Sunday, August 7, 2011

Summer Adventures

We went to the Keys over the 4th of July for some family fun!! Actually we were in Miami for fireworks and to visit Super Popop and the rest of the family and then spent the week down on the Islands with Gramsi and Popop. It was one of those vacations that fell into place, probably because we had nothing planned with little expectations. It began with a wonderful visit with the family. On the 4th we had plans to go to a local Hospital that was supposedly doing fireworks. When we arrived about 8:45 we were informed there was no show. Somehow the security guard felt sorry for us and told us to go to the parking garage of the hospital. This allowed us to see the entire skyline from Ft. Lauderdale to Homestead. We didn't just see fireworks, we saw them all and with a cool breeze blowing:) The rest off the week was as blessed with us having calm seas for the glass bottom boat, watching dolphin shows under cover during the rain, and finally making our flight home, barely!!
It was a BLAST:)

Our next adveture was camping with the Richerts at Buffalo Creek. This was Ella's first camping, and Sam's first time with her own sleeping bag!!! GREAT SUCCESS:)
Relaxation, cooking on the fire, hiking, smores in the dark, lots of dirt in our hair.
What else needs to be said? We're going again next week!!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Our Dear Friend Gary

Diane (beloved wife of Gary)

I wanted to share some thoughts and feelings about Gary. My goal is not to provoke tears or sadness, mainly because Gary would not want that, but I just want to reassure you that he will not be forgotten and he will always have a special place in the hearts of 1512 Whitetail. I find it funny that 2 guys, one from New York, the other from New Mexico with a 23 year disparity in age could find similarities in stubbornness and be blunt in calling things the way they are and yet still call each other friends. Gary reinforced to me in many ways what a friend is and for that I am forever grateful! How many friends do you know that will show up to your 40th Birthday party with an old man mask to give you a glimpse of how you will look in the later years? Gary had an uncanny way of letting me know when to lighten up when it seemed nobody else would! I will miss him looking over my shoulder and helping me work on my car or him inquiring about my races. I may not have realized it then but it meant a lot to me. I will really miss seeing your garage door open and be able to stop and talk to him or have him give me a hand or even just wave! He will not be forgotten and he will be sorely missed! We are here for you.

Love, The O'Briens
P.S. It may seem like a strange request, but it will mean a lot if you could please leave the garage door open on my race days, or whenever is convenient for you, that way I know he hasn't forgotten about me as well!!

*A letter to Diane from AJ

Friday, July 15, 2011


As the kids don't ever stop growing, moving, talking, changing, so life goes on. One thing that unfortunately is not growing very well any more is the garden. We have had crazy thunderstorms the past few weeks in the afternoon. While the kids have fared well, the plants didn't. Here is the last great pictures we took. Some things might still make it but just barely:(
Here are some other moments that have been Flying By...

Teo Tim and Amanda visit with Kingston and Bella

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Chapters opening....chapters closing

Popop, Super Popop, GG
Today GG has left our world. We count our blessing of all the moments that we spent with her over the years. We are so glad to have memories with Sam and her Super Greats!! We wish the family joyful times as they transition through this hard process, that they remember to embrace each other fondly.

Friday, May 27, 2011

One Massive Update

Sorry to anyone not interested but I need to record these life moments somewhere and I've been a slacker. So, I'm going to put in 2 months worth of information mainly about the girls. For those of you that are interested, please enjoy the mass overload.

I better start writing stuff down because Ella is officially moving forward. It's more of an army crawl at this point (started 5/29/11) but it gets her where she wants to go.

- around the first week of March she laughed for the first time and began knowing her name
- 3/11 rolled over to get a toy
- 4/9 rolling over and back all directions and playing/eating feet; pushing herself backwards
- 5/25 sitting up on own
- 5/29 army crawl forward

Here are some highlights from our active, talkative toddler.
"You're kidding, that's great!!" a direct quotes with lots of expression and arm gestures.
She began counting objects in a book in April
She was saying "underwear" for under water.....we must have been swimming a lot, and doing the potty thing all at the same time:)
Loves the song "Big Girls Don't Cry" that Teo Tim put on her CD.
Tim mentioned that when he's having a bad day he thinks of our girls and it helps ground him!!
4/9 we had our first stomach flu and puked for the first time (I know something everyone wants to know and remember)
5/13 Sam had a fun weekend with Dad, Grami, and Grandma while Mom and Ella spent the week in Dallas with the Trinity girls. My first time away from her other than the 1 night of Ella's birth.

Here she had fun on a trip to the Aquarium.

We re-stained our banister, painted our office, and got new carpet this spring. Sam helped every step of the way, and she really had some fun too!!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Words straight from my heart....

and from the Heart of Yahweh!!!

Please go read this post at Sorta Crunchy. I found her writings just after Sam was born. She has been very inspirational and helpful in finding my balance in raising myself, my marriage, and my children.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Meals 3/11/11

Sat - Coconut Beef Meatballs; Zucchini noodles; Tomato Sauce

Sun - Chicken Mole

mon - Chicken fingers w/ Orange Ginger Sauce; Leeks and other veggies

Tues - Bean and Collard Soup

Wed - Roasted Chicken and veggies

Thurs - Chicken Soup

Fri - Leftovers? Whatever is left?

To Try:
Shredded Beef Roasted Red Pepper Burritos

They way things are...

YES, She is fast asleep for the night!!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Menu 2/28/11

Sun - Garlic Thyme Chicken Soup; fresh bread and cheese

Mon - Turkey Thighs w/ Pesto; Sauerkraut

Tues - Soup from freezer Borscht, cabbage? We'll see?

Wed - BBQ chicken Pizza

Thurs - Pot Roast; Turnips

Fri - Chicken(geek style Roasted); cabbage slaw

Sat - Dinner w/ Friends!!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Menus 2/21/11

Sun - Grandpa (the bachelore) coming for dinner!!! He's bringing fish and asparagus, we'll add something to the mix, cauliflower fritters?

Mon - Quiche; salad

Tues - Leek Soup; I did this totally different with Butternut Squash in place of potatoes, and half the amount

Wed - Tacos

Thurs - Salmon w/ Ume Plum Vinegar; squash??

Fri - Green chili turkey burgers

Sat - Sara and Libby in town!!!!

Try next week: BBQ chicken Pizza

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Momentus Occasions

What marks time?

Rolling over, wearing underpants....

These are excitements in our world over the last week.

It's time for the potty dance, Sam is done with diapers after 5 days of being dry all night!!!! I didn't really think that it would be so nice, but wow it's AMAZING!!! Here are some memories to embarrass boys later.

This is a blanket and pillow G & G Cribley gave Sam to use at the evening storytime at the library, it was a potty present!!

We can't forget the little Ella Bella. I don't know how but she ROLLED OVER today, multiple times from her back to belly. She will be 16 weeks can she be rolling over already? Where is that thing called time going, how are we supposed to enjoy every second when they are flying by?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sun - Beef meatballs with creamy, cheesy chard and tomatoes

Mon - Curried Mutton w/ Eggplant and Lima Beans

Tues - Baked fish; spaghetti squash

Wed - Chicken Tam Kha Soup (or our version of Chicken Lemongrass w/ coconut milk)

Thurs - Minestrone w/ Kale and Yams

Fri - Green chili turkey burgers

Sat - BBQ chicken Pizza or crepes with different fillings. Possibly with friends!!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Menu 2/7/11

Sun - Superbowl w/ grandma/grandpa; or soup and cheese quesadillas

Mon - Tuna; mac and cheese; salad

Tues - Crockpot Jambalaya; Cauliflower rice

Wed - Spicy Shepard's Pie

Thurs - Leah and Thomas for dinner Roasted chicken and Chard soup

Fri - Ginger eggplant saute Barley

Sat - Meatloaf; veggies; salad

New Years Resolutions


Peel and Eat Orange all by myself - check
Manipulate parents - Double check
Get undressed and dressed for bed all by myself - check and mommy really loves me now
Use only the potty all day - 2 days in a row, only a million more to go!!
Learn as many words as possible - work in process, good to go on those bad ones D*** It:)


Smile a lot - check
Laugh at fan - check 1/12/11
Laugh at sister - Triple check, after all she is a bundle of energy
Grab and hold toy - check but not sure how to feel when it smacks me in the face laugh/cry?
Roll to sides and scoot around in a circle - done 1/31/11
Suck thumb and enjoy it all by myself - 1/2 check; did it 1/28/11 but can't seem to enjoy it again?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The BEST new Menu week

This is what I'm planning this week, we'll see:)
Tues - Fish, salad; Carrot Mash

Wed - Twice Baked Acorn Squash

Thurs - Mexican Bean bake

Fri - Butternut squash casserole

Sat - zucchini lasagna; salad

Sun- Frittata

Mon - Green Chili Chicken bake

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Dad and his girls!!!
Ella 12/10 Sam 3/09

Our sick girls.
Sam got the croup in Dec. 2010, then a BAD cold in Jan. A week later Ella came down with RSV, that BAD cold that is REALLY BAD for infants. We spent one night in the hospital with oxygen support and 3 nights really worrying. We even got to wonder around the house with a long oxygen tube.

Sammie helped daddy shave to keep themselves entertained. Plus they went to pajama storytime with Mr. Cliff at the Library. He reads books and does magic tricks before bedtime. Notice the striped PJs matched with cowgirl boots and pink coat, wonder who chose that outfit?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Moments as these...

Well, The entire family got some level of sickness over the last couple of weeks. It all began with Sam and I getting a cold. Then pour Sam got the Croup REALLY BAD. The only fun part was that she got to sleep in a humidifing sheet tent over her bed. Luckily Ella only acquired a little cough, momma's milk is the best!!

How often do you see a 2 yr old sitting for more than 2 seconds? Wow she was sick!!

Soon after, however, she was back to her Diva self.
The other day she brought a book to me to read called Frederick. This book happens to be in German, given to her by her Aunt Amie. I stated that I can't read German but would be happy to make up a story. She simply stated that "Amie can read it." We will Skype some day soon and have her read it:)

Little Ella is establishing quite the personality of her own. As she learns to control all these flailing body parts all she really wants is to suck her thumb. Unfortunately the arms don't cooperate and she insists with a ton of frustration to not have any help. This makes for some noise before falling asleep for naps.