Sunday, January 30, 2011

LIFE...It Finally Happened...They're Pierced!

When we arrived at the mall, we had to wait about an hour for the next girl to show up.  We discovered this wall of art and I fell in love with it.  Yes, it is red but the pictures of the hearts, grouped together, was beautiful.  I had to take some pictures of Isabella.  
I have to say that writing on my blog is addicting....really it is.  Why? Because I like to write, I like to share my thoughts and ideas, and I love reading comments from people. It allows me to take pictures and share my world for others to see.  I have enjoyed using my camera again for this very reason. It's my social network.   It's so fun to read other people's blogs too.  I have learned so much about all types of things, issues, events, sitings (yes, people do write about this stuff) and perspectives on life, school, work, people, religion...pretty much any topic you can think of someone has a blog about it.  I am on over load and may need a 12 step program.  I hear the first step is admitting you have a problem.  DONE!  It's out there for everyone to read, see and know.

When I write on my blog, I sometimes do it to keep family up to date on what the kids are up to.  I write to keep everyone informed of where we are in our travels.  I write to just express an idea.  I write to inspire joy, happiness and a love for this life.  I try to keep things funny.  I have to admit that some topics are not funny and I have to find my serious hat to wear.  Often times I get an idea, thought or word, in my brain and I just run with it.  I start to write and I don't really know what will come out, it is created as I go.  I love the process of purging the ideas I have into a written format.  I love to write.  It's my creative outlet.

I mention the above information because I have friends and family that read my blog and there might be some head scratching as I might seem all over the place with the entries.  One day it's a happy event and the next it might be a personal struggle.  This is how my life plays out though.  I call it the up and downs of a never ending line.  I love it.  I am a firm believer that to truly experience this life you must "feel" it on many levels.  This might include: love, pain, laughing, yearning, desiring, forgetting, falling, reaching, etc...

I had the opportunity to say I was sorry this weekend to a family member that I respect very much.  Through this process I felt sadness, negative energy and remorse.  It was short lived, but all the same it gave me an experience.  An experience of how I don't want to act toward another person no matter how little sleep I have had the night before.  I learned that writing on FB is flat.  When we read a person's response it is just that a simple statement.  Having reactions to comments should always be well thought out.  Often peoples responses are done in innocence but read with sarcasm, pain, anger, name it.  How do we change this fact?  I don't know.  I do know that I interpreted something totally wrong and felt that I had hurt the other person.  I was disappointed in myself that I could be offended so easily.  Life is about learning from our experiences and becoming a better person.  It is always good to say your sorry if you feel that another person has been hurt.  It's that simple!  A "sorry" can go a long ways, but feelings of unrest can also stay too long and create a heavier mental and emotional load.  (On a personal note: I used "they're"in the title just for you Rob and thank you for being you)...LOL

She was all smiles before we left the hotel. Such a happy girl she is!

This blog comprises two of the things I mentioned above: random thoughts that just come out as I sit at the computer and recounting a fun day spent with Isabella.

Isabella has been wanting her ears pierced since I can remember.  This past year her pleadings had become more frequent and closer together.  We felt that it would be a great Birthday event.  She did not forget this.  For the past week she has been asking us everyday when we would be going to get her ears done.  On Wednesday, Cory and I, stopped by the earring store to find out when 2 girls would be available to do her ears.  They said Sunday would work because they would have 3. PERFECT!

I am so glad that they did them at the same time.  She did not cry a single tear.  She was such a stoic little girl sitting in the big director chair as the girls cleaned and prepped the earlobes.  It was all over so fast.  I can honestly say that I was more nervous than she.  I new what was coming and she did not.  In fact before we left, Drake asked if it would hurt.  I said yes.  He could not understand why we would subject Isabella to something that would hurt...and the simple truth is, because it would also bring her immense joy.  What a deep concept...LOL

She was being silly.  I added a little bit of an "Andy Warhol" look...after all it was a wall full of art.

This is the stoic look I was referring to earlier.  Such focus for a 4 year old.  It's that same look she has when visiting Santa or meeting strangers for the first time.

First: we clean the ears.

Second: we mark the ears.

Third:  BAM...2 seconds later it's done.

See no tears...She was just anxious to feel and see them.

Like any service that is going to make your child cry, they provide suckers.  Thanks ladies for doing an awesome job!

We took her to Build -a-Bear  to buy this cute little dog.  She loves the skates and so we splurged and bought them.  We lost one in the first 5 minutes of leaving the store...Thankfully someone found it and set it aside on a table for us to discover it.  THANK  YOU,  AGAIN!

I couldn't resist this picture.  With out thinking I asked Isabella to smile and look at me.  She obediently obeyed and this is what I get when a cookie is being eaten at the same time pictures are being taken.  I had to laugh out loud.
Enjoy the pictures!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

LIVING...Isabella turns 4, Disc Golf and Asian Market Fun!

The day finally came that Isabella has been talking about for a whole year.  She loves birthdays and she especially loves HER birthday.  I know that she loves the idea of presents but she really was looking forward to doing something really fun for her birthday.  Unfortunately, she came down with a cold Thursday night that kept us home on Friday.  We ordered pizza and watched a movie and she loved every minute of it.  She is getting her ears pierced on Sunday and can't wait to be able to wear Hello Kitty earrings.  Hello Kitty was the theme for her party.  She loves the store.  I think it's because everything in it is pink and that is her favorite color.  So yes the cake is pink, with pink frosting and pink sprinkles.  YUM!  We ate one slice and the rest is sitting on the table.  We don't eat much cake in our house but she helped me make this one and so we made it just for her special day.

This sticker book is from Grandma Bonny...she loves it!  Thank You!

EYESHADOW!!!  It's very light pink and she was thrilled.

As she took each pony out of the box she lined them up in a row.  We counted each one.  She made it to 10 by herself.  Good job!  Next we will learn 11-20....she loves school.

Meet some of the cute!

The ponies soon moved into the doll house and life was bliss full once again.
They all fit.  That is a lot of hair to brush but she loves brushing each one.
A few weeks ago Cory, Isabella and I went to an Asian food market.  It was incredible.  When we lived in Oregon they had a market that we loved.  It was big and very well stocked.  This one is much larger and it's filled with so much, almost too much.  In fact the first trip with Isabella we rushed through the aisles.  We took Rye with us today and left Isabella at home with Drake.  I don't think that Rye quite believed us when we talked about it. She was pleasantly surprised and we took the time to read (or try to read) as many of the items as possible.  So much of it was foreign to us.  Especially the fish market.  It was overwhelming to see so many varieties and then to know what they were each used for.  Cory and I have both agreed that we want to take an Asian cooking class and learn how to incorporate some of this into our main stay menu.  I hope that you enjoy the pictures!

This is about half of the vegetable area.  They have fruit and vegetables that we have never seen before or tasted.  That is the hard part about visiting a place like this with out prior knowledge.  Some of the stuff we just won't buy because we are too unfamiliar with and don't want to waste our money if it taste bad.  We did by a dragon fruit and it was like kiwi on the inside (texture and look) but did not have any flavor.

I love this!  The aisles are so colorful!  This is an entire aisle of canned meat.  If it's meat, it has been canned and labelled with a bright colorful sticker.

This is Durian for those who just LOVE this stuff.  LOL They have a huge cooler full of it...we passed!

In the fish section they had fish in giant tubs everywhere along with live fish in tanks.  Again, I will say they had so many varieties it was overwhelming.  I have to think to myself, we live in Dallas...where is all of this fish coming from?

Rye loves dried squid and dehydrated fish...this was her aisle.  Yep, you guessed it....TONS TO CHOOSE FROM.  We did not come home empty handed.
Kimchi was a whole section of the store.  We bought a small amount.  We do like it but did not want to buy something we would not eat.  For the lovers of this food, you can buy this huge container of the stuff.  They had a lady on sight that was making it.  She was fast and new her job well.

That is the lady in the back making it as she worked her stand.  Inside of the store they have vendors that can come in and sell their food.  The samples are a great way to try new foods.
Rye was a good sport and tried anything and everything.  Some things were very hot!  They like their spices in everything.

This is funny!  The las time we went I came home with every type of mushroom you could imagine.  We ate them in everything.  So much so that the kids started saying things like "mushrooms again".  Well, this aisle is one direction of the mushroom selection.  When Rye saw it she said...I now know why we ate so many mushrooms last week.  I had to laugh!!!

Right by the Kimchi you can buy this large container  of shrimp.  There were thousands in this one jar!  Again, I have to say we passed this delicacy. 

Our family eats a lot of sushi.  Almost to the point that we might me "sushi snobs".  Our kids have been eating it since they were about 4 years old and we like to think we know our stuff.  With this said we have been skeptical of eating it in Dallas.  We have tried a few places and it just taste blah, blah, yuck!  Until today!  Outside of the market they have a square with nothing but Asian restaurants; every kind. We randomly picked this Japanese sushi bar and were so happy with our food!

This is one piece of sushi.  It was so good.  The red on top are fish eggs.  We all love how they get lost in your mouth and then when you find them they "POP" on your tongue.  We will be back.

This was our tray of sushi.  Presentation is so important to the cooking and displaying of  their food.  It's an art all in its self.  I had to have a picture before we gobbled it all up.

Rye has got her chop sticks rearing to go!

We decided that we needed something fun to do as a family that involved the outdoors.  We have seen the disc golf parks around us and thought this would be a fun family game.  It was!  We bought two sets of three to start with.  The disc are pricey at $10.00's or more each.  I think we will get one more set and maybe a few of the fairway disc to add to our collection.  I can see I will be doing some ebay shopping this week.  We did not return with the blue one.  He found a new home.  We almost lost the orange one in the river but Drake and Rye rescued it for us.

The map of the course is posted behind us.  It was a little bit tricky deciding where to go next.  The path was not well marked at first.

Eyeing the field and warming up.

Drakes technique was "give my the disc'" and just throw it as hard as possible. It worked for him.

I felt the need to really warm up my muscles with an Egyptian pose and some quick dance moves.  I was willing to try something new...LOL

I practiced and weighed each of the disk to find the right one and when the time came for my big landed in the trees about 10 feet in front of me...LOL  I laughed.  The first basket was a par 3, I did it in a par that considered and elephant? 

The red one is mine.  These trees were everywhere and always in my way.

Rye had amazing form!  After all she does hold the world record on the Kinect  in track and field.  She is a natural.

Get out and experience your neighborhood, city and state!  Find something that brings you joy, teaches you a new skill and live life.  Sometimes we get so busy with life that we forget to slow down long enough to try something new.  I love learning new skills.  It keeps my brain young, my interests peaked and always meeting new people.

Friday, January 28, 2011

LIVING...Why I like the hotel, but miss my trailer.

Living in a hotel has it's ups and downs.  I can honestly say that I miss living in the trailer.  When I got my scrapbook today it reminded me of the reason's we chose to live on the road and why we picked the trailer that we did.

Some of the things that I miss the most are the feelings that everything around you is yours.  I constantly worry about the furniture, beds, carpet, walls and such with the kids and pets.  Especially since we are staying in the same place for a while.  I am sure they deal with this and since we are staying at a place that has extended stay suites they know how to "fix" the flaws of a room for the next guest.  With that said, I still worry about it and hope to leave here with very few items to "fix".  After all we are paying through the nose to stay here and we should be allowed some allowances....Right?  

I miss the people!  Oh my heck (that's Utahineese) do I ever!  Living in a hotel we stay to our rooms pretty much or we use the back door to go across the street to the park.  We use the back door to get to the car.  The only time I use the front door is when we go out with Isabella.  She insists riding down in the "alligator" ( I just don't have the heart to tell her its an's so dang cute...I will though.  She will not graduate from high school thinking that they are alligators, I have time.)  We might see a few of the same faces and families but not too many.  They have a dinner (snack) every night that if you are brave enough to eat the food you might meet someone.  If your husband travels and is overweight, let me say just one word...Sysco.  The food they serve these guys is junk!  I see them eat it every night.  I tried to eat a few things...salad and the meatballs.  They just don't taste good at all.  Thank goodness I have a full kitchen and I cook almost every night.  I got side tracked for a minute...sorry, stay on topic.....anyways, people are hard to meet in the hotel.  I am sure if we are here when the pool is open that may change.  

I miss the state parks, riding my bike,  the beach, sitting outside under the stars, I miss my canopy with it's cool lights and decorations.  I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and that we need to embrace all of our opportunities.  I have spent a few minutes whining about what I miss but let me tell you what I love.

I know that most of you are thinking I will say housekeeping.  I do find this service helpful, at times it's embarrassing.  I like to be away when the ladies come and change the beds and do the bathrooms.  I try to clean the kitchen and dust.  The other things I can't do because I don't have sheets for the bed, vacuum cleaner or all of the cleaning supplies for the bathroom.  I have them come twice a week and always try to have things ready to go..sheets pulled off the bed, towels in a pile and floors cleared to vacuum.  They are wonderful ladies that don't speak much english.  I wish they did so that I could communicate my appreciation to them outside of a smile and nod of the head.

I love that when you need something here it's always done with a smile.  I had to have the dishwasher replaced last week and the guys were great about it.  So helpful!  I love that the buying of the dishwasher was done by Marriott and not by the Watson Fund.  LOL  

I like having a full size oven and fridge.  Not having to go to the store everyday for ice or every third day for basics is very nice.  We did learn to adapt, but in this case, bigger is better.  Especially since I try to cook most of our meals.  We do eat out about once a week for date night, but the kids still need to eat dinner.

I almost forgot.  The treadmill and free weights.  That is very nice to have at our fingertips.  Some of the places that we have stayed at in the past did have some of this, but very few.  I like being able to exercise every day.  Yes, I can walk outside but I am a baby and can't stand the cold. I am a warm weather kind of gal. 

So, those are a few things that I like about living here in the hotel and miss by not living in the trailer. 

 The other day I bought some yellow cups. In the suite they give you 4 of everything.  Well, first of all we are a family of five.  So we are already running short but with the cups it was never ending.  We never had any glasses.  Keep in mind that we had 4 mugs, 4 glasses and 4 wine glasses.  So there should be plenty for the day.  While I was at Target the other day I picked up some cheap yellow plastic cups.  I thought to myself that this should solve the problem.  Guess what, it's not a shortage of cups or glasses at's a lack of reusing the same glass and getting them into the dishwasher.  I will have to work on this better or I may end up with a whole room of dirty cups and no clean cups for my next drink.

Enjoy the chat, have a great day!

LIVING...Just passed 6 months on the road! YAY

It's tough being our dog.  She sleeps all day on a cozy couch and even has a pillow! If it's not the couch then she also likes the bed, with a pillow.  If she is on the floor, she likes a pillow.  SPOILED DOGGIE!..LOL

Cory and I started our "official" 10 weeks of dancing lessons.  This puts us near the time of our departure date from Dallas.  It was a lot of work to get the steps, do a routine and listen for the beat...ALL AT THE SAME TIME!  Then to add some confusion they change the music to a different dance and expect you to continue slow..slow..quick..quick, when it's the music for a different  dance.  CONFUSION!  Anyway's our instructor was pleased with our progress and we learned the steps to the rumba.  It is a fun swirly dance.

Before we started...


...and after.  Yes, that is sweat on my face!  It's a lot of work and great exercise.

Drake has been hounding his dad for over a year to teach him something about programing.  The time finally worked for both of them and they started about a month ago.  Drake has been creating several games, worlds and scenarios.  He loves it!  I want to send him to a gaming camp this summer to pick up some more tips and tricks.  I enjoy seeing our kids succeed and work on something that makes them happy.  Go DRAKE!

This is his "stress" face maybe...I don't know.  He never takes a normal picture these days. LOL

Isabella loves the hide-a-bed in the hotel.  She thinks it is the solution to her not have a trampoline.  I don't mind if she jumps during the day but at night I worry about the family below us.  

We have finally ventured down to the hot tub.  It's been so cold that you don't want to walk back to the hotel when you get out.  The outside temperature finally has warmed up to the 50s and 60s.  Every night she wants to go sit in the hot pool.  We only stay for 15 minutes, but it is just the right amount of time.

I am sure that every city has it's share of sculptors around town.  The Frisco area has a ton!  They are primarily these Texas Longhorns and every once in a while you will find a group of cowboys.  Someone has to tend to the herd.  Just yesterday we drove a new route and found a whole new group of statues..these were horses.  I think it's cool and adds character to the shopping area.

Hook-Em Horns!

The ponies finally arrived....they were so cute I even wanted to play with them.

Rye spends a lot of time on her laptop for multiple reasons.  She is an artist first and a friend second. She has created characters for her friends and stories and spends the day animating and sketching them.  The art work is amazing!  Given our lifestyle our kids spend more than a normal amount of time on the computers.  At first this really bothered me but I know for them it's their social network.  They stay connected with their friends and cousins and this is very important to me.  These relationships are very important to them both.   Our kids are very talented when it comes to their abilities on the computers.  It's a fine line that when we finally settle down again, we will need to balance their computer time but for now we do what we have to do.  That's just how the cards have been dealt.

Rye enjoying her laptop.
   Back in December I decided to try digital scrapbooking.  I was leery at first.  Would I like it?  Would it fulfill my creative side?  Would they even offer the backgrounds and embellishments that I liked?  These were questions that I had.  I felt that every month we are on the road, and I don't log our events with pictures, I will forget the fun memories.  We do so much and I did not want to forget.  I found Shutterfly and gave it a try.  The orange box arrived today!  I love it! The kids love it too!  It was done perfectly.  My pictures all looked really good. I did the 12X12 hard cover book with 102 pages.  The amount of money I spent on this was about a third of what I would have spent on supplies.  Plus , I don't have to store all the extra paper, stickers and such that I always over spend on.

Now don't get me wrong...I love to scrapbook with my friends and when my life becomes more stable I will probably once again do a book or two the "old fashion" way.  I am reminded of the saying that says there is a time and a place...I have the time but not the place.  So as much as I want to be a purest, it doesn't fit into my current life.  I have found an alternative and it works.  There is always more than one way to finish a task and I found mine. Let me know if there are other digital sites, companies or things I should know about.  I am so new to this that I don't want to miss out on something different or maybe even better.  Leave a comment with your suggestions.  Thanks and as always enjoy your weekend!

The box...Orange!

Isabella's face says it all!