Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Fun in the Snow

We had a little free time today so I got the boys bundled up and let them loose in the backyard! They had a blast! We even built our annual snowman. Here are a few pictures and a short video! Enjoy and Merry Christmas!!!

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

Gabriel and Cali made this delicious Christmas tree today.
Hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Lesson in Economics and Life

As some of you know, by my incessant text and e-mail messages, Gabriel, Cali and I did the majority of our Christmas shopping last week. But did you know we caused quite a stir among the retail people and other shoppers?

If I had a dollar for every time a person asked my kids or I, “Why aren’t you in school?” or “Aren’t you supposed to be in school?” or “Is school out already?” I would probably come out ahead with what we spent on Christmas gifts.

When people think of homeschoolers the first thing that usually comes to mind is uneducated, out of control and rude. While I would be the first to admit my kids can get out of control, uneducated and rude I don’t tolerate. And because they are homeschooled, I expect more from my kids, and during our recent outings, they didn’t fail me once.

Every time they paid for their purchase, they said thank you and wished the clerk a Merry Christmas. (Not “Happy Holidays” like we hear so much lately) They read the name tags and those names they could pronounce the kids addressed them by name. And for every inquiry about “school” we responded that we homeschool and are learning about economics. Which when put together with Gabriel and Cali’s great manners, brought smiles to many faces around us. Isn’t that what life is about?

For me the past few days provided me with many very proud memories and reinforced the fact that my kids are indeed learning important things. Because not once did they turn away because of someone’s disability or race. And not once did they fail to respond because the other person was different. I hope we all will remember to spread the love all throughout the year, not just at Christmas.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!!

Here is a picture Andrea sent me of the snow in VEGAS!! Yes, I said VEGAS!! Now you Las Vegas people know how some of us others feel all winter long! If anybody else has pictures of the snow email them to me and I will post them. Merry Christmas!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Childrens Christmas List 2008

Children 2008Siera: ColeKala: Cooper
Zachary: BrockWesley: GabrielGabriel: Caleb

Cali: Michealla
Caleb: Cali
Cole: WesleyBrock: Siera
Cooper: Zachary

Friday, December 12, 2008

Santa's Helper

Here is a picture of Santa's little Helper!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Snow in Boerne!!

Michelle emailed me these pictures of the snow they got in Boerne, TX!!
Looks like fun!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Spreading a Little Holiday Cheer!!!

Hope this spreads a little Holiday cheer in your life, it worked for us!!!!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Chicken-Turkey and 1/2 Pound Burgers

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. Ours was pretty nice, filled with food, desserts and football.
Last year Cali couldn't completely grasp the whole turkey thing, so according to her we had a rather large chicken.
"Cali what did you eat for Thanksgiving last year?"
"A great big chicken!"
This year she almost managed to wrap her head around the concept. As we girls were preparing the turkey she said, "Mom, that's a really big chicken-turkey." I just smiled and agreed.

We went out to dinner recently to a fun 50's style diner called Chee-burger, Chee-burger. No I did not misspell it. They serve the best burgers and onion rings around this part of VA. Gabriel, who is constantly reminding us that (at almost 10 years of age) he is almost a teen-ager, ordered the 1/2 burger. They have a wall of fame boasts of children under 12 that eat this monster burger. Todd is the first to admit and very proud to say, to anyone who will listen, Gabriel's picture is now a part of. Gabriel also ate an order of french fries, root beer and a chocolate shake. I think it's time to re-evaluate my food budget.

We had our first sticking snow last night. It's so beautiful. The kids went out in pajamas and bare feet to play in it. Five minutes later they were back inside, staring out the window.
Love to all!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Moapa Thanksgiving

Here are a few pictures from Mom and Dad's Thanksgiving and a few words from Dad!

Dinner was held at Rhonda's, about 1/4 mile from Sandy's in Moapa.
ALL my sisters were there, (yes Jan was there)!
All of Sandy's kids, only Jill from Susie was there, with her kids, Domingo was not there, (do not know where he was), we took my cousin Janet and Bro and Mo's kids.
The bambino's had a ball, feeding the puppies and feeding the horse in Rhonda's front yard. Zachary had a particular sweet tooth for Aunt Sandy's mashed potatoes, made from real spuds, and not from a box. He ate one plateful of food, then went back and got a plateful of just spuds and gravy.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Little Blurb from Texas

Bit of news from Chelle and Family . . .
Siera's getting better with phone manners- she wants cell for birthday/ christmas.. think/guess it is about time. She will start track at school in the spring, has started feeding neighborhood pets for $ while they are on vacation... feeling a little more responsible even though she can't pick up her bathrobe from the floor- ah well. She rides her bike over there, and while it's not far, she's still out there by herself. She thinks she wants to do the short distance runs, and is considering all the extra jumping stuff. She was out on the trampoline yesterday practicing the hurdles move. Wish I'd had a camera on me, but was elbow deep in goldfish- ridden horsey water. Those suckers are fast! (had to empty the trough to move it- couldn't just dump it out without killing fish...)
We got new next door neighbors- a youngish family. They don't want Sugar in their backyard, (baby is not 2 yet.. and dad is a lawyer- thinks only in liability terms) so we're working to get her set up on our side only. We'll have to pull her up to the front shelter on COLD nights- which we've only had a couple of so far. She's been using the barn at the back corner of their property for shelter at night, but they want it for a play house- can't blame them :) It's pretty cool.
Will try to get pictures before she's out of there completely- asked for a week to get it emptied- she's got a ton of hay back there - likes to throw it around when she eats and grazes from all corners of her "plate". When she poos on it, she's done with that meal. Goofy old lady! But that's when we'll do a final clean, close the separating gate and let them know its all theirs. They seem to be outdoorsy types, girl 11 (shy), boy somewhere around 6-8 that rides his mini motorcycle around the front yard, and the baby boy- so they'll really enjoy the place.
Think..K got headhunted- not sure if I told you- away from the gas/electric company. He's back in the intel business working for another defense contractor. He's in a shirt and tie and occasional sport coat position- so tie shopping again soon. He's glad- more interesting work and they'll keep his security clearance up to date. He likes the folks he works with, and occasionally sees a few from the AF days. Retirement is good for him- think he prefers to be the boss. . . Familiar? We'll see what the new POTUS does for his line of work...
So glad this semester is almost over. My anatomy and physiology book is already up for sale on Amazon.com... need to find out what books I need for spring so can start shopping... refuse to pay UTSA bookstore prices... silliness. I've been able to stay almost even with purchase and sales on school books- very pleasing...
Love to all

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving from Our Family

Greetings from the East Coast.
Since we're only cooking for the four of us, I asked the kids to find a dessert that they'd like to have for Thanksgiving. After going through numerous cookbooks and magazines they finally came up with two. Cali opted to make a lemon tart and Gabriel made oreo cream filled cupcakes.
They each made their dessert with very little help from mom, and both turned out quite yummy. But the best part was that both Gabriel and Cali aided in the clean up efforts. I think we have just stumbled on a new Thanksgiving tradition! We wish you all the very best Thanksgiving Day.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Cole's Swimming Lessons

Cole took swimming lessons for the first time these past two weeks. He actually did pretty good. It was funny to see the difference between him and Caleb. Cole is so much like Tank and takes the same approach with swimming lessons as Tank would. He loved to float on his back and would just lay there all relaxed and mellow. (Remind you of anyone??) Then Caleb on the other hand was very good at the technique but did not like to get water in his face and would freak out a bit.(Anyone who was around for the younger years of me know where he gets that from!) By the end of the 2 weeks he was quite good with the back float we were so proud of him!! Good Job Cole!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Tank's Italy Trip

Tank made it back safe and sound from his trip to Italy. He had a great time seeing new sights and visiting some old ones. They had quite the experience in London, being stopped by the police 3 or 4 times not to mention getting a boot on the car. Rome was great they had a good time seeing the sights and visiting members from when they were on their mission. All in all it was totally worth the trip but he was nice enough to say next time he wanted me to go with him. Here is a little slide show of some of the sights! Enjoy!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Our Halloween

I wanted to make this Halloween memorable, so we started our costume search early this year. Gabriel was determined to be Ironman, no question about it. Ironman or nothing. You would not believe how hard it is to find children's costumes size 12/14 that aren't terribly scary. After almost ten stores we finally found an Ironman size 12/14 . . . and then Gabriel saw all the cool accessories that came with the Batman costume. Deep breath . . . and relax. The picture tells the rest of the story.
Where Gabriel was determined to be Ironman until the last minute, Cali couldn't make up her mind. It was during this long tedious search for Ironman that Cali saw a pink sheriffs badge with pink guns and a holster, and she knew she wanted to be a cowgirl. I wondered if she would balk at switching out the toy guns for flowers, but in the end it didn't matter. We got so caught up in choosing material and making it, she simply forgot about the other.
I took them to the Children's Museum for some fun Halloween activites, then stopped at an outdoor mall to go store to store. We got home and they went to our house and then to our neighbors before they finally got the hang of it. Todd only got about 15 trick or treaters so we still have a ton of candy. I'm thinking most of it will be sent to Santa to redistribute into stockings.
Happy Birthday Mikey Sarah and Happy Halloween to all!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!!

We have had our fair share of fall and Halloween activities over the past few weeks. We have been to Pumpkin Patch/Corn Maze, Pumpkin walk (put on by the city, really neat, over 1000 carved pumpkins along a trail and lit), playgroup trick or treat, and school parties. So we have already taken pictures of the Halloween costumes and by some miracle they have all decided to keep the same costumes for tonight. So here are the pictures!!!
Halloween card I made of the boys

Tigger - Cooper

Thomas the Train - Brock

Wizard - Cole

Count Dracula - Caleb

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Update on Monica and Doug

Who would have thought it!? Don't know if you have seen the Stearman family blog recently, but Cori posted it for me last time, maybe you could do it this time? Couldn't figure it out, anyway you all know how quickly things can change for us (DAILY) so it seems that we are now going to stay here and Curt and Becky will be going to Snowflake. So I'll be losing my girlfriend here. Cheaper to send them than us they can both go where as I would have to stay here with my cave. Brink would have to pay for Doug’s motel If he went first. So we may still be here at Christmas time which means COLD WEATHER and probably snow too. Still like the country living? Personally they all can definitely have it!!! Doug wants to finish Calhan by Christmas may be aggressive but I'm with him there sooner the better!!!! Doug is still working late and with Curt gone I have been given Meridian Ranch for a few weeks and the other Peyton (place we call it) a real pain just the second half though they have to turn on the first half we finished, and turn off the second half. for those interested look on a map south of Denver, we are staying in Co. springs follow the 24 east you will first come across Falcon, (Meridian Ranch) then you will continue east to Peyton (pain in the buttocks) and continue east yet again you will come across Calhan (Doug’s job) . Anyway that's all we are doing here just trying to get pout hope all is well with everyone else, Happy birthday to all that I missed this year and I do still love you just kinda crazy sometimes.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pumpkin Patch in Utah

Well great minds must think a like because we headed to the local pumpkin patch/corn maze here in Utah last week too. Last week our neighborhood all gathered at Black Island farms which is a corn maze/pumpkin patch /playground all in one. The kids had a blast we got to pick pumpkins, go through the kiddie maze, go down slides, ride in a train and have lunch. We were there for 3 hours and the kids were so sad to leave, me, not so much!!! I am glad that we go and do fun stuff like this because I really want to create memories with the boys but sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming by myself. But I guess it is like they said in conference this month, Enjoy the Journey it will be gone soon!!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pumpkin Palooza

On Saturday we went to Pumpkin Palooza. There was more than a dozen pumpkins carved and decorated to be auctioned off to benefit Autism, but this was my favorite. Maybe it's the pie that put it over the top for me. The kids posed on the horses and got their picture taken with a poloroid camera. They've never seen such a thing and immediately wanted to know where the picture was; it hadn't fully developed. The things we take for granted!
The rest of the pictures we took are uploaded on the Walgreen's website.
Love you all!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

News From Texas

Here is an update on Michelle and Family.

It looks like straight insanity until mid dec and this round of classes are over19 credits..hurts.

K left Friday morning.. stopped in Alabama with his sister, headed to DC to stay with friends (and watch football am guessing) then on to PA for a couple of days with his mom. Sudden, driving urge.. so told him to gohe wanted to do this a year ago, but the JOB wanted him more. he's done with the city energy/utility company now.. ducked out early from his contract.he was head hunted by another dept of defense company who wants him to work local.. that is a permanent position (no contract renewal issues year to year and he doesn't have to pay to park) and he won't travel much at all.

he's coaching Siera's volleyball team- she was on a wait list because they didn't have a coach. (she didn't make the school team.. we signed her up with the Y) this is week 5 (I think, it's a blur) but they won.. first time for the match. they were screaming- am sorry he missed it. last week they won the 1st game and got swollen heads and lost the other 2.. so no match win.. think part of it was other team's inexperience but they were very excited.. will not pop the bubble.

love all


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Hello to all from Colorado

Pretty country (in a picture) personally can’t say I care for this place. No snow yet; just very cold weather most days. Still a few nice ones but they are getting fewer. Still hoping to get out by Christmas, if nothing else we will be in AZ at that time. Just picked up a huge 500 kv. lsub brand new boss man very happy about that.

I will be at our family reunion even if my old man ducks out. (flat keyboards suck can only hunt and peck on them)

That new job is called Snowflake appropriate being as we will be building it in snow just south(?) of Holbrook. They say its warmer there hope they won’t be wrong. But we are doing fine. Doug’s working long hours during the week due to colder weather and concrete not setting too well to finish, so I haven’t seen him much this last week. Incompetent subs don’t help much either. Curt, who has been running our other two jobs here with a little help from me, will be leaving to go to Snowflake on Monday and I will be stuck doing paperwork again. But only for one of them the other will be put into service. (that means turned on) He will be gone for a couple of weeks (BIG BUMMER) Hate having to do it, but no one else for the job right now.

Not much else going on. Just working trying to keep up with life and bills, and a house I haven’t seen in three months, and probably won’t see till Christmas time or after. (HUGE BUMMER) Anyone want to visit CA? Free house to stay in; just flush all my toilets and check it out for me.

I suppose Jerry has paid enough for enough of my air time for today
Love to all,
Monica and Doug

Christmas List

I emailed Mom and Dad and asked if it was alright if we posted the Christmas list here on the blog that way if anyone forgets who they have it will always be here! I am going to try to get the kids list because I think that is the one that would be easier to forget at least for me but here is the big kids list!

Michelle - Bo
Corinna - Michelle
Monica -
CorrinaAndrea - MonicaTank - AndreaBear - TankBo -

Merry Christmas!!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Marshmallow Molecules

This week Gabriel and I studied molecules in Chemistry and I found this extremely interesting since I don't recall even taking Chemisty in school. For the experiment part of the lesson Gabriel made marshmallow molecules, and he let me label them. It was so much fun trying to identify the different atoms that went together to make different substances.

Gabriel and Cali worked on more experiments yesterday. I tried to hang with them, but eventually had to leave the room in order for the future chemists to further their education. I couldn't even bring myself to take a picture of the end results. The mess almost made me faint. So picture this: balsamic vinegar, milk, egg white, sugar, salt, baking soda and lemon juice spread out on the counter. They took samples from each one and mixed it with another to see what kind of, if any, chemical reaction could be observed. Of course the one they liked the best was the vinegar and baking soda, which probably accounted for 60% of the mess. The rest was a bit slimy, so I'm thinking egg white came in a close second.

I am so glad school is over for the week. Another mess like that is likely to put me over the edge.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

4 DOWN 8 TO GO!!

Caleb has had quite the journey thus far with his teeth. His bottom two front teeth came out last year around this time. A little late compared to others in his school class but at least they came out on their own. The top two front teeth have had a mind of their own. They both grew in behind the baby teeth. Therefore making it impossible for Tank and I to pull them out. So off to the dentist we went on 2 seperate ocassions. The first time was pretty much a disaster but we got the tooth out and the second time went much smoother. Plus Caleb got a dollar from the denist and then another one from the tooth fairy that night both times! What a lucky kid!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

News from the Our Family

I'm not sure how to move the pictures down to the paragraph that talks about them, but here they are.
Let's hear it for Christel not giving up on us!! Hip Hip Hooray!
Okay now for the latest news from Virginia.

Cali lost her first tooth on September 24. I get so queasy, it was hard to look. But she was so excited, she wanted to show everyone over and over. She can't wait for all of them to fall out.
Gabriel earned his yellow belt in Tae Kwon Do and is eagerly training for his orange belt. Orange is his favorite color you know.

Both kids are doing great in school. We ordered our books a bit later, which most homeschoolers do it seems, our order was backlogged and so we started later than the public school kids. In the end it worked out fine because we also home schooled later into the summer. We switched math curriculums, which put me into a tail spin, but Saxon Math is one of the best and the kids are loving it. We put Cali into her own History and Science rather than have her study with Gabriel. So while Cali is in the Ancients and Life Science, Gabriel is doing Early Modern and Chemistry. The history and science are laid out so they coincide with what was happening during that time period. It's quite fascinating and I've learned a lot.
Todd made Fire Chief in August and his days have been longer than ever. He usually spends two 24 hour shifts at work now instead of just the one. He has done so much for the fire station, and this is not just a wife bragging. Morale is up 83% among the firemen, that may have something to do with the new 52 inch flat screens they now have in their individual bunkrooms. The firemen recently took on the MP's in a softball game and won, and for 9/11 Todd gave them the day down and hosted a bbq in honor of them. He has also had to demote one of his officers and an assistant chief. Not an easy move for him and he agonized for weeks about it. In the end it had to be done for the overall well being of the dept.

This week is fire prevention week so check your smoke dectectors and visit your local fire dept! Firemen love to show off their stuff. Especially if it means less calls in the middle of the night.
I can't wait to hear from the rest of you!
Love you all,

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Keeping up on The Stearmans

Well I will be the first to post and hopefully not the last!! I really hope this works because I really like to know what is going on with everyone! I will be happy to help anyone with posting pictures, messages etc. Happy blogging!!!