Thursday, March 17, 2016

Look at the monkeys!!

There are definite perks to having an Aunt that works at the....

We got to go for the first time thanks to Aunt Stephanie! How cool is it that she works with the Sea Lions?! And the whole place was very cool. Uncle Michael met us there and gave us the tour while we patiently waiting for the Sea Lion show!

But before we got too far we met up with Aunt Stephanie while she was feeding a Sea Lion and the kids got to help. 

This place as FULL of birds.
Seriously. LOTS of birds. I didn't get that many pictures of them for some reason...really this is the only one. LOL But they were everywhere. Flying freely it felt very open. You also had to be careful you didn't get pooped on. There was lots of that on the ground as well. 

There were a couple sets of birds that could talk. We weren't sure which sets they were so every grouping we passed the kids tried to talk to them. It wasn't until we were on our way to Aunt Stephanie's show that we finally walked passed a group that talked. I was the last to walk past and as I did one said "hello" to me. I turned around and said "hello" back. It started bobbing it's head up and down as if to say "good human, you know how to say hello back!" Tee hee! So of course the kids turned around and started talking to them as well. As we were walking away Kaleb blew a whistle he make with an Elk antlier...well the birds did NOT like that. They were making so much angry noise I was afraid we'd have to run for our lives. They weren't encased and free to fly!! No kidding I was a little bit scared. Ya know that scene in the Divergence series when she thinks she's being attacked by birds?...ya I was picturing that! But I'm getting ahead...back it up

After feeding the Sea Lion we were off to see the rest of the place!

See Michael bent over looking down?? The Tiger was laying up against the fence. If we had wanted (and yes some of the kids asked to...tisk tisk) we could have climbed over the wood polls and touched the Tiger's fur. Tempting, but no. 

How cute is this momma and baby monkey?!

These were very interesting looking Monkeys...I like Monkeys if you haven't noticed. They're not my favorite animal, but probably in my top five. :) 

This monkey has a funny story. He, or she was just minding their own business hanging on the fence while all 6 of us gawked at it never making a sound...and then we started to walk away. All of us were about to clear the fence on the side except Sarah who stayed back a little longer. All of a sudden the monkey started shaking the fence and made a noise. Sarah JUMPED and about fell over herself catching up with us!!! LOL

In one of the air conditioned parts of the zoo we came across this guy...we thought it's name was interesting given it's looks. But you know what they say, looks aren't everything or don't judge a book by the cover..etc.

So this one has a funny story. Jaguars are just cool. Period. But this one was just a bitty kitty that wanted to play! It has a very cook habitat that I'm sad I don't have a bigger picture of for you to see. Part of it's habitat was an enclosed walk way that you could walk under and he could be laying right above you. While we were all checking it out Christopher started tossing his water bottle in the air out of boredom. That got the big cats attention! He turned all his attention to Christopher and that water bottle. He started following it through the air with his eye, his tail stopped swaying and is whole body was alert. I started to point this out to Chris and it startled him and the water bottle went a little too high and hit the cage. That REALLY got the Jaguar's attention and he was up and ready to lung in the direction of the water bottle, and on the next throw that's exactly what he did! It kind of scared us but was super exciting. It also made me just want to play with him. After all, he was just a big cat that was bored himself. 

At some point we all got hungry and Uncle Michael knew just where to take us. Inside the Zoo was Dillion's Bar BQ. It was yummy!! Best thing there, the fried pickle fries!! But that's not the best STORY from our lunch. To back up a bit, the restaurant is backed up to part of the aquarium. There is a large Shark tank with various sea animals swimming around. The part on the Zoo side entrance has a petting Sting Ray exhibit. This was a hit with all the kids for sure! Especially Kayleah! She spent the most time there and went back a couple times before we left the zoo that day.

See the tank behind Christopher?? On the other side-was the restaurant. So, while I waited with a  pager the kids played with the Sting Rays. As we were walking back to our seats we discovered we were sitting right by the tank in a large group area. Directly above the table area on the wall was  HUGE mirror. It took in nearly the whole place. Well, I sit down and watch as Kayleah walks toward the seating bench under the mirror but she makes an interesting face of acknowledgment- like she's just seen someone she knows. She quickly smiles and then just before she waves, she has a look of confusion, then shock, then embarrassment as she realizes she's looking at HER OWN REFLECTION. I instantly started laughing!!! She realizes now that I just witnessed the whole thing and is laughing herself all while trying to explain that she just saw someone smile at her and she thought, "maybe they know me...oh wait...huh? that's ME!" LOL!!! As we left the restaurant I told her there was someone trying to get her attention and pointed behind her (where the mirror was) she FELL FOR IT, turned around and then snapped back at me!! Oh it was HILARIOUS!!

Uncle Michael and Kaleb split a full rack of ribs, so they got these awesome bibs! They say: I like Pig Butts and I can not lie!

After lunch we went to see more animals before we headed to watch the Sea Lion show. When we came upon these we thought they were playing, we quickly learned they were not!

After the fighting pigs, we fed the Giraffe's!! They are beautiful animals.

Kayleah was trying to make sure she didn't waste any food.

Kaleb was serious about his feeding.

They kept licking Christopher's arm!! LOL

Emily did NOT want to be licked.

Sarah kept laughing...??

Then it came time for Aunt Stephanie's show!!

It was awesome, informative and the Sea Lion was very adorable. He is definitely a crowd pleaser.

After the show we hung around the aquarium center a little longer and waited for Aunt Stephanie to be done working so we could go on rides!!! I don't have a picture of the first ride and this point my phone was dying to I only got one picture and then I had to use Emily's Ipod so the quality is a bit rough...but it's something! Even though I don't have a picture of the first ride, it's worth noting that we took up every seat on that ride...hilarious! OH and I don't have a picture of the roller coaster ride. Quick story-
Growing up we use to go to Wyandot Late (sp?) and they had a small roller coaster there. We thought we were so cool and really did a scary ride when we rode that thing. Well, this roller coaster was the same and Sarah and Emily got right in the front row. HILARIOUS!! Sarah screamed so much the whole time I couldn't stop laughing!!

Ok, rides I do have pictures of...
This was our second ride. Sarah and I sat it out. I use to love this ride but after having kids my vertigo can't handle it. Sarah wisely sat it out so she didn't get a migraine. Rides period are hard for her poor thing.

The last ride for the night was the zipline. Again, Sarah and I sat this one out. I don't know what happened to the pictures of the boys and Michael and Stephanie?? They WERE on Emily's ipod...Anywho. Kayleah was scared and had to go with Michael and Emily went with Stephanie. They both loved it!!

After all the rides we stopped by the baby nursery on our way out of the Zoo. The only cute babies (yes I said it) were the baby cubs!!! How adorable are these two?!

It was a FABULOUS Day! Thank you so much Uncle Michael and Aunt Stephanie for the super fun Saturday!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

WHERE'S the baby?!?

So, with a house full of teenagers I have a pretty good group of babysitters on my hands. I often get calls wondering if this girl or that girl is available to babysit. The girls love it because they have a pretty steady income! Even Christopher has a family of all boys that often calls on him to babysit and he really enjoys it as well. Then we have Kaleb.

Back up several months ago...

In the spirit of trying to make new friends we invited some of our neighbor's, The Davis' over for dinner. I made Aunt Marvalee's award winning pot roast and of course it was a hit!! They have four adorable little kids and we talked about if my kids love to babysit or not and would they ever be willing. At this point in the conversation I let Trisha know that ALL my kids EXCEPT Kaleb are great to ask to babysit. We laughed (including Kaleb) but I said, no seriously he can't focus on tasks let alone be in charge of other kids. LOL!

Well, who knows how much time went by but one day Trisha was in a bind and needed a quick sitter for just 20 mins or so. So she ran down to my house, knocked on the door and asked if any of the girls were home. They were not. Christopher?? nope. Just Kaleb. Well she figures really how bad can 20 mins be?? So Kaleb heads down to the house, Trisha leaves. She comes home, Kaleb goes home.

A few mins go by and she's back at the door. She is MISSING a child! The conversation went something like this:
Trisha: Kaleb where's (missing child)??
Kaleb: I don't know, he's not there?
Trisha: What do you mean you don't know??
Kaleb: I don't know where he is.
*Mind you I was told Kaleb doesn't look TOO concerned at this point, more just matter of fact.
Trisha: Well did he say he was going somewhere?
Kaleb: Oh ya I think he went to a friends house??...maybe??
Trisha: Did he say WHICH friend?!?
Kaleb: I don't know

At this point she starts knocking on doors. Fortunately her son's friends all live on the street and he was found quickly!! She relayed the story to me all while laughing but then also added "you did warn me not to ask Kaleb to watch my kids!!" LOL

Last week Trisha needed a last minute babysitter in the morning. I said no problem! I had orthodontic appointments for the four older kids and she could just come and hang out with me. Done! So my sweet Haley bug (that's what I call her) comes over and we all leave for the orthodontist. We get there and they take all four back right away and leave Haley and me in the play area. While the kids are back getting adjustments, Trisha calls to say she's done early, swings by the Dr's office and picks Haley up.

Out come's Kayleah first. She's showing me the new rubberbands, stops and worriedly asks "Where's Haley?!" I explain she's already with her momma. Next comes Christopher. His turn to show me his new color changes and then he stops, looks around and says "Where's Haley?!" I explain again. Then Sarah come's out. She's not even through showing me her changes when she starts to freak out that she can't see Haley. Again, she's fine shes with her momma. :) Then Kaleb comes out. He shows me his new changes and talks about how great the orthodontist says he's doing etc. I make the follow up appointments and we go.

On the way to the car they all convince me that I need to take them out to lunch before their mouths hurt so bad in the afternoon that they don't want to eat. Well, it worked and I agreed to take them to Firehouse Subs. We get to the sub place and spend about an hour eating lunch. As we are all getting back into the car to head to school Kaleb opens the side door and says "oh man I thought I was going to sit on Haley for a second, then I realized we just left her in the car while we ate...but she's not here? Where is she?!" All of us turn to stare at him and I said "Well good thing she's not in here or we are the WORST babysitters ever to leave that baby sitting in the car while we have lunch!" We're all laughing at this point and one of the girls tells him her momma already got her. We could not get over the fact that everyone else had noticed within SECONDS that Haley was missing when we were still at the Dr's office and that more than an hour had passed before it even occured to Kaleb she was no longer there!

I had to call Trisha and tell her the story right away! She thought it was as hilarious and TELLING as I did. And the moral of the story is, NEVER, EVER  ask Kaleb to babysit your kids!! LOL

Hot. Yoga.


So, a long time ago I heard about this thing called "Hot Yoga". Honestly, I thought it was like poll dancing exercise or something...?? But then a friend I work with was talking about it and I asked exactly what it was. Turns out it's exaclty what it sounds like. Yoga, that's  HOT!! It's 90 mins and something like 110 degrees in there while you do poses named after animals and nature all while keeping your balance and not DYING from heat stroke! Well, I've been out of the physical wellness game FAR too long now and I loved pilates so I thought why not give this a try. So I did. Yesterday. And today I can't move! LOL

I have to say I was pretty proud of myself for sticking with it. Everyone warned me, even the instructor "The first few times you come it's just about staying in the room. If you can't follow the poses no worries just lay on the mat, but don't leave. Once you acclimate your body it will be easier...etc..etc." So that was my goal going in. Just. Don't. Leave.  Well I got in, the instructor was kind enough to put my mat by the front door where she said it was the coolest. So I go to my mat and lay down in the dimmed and warm, but I thought very tolerable room. I closed my eyes and started focusing on my breathing. I did notice that most everyone around me was BARELY wearing workout clothes. Some where even in swimsuits. Got a little nervous when I realized that and here I was in my yoga capris, sports bra AND t-shirt. No worries, I've got this I thought. Besides NO ONE wants to see me in a bathing suit doing downward facing dog!

So class starts with a few basic poses and breathing and I'm thinking, "wow, I'm doing great! Like riding a bike...I've got this!" Granted I wasn't as graceful as my classmates but who cares I was doing it! I wanna say somewhere around 10-15 mins in I notice I'm really starting to feel...HOT. I'm even sweating. I'm not a big sweater...just always been one of those beautiful glistening people *wink* really though! Well, yesterday I'm sure I sweat more than the last year...two...maybe even three COMBINED! 

I wanna say based on my calculations I stayed with the class for about half of it. After that I had to take frequent breaks on the mat just sitting or lying down while MOPPING the sweat off my face and peeling my DRENCHED shirt off my skin. The feelings of passing out or vomiting were more intense than I can ever remember in my life. They may have rivaled the waves of nausea that come with labor contractions but that was so long ago...this was worse! I kept thinking how wonderful it would be to be in a bathing suit. At one point I would have settled for no clothes at all. The "hot" part was NO. JOKE. The instructor was great though and she would come over and check on me, gave me a few pressure point foot massages and kept spraying my legs with peppermint water stuff that was amazing.

And I stayed in the WHOLE time!!

I will be going back...maybe next week. I will say I slept amazing last night and woke up more refreshed than I have in a very long time. Getting out of bed and going up and down my stairs this morning has been a challenge to say the least. But like the say, no pain no gain!! Also it's worth noting, I will be in WAY less clothing next time, flappy arms be damned! LOL

Weird thing, my chin feels like I bruised it this morning...and I don't remember maybe I did pass out??

Friday, January 29, 2016


Yes, I realize most of you already know this...but I'm getting caught up remember? I think I will use my Flashback Friday's for older memories and try to stay current for now. But in the meantime, there are a few "LIFE EVENTS" that I want to start blogging about.

So, may I introduce to the blogging world,to the ADORABLE Max and Lola! They were Born in May of 2013 and we got them in June. We were instantly in LOVE!

Tragically not too long after his 1st birthday, and the day after his mama's (Jennifer Taylor) Max got loose from the kids and chased after a truck in front of our house. He was hit and died in my arms on the way to the Vet's office.
 It really felt like loosing a child and for the next several days and weeks I was in shock missing him so much. The kids were too.

Even Lola mourned his death. a few days after he died she laid in my arms like a baby would and cried tears, whimpering and all for three hours. It broke my heart more than it already was! The day he died she wasn't quite sure what to do with herself. I held his body for most of the afternoon while Jenn got things ready to bury him. She would come and sniff us and then disappear for awhile. After his burial we found her on Jenn's bed laying on one of Max's blankets. She snuggled into Jenn for quite a bit it both broke and melted my heart.

Somehow Jenn found the strength to build Max a beautiful casket for burial. We put his favorite pillow and a few of his favorite toys in with him. Later Jenn Ordered a head stone that marks his grave in their front yard by rose bushes she and I planted around a big rock. We had a little service for him where the kids talked about what they loved about him and how much they would miss him. Max was one VERY LOVED puppy. I had many nicknames for him, Little Man, My Little Lion...Jenn did a beautiful job of creating his headstone to capture what he meant to all of us.

The Taylor's got a NEW puppy, Toby. He is cute as a button and full of energy. Lola didn't take to him very quick and it took quite a bit of time before she would pay him any mind.

Unfortunately they didn't get much time to bond and Lola grew sad again without a furry friend. So my family decided to become a TWO DOG family! Yep, five kids and two dogs folks! 'Cuz I'm just NOT busy enough!! LOL

So we got Harley. He was advertised as a Maltese/poodle mix.  Ya, no. He's a Maltese/golden retriever mix. LOL He has stubby little legs but he is the softest thing ever!! We love him to pieces, and so does Lola!!

Stay tuned for more to come on the adventures of Max and Lola and also Lola and Harley! I'll also give Toby a little more attention because I have so many darn cute pictures of him with the kids and Lola. This is just a sneak peak really into our furry family members.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


After a MUCH too long hiatus I'M BACK!

I can NOT believe it's been since 2012 since I blogged. Let me do a quick recap of the years in between then and now (just major highlights) and then I will work really hard over the next few months to post pics and blog about our adventures. Because-they deserve to be told!

-I went back to school to become a Radiologic Technologist-graduated May 2014. Also passed my boards for CT registry so I now have the credentials R.T.(R) C.T. behind my name. YAY!
-Kayleah played middle school volleyball, and club and has now played high school volleyball.
(yes people I said HIGH SCHOOL...we'll get's SCARY!)
-Kaleb continued to play baseball, played summer high school baseball and just finished high school soccer.
-Christopher is MAJORLY into robotics and electronics and has become my brain child with school. Oh and he broke TWO bones in the last year-both while on ROLLER BLADES. (more of that to come)
-Sarah has grown into such a beautiful girl people ask me if she does modeling. She also played basketball for the first time on a school team with her sister Emily and Sarah ROCKED! Shocked us all, seriously.
-Emily has played volleyball and basketball now with school but loves volleyball more. She is very social and growing up WAY too fast on me.
-We have had THREE dogs during the last few years...we got Lola and Max in June of 2013. Sadly Max died the next summer tragically. A few months later we got Harley. More to come of our beautiful pups!

WE MOVED!! October 2014 we made the hardest move I've ever experienced and moved to Gilbert, AZ. Leaving our beloved TN was something I never thought would happen. I could have lived and died there the rest of my life. (except for my dream of living by the ocean...) BUT it has been a good move for many reasons. The kids LOVE their new found freedoms here living in a neighborhood and having friends just a walk or bike ride away. I have been blessed with a WONDERFUL job that allows me to support our family for which I am extremely grateful. We miss our friends and family back home so much and look forward to visiting soon.

So that's the RECAP of the last 4ish I'll get to some pictures and DETAILED posts!

Photo cred to the Amazing Trisha Davis taken 11/2015
left to right: Sarah, Kaleb, Christopher, Kayleah, Emily

Monday, January 2, 2012

Let's wrap up 2011 one quarter at a time! Part 1

OK So I'm going to catch up my blog one month at a time...because I'm SOOO behind!
Kayleah got her hair cut...

 We played in the snow...LOTS!

 Built a really cool igloo
Christopher joined a baseball team!

Spent many nights in the Taylor's basement staying safe from tornados...crazy tornados!

Spent time at a park playing during all the snow days we had


 Emily had pajama day at school
And one hundred day at school
 Christopher was Student of the week
 The boys participated in the space derby...I don't think our pack will be doing these anymore, they're so anti-climatic.

 Sarah built her own fort

Jenn found a good deal on a foam airplane and the kids had a blast with it! Adam had a blast getting it out of the trees *wink*

I found the girls like this one day just watching tv...apparently they were comfortable! lol!
 Emily helped build a robot out of recycled items at school. She was so proud of it, one day when I was at the  school she grabbed me and took me to her room so I could see it and get a picture of it. Super cute!
 Kayleah sleep walks...a lot. One night she came out and just couldn't get back to bed. It was kind of comical so I took a picture of her on the couch/in bed. haha!
 Emily is my big helper in the kitchen. She climbs on the counters to get food from the top of the cabinets for me.
 Christopher started Baseball games. We had so much fun watching him and cheering him on. I'm so proud of him!

 Sarah gave us a lesson she learned from church. Kayleah helped her.
As the weather warmed up a bit again we spent lots of time at parks!
 Liah and her beautiful smile.
 Sweet Emily!
 Kayleah with teeth! (she lost a lot of her baby teeth this year)
 My beautiful princess Sarah.
 Handsome Christopher
 Bold Kaleb
 The kids loved playing around in the fabulous weather.

 Brave Isaac who climbed the play set.

 Curious Gabriel
 Love the park!

And this is the first quarter of 2011 in a nutshell!