Monday, February 27, 2006


After getting our pictures taken we hung out in the mall, had dinner, let the girls play in the playground area, and on the way out the door stopped and got some candy from the quarter machines. Danya got gum. Gloria got mini sweet tart baby pacifiers, and I made the mistake of picking tear jerkers. They were disgusting! Luckily, I'm past the constant nausea stage of this pregnancy. This is also a rare photo of me with straight hair, since Azure brushed it out and blow dried it for me before we went to the mall. Too bad it was such a windy day today, because Danya and I lost most of the curls that Azure added. I'm wearing the maternity shirt that Daniel and the girls gave me last fall for my birthday.

Family Portrait Day!

Today we decided, on the spur of the moment, to get family photos taken. We figured it would be our last portraits as a family of 4! Our friend and hair stylist, Azure, trimmed and styled Danya, Gloria, and I. We only planned to have her do the girls' hair, but she refused to let me take pictures with my hair up in my usual clips.

The pictures came out beautifully and will be back in about two weeks. If you click on the title of this post within the next few months you can see the pictures. (Hopefully, that is. Let us know if it doesn't work by commenting or emailing Daniel at )

This picture of Gloria is a really great shot that Daniel took after we finished getting our portraits made. Aren't her eyes amazing?

Circus Birthday!

Daniel was given free tickets to the Shriner's Circus in Tulsa last weekend, and decided it would be the perfect place to take his mom for her birthday. Luckily, she and Grandpa were available on short notice to make the drive up here. We took them out for dinner at Delta Cafe first.

Unfortunately, we arrived a little late and it was a sold out show so we weren't able to get seats together. The girls hadn't been to a circus in a few years, so they were both very excited. I thought it was fun that when I was pregnant with Gloria we went to the circus, and now that I'm pregnant with little "Kevin" we went again.

This time I was determined to make sure the girls got a glow in the dark toy, since that's part of the fun. Gloria is holding hers in the picture. It flashes colored lights. The circus frequently went dark in between acts, so the whole audience was lit up with all the different glowing, flashing toys. After the intermission alot of people left, so we were able to find seats next to Daniel's parents. The girls had stayed with them, so it was nice to get to see the girls enjoying the show. The girls' favorite act was the clowns who played musical intruments.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Baby Shower for Cami

I went to a baby shower for my friend, Cami, today. She is the one in stripes in the middle. There are three pregnant women and three with brand new babies in this picture. They say there is something in the water at our church...

We had a great time talking and drinking orange punch. It's pretty funny to me that all these women get together and spend our time talking about our husbands. Apparently to avoid the sudden rash of pregnancies several couples are discussing the big "V". We also had races to diaper baby dolls, and talked about the usual things like breast pumps and which hospital is best to deliver in. I'm hoping that by the time my baby is due, Cami, who is a nurse at a local hospital, will be back at work so she can be there for the delivery. Her newest daughter makes her a mother of three girls now.

Weather Experiment

We cracked open a weather experiment kit yesterday and created an "anemometer". It measures wind speed. The girls thought it was pretty neat. Danya timed one minute on her watch while she and Daniel counted the revolutions of the cup with the orange dot on it. We figured out that the wind was blowing at about 5 mph. Of course, our homemade version isn't all that accurate, but it was fun.

The girls are looking forward to trying some of the other experiments in the kit, but part of it requires rain and unfortunately that may mean we'll be waiting quite some time. Despite the snow last weekend we are still under a burn ban here in Oklahoma. In the meantime we'll try out some of the temperature experiments.

Daniel bought this kit back in October and I finally decided not to wait on him to try it anymore. Once I started pulling out the pieces though, he got interested and jumped in to help the girls assemble the first project. The girls and I got a kick out of trying to say "anemometer" five times fast. Danya stumbled and said something like, "I'm a mom eater" and we all broke into giggles!

Strep Throat Blues

This has been a crazy week. Not yesterday but the Friday before, we got to babysit for some friends of ours over at their house. We watched their three boys. Actually, I should say we played with them. They have a huge train set at one end of their living room with remote control trains that the girls just loved! We read stories, played video games, and Daniel became a human jungle gym. It was like watching acrobats. All the kids would line up and Daniel would take turns flipping them upside down!

The next morning I woke up with strep throat. I wasn't positive that's what it was, but my throat was swollen up and painful. On Monday I went to the doctor and confirmed it. The antibiotics fixed the problem, but yesterday my hands started to break out in an itchy rash. I tried lotion on them, but it just made them feel like they were burning. So the doctor prescribed me a different form of antibiotics today. We'll see how that goes. I just hope that none of this has affected little "Kevin". On the upside, none of the kids we babysat or anyone else in our house got sick, just me.

American as Apple Pie!

On our "Thursdays with the Millers" get together this week, Betsy had all four girls help make an apple pie. They got to mix the ingredients and use a machine that peels, cores, and slices apples. Gloria enjoyed making the crust and putting the little diamond shaped holes in the top.

The girls also had a good time playing together and enjoying the nice day outside on the swingset. Now it's our turn to think up something fun for next week! Hmm....

Monday, February 20, 2006

Zoo Baby?

The fastest growing baby at the zoo may have been ours! Here's Danya measuring little Kevin. We went to Dr. Christy's office for my monthly check-up the day before we went to the zoo. She used the ultrasound machine to take his measurements...and then paused. "That can't be right." she said. (words you DON'T want your obstetrician to say) Then she said that the baby is supposed to be just over one pound right now. Our big boy is roughly one pound thirteen ounces!

Now, we have been praying for the last 5 months that our baby would grow big and strong...but SHEESH! Since Gloria was a 10 pounder, I'm willing to believe that "little Kevin" might not be so little. And, admittedly, I did feel a little better about the scale saying I had put on a couple of pounds. Of course, when I went to see my regular doctor today to find out for sure that I had strep throat, the scale said I'd lost 4 pounds in less than a week. I guess it's because I've felt so sick and my throat has been swollen and sore, so I've hardly been able to eat. I wonder if other pregnant women actually worry about gaining a tiny amount of weight during pregnancy or if I'm the only paranoid momma out there? One good thing is that no matter how I feel about turning into a beachball, Gloria always tells me, "You look bootiful, Mommy"

Brrr! Freezin' at the Zoo!

For our Thursday get together with our homeschooling friends, the Millers, we went to the Tulsa Zoo. To make it special, Daniel and I prepared two mini books based on the "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" book by Eric Carle. As we went through the zoo, the girls got to choose which animals they wanted in the books. Then Betsy or I took a picture with my Polaroid camera and glued it right into the books! Then we filled in the name of the animal in the blankspots I'd left. So instead of "Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see?" Danya and Gloria's book says "White rhino, white rhino..." Here's a link to a website with fun ideas to go with the book: Brown Bear, Brown Bear

We also read a poem about 100 animals at the zoo (10 of each kind), and then went on a scavenger hunt to find them. We found all but two, because we were freezing and wanted to go home. Did the weather affect us? Well, the next day Gloria woke up with a fever and the day after that I woke up with strep throat. But other than the weather, it was a really good day.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Bowling and Boxes (homeschool party)

We went to the Valentine's Day Heartland homeschool bowling party this year. The girls both broke 60 on their bowling scores, which I thought was pretty good for their second time ever bowling.

They also each made a box for the Valentine's box decorating contest. While the box judging was finishing up, the kids had cupcakes and icecream. Gloria won second prize for her box that looked like a dog house. She put her puppy, Max, in it and wrote his name along the top. Danya's box had windows in it that you could look through to see a little homeschool scene made with dollhouse furniture and a little girl doll. But since the boxes were put on the floor instead of on a table, it was hard to see into her box. They both did a great job and had alot of fun making their boxes! They also loved opening their boxes to pull out all the candy and valentine's cards from the other homeschool kids!

Happy Heart Day!

Daniel and I stayed up the night before Valentine's day making giant hearts and decorating the house. When Danya and Gloria woke up they first saw red hearts dangling on strings hanging from the ceiling in doorways. Then they discovered these giant red hearts hanging on walls and doors around the house. The pink heart pockets had candy hidden inside them. Danya was laughing like a loon as she ran around looking for more hearts and Gloria was chuckling greedily as she dug out more and more little candies from the pockets. It was great!

Then they had breakfast. Their white paper plates had little red hearts drawn all around the outter edge. Their bananas had been sliced into small discs and placed in the shape of a heart and a smiley face with a chocolate chip on each slice! And Daniel's Valentine's Day gift? He got to sleep in while I made the breakfast and took pictures of the girls finding their candy.

Valentine's Dinner

Daniel bought us tickets to our church's Valentine's dinner at the Marriott hotel in Tulsa. We were able to sit at a table with our friends, Leslie and Stan, which was a lot of fun.

The dinner was good, chicken in a creamy mushroom sauce with cheesecake for dessert, yum! But the best part of the night was the entertainment. Some of the people in our church have amazing voices and they sang classic love songs, interspersed with jokes and skits. Three older ladies had us rolling in the aisles at their costumed performance of "Baby Love"! Then the guest speaker for the night, Pastor Spoo, from Tulsa Baptist church gave us some hilarious advice on love and marriage. The funniest moment was when he told the husbands in the room to take their wives' hands, look deep into their eyes and say, "Submit!" I think the husbands knew better than to try that, lol. A wise husband realizes that a good wife will submit out of love without the need to order her to do it. I'm so glad Daniel took the initiative to get the tickets for this. I can't remember a better Valentine's day date!

Debt Free!

Free at last, thanks to Dave! We started the Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover a little over a year ago when we took a class at our church. It was called his "Financial Peace University", and never was a program more appropriately named!

As of last weekend we paid off the last of our credit card debt and our vehicle is also completely paid for. When we started the program we had a car loan and credit cards totalling almost $20,000 in debt. Now we have no payments except for our mortgage...and we just received a letter from the county assessors office telling us that our home value has gone up about $3,000.

It really is a peaceful feeling knowing that you have an emergency fund and that there isn't a huge pile of debt looming over you just waiting for a disaster to happen. We had set a goal of being debt free before our next baby is born, and we achieved it! Little "Kevin" will be born into a financially peaceful home!
Click the title of this post to go to the Dave Ramsey website!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Bike Blessing

Ben and Diana had to make a short trip to Oklahoma the first weekend of February for Ben to preach and so that they could pick up some donated items from some churches for their mission.

They visited us for a few hours on Saturday. In a stroke of good luck, or maybe God's doing, we happened to be about to donate our old bikes to charity...when Ben mentioned that he wished he had a bike to ride in Del Rio so that he wouldn't have to spend money on gas for his minivan just to grab one little thing from the grocery store.

So Daniel tweaked a few little things on our old bikes, and Ben took one for a test ride around our neighborhood with Danya and Gloria. Fortunately, Ben and Diana were driving a huge van loaned to them for this trip so that they could haul donated items, which meant that they had plenty of room to bring the bikes home with them, too!

Homeschool Buddies

Betsy agreed to start a weekly homeschooling get together for our girls. We'll trade off Thursdays planning crafts, games, and activities for our four girls. The first week was mine, so we had music time where we learned some of the color songs, spelling each of the colors. Courtney really liked it! Betsy says that Courtney went around the whole rest of the day singing, "R..E..D red, I can spell red!"

I got the CD by swapping services with Danya's former pre-K teacher, Mrs. Lenaburg. I helped her out with a scrapbook she's making, and she burned me a copy of the CD and a book to go with it.

Then the girls made paper bag puppets with foam animal faces. This was a messy but fun activity! None of the girls get to use glue sticks very often, so it was a special treat. They also got to spend plenty of time just running around and playing together! Next week Betsy is going to teach the girls to make sugar cookies for Valentine's day!

Play Pals and Pregnancy

In January we all went over to the Millers to play. It was so nice out that the kids got to play in the back yard. We also took a walk to the nearby neighborhood playground. The kids rode their bikes, and I was really glad that Daniel had come with us, because he was able to jog along and keep up with them while I trailed slowly behind.

I also got to eat some of Betsy's delicious homemade carrot cake muffins...mmm...muffins. (sorry, Homer Simpson moment) I like this picture that Daniel took because it shows the beginnings of my little pregnancy tummy!

Reading for Cheese!

If I can find the pictures, I'll post one later. Danya completed her book worm the day of the derby car race. All by herself, she had read 54 books!! As promised, she got to go to Chuck E. Cheese to celebrate. She worked really hard all week to read the last several books she needed to complete her book worm by Thursday because Thursday is her "special day" of the week when she gets to stay up late and have special time with mom & dad. She figured out that if she completed her book worm by that day, then she would get to go to Chuck E. Cheese, compete in the derby car race, and get to stay up for special time ALL on the same day. She called it her "triple-dipple special day"!

Luckily, our friends the Millers were available at the last moment's notice to come with us to Chuck E. Cheese. So Danya, Gloria, Courtney, and Megan each got a huge pile of tokens and ran around like crazed monkeys playing as many games as they possibly could in the two hours we were there. Megan was a little scared of Chuck E., but other than that they all had a great time!

Derby Car Race

Danya participated in her first derby car race at church as part of the Awanas program in January. She and her daddy carved and painted their car to look like snowy mountains. Then Danya added snowflake stickers.

When we arrived, Gloria broke off one of the wheels just as we entered the church! Daniel fixed it, but then when we went to register her car, we found out that it was much too light. So a nice man helped her add extra little metal weights around the outside of her car to get it closer to the 5 oz mark.

Danya's car was in three races. She got first, second, and third place, but wasn't the overall fastest. When she won first place she got to turn and wave to the cheering crowd!

It's a BOY!!

We found out after we got back from Texas that we are expecting a little boy! I really love the fact that my doctor does an ultrasound at almost every visit. She even printed out a picture with an arrow pointing to his...uh...boy proof.

Daniel took me to a scrapbook store right after we left the doctor's office so that I could pick up the materials to start his baby album. We are doing a Dr. Seuss theme on his album and in his bedroom. Afterwards, we took the girls to the dollar movie theatre to celebrate. We saw Zathura. There were some intense moments, but the girls enjoyed it overall.

We are sooo excited to finally be having a boy! When we heard the news I almost leapt off the exam table! We were all jumping up and down with joy! The girls want to name him Kevin, and so far that is my and Daniel's favorite name also. I think it would be fun to tell him that his big sisters' chose his name.

Swimming in January?!

Ben took us to a park near his home in Del Rio. The park had a beautiful stream/river flowing through it. It was such a gorgeous day that we couldn't resist going wading!

I just dipped my feet at first, but Ben and Daniel carried the girls out into the middle and helped them walk along the shelf of stone on the far side. Later, Grandma Nancy, Aunt Diana, and the kids went back home to get started on dinner (burritos, yum!) while Ben, Daniel, and I took a little swim in the river. The water seemed extremely chilly at first, but after we got in up to our shoulders it was great! Then the guys played basketball for a little bit until it was time to go home and eat.

Shalom y La Guitarra

We got a new computer on February 6th with our state tax returns so I'm going to be adding a flurry of posts to catch up on all the news from the last month or so.

We finished out our Texas road trip in Del Rio. Our niece, Shalom, was the cutest little girl! She says the beginnings of some words like mama and ball. Mostly she likes to be held and to cruise around in her baby walker. Here she is on my lap with her sombrero and tiny guitar.

We had a really good time visiting Ben's family. We got to stand on a dam at the border of Mexico and the U.S. and learn a little about the history of Mexico from uncle Ben. We passed some beautifully scenery along the way! Mostly we just enjoyed spending time with the "Elliotts #3".