Another passport stamp!

Chad on his first dive
Originally uploaded by Chavaneth
The clothes are organized and sorted, movies and games for the car ride are ready, cats are being fed, it's time to go! We will be mostly disconnected from the rest of the world while we are on our trip - but between Chad and I - I'm sure we will be posting blogs here and there about our adventures! I have never been on a vacation like this so I am very excited! I know the kids are about to burst too. When your 5 year old has asked "how many days" everyday for the past 2 months - yes i remember saying "60 days Ethan"......I think they are excited! :-) So hopefully you can check in with us online and see what we are doing - but you also know I'll be posting 437 pictures and maybe some video when I get back! :) Have a great week - I hope your weather isn't too bad!!!!

Chad is 14

The whole gang
Originally uploaded by Chavaneth
Chad's girlfriend, Maggie will be 15 on the 28th so they had a double party at Radisson hotel. Because they have Louie's Lagoon! (an indoor pool and waterpark) They chose a unisex Mardi Gras theme and we had a great time. Most of the pictures I have are of them two of them opening presents. I know Jonnie and my mom both took a lot of pictures too so I will post those to flickr as soon as I get them! PS I hope everyone had a fantastic Valentine's Day! :-)

Valentine Craft Time

Last night was pretty "normal". Nothing too exciting. I finished up Maggie's birthday project and we made some Valentine Boxes for the kids to take to school - as well as their Valentine Cards! And then we went to bed. Don't forget - there are pictures on the finished boxes if you click on the pic of Vanessa and me. :-)
The house was quiet, but not for long - Vanessa and Ethan both in their beds. A little after ten there was a LOUD pounding on my front door. It was the Jenks Police Department. They were in pursuit of a suspect and they thought he was in my attic. There was a little bit of discussion about me not being 'decent' but the cop ended up running thru my house with my 13 year old behind him and me yelling that i had two other kids in the house! There was no suspect in my garage or attic and I got a mini lecture that mentioned my kids and me being taken hostage if this happens again so I better shut my door.
It was all very exciting. No damage was done to my door and we never heard a peep from the police again so I assume they caught him or he is gone. Or maybe he is quietly perched in my attic waiting for us to leave so he can come down and eat my food and wash his clothes. Joke's on him. There is no food in my house!

Music is in our blood

Chad, Sammi, Brian
Originally uploaded by Chavaneth
It has only been recently that I realized not every family is filled with music and musicians! This pic is of my paternal cousin, Brian Dexter, living in Nashville, TN. He was just recently married *CONGRATS* and is the drummer in "ME IN MOTION" a group that is touring right now. They had a little stop in Tulsa America so Chad and I went by to take him some Coke Zero for the road.
I also have a maternal cousin, Clay Parton in California, was in a band called Duster and now plays with Eiafuawn (i think! I can't keep up) He has also had his own record label and been very prominent in the industry.
My dad holds an acustic festival in Carthage MO every year that keeps growing and growing!
When we have holidays, weddings, reunions or even funerals - by the end of the night everyone is sitting in the same room - singing and playing instruments. I have been very lucky. It's definitely contagious. And with all of this exposure and diversity - Dr Hook is still my favorite band of all time. lol

Movie Weekend!

Here in Oklahoma we get snow. Usually a couple of times a year and it never stays for long. But this year has been a little different. We had a big storm before Christmas and another one this weekend! They sent me home from work early on Thursday and I had been wanting to see a particular movie but I was too scared to rent it. Now I can say - it IS scary. And will freak you out a little. But it cost practically nothing to make and it's good. This is not your typical horror flick. It isn't gory. It is suspensful and creepy. That's the best way I know how to describe it. Watch it during the day. :-)

I also watched the first 5 episodes of the series, Big Love. Starring Bill Paxton, Gennifer Goodwin, Chloe Sevigny, and Jeanne Triplehorn. If you don't recognize the names - you will recognize the actors. It is superbly written and the acting is flawless. I love it. It is on hbo so I don't get it at my non-cable home. But it is worth renting or buying. It takes away a lot of the mystery of fundamentalist mormons who practice polygomy. And it's witty, and realistic.
We also rented Fame and Extract. I have an affection for Fame since I played "Nicole" in a local play when I was in school. A itty bitty 4 line part but it felt like the big time to me. I love the original but I have to say, I am not very fond of the remake. Because of the talented dancers, singers, rappers and piano players - there is hardly a great actor to be found. And the plot is just horrendous. If you HAVE to rent it - fast forward thru all speaking parts and watch only the performances. Extract on the other hand is a great little comedic film by Mike Judge. The same guy that did Office Space and King of the Hill. It is dry and very realistic but exaggerated in a way that makes it really funny. I'm not a huge Ben Affleck fan but I think he becomes this amazing character. And the rest of the cast is stellar - Jason Bateman, Mila Kunis and Kristen Wiig...a few of my favorites. This is a perfect Sunday afternoon renter for sure!
Last but not least - I took the kids to see Fantastic Mr. Fox at the dollar theater. I vaguely remember the trailors for this movie but I was not moved by them. The movie on the other hand - is excellent. It is a kids movie. Rated PG because one of the villians smokes. :-) But Wendy and I definitely laughed the hardest. The sense of humor is mature. And they replace the word "cuss" for cuss words. i.e. I just wanted to cuss with their head so I left a clue. That kind of thing. I thought it was brilliant. And it's stop animation - but you seriously forget very quickly that these characters are not real. I loved it. The kids said they liked "tooth fairy" better - so who am I to say?