjoyed it. He has learned a lot, and he has worked with some great doctors and residents.

The boys and I went to Busch Gardens twice this week. Here is a fun picture from the earlier trip.

The three of us on the dragon merry-go-round

Kade and Ky driving a car

Posing in an eggshell

Kade with Dumphry the Dragon
Just playing with the monkeys!

The second time, I went with my friends Sarah and Suzanne and their kids. I realized that morning that the battery in the camera was dead, but I didn't think it was a big deal because we have been there a bunch, and the pictures are always on the same few rides, and they all look the same. Well, this time, Sarah and Suzanne showed me another part of the park I didn't know about, with some more fun rides that Ky and Kade could ride on. So, we'll have to go again and take pictures of them on the new rides.

Last weekend, we took a drive downtown and found this fun park right on the bay. We walked out on the pier and saw a huge cruise ship leaving the port and wondered why we weren't on it. The boys had a great time on the playground.

With Daddy on the pier

Kade hanging on slide

Ky hanging on slide

Bart took the boys to the golf course on Saturday. Kade loves to play golf, and had a great time hitting the balls into the hole. Ky was more interested in seeing how many golf balls he could pick up at the same time. He kept saying, "Another one golf ball!"

I've started making and buying Christmas gifts, and I can say I am having a great Holiday Season so far!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

taggy, tag

I've been tagged a few times, so I thought I should sit down and force myself to think of 6 interesting facts about myself. So, here goes:

1- I love being a wife and mother more than anything else. It has been my dream since I was a little girl to be a stay-at-home mom, and it is more wonderful than I ever imagined. I can hardly talk about my children (especially when I am at church) without getting all weepy and emotional. My husband and my boys are my life! (Almost) everything I do is for them, and I wouldn't have it any other way!
2- I'm a hobby hopper. I like to try new hobbies, but they never last very long. I was way into embroidery a few years ago. I scrapbook, but only for a few weeks at a time, where I go crazy, buy lots of supplies, do several pages, and then forget about it for a month or more. Same with cooking; I will plan elaborate meals for every night of the week for a week or two, then the next few weeks, I don't want to cook at all and we end up eating spaghetti or tacos last minute because I hadn't even thought about dinner.
3-I have a serious sweet tooth. For some reason, I think I need to have a treat after every meal, including breakfast, and a late-night dessert as well. I have basically zero self-control when it comes to sweets, especially chocolate and ice cream. I was amazed by the amount of candy we accumulated for Halloween, and thought we would never finish it all. But, I'm happy to report that in less than two weeks, we have made a serious dent in it.
4-My dream job is to own a bridal consultancy. I love weddings and everything about them. It would be so much fun to work with brides and grooms to help make their special day memorable. Plus, I love being around the fanciness of the bridal gowns, the gorgeous flowers, the art of the wedding photography, and all the other elegant details. It's like a real life fairy tale. (Of course I'm not doing anything now to pursue this career, because I am too busy enjoying my real life fairy tale of being a stay-at-home mom.)
5-I love to dance and sometimes wish that it was practical (and classy) to be in some sort of performing group, now that I am "old" and the mother of two. I guess dancing in my kitchen will have to do.
6-I love holidays, especially Christmas, and I can't wait to see what kind of "magic" this Christmas season has in store for me and my sweet little family.

I don't know who else to tag, because it seems like I have seen this on just about everyone else's blog. So, if you are reading this and haven't done it yet...tag, you're it!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

change of plans

So, after posting the entry last week about deciding to move to Wisconsin, we have received many upset and confused emails and phone calls. It turns out that our friends and family do not want us to make such a big decision about our family's future based on the poll on our blog. So, we have decided that we are going to continue to pray and fast about where we should look for work. Then, we will try to have a job before we settle for sure on where we will live. So please pray for us that we will receive some guidance over the next few months and that Bart will be able to find a good job in a place that will be good for our family.
Oh, and just so you know...this was the plan all along. We were never actually going to decide this based on a silly poll. But it sure was fun to freak everyone out like that!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

the boys' first gator football game

Last Saturday we took the whole family up to Gainesville to go to the Gator football game. The boys were so excited from the moment we told them we were going to go. They wanted to see Tebow (the star quarterback) and Albert (the mascot), and were very excited when they finally saw them. Before the game, they went to their first tailgate party, and boy do Gator fans know how to tailgate! I've never seen anything like it in my life. Ky and Kade danced to the music, ate hot dogs and chips, and played a Gator beanbag toss game.
Once we were inside the stadium, the boys just stared at everything and took it all in. They couldn't stop smiling and cheering and doing the Gator Chomp! The only time they sat still was when the marching band performed--they were completely mesmerized by the music and the twirling flags. I was a little worried that they would be too overstimulated by all the people and all the noise and that they would be restless and wiggly and cranky. But, they are such big gator football fans that they just enjoyed everything about being there in person.

Final Score: Gators 49, Commodores 22

Here we are in a sea of orange & blue walking to the game

Here they are before the game started. Ky loved his ticket, and couldn't stop looking at it. Kade is showing us that the Gators are #1!!!

We took the rare opportunity of sitting down in the student section to pose for a family photo

Daddy and Kade, "We're #1!"

So much excitement leads to tired twins!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

it's been decided

Well, our poll is now closed, and after receiving many votes, it's official: we're moving to Wisconsin! We've started to look for jobs online, and it seems that there are a lot of nice job opportunities in the Green Bay area. We're also looking into living in Madison, especially if Bart's brother, Bret, gets accepted to vet school at the University of Wisconsin there in Madison. It also might be nice to live in the Fox Valley since Bart's family is there and Bart knows the area and already has some contacts that might help him find a good job.

We've found some good websites that show some of the good things about living in Wisconsin: a top ten list, a summary of Wisconsin lifestyle, and a list of fun places to visit in Wisconsin. I'm excited about the delicious cheese and ice cream, Bart is excited about going home, and the boys are excited about becoming Badger fans (although they will forever be Gators!!)

We're glad that we don't have to be grown-ups and make these tough decisions. It's much easier to leave our future up to a very scientific poll on blogger. Now, rather than trying to decide what is really best for our family, we can just trust this poll and spend our time worrying about how we are going to afford to buy complete, new, winter wardrobes for everyone! Thanks everyone for your input. And for those of you who saw the poll and didn't vote, maybe next time you will take our polls a little more seriously :)

Friday, November 2, 2007

deck the halls

I know there are some of you out there who are completely disgusted by the fact that as soon as Halloween is over, Christmas begins. In the stores, on commercials on TV, etc., even though Christmas is still almost 2 months away. Not me! I walked into the grocery store today and saw the display of Santas and snowmen, reindeer and candy canes, evergreen trees and shiny, sparkly balls, and I got all warm and tingly inside. I am so excited! I wanted to come home and start decorating our apartment, and begin my Christmas shopping, and start writing our family Christmas letter, and change the ringtone on my cell phone to Jingle Bells. I'm so excited that this year, I will have two sweet boys who I can really share the joy of the season with, who will understand what unwrapping gifts is all about, who can help me make Christmas cookies, who we can start our own family traditions with, who I can share the Nativity story with, and who I can buy great (yet inexpensive) gifts for! So, I bought a roll of wrapping paper and I thought of some gift ideas for the boys. Maybe next week I will start making some homemade gifts, and start my Christmas shopping. After all, I only have 53 days left until Christmas day! Christmas I come!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

to a great halloween!

Between the four Halloween parties we went to, and trick-or-treating on Halloween night, we had lots of fun dressing up, lots of fun spooky appetizers, lots of chili, lots (and lots) of candy, and so much fun!
A few weeks before Halloween, Bart and I went to a party at our friends, the Andersons' house. It was fun to go to a party just the two of us and get to know some more people here in Tampa. We played games and ate some really fun, yummy Halloween food. I won the prize for the weirdest feet! (Those of you who know me, know exactly what I am referring to!)

Bart & Ashli

All the men at the party

All the women at the party

We had a lot of fun at our ward trunk-or-treat party, although I was in charge of all the games, so we didn't spend much time together as a family.
If you look closely at this picture, it looks like Bart has red-eye from the camera, but he actually wore red contacts that night. It was so spooky!

Monday morning, my friend Sarah hosted a party for all the kids. (She's the same one who hosted the adult party too!) The boys dressed up again, ate mummy dogs and witches brew and had a great time playing with their friends.



We had such a good time trick-or-treating on Halloween night. I couldn't believe I was taking my children trick-or-treating! I'm such a grown-up. We had been practicing the whole process at home so that Kade & Ky would know to knock on the door, what to say, and what they would get. Well, the first house we went to, before we knocked, I asked the boys, "What do you say when they open the door?" They both said "trick-or-treat!" But when the lady opened the door, Ky held up his bag and said, "More!" and Kade reached in the bowl and took some candy while she was trying to give some to Ky. Some houses they were very good at, but others, especially the ones with scary decorations or music, they were quite hesitant. But, everything about it was so much fun!
Ky & Kade with their happy/spooky bat faces

Trick-or-treating all by themselves