Friday, June 27, 2008

Here's to a braave NANA who hates bridges and heights, but was brave enough to stand by the gaurdrail to the Hoover Dam from the Arizona Lookout. She did great, even through all the curvy swervy's I take pretty quickly because I'm used to the drive. She did awesome!!
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So, here Chloe is after she bowled her first - best 198!! I know this makes her Uncle J proud, although it's not real bowling. She loves that too, or more the shoes she gets to wear, but she's figured out this Wii thing pretty well! And, yes, for all hi-techie people we still do not have a flat screen, although almost everywhere we go, people have flat screens. We're holding out until this one bites the dust, I think. This was an early Sunday morning thing that happened while I was at a meeting. I'm so glad B's mom and B took a picture. She was sooo proud of herself and her accomplishment, running up to me before church screaming, "Momma, we did bowling, and I got lots of strikes, and a STAR by my name!!" This Wii thing has taught her quite a bit about bowling but also about accomplishing something and seeing that not only mom and dad think its cool, but the TV thinks it's cool. Hey, I know what you're thinking, the TV? But, we take it where it comes around here.
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Here's the Proof!!

Here's the best pic of all of us together-- crazy, kinda like the moment was, though. I couldn't keep from kissing my hard working grad!
The girls are so excited to be just like daddy - this is definately an expensive dress up outfit, though!
Here's B and his madre! He's such a hottie!! What a proud madre, I'd say!

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

He Did It!!!

This last weekend we went down to Phoenix so I could watch B graduate! His mom flew out for the big event and boy was it FUN! Things just kept changing my plans, and if you know me you know I despise a change in plans. And it was because of me. The ultrasound tech told me to pretty much take it easy. *pshaw!* I was so frustrated when I actually started feeling like I needed to take it easy this last weekend. So, the Phoenix zoo was out- we had a whole day to spend in 113 degree heat, trying to keep the kids hydrated, me sitting down, and I wanted to use this trip to the n'th degree as a fun thing for B's mom. She braved the heat with us- Bravo for NANA! B looked so handsome in his little cap and gown. It was a rather small group of graduates, which surprised us - but I think most people were in the same boat B was - I'll just get my degree in the mail. I was so glad to have Mom #2 out there with the girls getting so wiggly and "I have to potty" throughout the ceremony. Then, people were standing in my way for pictures so I grabbed what I could as the lady read aloud, "Mr. Brian Anthony Rich-ter. Suma Kum Laude. " ooooo!!! Regardless of the name butcher-- he DID IT! I think it started hitting him what a great job he did Afterwards we went to the Rainforest Cafe at the big mall there and even celebrated with their volcano cake thing.. it was delicious and our waitor was magical! Then, I celebrated a little more with a stop at the Childrens Place where I got 5 long sleeve button-down shirts and a pair of jean overalls for baby Gabe for 2.99, each!! Of course, I saw a white sleeve shirt, and forgot it in the midst of my spontaneous mini-splurge. I've looked everywhere and cannot find them for that price! BUMMER!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

It's Official!

For those that don't know - we're pregnant. I'm officially comfortable saying that now, but I'm still just as cautious as before. Today we had our middle-of-the-pregnancy ultrasound today and we saw a healthy, bold, beautiful baby BOY! His name is Gabriel, but I'm stuck with thinking of a middle name. The boy didn't care about us seeing his face, his legs and parts were persistently shoved against the "magic wand" as I tell my daughters it is.
Chloe is absolutely excited to have a little brother. She is already planning on all the things she's going to help the baby learn to do.
Eva is getting used to the idea, but she was pretty upset at first. She's great with all the babies she's around, and the girls helped picked out his "going home" outfit- as long as he's not too small. Apparently he's already weighing in at 1lb 8 oz. Woohoo!! He'll be coming home in a seat of his own around the middle of October. Poor Eva - sharing her birthday with Halloween and now a new baby.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

La-da-da-dee-da-da *the graduation song*

We are soo excited! Brian finished his schoolwork yesterday and is officially DONE with his Bachelors Degree!!! I'm so proud of the dedication he has shown in his school work, and not only that- with the balancing of marriage, family, work, religion, and school. He sets such a good example for our daughters, and I hope they remember how much daddy did with them during school. He would have them push a button here or there, and taught Chloe all about CD-ROMS and RAM, etc. They love helping daddy with schoolwork. In fact, they now have their own ''homework'', and if I'm bothering them, they will tell me, "In a minute. I'm doing my homework." Sometimes, they even ask me for something for homework. I find it amusing, because we have school at home, and on top of that, they're asking for homework. Where does that love end? Brian has sacrificed a lot to be able to complete this degree. He is so selfless he wanted to just have a degree mailed to him and go out to dinner as a family, but he's married to me... soooo.... we're going to Phoenix and he's going to wear the official cap/gown ensemble and do the whole whoop-dee thing. He's going to be treated like a graduate, and he'll be respected like the extreme scholar for one day! At one point, he's held 3 jobs to held manage bills, with 2 toddlers to babysit while I compensated with my income as well-hardly seeing each other, and a full time schedule at an accelerated rate! He's graduating with a Suma Cum Laude to boot! How handsome those cords are going to look around his neck.. I know I'll be bawling, for sure as he goes down the isle. I'll be lucky to have his mom there to help keep me from being ridiculously embarassing. It's been crazy for us at times, and I'll admit I've been slow to let him take the reigns on things, but the end has come... at least for right now. He'll be going to graduate school where he'll be taking online classes for another year- and receive his Masters. I'm so proud of my hubby. Happy Father's Day and Congratulations my ETERNAL LOVE!

Apricot Jam!

Here we are getting ready... it was a Chloe and Mommy time-thing. Everyone else was napping. Someone we know has an apricot tree - we're actually moving right down the block from them. This was a wonderful treat for me, because I'm trying to learn to be so food-storage saavy out here in ye-old-desert. I've done strawberry jam, ground wheat and all sorts of yummies to go inside with the bread, chicken / beef, and now we're off to the land of apricots and fruits for the summer I think!!
This is what we started with... It was really fun getting Chloe used to the goo and squish of everything. She got the hang of it really quick, and I had a lot of fun with her, while being efficient. And if anyone knows me, I'm all about being efficient. We chatted and talked, Molly the cat jumped up and watched for a minute or two, and then..............
The kids went to bed so I could do the real intensive part..... 22 cans and 4 hours later, I was done. Needless to say, my ankles are cankles for today. Ah well, a fun thing to do, and man- I can't WAIT until I have an apricot tree of our own... can you imagine!?

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Baby Baby Baby!

While I was in Ohio, I was able to throw my g/f baby shower. She's having a boy in just a couple weeks, although she hardly looks it. I know she feels it, though. We had a diaper cake, jello in a potty she could keep, surprise punch in bottles, a mad hatter cake- which I'm super proud of accomplishing. We decorating her kitchen with cloth diapers. I chose to incorporate games like guess that food, pin the diaper on the balloon, pass the binky (using a straw held in your teeth), b-a-b-y guess bags, word scrambles, and the clothespin game. It was a huge success! I had a great time, and I wish her the easiest delivery possible!

She wanted a non-gender specific shower.. She's banking on the 2% error for a girl I think. Who wouldnt want girls? I'm rather partial though, I do believe.

Me and the mother-to-be! Ms. Vicky can never keep her eyes open, unless you're a pro photographer! -- Oh - and my hair is chopped thanks to Ms. Laura, and highlighted! What love!!

It's been fun to be pregnant together, but I think I look just as big as her and I'm only 19 weeks in this picture!
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Say Cheese!

At the end of the trip, we started the saga of group pictures. Here the girls are with their Ms. Laura. She made those dresses for them - are they not super cute? This lady is the lady in charge of my crafty spirit. I miss her tremendously out here. But, this is why blogs exist. Her 3rd little girl is in the background with the red tank. That little girl helped me through my miscarriage back in August when I just needed to hold someone and be loved innocently. She is my 3rd girl, by proxy-I joke. I love this family so much because they have given selflessly so much for my family I cannot even count all the times! I hope to remain close for forever!
Here is some family pics with Nana and Papa the day before we left. Notice the dresses are worn again? I can hardly keep them clean before the girls are wearing them again! These were taken outside the church we used to go to... and the one B and I got married in. It is a beautiful chapel.

Here is a picture of the girls and cousins having fun with light sticks I got for 1.00! These are the girls girl cousins, minus the little wee Eden, who was in her moms lap for this pic. The interesting thing, so far with our family - is the straight gender board. My bro. has all girls, my sisters have only boys, and I have only girls so far. My ultrasound- if things go well- is the 16th of the month. I am betting on a boy--breaking tradition!!

Happy Happy Happiness!
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The Zoo!!

How could I have visited Ohio and not have gone to the zoo? We actually made it two days before my membership expired. I'm all for the zoo though. We used to live 10 minutes from it, and went all the time. I never took any pictures because we were there all the time. This time, I was a definite tourist, taking pictures upon pictures. I had such a good time with my g/f while we kept our kids happy and together. She was a saint too- leaving me the stroller to push the kids back to our car instead of walking. The weather was perfect- 80, sunny and windy. Perfection!
Chloe and her friend were so serious about where they were going to next. Note the hand holding in addition to the map sharing. This told me how much the girls missed each other while we have been in AZ! They couldn't get enough of each other, and it made for a wonderful visit! They ran together like - well, better than, sisters and I'm so grateful for the bond that they've shared.
At times during our zoo visit the girls would all line up like ducks along the fence and you would see all these little bums hip to hip. It was a cute picture to see them all peer into the exhibits with such excitement!
Later in the day the girls and I went to the Africa section and hopped on the carousel. Eva smiled from ear to ear the whole time, while Chloe... welll, this look and her white-knuckled posture didnt change the entire time. She really wanted the giraffe, but I convinced her to get on the rhino, that moved up and down. Eva's moved too, but she's such a thrill seeker it didn't phase her at all. Sweet things, and I can't get over how different they truly are! Chloe named her Rhioceros, Rhino, and Eva named her Gazelle, Gazelle. Creative spirits, yes?!
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Remembering Green Thumbs...

On Memorial Day, it was a tradition for Nana to put in her garden growing up. When we were visiting for Memorial Day, she continued this planting tradition- one that I started when we had our house in Ohio as well - with the girls. They each were in charge of planting a pot that stays on her porch throughout the year. However, being in AZ has slighted them I believe. They can't play in the dirt a lot out here, because of things that 'be', so Eva who had been my excited little garden girl, was totally grossed out by getting 'dirty'.

Chloe who had played for hours in our garden and who would come in with dirt up to her elbows, smears on her face, and caked on her sandals or bare toes, was now much more 'proper' and couldn't be bothered to touch something without the magic glove that Nana gave her to use. However, with some mommy and Nana help both girls took their buckets and turned them into floral beauties!

This is such a Chloe pose!

This was Eva and her pot. I'm not exactly how much she actually planted due to her cleanliness issue, but she's sure excited it turned out great!

I've started tomato plants and pepper plants out here, from We will probably plant them when we move into our new house in town!

OH-yes... we are moving into town.. 20 miles closer to the city. I'm totally jazzed. Apparently, our new subdivision, which has a concrete wall around it, with each yard walled as well, has little to rare run-ins with the 'rattlers' as we call them out here. So, I'll be blogging more about that wonderful event soon. Please pray for a understanding heart from the current rental owner. They are being rather aloof about the consequences for terminating the lease early, which to my experience is never good. My new rental co., is so nice they are already talking about a patch of grass for the girls in the backyard! What a wonderful improvement!
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A picture of the girls with their Nana. She provided the pizza and money for this wonderful event. It was super super fun! What sweet love, eh?
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This is a picture from the vacation in Ohio, too-- there was a development next to my mom-in-laws that has a low key mood and
beautiful scenery. Its also one of Chloe's fav. spots. I let them play in the water, throw in money, eat ice cream and pizza by the fountain before we had to leave for AZ again. Beautiful simple things like this, just don't exist everywhere... *sigh* The girls can just run around and around the fountain, stick fingers in, and be totally enthralled with the whole thing for over an hour, easily. Amazing.
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This is the apron that I made for the apron swap that I participated in. has a whole bunch of pictures of others' aprons. It was created in a large part, because of my mothers constant patience with me one entire day- when I was vaca in OH. I especially picked her brain because I didn't use a pattern. It was fun, and at the end, I've become psyched about making myself a similar one. I think a lot of people probably made two aprons once they realized how cool theirs were. My girls thought it was just soo fun and it wrapped around them quite a few times. I hope my swap buddy enjoys it!
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