Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Happy 10th Birthday, Franklin!

We threw a birthday party for Franklin at Gattitown this evening. He is turning 10, so he was allowed to invite 10 of his friends. Only 4 were able to attend (other than his brothers), but they had a great time anyway! They ate from the pizza buffet, ate Lego cake, opened presents and played in the arcade. The cool part about Gattitown is that it is similar to Chuck E Cheese, except it has bigger kid games - like bumper cars and bowling! The boys all had so much fun & went home with goodie bags of their own. Franklin went to bed a very happy boy. I hope he has good memories, because it will be 3 years until his next party! :)
All of the boys (3 from his 3rd grade class, 1 from church, plus 2 brothers):
Lego birthday cake (each "brick" was a separate piece made from fondant - wow!):

The birthday boy - I can't believe he's TEN YEARS OLD!!!

Bumper cars - the big highlight of the evening:

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Wilson Family Visit

My mom has a Girls' Weekend once per year with her mom and two sisters. (My grandparents had six children - my mom is the oldest. There are three girls, then three boys.) The girls usually meet at my mom's house, because she lives in the middle. Last year, they didn't get together because my aunt was not feeling well enough to travel that far. In previous years, we lived in Texas, so I wasn't able to visit during their weekend.
I had not seen my grandma and Aunt Sharon since November 2007 and had not seen Aunt Marcia since March 2007. So, even though we had a very busy weekend planned already, Harrison & I took a quick road trip to go see them. We drove late at night on Saturday and returned home Sunday evening. It was well worth the 8 hours of driving for a couple of hours with family!! I love my family! Whenever I am with the Wilson family, I feel like I am with my own kind. We look alike, act alike and really enjoy one another's company.
It was really funny to look at all of the cars in the driveway. We had license plates from Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. Talk about a midwestern family!
From left: Grandma Wilson, Mom, Aunt Marcia, Aunt Sharon
I love this pic!! My mom & grandma sharing a laugh...
4 generations... Harrison, his mom, his grandma and his great-grandma

Both of my brothers live within an hour of my parents, so they each dropped by with their families. I don't think I've had a pic of me and my brothers since I was pregnant with Franklin 10 years ago! From left: Ryan, Grandma, me, Owen
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Native American Festival

On Saturday, we attended the local Native American Festival with our college friends & their family. The festival was... um... interesting. The pow wow part was pretty lame and the costumes did not look very authentic. However, they had a wide variety of hands-on stations set up for the kids that were great! The kids got to help build a hut with mud, search for arrowheads and pottery pieces in dirt, watch them burning out a log to make a canoe, etc. The best part was getting to spend the whole day with John & Sandie and their family.
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Friday, September 18, 2009

Our Lucky Dog

This afternoon, I found the body of our Lucky dog about 1 block from home. Please pray for our family, as well as Max. We are all so sad.

Have you seen this dog?

Our sweet Lucky dog went missing on Wednesday night around 10 p.m. She and her brother, Max, were outside in the dog run for their last potty break of the evening. They were barking (and I'm sure annoying all of the neighbors), so I went out to let them in. Usually, they run straight to the back door. Sometimes, they want to go elsewhere, but normally come back when called. A couple of times they have run off for a few hours. Well... as soon as I opened the cage, they took off chasing a rabbit. I wasn't worried about them. I knew they would be back. Max returned about 1 hour later. Lucky has not returned at all.
Max doesn't know how to function without his sidekick. I've joked many, many times that they are co-dependent. They have been together since the womb. He just sits by the back door and looks at me with his big puppy dog eyes. His ears have not been perky since she left. He doesn't want to get into the car or go anywhere but home. It's so sad.
We have prayed. Called all of the animal control centers, humane societies, vets, groomers and rescue organizations. Hung up signs throughout our neighborhood. Prayed. Talked to every neighbor we've seen outside. Sent mass e-mails. Driven around our area multiple times. Driven up & down the highway near our house looking in ditches.
Lucky was wearing a pink collar with a heart shaped tag that has her name, our name, our address and phone number. I figured that she would go right up to someone begging for attention and they would call us right away.
Please pray that our Lucky returns home safely and quickly.

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

My Birthday!

Yesterday, I had a fun birthday! I turned 33 (3x3=9) on 9/9/09. That doesn't happen very often! I spent the day doing the usual mommy things, but I had a few surprises along the way. I was still in an early morning fog (at approximately 6:10 a.m.) when Franklin handed me a homemade birthday card - surprise - I had forgotten that it was my birthday!! My friend, Sayako, and my new friend, Ai, stopped by to drop off a present. Sayako had baked a homemade cheesecake and some cookies, along with earrings. So SWEET! When Tommie came home from work, we ate dinner at Boston's to support the Red Cross Dine Out night and came home for ice cream cake. I'm very proud of Tommie this year! He planned ahead and made my birthday extra special. I received a printer/copier/scanner, so I can create more fun things for my digital scrapbook pages. Thanks, honey! I find it strange how I am getting older, my kids are getting older and everyone around me is experiencing the circle of life... but I still feel like a kid inside! I hope that feeling lasts forever...
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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Labor Day Weekend

We visited both sides of the family over the holiday weekend. It was a lot of driving, but well worth it. We had not been to IL to visit since Easter, so our visit was overdue! We had to return Megan to her family, so fitting everything into our car was a real joy. We seriously looked like a clown car!! I wish I had a video of us packing the car. We have a Rondo with a 3rd row seat and we had 2 adults, 4 kids and 2 dogs... along with luggage, dog crate, etc. with us! Yikes! I'm not sure how it all fit!
I convinced my mom to get out her embroidery machine & make some tea towels with days of the week on them for me! She doesn't use her machine often enough, but when she does - she's good at it and everything turns out nicely.
Harrison & Marc at the lake. It was rainy all day, but we were able to feed the ducks & let the kids run off some energy when it was only sprinkling.
All of the boys wanted to go out to the end of the dock where the ducks/birds hang out. They had to tiptoe to avoid stepping in all of the mess... eeeewww!
On Sunday, we drove to Macomb to visit Tommie's family. Introducing: Dusty - our new "sister". :) All of Mom & Dad Payne's other cats have died, so they got Dusty - she's the friendliest cat they've ever had. I hope as she grows older is stays that way!
The boys - playing the Wii.
The girls - looking at pictures and feeding everyone fruit.
Brianne's 11th birthday party was held at a nearby park. We were thrilled to see that there was a free dog park there! So, we took the dogs to meet some new friends. Lucky was a bit scared and perfected her "roll over and play dead" move... ha, ha
All of the Payne grandchildren...
Happy Birthday, Brianne!!

First Tiger Den Meeting

Last Thursday, we had Truman's first Cub Scout Tiger den meeting. I signed up to be Truman's den leader for this year. (Doesn't my uniform look HOT?!?!) ;) He is so excited to be a "real" scout, after being a tag-a-long last year. It is tough to keep up with all of the boys' meetings, achievements, etc. with all three of them in Scouts... but we love this program! We are purposefully participating in our boys' lives and doing activities as a family intentionally. I hope they look back one day and are grateful for the time we spent together as a family. Truman's first meeting went well and I think we will have a great year as Tigers! Roar!
Some of the parents working on a lunch bag scrapbook with the boys. Yes, I love scrapbooking, but I did not force this on them - it was the first den achievement in the book - I promise! :) The boys had a great time and I'm looking forward to our next meeting.
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Monday, September 7, 2009


After living 15 hours away for 5 years, it is a blessing to be closer to family. One of my goals in life is to let my nieces know how much they mean to me. They are getting older and I have been asking their mom (my sister-in-law Elizabeth) to allow them to come stay with me. Kids act so different when they are around their parents and siblings, so I wanted the opportunity to get to know them each on an individual basis.
Megan is the middle of three sisters and is 12 (turning 13 in January). She visited us for an entire WEEK! We had so much fun!! One of the most fun things we did was have a photo shoot. She is beautiful and I'll be forever grateful for this week that we spent together. I can't wait to have each of her sisters visit!
We had a couple of girl nights... painting nails, paraffin bath, girlie movies... so fun! :)
For one of our photo shoots, Megan tried on some of my old dresses... prom dresses, my bridesmaid dress from her parents' wedding and this one - my 8th grade graduation dress that my mom made!