Monday, October 27, 2008

Black Eyes, Birthdays and Muddy Underwear?

So, where do I start! It's been a little crazy around here (but what's new). I think I've mentioned that we joined a playgroup with three other moms who all have kids around Elia's age. It has worked out so well. Now there are two boys and two girls in the group. A week and a half ago we took the kids to the Children's Museum in downtown Houston. The kids loved dressing up (a precursory experience to Halloween) and pretending they were "newscasters": Our little "students" (l to r) Elia, Mark, Robby and Lauren
Captain Ethan at the periscope:
I thought it was so appropriate that Ethan was holding a fake corn on the cob from the museum's "market" while looking at this baby chick. I think the baby chick thinks it's real!
I went to a house to look at buying some things. The lady thought the kids were so cute she gave them a balloon animal kit. We've been making balloon animals all week! We've gotten pretty good... well, Eric has gotten better than I have, but alas, all the balloons are gone and there will be no more balloon animals. Ethan loved putting this monkey over his head.
I let the kids play outside while I was making dinner one night... it's one reason why I love having a backyard, but the underwear Elia had taken off so she could get in the paddling pool earlier in the afternoon, soon became her buried treasure!
OK, so this is kind of a random picture, but people have asked about Ethan's hair length and knowing I would want a picture when I eventually cut it, I've decided to share it with you:
Happy Birthday Papa! It was Eric's... 29th birthday yesterday. I put 3 candles on his cake telling him that he was close to 30 and 29 candles were too many! He's not sensitive about it, so I knew I could get away with the joke. We had Mexican corn which is cooked corn on the cob slathered with mayonnaise, queso seco (a dry crumbly cheese) and chili powder. Even Elia loved it! It is tradition to push the birthday boy's face in the cake (we had deliciously moist tres leches cake) and since I was taking pictures Elia kindly obliged:
After... what a good sport:Eric's work held a party for all of the kids. Elia, who I thought was going to go as Ariel since she's been talking about it since her birthday, chose instead to go as Tinkerbell... thanks in large part to the huge billboards with Tinkerbell all over the sides of the freeway. So... we brought out the wings I bought for her second Halloween when she was a little over 1 and the tutu I made largely for a photography prop last year.
Ethan dressed as a chicken... and I know we're biased, but boy was he cute!
Last but not least, you may have noticed the black eye in some of Ethan's pictures. He face planted into our tile step and what started out as a small cut developed into a black eye a couple days later...
... and because I have fun with this sort of stuff, I thought I would reveal the power of Photoshop. I loved the picture so much, but didn't want the black eye, so I took it out! You know all those perfect looking models in magazines? I'll leave it to you to deduce how they got that way!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Pick your pumpkin

OK, so I've been neglecting the blog... perhaps it's because our whole house is full of boxes... yes, I KNOW it's been a whole week, but No, I don't have them all unpacked yet! :) I've taken a few pictures that I haven't posted, but have gotten so far behind that I'm not going to post those.
I'll just start from where we are now. The kids and I went to a pumpkin patch yesterday. I went with two other women from church. The kids had a blast with their boys and came home thoroughly exhausted! I was disappointed to learn that carved pumpkins only last about five days here in the humidity and heat. Elia was most excited that the pumpkin she picked out was of the "Cinderella" variety.
The Griffiths boys:
Wonder Woman (Elia probably gets her muscles from carrying Ethan all the time): Our little family (minus Papa)... doesn't Ethan look thrilled?:
This is my favorite picture! I'm not sure if this is Ethan's idea of a kiss or that he already knows how to torment girls ;)
The kids slept all the way home and I parked under the tree in front of our house and read while they kept sleeping.
In the evening, was another example of how great our ward has been. It's only been a week since we moved in and my visiting teachers came with flowers and a Twix for my birthday our home teachers also came with warm chocolate cake! Yep! It was my birthday. It was nice to have such thoughtfulness, because unfortunately, Eric is out of town... we'll celebrate when he gets back. My mom said she felt bad for me having to celebrate my birthday by myself and said she would pay for my dinner tonight but that I had to go to a place that would sing me happy birthday. I'm trying to figure out how to tell the waiters it is my own birthday... maybe I'll have Elia do it... but it is worth a free dinner!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Stars align in the Lone Star State

I really feel overwhelmed and blessed all at the same time. Whew!... buying a house and moving is a big job! There have been so many things to do (and really, there still are), but I know "Someone" is looking out for me because things have just come together... It is kind of long, but I just feel so blessed I couldn't help but share:
1) I switched the utilities, but the electric company told me that my scheduled turn on would be on Monday and the scheduled shut-off was on Friday (yesterday). That would have meant we would be the whole weekend without power... but, because of Hurricane Ike all requests like these are suspended until they restore power from the hurricane damage. So, luckily we still have power!
2) On Friday we needed to paint. I found one person to watch the kids for three hours in the morning and another to watch them after their naps. The girl who watched them in the afternoon watched them for four hours (and she has two kids of her own)! She is amazing!
3) On Friday we had scheduled the arrival of our bed and refrigerator and the installation of our internet. The internet company came earlier than we thought and the computer was still in our apartment. They said we would have to reschedule and the next appointment was Thursday! However, they said if they had time, they would come back and do it. I left right then to get the computer at our apartment (about 25 minutes away, one-way). Eric called me as I was starting back and told me they were back... I was panicked they would leave again, but they had 20 minutes of work to do before they needed the computer so I made it with the computer just in time.
4) Our bed was supposed to arrive on Friday too. The delivery truck called to make sure we were "home" and it was then discovered that they were going to our apartment! We called the store and the salesperson remembered putting in our new address, but something didn't go through. He tried to tell us that they could deliver it on Monday (which would mean no bed all weekend) we talked to him some more and he checked with his supervisor and told us they could still deliver it after their other deliveries.
5)While we were painting on Friday we also discovered our water had been turned off. I guess our request for water had been lost. They said they could still do it that day if we submitted our application again (and pay a $25 same-day service fee). Eric and I talked his mom through the submission of the application (we didn't have internet service yet) as I was frantically trying to get the computer from our apartment and get home in time. (I really know now what a chicken feels with its head cut off).
6)In the afternoon I remembered that I needed to call the truck company to check on the truck... I don't know how I missed this, but I needed to schedule a drop-off time. I knew the truck was here, I had been checking on the status, but for some reason I was just thinking they would call me... (A no-headed chicken thing I guess). I called at 3:30 and they said they could deliver it Monday... I was seriously panicked now because we had 7 people from church volunteer to help us unpack at 8:00 this (Saturday) morning. I basically begged him to drop it off today (I was really desperate) and he said he could do it between 12 and 2 in the morning which I gladly accepted. He called at 9:00 p.m. saying he was coming and needed a signature. Well, that would have been great except we had left at 8:30 p.m. to get the rest of our stuff from the apartment. I was thinking, "Oh, great, I lost the opportunity", but he called his boss and got the approval to drop off the truck with out a signature! I was so impressed with ABF. I would totally use them again.
Do you see what I mean about everything just working out for us! It sure makes me want to live better so I can be blessed like this all the time!
7)This morning we unpacked the truck in less than 90 minutes. We had about 8 guys there and 2 women (one of which was my visiting teacher and I asked her to take the kids for a walk and watch over them... which was great).
8)Oh, and to top it all off, my visiting teachers called and asked if they could bring me dinner and told me they would make enough to last Saturday and Sunday! One brought a casserole, salad for dinner and blueberry muffins (for breakfast tomorrow). The other brought strawberries, whipped cream, cookies, rolls, bottled water with crystal light packets and paper plates and cups! I am so grateful that they were so thoughtful. With all our stuff in boxes it is so helpful to have something nutritious to eat (so we don't just eat left-over donuts we bought for the people who helped us this morning).
Talk about nice people. You always hear how friendly people are in Texas and now I can really see why. We have been so warmly received and cared for already! I wanted to get all this down and I know it is long, but thanks for reading (if you got this far). God really knows we are here and what we need! (I knew that already, but it sure is nice to get such a huge reminder!)
I'm planning on doing another post... maybe tomorrow... with some pictures from our Utah trip and the past week. Hopefully things will slow down a little, though we have our work cut out for us with all these boxes!