Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas 09/OK Blizzard 09

If you haven't heard, Oklahoma had a white Christmas this year in the form of a BLIZZARD! It was CRAZY! Pretty much EVERYTHING closed down, churches cancelled their Christmas Eve services, Highways and Turnpikes were closed, LOTS of people were stuck and/or stranded. So thankful that LifeChurch has Church Online as we still got to experience a Christmas Eve service. And it was AMAZING!!! Check out Kevin Ely's short film "This Christmas" that was filmed specifically for LifeChurch's Christmas Eve experiences. He is one talented guy!

The day started out with rain, then it turned to sleet, then pure ice and THEN snow. It took Chris an hour and a half to get home from work (they only let them off 20 minutes early) which normally only takes about 20 minutes. Thankfully I got off work early before the worst of it hit, I was able to get the kids from Chris' parents and head home to get some stuff done and wait for Chris.
We were already told to pack our stuff so we could stay the night with everyone at Mike and Karen's. Once Chris got home around 2:15 he could only get halfway up the driveway so we loaded his car, told the kids to be quiet so dad could concentrate on driving and PRAYED the whole way to their house. I was a nervous wreck, but Chris did an excellent job driving in the crazy snow. So now that you know the back story of the crazy OK weather, here is some pics of Christmas Eve night and Christmas Day.
Aunt Jennifer handing out presents to Mikah and Gavyn (we only did presents for the kids this year)
Only took a couple of tries and lots of "Stand still", "Look at dad", "Smile"...but we finally got a good one of our two cute kids!

Christmas Day:
We bundled up and headed outside to play in the snow.
Uncle Jeff had the lucky job of pulling everyone on the sled (and yes that is an extension cord - it was the only thing we could find)
Jennifer getting me square in the back with a snowball.
Family pic in the snow.
This is a favorite pic of Gavyn - thanks to her Aunt Jackie who sent her this snowsuit earlier this year. I was totally thinking she was never going to get to use it...boy was I wrong! It was the cutest thing watching her walk around in that snowsuit.
Mikah after playing in the snow....he was loving it. And I was totally wishing we had a snowsuit for him after seeing him covered in snow!
Making snow angels - it took Gavyn some coaxing to lay down and make an angel, but after she did, we would look over and she was making 5 or 6 of them all over the yard.
Gavyn shoveling up her big brother (posed of course by dad). We had a great time playing in the snow.
We ventured out today (12/26) for Aunt Jennifer's b-day dinner a day early, and the roads were pretty much clear, only a few spots were a still icy/snowy. Chris, Jennifer and Mikah are at a Thunder game tonight and since it's Jennifer's b-day they got upgraded to COURTSIDE seats! Fun stuff. Mikah already called me to tell me he got to sit down low, not up high and you can see all the players! Can't wait to hear more about it when they get home.

Biggest Thunder fan around....

Chris and his sister Jennifer have season tickets to the OKC Thunder for the second year in a row. Well Mikah has been able to attend a lot more games and he absolutely LOVES it. Here are some pics from a game night in his Thunder room!
He gets his face painted and a tattoo every game.
#35 Kevin Durant is his favorite player on the Thunder and so last year we got him a jersey (he wears it almost every game). His room was already light blue, so we painted one wall Navy blue (see first pic) and then the shelves that are behind him, they used to be white. We bought orange accents - the buckets for his toys, picture frame, clip-on lamp for his bed, etc. He has some Rumble and Thunder team posters hanging on his walls as well. He loves his Thunder room.
Dunking the ball - we play lots of basketball in this house. We keep asking him if he wants to play basketball on a team, but his response is always, maybe when I'm 6 I'll play. Um okay....
Cutest Thunder fan around!!!

Thanksgiving 09

We went to Chris' parents house for Thanksgiving this year. Here are some pics - I know, I know I'm a month or so late, but I finally had some down time to post and saw the pics on the computer and thought why not!
The kids with Grandpa.
Me with my sweet and yet sassy girl!

Girl hug! Aunt Jennifer, Karen, Gavyn and me.
These are the beautiful plates that Mike and Karen inherited from a grandma (I think Mike's side) they are hand-painted originals (I think) anyway, Jennifer and Jeff think they are hideous, but I LOVE them! Totally hoping they will be in our family someday. :) And so we had a great time eating and hanging out for Thanksgiving this year.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Chris and Kids on the news

While I was in Chicago visiting Fran after her surgery, Chris took the kids to see this at Penn Square Mall. They loved it! Even made it on the news and meet Rumble (OKC Thunder mascot), I was bummed I missed out on all the fun. But enjoyed watching it online the next day with my sis, her husband, and my mom.



So guess what Mikah is getting for Christmas! :) That's right, LEGOS! He IS a Lego Freak right now, as my husband so lovingly called him! It's so fun to watch him play with the few sets he does have and just see his imagination grow.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Compassion Bloggers Trip: El Salvador



There is a Compassion Blogger trip to El Salvador this week. This is the best way for me to see how our monthly support is making a difference in the life of a precious child. I love looking at the pictures, watching the videos and reading all the tweets on twitter. I would LOVE to actually go on one of the blogger trips, but since I don't actually update very often and all of 5 or so people actually read this here blog I don't think it's going to happen any time soon! But who knows...maybe I'll submit my blog! :)

I have followed many of the previous trips (here are some of the bloggers: Anne Jackson, Heather Whittaker, Carlos Whittaker, Shannon) and I also follow Kelly as she is one of the bloggers on the El Salcador trip along with Heather.

Our family sponsers Claudel from Haiti, and I worked for Compassion when I lived in CO. So Compassion International is dear to my heart. My goal for our family is to sponser a child for every member. So guess what we are going to do as soon as we are out of debt? That's right, sponser more Compassion kids. One down, three to go! I love what Compassion does, they are true, they are real and they are releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name. Please consider sponsering a child(ren) if you aren't already! YOU can make a difference in the life of a child...check out Compassion International or click on the links above.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Where, oh where is the Branson Family?

Still here, I promise!

Just busy (isn't everyone) and our camera is broken (sad day)! I had every intention of posting about Mikah's first day of Kindergarten, oh you know a month and a half ago, but all the pictures are forever lost on our camera, and for some reason I think people won't want to read about our lives, but want to see it in picture form (maybe that's just me) and so I haven't posted a thing. So I thought I would write a bit anyway even if there are no pictures to add!

Mikah started Kindergarten and loves it! A few weeks into the school year, his school added a new kindergarten class. So we volunteered to have Mikah moved to the new class with a brand new teacher (we thought one of his friends were going to volunteer, so we did and then it turns out they were too late). Mikah loves Miss Randolph and I have to admit I do too! I am volunteering twice a month in his class and have really enjoyed it. Totally learned that I don't have the patience for 18 5-6 year olds, and am amazed at the amount of patience Miss Randolph does have with them. Mikah is also playing soccer again this year with Upward Soccer through Portland Ave Baptist Church. He is a completely different player this year than last...he is actually running after/with the ball and playing soccer instead of running in circles and off in la-la land like he was last year. He's even scored some goals!

Gavyn is well Gavyn, she is still sweet and sassy as ever. She is learning to write her name, she writes an upside down G and A and then the VYN part is correct. I asked my co-worker and former teacher, Danna if that was normal and she assured me that it was. Whew, got worried for just a bit. Since I started this post, she has turned her G sideways, so we are making progress, people! :)

Chris and I are still working our full-time jobs and also working part-time at Henderson Hills Baptist Church in their childcare. Still plugging away at getting out of debt....And Chris and his friend Bryce are starting a side business, will share more about that soon!

Fun homeowner story:
Last Sunday night, after we got home from working HHBC, I was in the kitchen unloading the dishwasher and the glass front of our oven SHATTERED and glass went everywhere! Nothing touched the glass, the oven wasn't on or anything, it just shattered in to a gazillion little pieces. (I so wish our camera was working, so I could have taken pictures of the craziness.) I have since called the manufacturer of the oven and they stopped making parts for our particular oven in 2007. So now I'm on the search for anyone locally that would have parts from a GE oven that was installed in 1992! Fun stuff!

It's Fall Break here in OK and so we are headed to Branson, MO this weekend. Mikah, Chris' parents and sister are already on their way there. Chris, Gavyn, Jeff and I are leaving tomorrow night to join them. Looking forward to a weekend away in good ole Branson. It will be the first time I've been there since becoming a Branson...should be interesting! :)

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Branson Family Vacation - Day 1

For the past couple of years, we have had a Branson Family Vacation with Chris' side of the family (mom, dad, brother and sister). This year we went to Orlando Florida, and no we didn't even go to DisneyWorld! :)

Our first day at the resort was spent at the pool, that is when it wasn't raining. Here are some pics of us playing at one of the many pools they had.
This is where we stayed for the week.
Mikah lounging around...didn't last long, just long enough for Chris to take a pic and we were off in the pool.

Gavyn was technically too little to go down this slide, but she really wanted to and so I took her down with me (again against the rules) but it was worth it and I had a TIGHT grip on her...she had so much fun!

Mikah's turn...

Hanging around the pool with Grandma and Grandpa.

This is one of my favorite pictures. They were having lots of fun.

Family pic in the pool! Our week consisted of swimming, eating, being lazy and Universal Studios. It was a great vacation that was enjoyed by all.

Branson Family Vacation - Day 2

Sorry there was a break in posting about our vacation, I tried to get all the days written and posted before we left for San Antonio for a wedding of two of our good friends, but I ran out of time.
So here is day 2: First day at Universal Studios.
This is how we started out our day at Universal and then ended our second day there as well in this exact same spot.
Mikah with his 3-D glasses, we were waiting to see the Terminator show.

Grandpa, Gavyn, Donkey from Shrek, Mikah and Chris! The donkey was funny - when they walked away, he told Gavyn, "Work those donkey ears, girl".

Again, but this time with Shrek.

Chris and I took the kids to play in the Curious George land. We walked in dry and walked out....

Soaking wet! We climbed through the playhouse area and got all the way to the top. Heard a bell ring and then all of a sudden we were DRENCHED. There was a bucket that was filling up and when full, the bell rings and then the water comes pouring out. It was fun and since it was hot, it cooled us off for the rest of the day.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Branson Family Vacation - Day 3

Wednesday was filled with Universal's Island of Adventure. We hit the kids area first, so the kids could get in all the rides. It was great, hardly any lines for the kids rides first thing in the morning!
Mikah outside the Cat in the Hat ride.
In the store...Thing 1 (Chris), Thing 2 (Jeff), Thing 3 (Jennifer), and Thing 4 (Mikah).

Gavyn on the Caro-Seuss-el, she was really happy to ride the kids rides since there were quite of few from the first day she couldn't ride.

Mikah being attacked by the dinosar from Jurrasic Park!

Again, there is something with the Branson family and putting things on your head to get a picture. :) At least the kids are still too young to care that we make them do things like this!

Mikah met Spiderman! Those people at Universal are pretty smart - they have the Super Hero's come down the street on their rides (big 4-wheelers), park them and then go off to their stations for taking pictures. Well Spiderman goes inside the Spiderman store and you can get pictures with him. But an employee is also there to take pictures. The background is white in our pic, but the background in the pic they take has a really cool Marvel comic book look and then there is your kid with Spiderman on the front! You take a look and say how can you not buy the picture...that's when you ask them how much and they say $20. And you as a parent say cool, no thanks. However if you are a grandparent you say okay, I'll take it!!! :) So Mikah has a pretty cool pic of him and Spiderman in his room, thanks to Grandpa and Grandma!

Last pic before leaving for the day. We were all wiped, but put out on our best smiles for the picture Karen (Chris' mom) requested. We were actually surprised it turned out as well as it did and loved that the person who offered to take the pic snapped it at just the right time so you could see all of Universal and not just half of the word or something. It's always a risk, you know!

Branson Family Vacation - Day 4

Thursday was spent fishing, swimming and eating! Grandpa, Mikah and Chris went fishing while Gavyn, Grandma, Uncle Jeff and myself went swimming. Mikah had been talking about fishing for a couple of months and the grandparents bought him his own Spiderman fishing pole.
Here are some pics of Mikah learning how to fish. Getting the pole ready...
Grandpa showing Mikah how to fish.

Mikah trying it out for himself. They didn't catch any fish, but they had fun and there was some quality father/son/grandson bonding I'm sure.

After all the fishing and swimming we were hungry, so we headed to the Worldest Largest McDonald's. The kids loved it...
It's pretty much a McDonald's that has extra stuff on the menu - I had the Frisco Patty Melt, Chris had the Taco Salad and the kids of course had Chicken nuggets! There is also an arcade upstairs, so we let the kids play for bit.

It started pouring on our way back to the resort, so we had to stay indoors and relax instead of going back to the pool. For dinner we went to Giordano's. We always try to hit Giordano's when we are in Chicago, so we jumped at the chance to introduce Chris' parents and brother to the World Famous Chicago Stuffed Pizza goodness!

Pepperoni and Spinach - YUM!

We had planned to go to the "Dive-in" movie night at the resort after dinner, but it was raining, so we didn't get to go. We were bummed and stuffed, so we just hung out/watched tv instead.

Branson Family Vacation - Day 5

Our last day, well morning really, on vacation was spent where? Oh yes at the pool! Chris took the kids for one last swim before we loaded up the van and headed home for the LONG drive. This is our second time to drive (well we technically rode) to FL this year!

Here is a video of Mikah while we were stopped for gas in one of the states between OK and FL...he was so tired he couldn't keep his head up. Poor guy! And then being the nice parents that we are: we captured it on video but then Chris sat down and let him put his head on his shoulder so he could actually sleep. :)
video

Friday, July 17, 2009

Mikah's 5th B-day party

We asked Mikah what he wanted to do for his 5th birthday and he said, "I want to go bowling with my friends!" Our first thought was, "Ugh a smoky rundown bowling alley", but then Chris had the idea of looking up RedPin (www.bowlredpin.com) a fairly new bowling alley/restuarant that opened in Bricktown. We had never been there before, but heard good things about it. So we booked 2 lanes and started planning.
We decided on cupcakes instead of cake, to make things easier. Chris made the cupcakes and they were delicious! Everyone raved about them...he looked up some cupcake hints online and found some from the owner of the cupcake place Sprinkles (www.sprinkles.com). Anyway - they were GOOD! We placed mini M&M's in the shape of 5's on each cupcake and then placed them as displayed below!
Here's the birthday boy bowling....good thing he's had lots of practice with Wii bowling! :)

For some reason we didn't get any pictures of his friends who came to the party, except this one of Grant who is behind Mikah and he is the older brother of a boy in Mikah's class at StaffKIDS.

Bowling at Redpin was so fun and it has a really cool atmosphere. We will definitly be going back again, but this time without the kids. I'm thinking date night, just need to find some coupons and it would be perfect!