Friday, May 29, 2009

Safari on Vacation

We took the "safari" to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area the last two days. I had been planning this vacation for the last two months and I decided that we would go to the Ft. Worth Zoo one day and the Dallas Aquarium the next. So I called my parents and recruited them to go and help with the "safari" and to bring the "safari's" cousin, Aiden, along as well. We also invited Noel's dad, Michael, to join the fun. We decided to go at the end of May and in the middle of the week, Wednesdays, when the zoo is half price and so that was a no brainer.

Noel and I got the "safari" up at 6am on Wednesday. We met my parent's at the McDonald's right outside of Temple, so that we could carpool. As we were leaving the McDonald's there was a storm system moving through the area and I got this photo through the window in the van.

We were glad that the storm was not traveling in the same direction that we were. We arrived in Ft. Worth around 10:15 am. The "safari" was excited and so were we. Michael met us at the zoo. We did not figure that everyone was going to be there, but there were quite a few people and groups there, but we were glad that they thinned out after lunch time. Another good thing about a lot of groups being at the zoo was that we did not have a lot of people stare at the "safari" and ask questions. The "safari" had a wonderful time seeing all the animals because we had been watching the Discover channel in preparation for this trip.

Hannah did fantastic as well. She looked at the animals, wanted to eat all the animal cookies (and no animals do not like to eat animal cookies). She got cranky right after lunch because she is normally at nap time and so Nana held her and got her to go to sleep.

We were at the zoo from 10am until around 3pm. Now the "safari" had not had a nap and so this is what we got when we go in the van and before we were out of the zoo parking lot.

Then we went to the hotel where the "safari" and everyone decided that we were going swimming. The "safari" had not been in a swimming pool before and they were a little skeptical at first, but by the end of the time they were jumping off the side of the pool. Now Hannah loves water and wanted me to let go of her (too bad there's not a picture). She is such a water bug.

Another first for the "safari" was that we went out to dinner. Noel and I have never taken the "safari" out to dinner because we are totally outnumbered and so we did on this trip since the ratio was 6 children and 5 adults. We went to Golden Corral because the food was ready and the "safari" was hungry. When we were done we went back to the hotel and got baths and watched some television before bed.

Now for the sleeping arrangements. We had three rooms. Micheal slept in one room, Noel, Papa and Hannah slept in another and then Nana, myself, Elijah, Joshua, Jacob, Esther and Aiden were in the other room. Everyone did really well. We took the mattress off the bed and laid it on the floor and the triplets and I slept there. Then Elijah wanted to sleep with Aiden and Nana. As soon as we turned the lights off everyone went to sleep and slept until 6:30am. We got dressed and ate breakfast downstairs. Noel and I are use to everyone staring and talking when we walk in a room or any public place with our "safari", but with our parents it is still a novelty.

So we got in the vehicles and went to the aquarium. When we got there this is what we saw.

I was a little upset because I had called and talked to someone that worked at the aquarium and they had stated that they were open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas. You see the "safari" and I had been watching shows on the Discover channel about the ocean and all the creatures that live there. The good thing is that they were still too young for it to be a disappointment. Micheal had remembered there was a Children's Museum in the same area from when Noel was a child. So we go on our phones and tried to find the museum online. No one seemed to know where it was, so we went to a butterfly place and it was not really for the kids. So after that we decided that we were going to eat lunch and then go the the Museum of Nature and Science because we were told that was were the Children's Museum USED to be. So we ate lunch and then went to the Museum. The Children's Museum was still there and so we were excited. We walked through the Museum of Nature and Science and the "safari" really enjoyed the exhibits because the animals did not move, and in the Science wing there were exhibits for light effects, motion, and nature. They had a really good time. When we got to the Children's Museum the "safari" was thrilled, so we let them go. There were exhibits for a farm, fire truck, town, water and then an ant farm. And there was even a place for Hannah to play!

Then we headed home. The "safari" did really well and Noel and I are very pleased with how the trip went. We did not get to go to the aquarium but the "safari" had a blast and so did all the adults. In some families the trip would have been "ruined" but we made the best of it and no one could tell that we did not get to do the things we wanted and planned on doing. When we got home the "safari" ate pizza, took baths and went to bed. We did not hear a lot of noise after the lights were turned out. I took some pictures of the van after the bags were taken out. It was a mess, but nothing a vacuum could not handle. We are looking forward to our next trip.


This morning I looked on the web page for the aquarium to see why they did not let people know that they were closed. Come to find out that when Noel put in the information for the the GPS he chose the wrong aquarium. Yes there are TWO aquariums in Dallas the Dallas Aquarium and the Dallas WORLD Aquarium. All Noel and I could do was laugh and plan our trip to the Dallas WORLD Aquarium for August. To let you laugh some more the aquarium that we meant to go to was less than 3 miles from where we were. Now have a good laugh on us. Please see the sidebar for more pictures from our trip.

I want to thank Nana, Papa and Pops for coming along on our adventure and making it fun for the "safari." We are glad that our "safari" has such a good relationship with ALL their grandparents and we hope and pray that we all stay close to each other. Thank you to my sister for allowing her son, Aiden, to come and enjoy some time with the "safari."

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day!

Today is Memorial Day. This memorial day and week please make sure that you pray for the soldiers that are in foreign assignments, and that they will come home safely to their families.

Today we had a picnic with our Sunday School class (Adult community), the New Parents Class. It was a BYOP and then we let our children run around on the playground. Our "safari" had a great time and they did very well for missing their nap and for the heat of the day. Also they kept their hats on, which is good since we are going to the zoo this week.

After we got home we tried to get the "safari" to take a nap but that did not work, so we let them get up. Noel put the bounce house up and put water components on. Elijah was very curious and adjusted well. The rest of the "safari" did not do so well at the beginning. Noel and I decided that they were never going to get in unless we just threw them in. After they got over the fact that they were wet they did just fine. Below I let you have the best two pictures from the water experience. We could not get them out of the bounce house when water time was over.

The "safari" had dinner, watched 30 minutes of television and then went to bed. They did not make any noise. I hope that you had a wonderful day and that you remember to pray for our military personnel and their families.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Are you Sane or Insane?

Here are a few things to judge yourself to see if you are on the side of sanity or on the side of insanity.

Sane: If you wish for your children to be quiet for 5 minutes.
Insane: If you read the label on duct tape to see if it can be used on children and the time limit for that.

Sane: If you dream about what it would be like to have no children.
Insane: If you test EBay to see if you could auction your children off and get away with it.

Sane: If you let your children run around in the backyard naked so that you do not have to change another diaper that day.
Insane: If you make your children live in the backyard.

Sane: If you go to the bathroom for a moment of peace and quiet.
Insane: If you put a peep hole in the bathroom door so that you can check on the kids while you live in the bathroom.

Sane: If you plan a vacation on a cruise to get away for a while.
Insane: If you check to see if you can live on the cruise ship.

I am sure that you all have some sane and insane moments. I know that the best part about that is that you can laugh at yourself and that you have friends that tell you their stories so that you can laugh with them. Please comment with your wise Sane/Insane comments.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The moving line between sanity and insanity

When Noel and I decided that it would be best for me to become a SAHM (stay at home mother), I was glad and scared all at the same time. You see I made sure that I went to college and got a good job when I graduated. At the time I was almost to the top of where I wanted to be and now I was going to give all that up. Looking back I am glad that I did, but you know there are those days where you daydream about what it would be not have children.

Everyday there are moments when the line between sanity and insanity is flirted with. Some moments I feel that I am going insane if one of my "safari" asks me one more time "where daddy go?" and then in the next breath tell me "work." You see that would be fine if I was only asked once by everyone but I have counted and found out that I get asked that question no less than 58 times in a day, and sometime several times in a row. Another moment is when they want a snack or juice. You see I have four toddlers that like to talk and when one starts they all start and they just continue to ask over and over and over and over and over again. We are learning to be quiet and not talk so much. (yeah right!)

You see I feel that every mother has these moments in the day when you want to put your two week notice in and tell your husband that you would do anything except be a SAHM, no matter how many children you have. I have those moments and sometimes more than once in a day. The line between sanity and insanity sometimes moves on you and before you know it you are on the insanity side and you just want to quit. Then for me there is a moment of clarity where I have to decide if I am going to move back to the sanity side or if I need to call Noel. Of course I have to pray continuously throughout the day as well. I have no idea how women do this without praying.

Travel season and this time right now where tax information is due and Noel will be traveling again soon always brings me back to those "insanity" moments. Where the "safari" has learned how to take their beds apart. Where we had to remove the wheels on the cribs because they were playing roller derby with them. The closet doors had to removed because they were testing how hard they could close them. All the clothes had to removed from the closest because they learned how to remove the drawers, turn them over and stand on them to reach the clothes. Where we had to put up 2x2 pieces of wood through the curtains and then hammer them into the studs to get them from being pulled down. Where we had to put a lock on the outside of the door because they learned to open doors even with the "safety" door holder on. Then on top of that potty training. You know the everyday things. I look back and think that all I can really do is laugh and go onto the next adventure.

At the end of the day no matter what has happened, Noel is there to tell me that I am doing a great job and that he is proud of me. Even if the chores did not get all done he is there to help me or give me the hour that I need to purge all the insanity moments from my head so that I can finish my day. He is there to tell me that it can wait and that we are going to watch TV and relax. Then he is there to tell me that he is going to get up and go to work at 5:30 a.m. in the morning until his all his tax information is done (3 weeks) so that he can get his work done and still be home in time for dinner and baths. Then the days where the work is too much he comes home to help me put the "safari" to bed and then goes back to work. You see there might be a moving line between sanity and insanity but if you have a husband that makes you feel like you are superwoman then those insanity moments are okay and you can laugh at them together. I thank God everyday and sometimes several times a day that I married this man and that he is not just my husband but my best friend. I hope that if you have a husband like this that you tell him on a daily basis that he helps you keep your sanity and that you love him.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Praying for Tony

I thought that this would be a good avenue to get everyone that reads our blog to pray. Noel's grandfather, Tony, is not doing so well. He had a stroke in 2007 and has been in a nursing home in San Antonio since then. We try and see Tony as much as possible and the "safari" like to play with his TV and say hi to everyone else in the nursing home.

Noel's dad, Michael, called and stated that Tony was going to be put in Hospice and that he has between 1-6 months to live. This is hard on our family because Tony is the last grandparent that Noel and I have; we have lost everyone else already.

So if you are a regular reader or this is your first time to my blog please stop and say a prayer for Tony, Michael, and Noel. I do not know if Tony knows the Lord so that is a prayer that I hope everyone says. God says that everyone has an appointed time to live and die, but that is not always reassuring to us when that person is a family member.

Some good and funny moments with Tony:

I remember the first time that Tony held Elijah, his first great grandchild. I thought that he was never going to give him back and I remember that he smiled the entire day.

The button on the sidebar is when he was feeding Jacob. He was so nervous but once he started he was glad that he got that chance.

When we went to visit Tony in the nursing home he could not really communicate with words to us but his emotions were very powerful. He began to cry because he was happy that we came and saw him and that he got to see the "safari." He is very emotional every time that we go.

When we go to see Tony the "safari" always like to try to move the bed and push any button and pull every cord they can find. It makes everyone smile and laugh on occasion.

It is amazing how a child can brighten a person's day especially someone who is not feeling well. You should see the faces of the people in the nursing home when we come through and the "safari" says "hi" and "bye bye" how that changes the mood of that person. When we come to the nursing home we make sure that we say "hi" to whomever we run into and when we are done visiting Tony there are more than double the people in the hallway on the way out so that we can say "bye bye." My "safari" might not remember the joy they brought to everyone that they said something to but I will and the people they said "hi" and "bye bye" to will.

Thank you for your prayers and I will keep you posted on what is going on. If you want I created the button on the sidebar so that you can copy the code and paste the button on your blog so that more people will pray. You can never have too many people praying for one person. Thank you and I love you all.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Noel vs. Gravel

Noel has been riding his bike to work the last couple of weeks for exercise and to save some money on gas. He works over by Grace 360 and we live in Cedar Park so that is about 12-13 miles one-way. Noel goes to work around 5:30 and returns at about 5 pm.

The other day he walked into the door and told me that he fell off his bike while riding to work. Then he proceeded to show me that he did not just fall but was ejected over his handlebars when his bike did not go like it was suppose to. He was going through some gravel and was trying to avoid a rock and ended up over his handlebars and surfing on the gravel.

Noel is fine he has some bruises, cuts, scrapes but his pride is also hurt. There were two other bike riders behind him. I am just glad that he is okay. That is why I continue to pray for his safety through out the day and especially when I know that he is on his way home from work. He is such a great husband and has always put his family ahead of himself.

As you know I always take pictures no matter what so here they are:


Thursday, May 14, 2009

You know that you live in Austin when....

You have your own nudist colony in the backyard. Yes it is summer time and my "safari" is shedding their clothes and everything else when we play outside after dinner.

Elijah is in potty training mode and to make a confession he is liking the girl pull ups over the boys. My philosophy is if it gets him to become potty trained I do not care what kind of pull ups he wears. Most of the time he wears his Disney boy underwear over his pull ups anyway. I know that Noel is shaking his head. I love you.

The triplets think that it is great that they get to run around naked in the backyard. I know that I got to do the same thing when I was a kid and the window for that type of thing is small so I am letting them enjoy being free. Hopefully it will get them to potty train soon.

I had to take some pictures because they looked so cute running around with just Crocs on. All of them loved standing next to the tractor; it looked like they were trying to wash and fix the thing. I hope that you are enjoying the climate change the best way that you can. I know we enjoy it after dinner when the shade is everywhere in the backyard.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

You Know you have Boys When.....

You know that you have boys when the great thing of the week is daddy teaching how to pee in the backyard. Another phrase comes to mind "you might be a redneck if...."

Elijah is in serious potty training mode. He is doing really well. The triplets just look at him and they sit on the potty and then say "i done" and nothing comes of it. I do have to say that they are telling me when they are "dirty" more now and so we are close with them.

Now that it is hot outside we wait until after dinner to go outside, because our backyard is shaded by that time. The other night Esther wanted to sit on daddy's lap but her diaper was full so I started to take her diaper off and then everyone else wanted their diaper off. So I had four bare butts running around in the backyard. Elijah was running around holding his privates and so I asked him if he needed to pee and told me yes. So Noel taught him how to pee standing up and directing it toward the tree. I was laughing so hard that I thought I was going to pee my pants and then I see Elijah holding himself and running to the next tree. Then I see the three amigos following him and Esther trying to figure out why she did not look like Elijah. All I could do was laugh and enjoy the moment. Of course I did not have the camera with me so all I could do was take a picture of the ground so here it is.

Elijah found his underwear and he has been caring it around lately. Well I went to check on him because they were making noise to find that he had put his underwear on over his diaper but he had them on backwards. This is just another day in the lives of my "safari." There is never a dull moment and I have enough stories for everyone.(maybe I should write that book. LOL)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Can we fit anymore?

With the remodel of the bathroom done we can now move Hannah into the bath tub with the other members of the "safari." She seems to enjoy herself a lot more because now she has people and toys to play with. Also the rest of the "safari" cannot hide or run from her while in the bath tub.

You can actually fit 6 toddlers into the bath tub, but I do not think that anymore than that will fit. We are definitely enjoying our bathroom and the "safari" seems to enjoy more room at bath time. Now if only we could come up with a way to have an automatic wash, dry, cloth, and brush teeth cycle then Noel and I would be well on our way to freedom. Until someone comes up with that we will continue to have our adventures in the bath tub with our five member "safari."

Monday, May 11, 2009

We are ready for summer

The "safari" and I are finally almost ready for summer. We have our new hats so that we will not burn up in the sun when we go to Dallas/Ft. Worth at the end of the month. We are trying on life jackets so that we are ready for the lake when we go in June. Here are a few pictures of the "safari" and their hats and them trying on life jackets.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


What happens when there are too many animals together? The same thing that happens when the you have triplets and they can no longer share one room.

This last week the "safari" was at nap time and I heard this cry. Now like any mother you know the cry of your children. Well I know the cry of each animal in my "safari." A high percentage of the crying that goes on in the triplet's room is from Jacob because Esther has taken his pacifier and he is crying for someone to come and rescue him and to get Esther in trouble. This day the cry was coming from someone else; it was Joshua and he was hurt.

I come upstairs and unlock the door and this is what I see.

Let me tell you now that it was not his nose or anything like that; Joshua was running with the other two and he tripped and bit into his lip, again. So after taking the pictures and cleaning him up I called Noel. It was time to move one of the boys out of the room and into the room with Elijah. This meant that Elijah was no longer going to be able to stay up until he wanted to go to sleep, that he was not going to get his light on anymore, no more juice at night and he could not longer open his door. Noel and I talked about who we should move. Joshua was chosen because he is the one with the carefree attitude and he likes Elijah a lot and lately Elijah has wanted to play with Joshua more than the others.

Well the move went well. It has actually solved more than one problem/issue. Since Joshua has moved out Esther and Jacob have bonded and you can find them sleeping together every night. Also Esther no longer gets in as much trouble because Jacob does not want to stay up but sleep which leaves Esther with no one to play with so she goes to sleep. Joshua likes being with Elijah and I think that Elijah enjoys not having to be by himself anymore. We did not get the fight that we thought we were going to get with all the changes with him. Now you can find Elijah sleeping with Joshua at night.

I find that the changes have been good and we are glad that our "safari" did not go into panic mode. The only one sleeping by themselves is Hannah and she is okay with that. I find out new things about my "safari" every day. They really do love each other when it comes down to it and they are very well behaved for as many as I have around the same age. Noel and I have been blessed to have wonderful children and we make sure that we thank God every day.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


We started this project because we knew that our "safari" was getting close to wanting and needing to be potty trained. Also we thought about getting up in the middle of the night to help potty and what we could do to make our lives and the lives of the "safari" easier. So Noel and I talked about what we wanted to do with that bathroom.

The only thing that is in the bathroom now that was there before is the vanity top, cabinet, the light fixture and the medicine cabinet; everything else is new or from another bathroom. Noel and I wanted to have a bath tub that could fit all the "safari" in and the bath tub that was in there was getting a little too small. We saved the garden tub from our bathroom remodel and so we decided to put that in the bathroom. We also ordered a small toilet that sit 10" off the ground. We changed the color on the wall the fixtures, and added some personal touches.

Noel started April 24th and we got finished on May 5. We moved plumbing, torn down drywall, removed fixtures, moved the plumbing for the toilet and the sink removed the old tile, cut the tiles on the floor that needed to be redone, moved the HEAVY garden bath tub from the upstairs family room to the bathroom, put up sheet rock, tiled, grouted, painted, cut the vanity top, sanded, stained, spray painted, installed new faucet, shower head, sealed tile, cut new baseboards, chalked the fixtures, installed toilet, hung pictures, installed new mirror, installed toilet, installed hooks for the "safari" and installed a new shower curtain rod. We thought that we would be done sooner but we waited every night until the "safari" went to bed and then tried to work until we were too tired. We are thankful that our "safari" can sleep through anything. Also Noel had to go to Houston for training, I got sick and we had to cut down the willow tree. One night we decided not to do anything but veg out because our bodies hurt so bad.

Noel and I are proud of the outcome of our project. We think that the "safari" is going to like it. Elijah is the first one to potty on the new toilet and he thought is was great that he could touch his toes to the ground. The "safari" minus Hannah have been in the tub. They think it is great because there is so much room to move. Mommy and daddy love it because the sides are higher and the water does not end up on the floor.

I learned a lot from this project. With every project I try to learn something new. Noel is amazing with the skills that he has and that he loves to try new things and new projects. I am thankful that he let me participate so much in this project, I had a lot of fun.

Enjoy the pictures and we will let you know when we start are new project; building a bench seat for the table so that we can all sit down and eat as a family. I hope that project is fun as well. Have a wonderful day.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Photography Heaven

On Saturday we had a photo shoot. Yes someone was willing to take pictures of my "safari." Erin did a fabulous job and the "safari" loved her. We went to the YMCA at Twin Lakes and walked on the trail. Erin did wonderful and the "safari" responded well to her.

I think that she was nervous because I have so many and all not over the age of 3, but I know that she had a good time and there was no stress. Here is a preview of the pictures that she took. I would recommend her to take pictures of any family with children. She has the perfect personality and is very laid back. Also caught the "safari" in their natural environment.

Thank you once again, Erin, for allowing us to take up your Saturday morning. I hope and pray that your website turns out fabulous and that your business takes off. You have my recommendation.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Date Night

Noel and I try to go on a date at least every other month, but we do try to do it once a month. I know what you are thinking how can you afford a babysitter. Well that is what is so great about our parents living close is that if we plan in advance we get FREE childcare.

Noel and I went to dinner last night; we went to Korea House because Noel wanted sushi and I wanted something that was cooked. It was really good, we actually had conversations that did not pertain to our "safari." We were not worried about people touching, trying to pick up or ask a thousand questions, because we were a normal couple out last night.

After dinner we went to a concert at our church. The guys that we saw were Jeremy Riddle and Brenton Brown. These guys were great; they are known for their praise and worship music. The opener were The Reliques who were awesome as well. What made the concert so great was that we saw and sat with friends that we hang out and converse with at church. We sat with the Carrell's, Smith's, and the Tripp's.

Before we could go on our date I had to make sure Gail and Bobby (Noel's mother and step-father) had all the information that they needed to ensure that our "safari" would have a good night. Have you every thought about what you do on a nightly basis and if you could translate that to someone that is not there every night and does not know the routine? So I decided that I would try to make it as easy as possible. There were no baths to be given, so getting to bed was the objective. I decided to lay out clothes for bedtime, get toothbrushes ready and write down all the important information.

You can see that I did not leave anything out, I even drew a picture of where the triplets sleep. Bedtime was told that it was up to Nana and Papa and that Elijah could stay up with them if they wanted.

We had a great time and I wanted to thank Bobby and Gail for giving up their Friday night so that Noel and I could have some alone time with each other. As far as the bathroom it is almost done. I know that I keep saying that but we are putting everything back together; we decided that we needed some sleep and that the bathroom would be okay if we did not finish by a certain date. Also Noel had to cut down our Willow tree because it was dead.