Sammi and Wendy

Sammi and Wendy
Originally uploaded by Chavaneth
Have you heard of Wendy? She has been there since almost as early as I can remember! When my family moved back to Bartlesville after a brief stint in Hamilton KS - we moved to Morgan Ave. At the edge of town pretty much. There was little tiny 2nd grade Wendy. In her brownie uniform. We have been through a lot together. Here is a short list.
Mud pies. Ardie. Chore lists. Prank calls. Travel brochures. Dr. Zervas. Our parent's divorces. Our parent's remarriages. Canned Beans. Our marriages. Our divorces. Baby's first step. Baby's first goose-egg. Move to Shreveport. Vegas. Disney. NYC. Piercings. Our fairies. Baby's first breath. Eyebrows. New floor. Grilled Cheese. Company Christmas Party!
There is a lot of history for sure. And this March - we will be going on a 7 day cruise! Soon it will be yet another memory in our long list of amazing journeys together. xoxoxo Wendy Marie!

Photobooths are awesome!

Just perfect!
Originally uploaded by Chavaneth
When was the last time you had your pic made in a photobooth? I still remember pictures of my mom and me when I was younger sitting in a photobooth. Ah nostalgia. :-)
This is Maggie and Chad. Being silly and sweet in the middle of Christmas shopping on Sunday. I may take the little ones up there to have their pics made in the booth - just something about it :)


Oh my, it's been SOO long since we posted videos. We needed our camera for Miss Maggie's vocal recital so we had to clean out the "old" videos...there was stuff from Christmas 08! Wait - there was stuff from Sept 08! So here you go...I will post more today...






That time of year

Ethan, Santa, and Chad
Originally uploaded by Chavaneth

Do you guys remember last year? I couldn't get Ethan and Chad to go visit Santa? Vanessa and Santa

Well Santa came to visit again this year - Newspring Church in Jenks sponsors it. It is absolutely free and everyone gets a picture and a cup of hot chocolate. Ethan talked Santa's ear off. It was very cute. Vanessa doesn't know what she wants yet, so she did not want to be in the picture.
Ethan has been a little under the weather the past couple of weeks. Vomitting for almost a week - diagnosed with pneumonia - and just feeling puny. Now Chad has strept so the family is just exhausted. No sleep, lots of meds, and the chilly weather is not helping since no one can play outside :-(
Still everyone is so cute and excited and about Christmas, it's hard to stay "down" for long. Last night all four of us piled in my room to sleep. It almost seems worth the illnesses for all of the extra snuggles (i doubt the kids would agree) :-)

California Christmas

Take 1
Originally uploaded by Chavaneth
(reposted with edited pics)
Click on this picture to see all of the pictures from our 1st "Christmas" in 2009. Every year we have several celebrations to spread the love and last weekend we opened the gifts from Vicki and Dennis and my grandma, Mimi. We all had a great time!

2 Chads in 1

Chad's soccer ornament
Originally uploaded by Chavaneth
That is a picture of Chad playing soccer inside of the ornament. And that is my cousin's band shirt Chad is wearing! If you click on the picture you will see us celebrating the end of the season for Chad's soccer team. They have really grown and become decent soccer players :-) This is not just a mom bragging either - they actually took home FIRST PLACE! whooo hoooo - there are still a few kids on the team from that first season I's exciting to watch them all grow up :-) We have decided to do indoor winter soccer with both Chad and Vanessa - and then we will start with out outdoor season again in the fall....I think I will coach Ethan's team one more season - and then I'm taking a break. Not from soccer, just from coaching. :) I'd love to see what it's like to just attend games for once! :-)

My Oldest

Originally uploaded by Chavaneth
My camera died. I sure loved that thing. It was a relatively 'cheap' camera that I got for Christmas but man it took pix and downloaded easily. But most importantly - I knew how to use it. :-)
For my birthday this year Mom and Gene got me a new camera. It was not cheap. It has a lot of bells and whistles and I want to start taking tons of pictures again -but I have not learned how to use it yet! :-( So. until then - I have a little story to tell. About Chad.
Chad and I were in Target shopping without Vanessa and Ethan. Chad kept touching everything. Picking it up - asking if he could have it. Can I have this? What about this? Mommmmmm can you get me this? I mean senseless crap that he didn't really want OR need! I was so frustrated. Finally I said (ok maybe yelled) "CHAD! Do NOT ask for one more thing!"
He looks at me with his arms out "Can I have a hug?"
I admit - it difussed the situation (Chad pointed out later he never got that hug!)
About 20 seconds later I see him reach up for some tic tacs while we are waiting in line!
So this time for SURE I yelled! "CHAD! I am not 13 and afraid to cause a scene!"
While karate chopping the air he said "like a ninja assasin scene?"
And I said "No, like a 'Boy my mom really IS crazy' scene"
With a straight face he looked at me and said "Really? Mine too!"
May he RIP.

My first season not coaching my baby girl :-(

I really can't believe it. Look at that cute little smile. All of the team pictures should be ready next month but a mom from the team (thanks Jaime) took this for us to preview :-) We definitely spend a lot of time at the fields with all three playing this year but it's been really fun!

My desk

My desk
Originally uploaded by Chavaneth

Just a typical office desk right? Tape, paper clips, computer, back scratcher...but what IS that cute little thing with the orange butterfly? It must be one of those cubed notepads. Or a box for trinkets? What is it!?

Wait! It's the new QTip's box! Called a VANITY BOX! I love it! I can have my Qtips at work and no one knows. I just wanted to share. :-)

What do you think about?

What a joyful child!
Originally uploaded by Chavaneth
The other day, Vanessa Ethan and I were driving back from their dad's house. Vanessa was telling me he and his girlfriend were going to Vegas to get married. I have been basically single Vanessa and Ethan's entire lives so I was curious.
"Do you guys ever think about how Dadda has a girlfriend but Mama doesn't have a boyfriend?"
Vanessa said "Ya, I think about it sometimes"
Ethan said "Mostly I just think about Incredible Pizza"

Selena's Senior Prom

Selena's Senior Prom
Originally uploaded by Chavaneth
Miss Selena has decided to enroll in college and not go into the Air Force at this time. I have to say I was very worried about her joining the military but I know there were good points too. She is not excluding the possibility of joining at a later date - but college seems like a great idea to me :)
This is Selena and her boyfriend Anthony at her Senior Prom. Just gorgeous!

Doctor Day Part II

New foam floride!
Originally uploaded by Chavaneth
To save time and stress - I take off work and we go visit the doctor and dentist as a family. Much better than setting up 6 separate appointments! :-) Ethan was such a great patient at the dentist office. Vanessa had NO cavities and Chad took a shot without even a wince! I totally forgot to take pictures at the Dr. office. I have a good excuse though - I was busy. Restraining Ethan during vaccination time. Not a fun exercise for anyone! :-(

Can you read the balloon?

Can you read the balloon?
Originally uploaded by Chavaneth
Our family has been going to Lords and Ladies in Jenks for 5 years. Since Ethan is only 4 - that means LnL has been a part of his life forever :-) He is so excited about start Pre-K at Jenks though so he is handling it well so far. Most of all he will miss Ms Lana and Ms Jae even though he would never admit it :-)

New edger!

Originally uploaded by Chavaneth
Chad found an edger on craigslist and could NOT wait to use it. He found it in Bartlesville so his Papa Gene went and picked it up for him. We drove back to Jenks and he immediately started edging. He wore safety goggles (of course) but he didn't realize how much would be kicked up into his torso, arms and face. Then all of a sudden - BAM! A cuckaburr shot up at Chad's face and stuck in his chin. If you didn't notice it before - surely you will now be able to see the big green thing right below his bottom lip. OUCH!


Grammi and Vanessa
Originally uploaded by Chavaneth
We took a non-traditional family vacation for 4th of July and went to Kansas City! The real reason we chose KC over say - Dallas or even OKC is because of a little restaurant called Cinzetti's. It's an all-you-can-eat buffet...but like nothing you have ever seen. :-) We love it - so much so we drive 4 hours and choose our hotel in relation to the restaurant - not the attractions! :-)
We saw the national traveling tour of Legally Blonde (in a beautiful outdoor theater in pouring rain!) and we spent a day at Oceans of Fun. We have a lot more pictures from my mom's digital camera - but I wanted to post the ones from the underwater disposable one NOW! I just love these! Oh yes - and we took our flip - there should be a couple of cute short films to post too! I will get to work! For now - click on Grammi and Vanessa for more pictures!

You'll be so jealous - but you can't buy "Chad" in stores!

Originally uploaded by Chavaneth
After our second funeral in less than a month - we came home to find out mailbox smashed to the ground. We were not very excited. I stopped our mail and starting looking online for a good (cheap)sturdy mailbox. Then Vanessa and I went to Lowe's sans boys and picked out the one we wanted :) This one said - no digging necessary. You kind of just hammer the post into the ground (supposedly) Well, we live in Jenks America which is pure sand. So the whole - hammering the post into the ground did not make for a sturdy mailbox! So the neighbor came over with a cardboard tube and some cement mixture. Wa - la - Chad was able to get the mailbox up in a few minutes! Click on the picture for more of Chad building his first mailbox.

'The Killer Inside Me' (the movie)

Casey Affleck is set to star with Kate Hudson and Jessica Alba in "The Killer Inside Me," which is set to be shot in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Guthrie, Enid and Cordell, according to the film office. Michael Winterbottom, best-known for helming "A Mighty Heart," has been named as director of the Oklahoma production. (from the Tulsa World)
They are shooting in front of my building today so we took a couple of photos with Vanessa and the vintage cars. Pretty exciting! A lot of big names are in this movie - Simon Baker is one of my favs! :-) Click on her picture for another shot...

Cutey patootie

Originally uploaded by Chavaneth
Grammi and Papa Gene kept my nephews for a week while my sister and her husband took a mini vacation at Grand Lake. When my parents took the boys to grand they luckily took advantage of the scenery and took a few GREAT pictures :-) Click on Collin's smiley face for more of the series. :-)

Flower Girl

My favorite
Originally uploaded by Chavaneth
When I was 4 I was the flower girl in my aunt Bonnie's wedding. When I got married, her youngest daughter was the flower girl in my wedding. And just recently my youngest cousin got married (Bonnie's daughter) and she asked Vanessa to be the flower girl in HER wedding. Vanessa had a great time. She was shy/nervous at first but by the time it was over - she was asking to go to ANOTHER wedding ;) There will be professional pictures from the wedding but for now Vanessa just wanted to show off her dress :) Click on her picture to see more!

What boys do...

What boys do...
Originally uploaded by Chavaneth
Every summer Papa Gene takes Chad camping. This year they took Chad's friend, Baylor, chose War Eagle as their destination, and even did a little bit of kayaking. No pictures of that since they were all IN a kayak :) But I think you can get a good idea of the fun they had and the beautiful weather. There were other people around, but you really can't tell in these pictures :-) Don't forget to click on the picture to see more of their fun camping trip.

New Reasor's in Jenks!

Our new Reasor's just opened up and we are so excited! Plenty of parking! Tons of new products! A coffee bar, with seating - photo shop - video rental redbox machine - BOK - out of this world bakery - all the cheeses you could possibly ever need - fresh pizza and made to order sandwiches - it's pretty cool! :-)

Leading the turtles

Leading the turtles
Originally uploaded by Chavaneth
It was below 100 degrees - around 97 - so we took the kids to Kiddie Park which is a small amusement park in Bartlesville OK. Vanessa is starting 1st grade and is too tall for more than 1/2 of the rides. They had a great time and I took tons of pictures. With my cell phone. Which look great on a little tiny screen. But rather blurry once they are downloaded. Hopefully the fun they had shines through the horrible photography :-) (as usual - click on the picture to lead you to MORE!)

Growing up

Selena Graduating
Originally uploaded by Chavaneth
This is Selena Ruth - she is Vanessa and Ethan's oldest sister and she graduated from high school in Kentucky this month! I met this little one when she was a mere 10 years old and she lived with me for a year. Look at her now - 18 and just beautiful. She has made the decision to go into the Air Force at the end of the summer. Please keep in her thoughts so hopefully she will stay out of harms way.
Unfortunately Vanessa and Selena (and her other sister Danai) haven't been raised around each other because they grew up in different states. But let me tell you - the resemblances are uncanny! Not only in looks - but in behavior! I even call Vanessa "Selena or Danai" sometimes because she acts/looks so much like them :-) They are all beautiful girls!

Small Blister

Small Blister
Originally uploaded by Chavaneth

You know, there is only so much we can do. We mold and shape and suggest and then we sent the kids out into the world and hope they don't end up hurting others or themselves as they grow older. So when my uber mature 13 year old asked if he and a friend could go to Big Splash I said SURE! Just be sure to wear your swimshirt. "OHHHH MOM!" I'll be careful. I'll wear sunscreen. Don't make me wear the shirt. (It's soooo embarrassing)
Fine. He knows the dangers of overexposure to the sun. He and I are so fair, our skin is translucent under black light. He has seen me have numerous 'spots' removed (one was even stage 1 melanoma) and he has had his own spots removed!
He would be safe right? Oh wait. 13. girls. water. big slides. too cool to say "hold on. let me reapply sunscreen"
ya let me just say sunscreen and his lifelong health were not at the top of his priority list.
This picture is the second day of his severe burn. It has been 3 days and he still can barely walk. If you click on the picture you will see the first blister that emerged this morning. This is not for my friends and family who tend to have a weak stomach. So consider yourself warned.
He wants a season pass to Big Splash. I think he is going to have to compromise and agree to wear his swimshirt to get one. And swimpants. And a swimmask. And carry an umbrella.

As of 5/28/09

As of 5/28/09
Originally uploaded by Chavaneth
Look at the beautiful lettuce. And the corn is really getting tall! Just gorgeous!

Gardens are like Tattoos

Have you heard tattoos are addictive? Well we are finding gardens are too. We are getting ready to build a second garden box. Our first one has been so successful but it's sooo small. So Chad has already started germinating onions and spicy lettuce to plant at the end of the month. We had better get busy! In case you have forgotten this picture to the right is what our garden used to look like. Below are a series of our garden as it has been shaping up ;-)

And then yesterday! I took a picture yesterday! We are SO anxious to eat our lettuce!!! :-)Doesn't it look amazing? Chad works very hard it on it everyday. :-)

The Stars

What a great few seasons I have had with these girls. 4 of them have been on the team since the very beginning and will be playing again next season when Coach Van and Coach Omar take over. I have to admit it will be nice to sit on the sideline, but I'm also very worried about screaming and acting like an idiot. The parents from the Stars are so calm and supportive. You never know - I may break this team up with my crazy antics. Maybe I'll be team mom so I can plan the end of the season party! Or maybe I'll just help the team mom do that. :) Look at these girls! Adorable!

Chad is growing.

Chad told me he wanted to play soccer. So I signed him up. They had no coach - most kids had been playing for years and already had a team. I had a team full of 10 years that had JUST decided to start playing. So I volunteered as Coach. Then I suckered another mom into being my assistant coach. It was an interesting experience that taught me a lot - mainly that I should not be coaching kids over the age of 6. Luckily the quality of this pic is so bad it actually hides Chad's weird face he is making. Seriously he looks better.

And now here is this years team - several of these boys were on Chad's team that first year. It is definitely fun watching these guys grow up and
become soccer players! :-) Chad has signed up to play again next year. And he has been talking about going beyond that. I have fallen in love with rec soccer so its been a great fit for my family. Vanessa and Ethan are excellent players too and all three will be playing this season. I resigned as Vanessa's coach and I volunteered as Ethan's. It won't be boring coaching Ethan. Hopefully he and I both make it out alive!

End of School Pictures

Vanessa School Picture
Originally uploaded by Chavaneth
Poor Vanessa. They handed out yearbooks yesterday in school and she didnt get one. She asked the teacher why - she told her "your parents didn't order you one" :-)
Nice. About an hour after hearing this story I get a call from the school. They have one of the automated systems where the principal can leave a message to everyone from our campus! It said "Bring $20 tomorrow and we will give your kid a yearbook. If we don't run out first. Next year, plan ahead."
Ok so maybe that wasn't verbatim. But I felt bad. This morning Vanessa went to school with her check in her hand. She was scared she would forget if she put it in her backpack!


Sucker in hand
Originally uploaded by Chavaneth
Cheernastics is a dance class that combines the sharp skills of cheerleading and stunting with tumbling and dance! Vanessa took the class with Madi - her friend from soccer and I think they had a blast!
We may take a break from dance for a little while and only play soccer. We haven't decided yet. This whole idea of choosing one activity over another just stinks! I've told the kids only one activity each - but that is tough. This fall all three will be playing soccer so we are going to be busy enough I think!

What is this?

In the morning my feet/ankles look like this
But at the end of the day - my feet/ankles look like THIS!!! It is freaking me out!!!

Ethan School Pictures

The family and I found a great photographer with extremely reasonable prices to take our family photos this year. Which means I didn't make the kids dress in their Easter best, and I didn't have to climb on top of a wobbly little table meant for 6 year olds. But of course Ethan still had his picture made at school...and here they are :-) I also received a size chart for Ethan yesterday. he is a big eater. I don't know how to explain it - he needs food constantly - it is like he is always starving. Crackers, fruit, milk, really he isn't picky - FOOD!!!!! So - On Jan 6th he was 43" tall and weighed 41.5 lbs - 3 months later on April 9th he was 49" tall and 43 lbs. He gained 1.5 pounds and 6!!!!!!! inches!!!!!!!! No wonder he is starving and his poor little legs hurt! :-(

Veggie Garden Survives Freeze

Do you remember when this happened?
This post is long overdue, I realize. I have been working on PriorityMe almost non-stop. There are even bigger and plentiful plants now - but I thought I should post in order! :-)
Luckily Chad is supersmart and protected the garden with a tarp! The next day all the snow was gone. It was just mud and kids dying to get muddy!
Snow boots, short and a T-shirt. Classic Oklahoma weather. There used to be a lot of lush grass in front of our shed, but some local children (mine) decided this was the most perfect place ever to DIG. I think the goal was a moat. I'd say they were about 60% successful.

Back to the garden. These two pictures are of the first cute little sprouts of vegetables. Tonight I will take some pictures of the agressive little plants so you can see how far they have come! :-)
Here are the wee lettuce and pea plants. Those are 1 ft squares so that gives you an idea of the size when I say WEE. :-)

Veggie Garden

When I made my annual "lists" one of the TO DO'S was a Vegetable Garden. Luckily I have a 13 year old that was super interested in this and wanted to help. So we started doing our research about a month ago. I mean - we have NO idea what we should do to plant veggies! The internet is an amazing thing! Especially when you are search wizard like me :-)
So we chose the square foot - raised bed method. There are tons of fancy (i.e. expensive) ways to do this - but we chose the more budget friendly route.
Chad started by picking the best spot in our yard that gets the most amount of sun during the day. Later he realized he did NOT take into account the neighbors shed. But hey. We are all learning here.

By "raised bed" we mean two things - one is - we are not using the natural soil. In Jenks America our soil is red and sandy and full of way too much iron. So Chad dug his little 4x4 hole getting ready for the frame he built out of left over floor molding from a previous documented floor remodel ;-)

It was really dark when we lined the bottom of the hole will plastic liner to discourage weed growth and placed the frame in so there are no pictures. Also when we filled it with peet moss, compost and verticularsidemosis. Or whatever its called. Its good for the veggies. Next he drilled equally space holes in the frame to tie off our square foot garden. There are 100's of reasons this makes our garden way cooler than say - row gardening - but I can't remember what they are. Just that I thought it sounded reasonable and I definitely FOR SURE wanted to do my garden that way too.

This is from my favorite vantage point. I am now sitting in a lawn chair opening seed packets and possibly bossing the youngin around a little. He is fixing a string I noticed was loose. He is fairly good at doing what I say.
After many hours of hard work and lawn chair coaching - the garden is complete! Lettuce, Carrots, Peas, Cucumbers, Bell Peppers and CORN! In the next 40 to 90 days we will document the progress of the gardening trials and tribulations. And if we DO have a food shortage as some are predicting all evidence of us ever planting this garden will be removed from the internet immediately.