Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tonight's big New Year's plans are to head out to my bro Joe's farm in Podunk, Texas and have a huge bonfire. Then after the kids are all tuckered out we'll send them home (with Grandma and Grandpa) and party on some more. My sis-in-law Jessica does this thing where she gets all these raw foods out and a big tabletop grill and you cook your own food right in front of you on the table. Then we'll play some games. Then I'm sleeping over there tonight because no way am I driving the hour home through little, dark back-woods roads on the drunkest night of the year.
So, until next year...
(Come one, you know I had to say it...)
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Looking for bugs:
Wearing willow-tree-branch crowns made by Mom:
It was so nice we even ate lunch outside several days:
Sunday, December 28, 2008
The road trip - We drove to Texas in two 10-hour days. The kids did great! I'd say it was the best road trip with kids ever. I think Karma was evening things out to make up for the last time. Naomi and Asher watched movies and actually played with each other. Isaiah was a little whiny but was easily satiated with snacks. And Richard and I just enjoyed being together for that long. I sure do like hanging out with that guy. I should really do that more often.
Pre-Christmas - We arrived in Texas to a pretty good sized party-in-progress. Ruthie and Josh (my sis and bro) were already here. We met Ruthie's fiancee Brant (he seems great). Baking and shopping were in full swing. Meals were major extravaganza's. Dishes were never all clean at once. ...You know, like a house full of people should be. Pretty soon Joe and fam (my bro) arrived for a few night's slumber parties even though they live kinda nearby. That really put the party into full swing since there were suddenly twice the kids in the house. All the kids played nicely together. It's so great that they're really getting old enough to enjoy each other and not just get on each other's nerves.
Christmas Eve - We had a big dinner of turkey and all the trimmings and did our usual Nativity play. Naomi was Mary and sat very sweetly and angelically. Isaiah was my fellow-shepherd since he wouldn't let me set him down (it was kinda late). Asher was a horse. Or dog. Or cow. Or something. Some sort of wild animal anyway. After the kids went to bed we did our Ashurst tradition of opening the present that is from your one sibling who had you in the family gift exchange. My bro Joe gave the kids Lincoln Logs and us "Battle of the Sexes". We gave my bro Josh an herb garden since he's all happy to see the light of day again (he just got out of the Navy where he spent most of his time underwater in a submarine). Everybody had one present to open and it was a nice, slow experience as opposed to the Christmas morning craziness (which is why we started that tradition). When we started piling the presents under the Christmas tree from their various hiding places it was truly amazing. We felt very blessed. Mom shared with us that her Dad (William Benac) used to get great joy out of counting all the presents under the Christmas tree each Christmas Eve because he came from a very poor family and loved to think about how blessed he was as an adult. We didn't count the exact number - but it was a LOT.
Christmas - We woke up around 7:30 and I think we went down stairs to open presents around 8:15. It was pure, wonderful chaos. There were 6 little kids and 7 adults. I'm guessing that you don't really need a description of this part of the day since you all lived it too. But it was great. Then we just had a fun day of playing with new toys and enjoying being together. And of course good food. I win the prize for giving the most surprising present this year (Richard usually one-up's me). He got a mini HD video camera. That thing is smaller than my cell phone. He was very happy and surprised and has used it non-stop since then.
Traveling again - The day after Christmas was more playing with toys and such until the afternoon. Richard and I had an 8pm flight to Columbus for his sister Karen's wedding. It was grand to be traveling all alone. I got on the airplane and thought "When I stepped on this plane nobody looked at me and thought 'Oh great! I hope those kids are good!' or anything like that! Nobody even noticed me!" We arrived at the hotel in Columbus to find a party going on in one of the bedrooms of Richard's siblings but the sad news was that one of his brothers and wife were stuck at the airport if Chicago. They weren't going to make it at all. We missed you Carl and Stacy!
Wedding - The next day we got Karen all dolled up in one hotel room while everyone else got themselves dolled up all around her. It was so fun to see Karen so happy. At one point she just sort of paused, mid chaos, and hollered "This is so exciting!" She had pure joy on her face. The sealing was beautiful. We ended up missing the informal luncheon afterward, but we were with a pack of Worth's and had our own lunch at a restaurant. Then we drove the hour and a half to the reception - which was beautiful. The church was done up very well with a sweet wintry theme. Snow flakes and trees everywhere. There was good food and dancing and happiness everywhere as we celebrated Karen and Jared. They were just so happy - I can't imagine anyone being able to have a remotely unhappy thought anywhere near them. Congratulations you two! (Pics I hope will come soon. I have to check to see if I ended up with the camera or Richard did)
Back to TX - That night I just went to bed (gotta get some sleep while I've got no kids!) while Richard stayed up and partied some more with his siblings. The next morning it was back to the airport for me first thing. Richard drove home with his parents. And I flew all by myself for the first time since I had kids. It was glorious. It was even a smaller plane with only one seat on one side and two on the other and I got a one seater so I didn't even have to sit next to anyone! I read the whole glorious time.
Back to life - So now I'm back and all the excitement is over. My Mom and Dad went back to work today. My sister went back to her home town further South. I'm here for another two weeks with no plans. My plan was to go to the gym every day but Asher has shot that idea down by having a nasty little cold. No way will the gym take such a snotty boy. Hopefully he'll get better soon and I can proceed as planned. Hopefully he won't just pass it along to his brother.
So that's it - a recap for you. I know it's not terribly detailed. Maybe I'll share more stories later.
We were supposed to meet up with the rest of the wedding party for a post-sealing-lunch but we were "unavoidably delayed" and ended up missing that lunch and stopping at some random place for our own little lunch. Sorry Karen and Jared. But we did have a lovely lunch with this group and we did toast to your love and marital success.
Here is Kevin talking to Karen. It kinda looks like he's her bridesmaid or something but he just got suckered into holding somebody's flowers. Sorry, Kev.
Here's a fun shot of me and Karen. It particularly shows off how great her jewelry looked with her dress. Love that Chic Made jewelry!
Thursday, December 25, 2008
The Morning Chaos:
Here's Isaiah opening his pack of sports balls with Grandma.
Asher with his train set:
Another great shot of Christmas morning chaos - Jessica, Joe, Winter and Sterling.
Merry Christmas to all!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Somehow I never got shots of the final products. But here is the boys' with at least the actual structure completed!
But at least he was happy!
A few days later I let Asher, Ginger and Isaiah go at the other house while I got a little work done around the house. I thought that was a very clever way of keeping them busy until they finished and I realized I then needed to add "mop the floor" to my list!
Friday, December 19, 2008
Asher and Isaiah duke it out over one of the cars that came with the garage.
Asher is in heaven with his new gift. It's something he's been coveting in the church nursery for a while now. It's pretty much all he plays with there.
Also today was Naomi's Christmas program at her pre-school. Since she goes to a private pre-school, held in a church, it was really able to be a Christmas program (as opposed to a generic holiday program). They told the Nativity story and Naomi and her class were the "stars", standing on bleachers above all the rest. They sang a few songs and had cute little motions to go with it. Daddy even stayed home from work a little bit so he could see it, and Grandma Worth was here too - so Naomi had quite a cheering section. She did a great job of singing and wasn't too shy. I don't think she has much stage fright at all. The pictures are dark, but here are a few:
Here's a close-up of Naomi. She has a light blue shirt on and is standing right next to her teacher, Mrs. Bradish.
Here's Daddy with the kids after the program. We were so glad he could be there. Naomi didn't know he was coming so she was really excited to see him. (Look at my boys in their matching plaids! Aren't they cute?!)
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
When did she get mature enough to know when to lie to her mother? And should I be proud or alarmed because of this?
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Flash forward to today.
One of the children from that family of 8 has children of her own. The child's child is named Isaiah, but is frequently referred to as Pooch or Poochy (and sometimes PoochMaster2000). This Pooch has many things in common with Dozer of Old. They both love food. They both make messes and eat food off the floor. They both let no one and nothing get in their way. Case in point, Poochy often elbows and shoves his way through his siblings to get to the prime spot on his Mommy's lap during story time. It doesn't matter what obstacle may block his path - he will get there. And, like his predecessor, Poochy is loved by one and all because who could NOT love a chubby little guy who has his heart set on something.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
I'm not even sure what about it says "Christmas", but I like it. It's not green or red or sparkly. I guess it kind of resembles a wreath or a Christmas ball. (I used an LL Bean catalog which is not exactly the most colorful) Whatever - I like it. I see much potential. Like, one made out of a book for book club. Or birthday parties. Or smaller ones to put on the tree. Or a whole garland of them. Whatever. I love it. Click through on the link above for instructions on how to make your own courtesy of Zakka Life.
(And if you haven't checked out The Crafty Crow before you really should take the time to do so. Such genius craft ideas for kids. Some are more intense than others - but I've been inspired several times with fun things for Naomi to do there.)
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Those chubby cheeks of Isaiah's may be de-chubbing quickly these days, but they're still chubby enough for a good squeeze! And who can resist tickling a naked baby? Naomi certainly can't. After we "tortured" Isaiah this way while putting his PJ's on, he went around tickling the other kids while they were naked during the PJ process. Turn-about is fair play!
(see post for video)
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Mom: Oh, hi. Where were you? (Just to be clear, he was sitting on the floor in the family room.)
Asher: I was at work.
Mom: Oh. What did you do at work today?
Asher: Eat chocolate chip cookies and go to da gym.
Mom: Wow! Sounds like fun. What else did you do?
Asher: Play wid da choo choo and track.
Asher is a total parrot right now. He copies sounds, words, phrases, everything. He do-do-da-do's along with the background music of his favorite movies and he quotes lines from them. The other day as Richard was leaving for work Asher randomly said to me " and customers and ladders" and it took me forever to figure out that he was quoting a line from The Incredibles (Mr. I is leaving home and Mrs. I says to him "Have a good day. Help customers, climb ladders..."). He even had the right inflection! He is soaking up new words like a sponge. So much, in fact, that I can't understand him half the time because I don't recognize his pronunciation of the new words. It is so fun to see children in these phases where the world is just literally growing for them and I can actually SEE it happening.
...Now if only Isaiah were talking at all!