Thursday, October 18, 2012

Anniversary Adventure

Seven years. That's how long Chris and I have shared our lives together. We wanted to create a memorable weekend, and this is how it went down.

Last Saturday started out well. After we dropped off the kids at my in-laws' house, it was lunchtime, but we decided to go for a walk in the Springfield mall, discussing what we would like for Christmas. (No, it's never too early to discuss Christmas...presents.) Later, we decided it would actually be time for us to eat, time for Hu Hot. Chris and I both love food, and we love a Mongolian grill! The Not So Sweet and Sour sauce is the best and is my favorite. It's name is ironic since sweet and sour sauce is the type I crave the most.

Next, we checked into our hotel. We made sure to get a nice room, and it was nice. The only thing we wished we had was a bigger bed. (Spoiled much?) Swimming at the pool was not an option since I forgot my swimsuit. Still, we made the most of our time, hanging out at a coffee house drinking water, because it's where you can find the best water. At least, I hoped so. We also hoped to find a game of chess, but to our dismay, there were no pieces, only a game board. No worries. We eventually found a game, even lots of games. 1984, the place to play old school arcade games downtown is where we ended up. We played every game we wanted to except for Rampage. The same group of kids were playing it over and over the whole time we were there. I told Chris I was tempted to ask them, "Isn't it past your bedtime?" We wanted to bust some buildings, man!

Then, we found some cheesy fries. We're talking about fries with cheese melted on top and bacon! We stopped at Big Whiskey's for a bite to eat (also with surprisingly amazing water) and became engrossed in the Yankees vs. Tigers game. Chris told me of his Little League days when his team was named after the Detroit Tigers for a few years in a row. I always cheered for any Detroit team when I was a wee child, because that's where my mom and dad grew up. So, we sort of reconnected with that team on our night out. Overnight, and over a plate of cheesy fries, we became die hard fans. Of course, it only lasted for a night.

Oh yes, I just remembered to mention the rain. It rained. Hard. One might even call it a downpour. But, it was actually a lot of fun half running/walking in the storm. We were pretty soaked for the night, but we didn't care. We were just glad to be together. At the end of the night, our hotel room welcomed us with So, we shut them, put on our PJs, and snuggled into bed. Our TV selection before shutting our eyes? Billy the Exterminator! (At this point, I give you permission to audibly groan.) Billy actually had some really interesting facts about...rodents...eww! Why am I talking about this?

We woke the next morning refreshed and ready to continue our amazing (and very mini-) vacation. We were actually able to sleep in! A definite high highlight of the trip! Breakfast was downstairs. It was a buffet, and I piled my plate high with French toast, sausage, I-love-cheese-y eggs, a poppy seed muffin, cantaloupe, yogurt, and a banana. Cranberry juice was my choice of drink. (I know, you're thinking, "What, no water?") It was delicious. Chris thought I was wasting space putting fruit on my plate at the buffet when I always get that at home. He decided to take advantage of the biscuits and gravy among other things.

Later on, we went bowling. Unlike our favorite baseball players from the night before, we were actually trying to get (at least) three strikes. No luck there; though, we got a couple. We only played one game since the prices have risen to a ridiculous level. $2.50 for one person to rent shoes, and then $2.99 for one game per person. Holy crap! I was disappointed by that, but no matter. We just made more time for sushi at Nakato. We didn't get the cooked-in-front-of-you meal; we sat at the sushi bar, which I had never done before. That was pretty cool to me. Chris and I chatted and enjoyed being in a relaxed atmosphere. When we were done, he surprised me with...

A walk down Memory Lane. Well, that's what I'd like to call it. We strolled along a trail that Chris took me to a couple of times when we were dating. The leaves on the trees surrounding the trail were changing colors. That is why I love the autumn season. It was nice to revisit that place, even though this time there were huge puddles from the downpour. Still, we had fun talking about random things, even a little bit about our future. That's the end of our anniversary adventure, but it's not the end to a wonderful relationship. Whatever my future holds, I will be with my best friend, Chris.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Guacamole and Other Important Things

I love food. When it's 9 o'clock in the evening, and my husband offers to make me guacamole, I can't resist. So here I am, sitting at this desk, and dipping chips in mashed avocados in between typing words. It's a great way of life.

Not long ago, Chris and I were able to purchase a used car from a friend for a great deal. Now, we have a white mini-van and a Honda Accord, also white. (Chris swore he would never get another white vehicle.) We are a two-car family! We haven't had two cars as a family since Chris and I were first married (almost 7 years ago.) Because we have two cars, I have more options on when I can get errands done. Devon and I went shopping together today. I quickly learned (or re-learned) that I need to give her something to keep her hands (and mouth) occupied. (I hadn't shopped with her or any of my kids for a long time. The shopping was done after Chris got home when he could watch them.) So, what did I have to keep her occupied? At first, a book. I decided to buy a Halloween book for the little ones. We always need to add more books to the kids' bookshelf since the older books get ripped and worn out after awhile. When the book didn't cut it anymore, two lollipops did the trick. I don't normally give my kids more than one candy bar or lollipop at a time, but I'm not sure if there is any such thing as "too much candy" while shopping with young children. I really, really don't want them to touch anything in the cart.

After our Wal-Mart extravaganza, Devon and I walked from our house to pick up Paige from Preschool. I've really been impressed with how well she is doing. She's making lots of friends and learning things I wouldn't think about teaching her at this point. She knows how to spell and write her name! It's amazing to see all that she can do. When we pick her up, it's funny to see her get shy when her classmates tell her, "Paige, your mom is here!" And, she prefers me to pick her up with the van. Not a huge fan of walking, I guess. But, I will try to take advantage of the cool weather for as long as I can. It's good exercise, and I am saving gas that way, too.

Micah received a 100% on his spelling test today! He is so proud, and I am so happy for him and proud of his accomplishments. He's very smart. He's good at math and getting much better at writing. (That was an issue for him last year.) We read every weekday together for at least 15 minutes (at the request of his teacher.) Several words he already knows, and so I have him try to sound out new and simple 3-letter words to increase his vocabulary.

I've really enjoyed watching all of my children grow. Amazing things happen when I focus more on what I have than on what I want. And right now, I still have my chips and guacamole. Awesome.

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Inevitable Is Here

Fearless. That is how I describe my daughter, Devon. I could describe her using other words as well (i.e. sneaky, mischievous, destructive, etc.) But, I will make it known that Devon is learning so well, because there is not much that she is afraid of. Today, my little warrior started an important (but hopefully not a lengthy) journey, potty training. I had a preview of what the upcoming months may have in store for me. The anxiety of possible accidents, the clean up, the nakedness. It's started.

Devon started the day in pull-ups. I had her go to the bathroom frequently, but nothing happened in there. It all happened in between bathroom breaks. After awhile, I started to believe she thinks that going potty means wetting the diaper and then sitting on the toilet. In an attempt to teach her otherwise, I decided to put underwear on her. After that, there were several more potty breaks, and still nothing happened. She was in dry underwear for quite some time. Then, the inevitable occurred. I watched Devon come down the hallway almost like a old western cowboy, legs apart, awkwardly maneuvering one foot in front of the other.

At one point, Devon did do the "deuce" in a pull-up. Determined to do things on her own, she did not give me any notice of this. Instead, she decided to clean up herself, making more of a mess in the process.

"Mom! Devon got poop on the floor!"

Ugh. I sigh and droop my shoulders as I go to discover the damage. Not as bad as I had thought. (I'll spare you the dirty details.) Still, this means Devon will need me to keep a closer eye on her.

Devon does not enjoy being covered sometimes. She has an inclination to go naked every now and then. Why? Who knows. I'd much rather her have clothes on while potty training. If she does have an accident, there's a much greater chance that she won't get any pee or poop on the floor. I'd much rather do laundry than bend down on hands and knees to scrub the carpet.

Despite all that happened today (which in all honesty was minimal compared to other potty training days), Devon is an amazing little girl.

As a matter of fact, I am completely convinced that she will quickly learn how to use the bathroom on her own. She has learned just about everything else at a seemingly fast pace, too. She was a seven-week preemie. She has been through many tumbles and falls. But, man, she is tough! And she has the brains to prove it!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sunday Happenings

It is probably pointless to try to "catch up" from where I last published a blog post. So, I'm just going to start from the here and now.

Waking up later than normal today was awesome. I usually like to be ready for the adventure that is my day before the kids wake up, but, it was nice snuggling with my little ones in my bed. And, we had to snuggle to keep ourselves warm. Our house was a little chilly, 60 degrees. What is lovely outdoors but may not be so great indoors. Still, we braved the freezing temperature and did not turn on our heater. We just put on an extra layer (of clothing.) It's October! Where is our fall season? Is it really going to be summer to winter this year? Hopefully not.

Every six months, the world has the opportunity to watch General Conference. Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints speak to their audience about many spiritual topics. (What is spoken in the conference is later published on-line and in the church magazines.) I try to listen to conference live, but it's hard to keep 3 young kids watching the show. I wish I was more prepared to have them occupied and focused on the conference talks. (Live and learn and do.) What I could hear I really enjoyed, though. I was excited to hear about the new age for when male and female members can become full-time missionaries. (It was 19 years of age for boys and 21 for girls; now it's 18 for boys and 19 for girls.) The younger age will provide more opportunity for missionary work. I loved to hear our prophet talk about prayer and how our Heavenly Father answers our prayers. It was great to learn how I can keep the gospel strong in my home (one thing I was searching for.) I am definitely looking forward to reading the conference talks in next month's Ensign (one of our church magazines) and learning more.

Our family attended a birthday party for one of Paige's preschool classmates, and then we went to Chris' parents' house for dinner! Wok food! It's the best stir-fry ever! And of course, I really enjoy spending time with family and friends. Great day! I do wish we played a game after dinner. Hopefully, it will happen next time!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My Two Obsessions

Obsession #1: Adele

I love her album 21! Love it. Chris gave it to me for my birthday, and for some reason, I can't stop because I'm not getting enough. I've listened to it several times, more than I dare count to avoid some embarrassment. To me, her voice is so unique. I used to want Christina Aguilara's pipes; now, I want Adele's original, soulful, and genuine voice.

Obsession #2: The Hunger Games

I have never (ever) been this obsessed with a book series. I mean stay-up-until-1am-even-though-I'll-wake-up-at-5am obsessed. Seriously, it's bad. Has it been this bad before? Harry Potter? No. Twilight? Not even close. Granted, I enjoyed those series because they were entertaining, but I never caught the "I've got to keep reading this" bug. (Chris will testify to that, too.) Both of those deserve a nod of respect (if not a courtesy applause), but I love going into this world Suzanne Collins has created. And of course, being the girly girl that I am (yeah, right), I'm sucked into the love triangle that forms and develops. So far, I've found it very creative and intriguing. Chris has told me enough about the last book to get pretty excited about it (I'm 3 chapters away from ending the second.) Still, I hope it doesn't end on a bad note for me. I've heard from several people that the end is not satisfying. Ugh. That's the last thing I need. To have the best book series I've read have an amazing first two installments with a horrible ending that I'll end up reading over and over.

And there you have it! A little about me you may not have known. And it wasn't about my kids. It feels strange not talking about them in a post. But, I'm not just a mother. Secretly, I want to be a famous singer, and I'm a darn good reader, too. Shhh....

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Head Under Water

Wow. With all of these new changes in our lives, it's hard not to feel overwhelmed. Chris' new job, my new job in child care, new schedules, new responsibilities in my church calling (Nixa Ward Relief Society 2nd Counselor). Add all of that with my old (yet continuing) responsibilities at home, and I have a guarantee to stay busy for a little while. I feel as though I have so much on my plate, and if I lose my grip for even a second, it may all come crashing down. But, as I strive to accomplish my long "To Do" list, I am reminded that if I keep things in proper priority with the right perspective, the Lord will help me. Today, I sang my favorite hymn, "Be Still My Soul."

Be still, my soul
The Lord is on thy side
With patience bear
Thy cross of grief or pain
Leave to thy God to order and provide
In every change
He faithful will remain
Be still, my soul
Thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end

As I sang this song, it brought me peace and comfort. I love a good, uplifting song that helps me see things as they really are and smile.

On a different note, yesterday was a No School day, so Micah stayed home with us. He played with Paige a lot, and that gave me more time to play with Devon. We read several books. (Both of my daughters love to read.) We rolled a ball back and forth. We built towers with blocks. We played with a few puzzles. Just the two of us, we had a lot of fun together.

 "Um, hello. I'm busy with a puzzle here."

How can you look at that face and not smile?

During our Family Home Evening activity, Paige was using markers to color on some construction paper. As I was getting Micah into his bath, Paige had the unfortunate opportunity to do this.

 "Aw, Mom, you didn't even let me paint my nails."

"But, I'm still so darn cute."

It's a good thing those markers were washable. My two precious daughters. What a joy they are! Life as a mom is quite the adventure!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Life Happens Fast

I know that events in our lives can come and go quickly. In this case, the event I am talking about is Chris finding a job. Yes! Only out of work for two days, and then he's back to it! He will start working for State Farm Insurance tomorrow. We are very excited that he was able to find work so quickly. What an extraordinary blessing this is!

This doesn't mean that life will be easy. We will need to work very hard to make ends meet. But, opportunities and possibilities are out there to help us get by. We will make it. The Lord has blessed us in several ways so far. I know He will provide.

On a different note, this week I have been sick with a strep throat. The prescription I received has helped out a ton, and I think I am ready to run tomorrow. On Saturday, I will be running 18 miles with a friend. I'm excited and a little nervous, because I missed a few runs this week from being sick. So, I hope to end strong. Must keep training and working hard! The marathon is going to be here before I know it! I'm so excited for Chris and I to run this together. Running has been a great thing for us to share.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Uncertain Times

At one point or another in our lives, we are uncertain of what lies ahead. The Crosby family is uncertain of what will be happening for them. Our family is possibly facing many changes. Chris lost his job today, the job we were hoping would be his way to better provide for our family. Don't misunderstand; he has always worked very hard to make sure the family has the necessities. This new job was a way for him to possibly make much more money without the horrible work environment of his previous job. So, now what happens? We don't know.

We have had a few people already tell us of job possibilities. This gives us hope that Chris will find something and start working soon. The Lord has blessed us in other ways as well. This Saturday, I am going to meet with a woman who needs child care a few hours a day, a few days a week. If all goes well, I will be working again and able to help pay the bills! Exciting news!

I am a little excited (and anxious) to see where we will be in a few days, a few weeks, and a few months from now. I am very confident in Chris' talents and abilities, though. I also believe that with trials come opportunities to learn and grow. I have a feeling that all will be well. Please keep our family in your prayers!