Thursday, August 28, 2008

Soccer. We meet again.

Soccer season is upon us. Mathew is the star. For this one hour, all Hufford eyes are on him. Last year he refused to go on the field for the first 4 games. During game 4 I finally took him home in the middle of the game. It went like this:
Mom: Look! They are all having so much fun!
Coach: Hey Mat! Wanna play? C'mon buddy! Look! There are puddles on the field! Wanna come splash some puddles with me, buddy?
Mat: shows no indication that anyone is speaking to him
Mom: Dude, why are we here?
Coach: (gives me the "you want me to keep trying?" look)
Mom: gives "please go away so everyone will stop looking at us" look to the coach
Well meaning parents nearby: Hey Mat! Wanna
go play with Miles on the field?
Would he like a drink?
Maybe little Jimmy can come off the field and invite him to join in? Please everyone stop looking at us!
At this point I'm sweating and wish I never pa
id the 35 bucks to do this.
Mom: Alright dude. I'm done. Let's go. If your not gonna play, then you're not staying for the snack.
Mat: No no! I'll play! I'll play!
Mom: Okay then (feeling smugly satisfied that I've taken care of the entire issue)
Coach comes out for new players after 3 minutes on the field
Coach: Ready to play Mat?
Mat: literally sinks deeper into his fold out chair and grips the seat with both hands. I'm sorry, I'm confused. Are we at the dentist's office?
Mom: C'mon Maffers. Let's get out there and support the team. You're team needs you! It'll be fun!
Mat: (this kid isn't movin)
Mom: Okay, let's go.

I start packing up and Mathew is wailing at the top of his lungs "NO! NO! I'll play! I will! I promise!" I am not to be fooled again, I'm putting my foot down. We are out of there. I end up with Megan on my hip, dragging Mathew with the other hand, kicking his stupid soccerball all the way to the car with parents giving me various looks of pity and disgust. I'm also dragging one adult and three child sized fold up chairs. Not to mention I'm in full swing pregnancy barf mode. Not a good day for the Huffords. (no...I'm not pregnant..remember? We're reminiscing?

However!! Do not underestimate the power of the post-game snack. All week Mathew stewed over the fact that in order to get that bag of oreos and a Capri sun, he'd have to get on the field. Saturday rolled around and wonder of wonders...miracle of miracles! He acted like nothing ever happened. He played with the rest of the boys (granted, 3 of the 4 goals he made were for the other team) and we cheered like crazy!
Mathew. Last year with more cheeks and missing 3 inches.

No hands.

The team sits together now. No more comin straight to mom when your turn is done.
Needless to say, all the woes and worries of last season are forgotten. He is thrilled to have a turn and runs in the right direction with all the other "Red Raptors" on his team.
In soccer mom language: "Way to get in there, buddy!"
Mark took this photo right after the entire mass of boys was running down the field towards the other teams goal. Mat was right in there with them. We were all cheering....go! go! go! Kick it in! You can do it! One of the other boys kicked and it actually went in. Our side erupted. "Good job! You did it!" Mathew, turned to look at us and thinking we were talking to him, laughed and said "Thanks" in the way only Mathew can. I loved it.

No game is complete without a thumbs up from Mathew.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Huffords in the news

Right before school started we took the kids to the outdoor movie at Frisco Square. It was one of those things that you put on your calendar early in the summer thinking of all the fun things you will do with your kids and what an awesome, fun mom you'll be. But then the day comes and the little monkeys are perhaps less than deserving of a late movie night. We almost didn't go...Mark was hoping I'd cave. But we got the kids in their jammies and packed up the lawn chairs. They were showing "Bee Movie". As soon as we set up the chairs and laid out the blankets, a lady from Rogers Hometown News came up and asked our names and took pictures of the kids. Mark left a few minutes later and walked to a nearby convenience store for drinks and treats. The kids were surprisingly well behaved and we had a good time. The next week this article was in the Hometown News. Famous!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

Mark and I were married 9 years ago today! It's hard to believe it's actually been that long. Then I look around and see 4 other people living in our house and 9 years seems about right :) I have to admit that as a mom, I often put a lot of effort and focus into our kids and their activities and accomplishments. Mark resides on the back burner quite a bit. But, I wanna say.... I really love this guy! He treats me with so much kindness and respect. He is an incredible father. The kids love him so much. He makes me laugh and has a way of keeping the business of life fun and interesting. He rarely says a judgemental or unkind thing about anyone...(if he does, you know they really had it comin). Anyway, I don't want to get too mooshy. Happy Daversary, Dananas!

Spring chickins! August 20, 1999.
In all our current glory.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

That's a Hufford Baby

I always think it's so funny when people think my latest bambino doesn't look like his/her siblings. The truth is, we know exactly what to expect when each child is born. Dark hair and chubby cheeks....just a bit of variation on the thickness. Here's a little quiz for you all. Can you tell who is who? I've removed all dates and revealing body parts :0). I promise this is all 4 of them! Also, notice that we have had the same baby tub for all 4 kids. It was a hand me down from my sis. Thrifty!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The smell of new shoes.

On August 6th the boys went back to school! Ethan is a second grader and Mathew is a brand new, squeaky clean kindergartner. I love the excitement of a new year. Buying school supplies, new shirts and shoes. Backpacks, lunchboxes, I love it! I love the kids telling me all the days happenings around the dinner table. This picture of Ethan and Laney was specifically requested by Ethan. He didn't want the usual 'stand in front of the armoir' photo.

Mathew in his favorite new t-shirt and light up shoes. Ready for a new day! Meggy was not to be left out. These jammies of hers always remind me of the sunday dresses I had circa 1988. Huge ruffle on the front.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Would you like an Emu with those fries?

Like so many others in NW Arkansas, we love the Gentry Safari, otherwise known as the drive-thru zoo. It really is pretty cool. And for a mom who can see the beauty in an air conditioned activity in which all 4 kids are strapped into their seats, I say "Let's drive through the zoo!" It is so cool to have various animals walk up to your car and stare at you. This momma baboon was so sweet with her baby. It was my favorite part this time. She would snuggle her baby and was cradling it right up to her body. I could see she was very protective and didn't really appreciate us staring at her little one. She gave me a look and finally turned her back to us.
The ostriches are awesome. They are not at all afraid to get right up to the car. This one was pecking on the window and my kids we squealing with excitement.
This camel is lookin for love.
After the drive, there are several places to pet the animals. The kids love the goats. They are fat and sassy. This year they also had horse rides, snakes to hold, water buffalo rides, pot-belly pigs and kangaroos with joeys. Kind of red neck, but very fun.

Friday, August 8, 2008

More Omaha!

Cousin Addie going down the slide.
We took the kids to a fun pool. The kids section had sand and a butterfly slide. The kids really enjoyed themselves.

Laney's first swim!
The boys washing off the sand and splashing around

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Oh sweet Omaha

My little sister Kaira just moved to Omaha, Nebraska. So we decided to pack up and head out to visit before school starts. I was lead to believe (Ben) that it was a mere 5 hour drive. NOT SO! I would say it's closer to 6 1/2....8 if you want to get there alive with 4 kids. On our way out we stopped in Mound City (it is exactly how it sounds) for lunch at McDonalds. Everything was going along fine until the boys darted to the bathroom and I tried to convince Megan to leave her fries for a moment to go as well. I have an issue with my kids being out of my sight...especially in strange towns with strange bathrooms. Megan flat out refused to go with me so I ended up taking her hand and telling her we were going whether she liked it or not. On our way back to the restroom, and elderly woman started holler at me "CAREFUL!" "CAREFUL!" over and over. I finally turned to her and in one of my less than finer moments told her to zip it. Although I did call her 'maam' so maybe that counts for something. Needless to say, after the bathroom incident we were none to popular there. We packed up our nuggets and hit the road. I am comforted in the fact that I will never see any of those people again.

Once we were in Omaha we enjoyed spending time with Kaira and her two cute girls, Addie and Charlie. As you may guess, with 6 kids under the age of 7, even the smallest activity is and all-day extravaganza. We went bowling at Leapord Lanes. Below Mathew gets creative and sends the ball down backwards.

Ethan and cousin Addie.
My beautiful sister, Kaira with her youngest daughter, Charlie.
Megan and Addie would roll the ball so slow. There were times you thought it would stop in the middle of the lane. Actually, one time it did and Kaira had to hit it (like billiards) with another ball while the staff wasn't looking. Another time Megan rolled the ball and then Mathew hit the 'reset' button and the bar came down to clear the pins. The ball hit the bar and rolled all the way back to her. The picture below is not an action shot of a ball striking the pins. Megan rolled it so very slow it nestled among the pins without knocking down a single one. I dare you to duplicate it!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Day two in Omaha

We took the kids to the park for a picnic. It was very hot but the kids enjoyed themselves and they got to play on the merry go round thingy. I haven't seen one of these in a long time. Surprisingly, no one got burned or threw up.
Kaira and Charlie
Laney's first swinging experience. She loved it...and was a bit terrified.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Veggie Heaven

I really love to garden. Really. Few things get me as excited as making an entire dish with stuff that stopped growing just a few minutes before they go in the pot. This is a picture of summer squash, cherry tomatoes and green onions sauteed in olive oil. Who takes pictures of a pan of food? Like I said, I get excited!

Sunday, August 3, 2008


The kids have been loving the Wii this summer. However, Mathew has had a hard time controlling his emotions when playing. He becomes extremely invested in whether he wins or loses. When it is time to turn it off....whoah nelly. Therefore it has become a Saturday only activity. Every Saturday they wake up with only one thing on their minds...Wii, Wii, and more Wii. The latest favorite is Mario Kart. The neighbor kids have been coming over for the Wii festivities.