Thursday, December 16, 2010

Busy Time of Year

A lot has happened over the last month. We finally, officially, completely and no jokely, sold our house in NM. Then we turned around a couple of days later and bought a house here. We were supposed to have closed on this house the weekend before Thanksgiving which would have worked out nicely since Dana was off from work. However, it didn't quite work out that way. Instead, the closing was pushed back a week so, with the owner's permission, we started moving in the day before Thanksgiving. One pickup and Expedition load at a time. We took most of the day off on Thursday to spend quality time getting on each other's nerves and eating the wonderful meal Dana prepared. Then we jumped back into it on Friday with the help of a couple of our friends. Good ol' U-haul apparently lost my reservation for a trailer because I was never able to get one. That would have saved at least a lot of trips back and forth if not a fair amount of time. And, living in football country, our help was only good until about 1:00 because the Auburn vs. Alabama game was coming on. But with their help, we managed to get all the heavy stuff moved. All that was left was the little stuff. And that took another 2 days. Dana slept all day so I worked Kevin and Cameron to the bone.

Having moved in and no longer owning a washing machine or dryer (our rental house had one and we sold our old stuff when we left NM), we decided to head to Sears in the wee hours of the morning on Black Friday to snag the good deal on a new washer and dryer. Actually, Dana decided that I would head to Sears in the wee hours of the morning. So I talked Kevin into heading out with me at 2:00 in the morning. As one would expect, we were the 5th person in line for the 4 sets available. To make matters worse, it was cold and rainy. I waited anyway to get a different set while Kevin wimped out after about 1/2 an hour and sat in the pickup with the heater on.

Now we're into the part of the year where it seems like hardly a day goes by without some sort of activity to keep us busy.

I really like this picture. It was a windy day and Cameron and Cade were picking up piles of leaves and throwing them in the air. Can you be any more carefree than that?

Cade had a little Thanksgiving skit with his pre-school class. He looks like a man among boys (and girls) in his class. And yes, that tiny little girl is 4 and in his class.

A couple of weeks later, they had their Christmas performance. Cade is lip-synching his heart out...

While we watch and entertain ourselves from the pews.

We forgot to take the camera with us when we went to the tree farm to get our tree so I'll describe the scene. Picture freezing weather and wind. Now imagine us shivering while we wander among all these trees trying to find one with a fairly straight trunk that isn't too tall or short or wide or butchered. Out of desperation, someone says, "How about this one," and without even looking everyone readily agrees just so we can get the heck out of there and back into the pickup with the heater on full blast. Oh yeah, and Dana had been up all night and was really tired. That's the stuff memories are made of right there.

Kevin had his 7th grade band concert a few days ago. He looked mighty handsome in his tux (which is missing the jacket in this photo but he wore it later). The band sounded pretty darn good, especially after listening to the 5th and 6th graders right before them. Kevin even said he wondered if they sounded that bad last year. Yes.

The majority of the houses on our street have made at least a minimal effort to decorate for Christmas so we couldn't go without either. This is the extent of our decorations for this year, except I'll add two little trees that we'd forgotten about to the display this weekend. It doesn't look like much here but it is voice activated. I say, "Cameron, plug in the lights," and Cameron does it.

MSFC didn't decorate their usual Christmas tree this year. Instead they created a megatree using the Saturn I. How cool is that?

We had some freezing rain yesterday. These little birds, and several others, were all over the ice that formed on the patio table. We still get a kick out of seeing the cardinals and other birds that actually have some color.

That's all for now. I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Trying to catch up on the last month's worth of pictures...

In the Spring, when everything is blooming, we say Spring has sprung. So now that all the colors are changing do we say Fall fell or Fall has fallen? These are the things that keep me up at night.

Speaking of Fall, it sure has been purty around here lately.

This is the entrance to our neighborhood. The colors never come out right, especially with a cheapo cameral ike ours. You'll have to take my word for it. It's even more pretty in person.

We don't know what these bright red bushes are but we sure like 'em.

I took Cameron and Cade to the pumpkin farm one day in October to play for a few hours while Dana slept. We had a great time there but it wasn't the same w/o the whole family. I think Kevin was a birthday party at the local paintball place.

Cameron's getting up there.

And so is Cade. The dude barely turned 5 and he's over 4 feet tall!

The pumpkin patch had a petting zoo and the best part for my boys (and a lot of other kids) were these tiny little kittens. Cameron would have been happy to have just stayed there and played with them all day. They were pretty darn cute.

Photo op before when we got there.

For once, we didn't wait until the last minute to carve our pumpkins so it was actually enjoyable this year. Notice Batman on the left side of the picture. Cade wore his costume every day, all day for what seemed like weeks.

Dana collected the seeds for roasting. She had two recipes to try this year. Sweet and salty.

Kevin working on his masterpiece.

Cameron designed and carved his own pumpkin but was pretty ticked with the way it came out. I really liked it. Kevin used a pattern for his and I used one for mine and Cade's as well.

Cade had a Halloween party in his pre-school class. I just realized that I don't think the poor kid has ever had a new costume of his own. He always uses hand-me-downs from his brothers. Oh well. He doesn't know and doesn't seem to care. He was pretty excited to have a choice of costumes to choose from when we got them out this year.

Why doesn't anyone want to be a vampire anymore?

Cade also got to go to Cameron's school for another party. The kids couldn't wear a mask so a lady that was there to paint the kids' faces took care of Cam.

Halloween 2010

Kevin took off with his friends so I took the boys around our neighborhood. Surprisingly, Cameron only made it to the end of our street before wanting to go home so he could hand out candy. Cade and I covered another couple of streets before it got too late. I enjoyed following Batman down the sidewalk. He looked as cute as a bees knees! (I think that's the proper Suthern term)

Speaking of cute. Now that it's getting colder, Cade's been wearing his dog feet slippers around the house.

Hopefully our next update will be coming from our new house - as in our own house not a rental house. We're supposed to be closing on our NM house next week (after a little over 2 years on the market!!!) and we've made an offer on a house here. Despite looking all over town and around the area, we picked a house that's only a stone's throw from where we live now. Go figure. But we already know, and like, both neighbors and the house just seemed to fit us. So we're obviously very excited to finally get feel settled down and we're looking forward to finally putting some pictures on the walls. Now if I can just hold onto my job... But that's another story.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Disney Part II

Still catching up on pictures. You've probably seen some, or most, of these on Dana's Facebook page. She just can't wait to post all the good shots. Darn her. Oh well, I consider this blog to be a family diary of sorts anyway.

These are mostly in random order.

Day 1. The Reynolds ready to tear it up at Magic Kingdom!

At this point in our vacation, Cade was still freaked out by the characters. That changed later in the week but by then we had trouble finding any of them. Nice face, Cameron!

As much as Cade loves Lightning McQueen and Mater, I thought he'd love to have his picture with them. Nope. Lightning McQueen was loud and his moving eyes creeped Cade out a little. Kevin and Cameron had no such issues.

Waiting for our lunch reservation at a 50's style diner.

There are a couple of good stories here. The waiters weren't afraid to remind people to use their manners. Apparently, Kevin has lousy table manners. When our waiter came to pick up our plates, he asked Kevin why he hadn't eaten his corn. Kevin made some excuse so the waiter picked up a fork, scooped up some corn and "flew" it into Kevin's mouth - complete with airplane noises. He then told Kevin to eat his corn, picked up all the other plates and walked off. Kevin ate his corn! A few minutes later, the waiter told Kevin to get his elbows off the table. He walked into the next room behind Kevin, stuck his head back through the window between the two rooms (and right behind Kevin) and said, "I told you to get your elbows off the table!" If I hadn't been so afraid of being rude I would have laughed pretty hard at the whole thing. Unfortunately, he didn't say anything to the old dude sitting next to us. He was constantly picking his teeth with a credit card, scratching facial parts, etc. Dana and I had to consciously make an effort not to look that direction.

The boys and some beautiful woman.

Kevin, Cade, Dana and Tootie on yet another roller coaster.

Almost every day, the cleaning ladies did something neat in our room. Towels arranged like Mickey Mouse, our stuffed animals propped up on the bed, and this day, neatly arranged in the window with the blinds drawn just enough to see them. Nice little touches.

A great shot of us on the GM test track ride. This ride was a blast! At least Cameron and I thought so. Judging by everyone else's reaction (I'm looking at you, Dana!) it had some scary moments. I think we were about to crash into a wall right here. Mom and Dad were in a car behind us.

This was taken when we traveled back in time to catch a dinosaur. Apparently, riding in the front seat was more scary than in the back because all 3 of them look like scaredy cats. Pa is the only one of us in the back seat showing any signs of life.

We took a brief trip to San Francisco while we were on vacation in Florida.

Cameron spent almost all of his time at Blizzard Beach in this area. He especially enjoyed the zip line. He just let go of the handle in this shot.

We didn't buy any hats like this but we had to get at least one picture of someone with Mickey Mouse ears.

My first ride with Cameron at the wheel. I tried not to show my panic but I don't think I did a very good job of it.

Cade looking cute on the slide.

Waiting for the bus to take us to a park. We did a lot of this. Seems like we always got to the bus stop right after they left.

We got our picture with Sue the famous T-Rex!

And last,but not least, here's the Summit Plummet. Kevin, Dana and I all rode this. Before we got there, Cameron talked about "manning up" and riding it but once he saw it in person he changed his mind. I wish I had. That thing is so darn steep it feels like you're in a free fall for a moment. When I dropped over the edge, it just kept getting steeper and steeper. I'm not too proud to admit it scared me! Dad pointed out that no one screams on that ride. I don't think you can because the fear of impending death causes you to clench every muscle so tight a scream becomes impossible. From start to finish, you drop 120 feet (feels like 720), reach speeds of 55 mph (feels like 255!), do 47 hail marys, say 78 prayers, see your life flash before your eyes twice, drink 14 gallons of water and wonder if your heart will ever get back down below 300 bpm. All in 7 seconds!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Disney World!

The big news over the last month or so is that we sold our house! Well, it's under contract so it isn't official yet but everything looks good and we're on track to close on November 3! That will make it 24 months and 2 days from putting it on the market to closing. I probably just jinxed the whole thing by talking about it.

The last month we've been keeping busy with soccer. It hasn't been the most successful of seasons for any of the 3 teams but the boys are still having fun and that's what really counts. After coming so close several times, Cade finally scored his first goal earlier this season then he turned around and scored another one in the same game. He was so cute because he was so proud of himself but he tried to play it off like no big deal at first. He finally gave in and gave a round of high-fives to everyone.

We don't really have any good action pictures of soccer so I'll post this recent picture of the 3 boys instead.

It's been awhile since I've taken one of these.

By some huge stroke of luck, none of the three teams had any games scheduled during the week of Fall Break. I say stroke of luck, because that's when we scheduled our vacation to Disney World and no one missed a game or had to reschedule.

We pulled the kids out of school for 3 days (Fall Break is 2 days), loaded up the Expedition, pointed it south and put the pedal to the metal. Dana, who worked all night before we left, slept most of the day while I drove then had the nerve to comment to me how the 10 hour trip down there seemed to go by pretty quickly.

I'm too lazy to put all the pictures in order since they didn't load that way. Like you'll know the difference anyway.

Cade was lucky enough to celebrate his 5th birthday at Disney World! How cool is that? Dana made a special birthday shirt for him and he was given a button to wear telling everyone about his birthday. Every where we went all day, people wished him a happy birthday. I think he liked all the attention.

We had lunch that day with the Disney characters. He really liked that and was so excited when Pooh, Tigger, Eyore and Piglet came around to visit with him.

Birthday boy and his brothers with Pooh.

Cade and Tigger

Opening presents back at the hotel room. His eyes sure lit up when he saw this Lightning McQueen car.

Dana and the boys on Expedition Everest.

Cade was a roller coaster riding machine! I think he rode all the roller coasters at Disney World. Even though he looks scared in the picture, it didn't stop him from riding it again. I think Kevin's favorite ride was the Tower of Terror. He rode it 8 times! Cameron's was Rock 'n Roller Coaster. He "only" rode it 5 times. All the boys definitely got the carnival ride gene from Dana.

Waiting for Blizzard Beach to open on our second visit.

Cade loves to play with dominoes so I took a picture of him hugging this giant one.

Cade and me on some random ride that I can't remember the name of.

Cade picked this Yeti from the Expedition Everest roller coaster as one of his souvenirs. At first, his name was Whitey (because Cade is so original). Then it was Whitey Bluey because "he has cute, little, pointy blue feet."

We spent part of one day at Animal Kingdom where we all rode a ride on the rapid river. The boat we were in held 12 or 14 people. Of the 10 of us that were in it (another family was with us), I was the ONLY one that didn't get wet. And I mean WET. I did, however, have the perfect view as we splashed into the waves and they crashed over the top of the boat and drenched everyone and everything in sight - except me. Our camera was put away for obvious reasons, so with the help of Google search, I made an attempt at illustrating the ride from my point of view. Because, you know, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Here's what I saw. I forgot to draw a text box of everyone screaming.

This is what everyone else saw.

How I felt.

Apparently, everyone else had a different opinion. Here's Dana wringing out her shirt.

These are all the pictures I have for now. Needless to say, we had a fantastic time at Disney World. Cade summed it all up when he said, "Mom, I love Disney World so much I think my head is going to blow up!"