Monday, July 26, 2010

Deanna Rose Farmstead

So now I've worked my way up to our summertime adventures! I'm not one for skipping over stuff, so I am going to bust these out. Expect lots of pictures of my every scenario imaginable. Ready?

First up! A trip to Kansas City. Mark was working, so we went up to join him and explore Kansas City and help the kids get excited about the move. Unfortunately, Mark was stuck in the office, so we put our faith in our GPS and google.

The Deanna Rose Farmstead. It comes highly recommended by my sister-in-law, Sarah. So you can expect that it's going to be good.

And it was!

They won me over right from the start: free parking, free strollers, free admission.

Free maps!


And it's freeness did not translate into lameness.

We spent the entire day enjoying all the farmstead had to offer.


Megan did not appreciate the goats and opted for ringside seats safely behind the 12 gauge wire fence.





Colorful kids!

Pretty fish!

Torturing ugly fish!

Even Laney caught a fish inadvertently. She was holding the pole for me while I frantically yanked hooks out of the slimy lips of the boys' fish. I'm telling you these fish were suicidal. They couldn't get caught fast enough.

This is a picture of Megan's fish after she threw the pole on the ground and ran the other way.

We ended the day with ice cream sandwiches and huge rainbow popsicles. I opted out, as I was still feeling the sting of my doctor's horror at my last pregnancy weight gain. Looking back, I should have had a stinking popsicle. Never again!

I loved this day. And I REALLY love these kids.

Awesome, happy, wonderful memories.

Mathew turns 7

Until this baby is born, Mathew has been cursed with having his birthday last out of all four kids. It's a hardship. But I try to make up for it with extra thick frosting and excessive carbs.

Given our recent interest in baking and Megan's feverish churning out of cupcakes, Mathew was ready to try his own hand at frosting artistry.

I have a feeling that when it comes time to cut the cake, Mathew would like an 'M' shaped piece right out of the middle. CRUNCHY.

He went for our traditional spaghetti and meatballs with garlic bread as his celebratory dinner of choice. Fitting....considering it is the meal that has kept him alive for seven years. Also fitting considering the table is veggie-free.

The rest of the hooligans.

Mathew may have decorated the cake, but I provided the trick candles. They would light back up and he'd say "Hey!"or (true to his Utah heritage) "What the HECK?"

His birthday list consisted of dozens of items that cost 1 or 2 dollars. It was carefully crafted to provide maximum unwrapping opportunities.

I love this one of all three checking out his new Pokemon cards.

And of course, Birthday wrestling which leads to Birthday injuries which leads to Birthday time-outs....or possibly Birthday "don't-come-crying-to-me's".

And THAT is what it means to be a 7 year old boy.

We love you, Mafferdee.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Father's Day

For my Father's Day tribute, I'd like to list a few of the things about Mark that I really love. Really. I love them.

1. He is a laugher. If he's not joking around or making things fun, something is really wrong and I should go check and make sure we are up to date on the food storage.

2. He makes the best spaghetti I've ever tasted. He does things to that sauce that are heavenly and mysterious. Paired with my mad garlic bread skilz, we are quite a pair.

3. He is not afraid of spirituality and strives to lead our family in righteousness.

4. He is an extremely hard worker and possibly the smartest person I know. Crazy smart.

5. He brings me technology to make my life easier and more enjoyable (laptops, ipod, cell phone, itouch...) I always think I have no use for it and always end up loving it and wondering how I got along without it (as I type this from my handy dandy laptop).

6. He's fantastic at apologies. I first fell in love with him when he walked right up to me and apologized for inadvertently hurting my feelings earlier in the day. I was speechless. Never had a boy give a dang before. He still does that and it has taught me to do the same.

7. Have you heard him play guitar? It is insanely sexy.

8. Do I even need to mention those eyes? I know, right?

9. I find it both endearing and infuriating that he habitually pours himself a bowl of cereal after every dinner. Have I not fed you enough? Was it nasty? Are you trying to cleanse your palette? And yet.... who can't relate to sudden and undeniable need for Honey Nut Cheerios? In the future I'll try not to audibly sigh or roll my eyes. Sorry about that.

10. He gives the kids love and the kind of attention that they can't get from me. He's a crazy rough-houser and throws them all over the place. He's strict but forgiving and he expects them to behave the way they've been taught. They frequently rise to the occasion.

11. He loves me.

11. I love him!

Megan is 5....and two months...

So little Miss Megan turned the ripe old age of 5 on May 30th. She was primed and ready for her special day. She had been making countdown calendars for weeks beforehand.

Because it fell on a Sunday this year, we did our traditional "Bed of Balloons" in the morning and then went off to church at 9 am. The primary sang to her and she got her very own package of microwave popcorn...which she stroked lovingly all the way home.

Her meal of choice was Sausage Casserole, homemade rolls and corn on the cob. She just calls it "Casserole" as if it is the only occupant of that title. The important thing is I know what she's talking about when she says it. We're tight like that.

Also, I should mention that I am acutely aware that this dish looks gross. However, it's deliciousness is inversely proportionate to its nasty appearance. Cross my heart.

She's smiling because she's only seconds away from sausage heaven and buttery lips. mmmm.

Despite earlier wishes for a grand peacock cake, Megan decided she'd rather have horses, stars and sprinkles. The catch...she gets to decorate it. I agreed and here is the end product:

I think she did a fantastic job. Colorful, yet tasteful. Fanciful, yet organized. I sense a bright future in baked goods. (That would make for very happy golden years for me and the Mr.)

Making good use of those Hufford cheeks.

On to the presents! Grandma Kathleen sent a fabulous kit with butterflies, glitter and stickers. Right up her alley.

In the spirit of her recent interest baking, we gave her all the fixins for making her own cupcakes and miniature cakes. She was in sprinkle heaven.

She loved to make the muffins! And we were happy to help her eat them.

She also raked in a hula hoop, polly pockets, a gymnastic ribbon and trip to Chuck-e-Cheese on Monday morning.

Happy Birthday, little Meg. We love you mucho!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tres Amigas

Mother's intuition is not all it's chalked up to be. I really could've sworn we were having a little boy.

The ultrasound technician did not agree.

Either did the Doctor.

So she's on her way here and El Doctoro promised me if I can make it to 39 weeks, we'll see her a week before her due date. I'm thinking that puts her here right around Thanksgiving. This is due solely to my inability to anticipate the impending delivery of each child. Laney would've been born at home if I hadn't started spotting and headed in to the hospital to make sure everything was okay. Shawew.....

Here are the two images the lab gave us (skimpy, I know). The funny part is that they gave me a disk with just two jpegs on it and they printed out a big ole 8x10 guessed it....the foot.

I love her already....


There is this place in Kansas City where you can go in, sit down, pick up a phone, and order your dinner. Then approximately 5 minutes later and train comes chugging around a track above your heads and brings you possibly the nastiest food you'll ever eat outside of the hospital. The kids LOVE it! And it'll make you want to weep because you can't believe you spent your hard earned money on this slop.

Choo Choo!

Omaha and my sister

On the tail end of our KC trip, we decided to drive the 3 extra hours up to Omaha to visit my sister, Kaira. We always love visiting there...for many reasons.

For the boys: Wii

For the girls: Kaira is a fun momma and lets them help do the cooking. This is a little girls dream come true!

I love it because we get to hang out and talk for a couple days and she makes the most naughty little snacks. We also get to sprawl out and relax and rest from all our cares and worries.

And of course we take the kiddos to McDonalds to burn a little energy.

Kaira and her cutie, Addie. Don't you love those fantastic eyebrows? The curl up at the ends and I love them.

The girls having a good time together.

And then we headed back to Arkansas to get ready for the move. Not long now....

Union Station - Dinosaurs Unearthed

The "main attraction" at Union Station in Kansas City is the Dinosaurs Unearthed Exhibition. It started out as many dinosaur attractions do....with the brushing of the bones.

We finish brush and brush and brush and then cover up the "bones" for the next set of kids and head on our way to see the real stuff. HUGE dinosaurs!

Except no one told us that they move and roar.

It scared Megan to death. She was terrified and I had to do some in depth negotiations to get her through that place. The boys loved it. Even Laney had a good time.

Here is my first attempt at a "group photo". This is as close as Megan would get to the dinosaur in the background.

Then someone offered to take a picture of all of us. She was willing, but not thrilled.

Poor Megan. There will be nightmares tonight!

Science City and KC Railroad Experience

The next day took us to Science City. It is a multilevel children's museum of sorts where the kids can experiment with various areas of science. Pretty fun, and a good place to spend a day and use up a little energy. Not to mention it's free once you have a membership to Union Station.

Ethan putting his heart and soul into the huge "wack-it" xylophone thingy.

Mathew and Laney playing the musical trash cans.

Laney and Megan thinking over their next move at the gear wall.

Digging through the shredded rubber looking for dinosaur bones. That stuff gets into everything....really, we took some back to the hotel in Laney's diaper. eck.

Megan and Laney enjoy the Kinder Lab....

While Mathew and Ethan relax over a friendly game of chess. I honestly have no idea if these two actually know how to play chess (it's absolutely possible they learned without my help) or if they just play checkers with the chess pieces. I'm too busy counting heads to find out if they're legit. Still....I love this photo.

After Science City, we took a quick walk through the KC Rail Experience. It was cool enough, but not something to hold the kids attention for too long. But hey, it was free! So we did it.

Kansas City is great!