Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Just the 12 of us!

Last weekend we finally got together with the O'Hara family! 
I say finally because we have been trying to get us all together for a few months! 
Summer is always so busy.  It seems to just fly by!
When we get together we always try to get a picture of all the kids. 
In the beginning, of course it was just the twins (check out a previous post...its fun to see how our families have grown) and now when we all get together, there are 12 of us!
The kids really seemed to enjoy each other this last time...not that they didn't always enjoy their play dates, but this time it was different.  The older ones played together and had fun with each other.  Before they seemed to just kind of play along side one another as most kids there ages do I guess. 
That change was fun to see.

Here is Dominique with Lila and Avery and me with Cash & Riley in 2007.

Here we are again with our newest additions at the time...Tripp & Issac in 2009.

And here we are today in 2011...Dominique and I don't even fit in the picture anymore! =) 
We added Drew and they added Wyatt!

What a crew!!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Max and Ruby, Ruby and Max!

Here are the kids enjoying some pool time this summer.  We love the pool in our new neighborhood.  It has a zero entry area which is awesome and the kids love their Puddle Jumpers.  Tripp is even able to get around on his own.  He sometimes needs a little help because he doesn't kick enough, but I don't have to be in complete paranoia the entire time I'm at the pool.  Sometimes its even a little relaxing dare I say!

 Here he is a little upset because he floated out to where he couldn't touch and he wasn't in the mood to kick at all to get back to the stairs.  We went home after I snapped this picture.  Our pool time was done!

 Darin and I took Tripp out for a special surprise all by himself!  We try to take the kids out one on one when we can and do special things with them.  Tripp doesn't get those special "dates" very often so we were excited!
My sister, Sarah, came over to stay with the other kids while we took Tripp to see Max and Ruby.  They are one of his favorite shows.
We got downtown and were driving to the parking garage.  Tripp kept saying "Toy Story 3" which amazed me.  He was remembering when we went downtown to see Toy Story on Ice. 
We walked up to the Midland, gave them our tickets and they gave Tripp his Max and Ruby program.  We found our seats and waited for the show to start.
The first one on was Ruby, then Max and Tripp was so excited.  Well, he was excited and kept saying "Max, Ruby!", but he was wondering where Grandma was.  He kept asking "where's Grandma?".  You know, because Max and Ruby don't seem to have any parents, just a Grandma that comes by occasionally. =)

Here is a video I tried to take during the show.  Its really dark, but you can still hear Tripp and all his commentary which I thought Grandma and Grandpa would enjoy.

 The best thing was when we were walking back out to the car.  Tripp got to hold both mine and Darin's hands!  He never gets to walk in between us and hold each one of our hands because we usually have Cash or Riley's hand to hold as well. 
It's the little things right?!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

5 Months Old

Drew is 5 months old!
I feel like I just got her 4 month pictures up.
Well, I guess I did.
This month, I am on it! =)

She is a happy baby.
Her firsts this month were trying cereal and going swimming!
I didn't get any pictures taken because we have quite enough to handle getting 4 kids all ready for the pool.
Sunscreen, swim diapers, swim suits, snacks, pool toys, towels, drinks, pool shoes, puddle jumpers, floats and more!
We look like the Griswalds when we walk to the pool. 
We have to take our wagon and our double stroller, but its worth it.
The kids love the pool!
Drew was a champ in the water.  The water was really pretty cold for us so I thought she would cry when I put her in.  The shock kind of took her breath away for a minute, but she was fine.  She just hung out in her float and eventually fell asleep.
Maybe I can get some pictures of her in the pool soon.
She's pretty cute in her little suit!

 My friend Cathy and her mom made these blankets for Cash and Riley when they were born and they just gave us blankets for Tripp and Drew as well.  They are made out of Darin's moms pajamas.  She passed away suddenly when I was about 4 months pregnant with the twins.  Our 4 would be her first and only grand babies so we were sad she never got the experience of being Grandma Vonny, but at least the kids have a little part of her to keep with them!
I tried getting a picture of the 4 of them with their blankets and they didn't turn out too bad!
I bribed them with fruit snacks...seemed to work a little bit!

 I thought this was cute.
They were all set up on the landing at their "movie theater".
They were using Riley's IXL as the movie screen.
I think they were listening to a story from Beauty and the Beast.
Whatever keeps them quiet for a little while!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


We had our first soccer practice/game!
Cash had a lot of fun and enjoyed himself.
Riley...she may be my swimmer.
They were on the field waiting to start, hadn't even been there 5 minutes and she looked at me and asked if they were done yet.
Good sign that the next hour was gonna be a little rough.
You will see in the pictures that Riley pretty much did the exact opposite of what the coach told them to do.
Riley is in the pink shin guards.  Not that you cannot tell which one is her.  She is the only girl and the only one carrying her ball when they are supposed to be kicking it, running one way while all the others are following their coach and running in a circle and so on. 
You get me, right?!
Oh, and I didn't get pictures of her constantly lifting up her shirt while the coach was running through drills with them.  He would pull her shirt back down, she'd pull it right back up.  That went on for about 4 rounds and then he finally gave up trying to keep her clothed appropriately and she lost interest as well. 

 The only reason she was somewhat listening in the photo below is because Cash was the one yelling at her to put her ball down and put her foot on it.
They call that "stop bob".

 She's getting her ball and getting the heck out of there...
 At this time, I had to go to the car with Tripp and Drew.  It was just too hot for Drew and she was tired.  We sat in the car while Darin stayed out with Cash and Riley.  I took this picture because eventually Riley retired over to the baseball field on the left to pick flowers.  I guess she had finally had enough.
So, needless to say, Riley will not be playing soccer anymore.  I'd probably leave her in for something to do, but she was such a distraction to the other kids.  And my experiences coaching little kids before, lead me to believe that their coach would appreciate me leaving her at home as well! =)
Darin did tell me a cute story about Cash that I missed because I was in the car.
The kids were playing their game and at one point the ball came right over to where Darin was standing.
All the kids came running over to get the ball.
As Cash came running by with all the kids, he yelled out "love you, dad!" and kept on running by.
I thought that was so cute.
Now, we will see if he is still exhibiting that behavior when he is 16!
I hope.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Oklahoma Aquarium

We were in Tulsa last week with Darin.
He had a class to put on so I took the kids to the aquarium.
Despite getting a little lost and trying to find the place with a map no bigger than the palm of my hand, we found it. 
By the way, getting lost on toll roads can be very stressful and a little expensive.  I actually blew through one toll because I didn't have money!
I was excited to take the kids to the aquarium.  It was between that and the zoo.  Since it was about 105 degrees with the heat index and we don't have an aquarium at home, I decided that would be the better option.
I think the kids had a good time.
Riley's favorites were the seahorses and the jellyfish.
Tripp was a fan of the jellyfish and every fish he saw.  He kept calling them "puffer fish".
Cash liked the sharks.
They have a tunnel that you can walk under and the sharks swim all around you.
I thought that would be so cool and the kids would love it.
The boys liked it, didn't LOVE it like I thought they would.
It was a little dark and scary I guess. 
Especially when you are little.
Riley HATED it. 
I basically had to drag her through the tunnel.
That's when its nice to have another adult along.
Pushing a stroller and trying to keep two other kids in your sights while carrying a 4 year old with her arms and legs flailing about is not fun to do alone.
Oh, and she was screaming. 
You are supposed to keep quiet in the shark tunnel, didn't she know that?
There are signs all over that tell you to keep quiet.
That's Riley...breakin' all the rules!

 Of course, when you leave the aquarium, you have to exit through the gift shop. 
That's just kind of mean I think.
Not that I can't tell my kids no, but I try to avoid all those types of possible meltdown, tantrum starters, at all costs.
And here are the fine people at the Oklahoma Aquarium putting me right in the middle of meltdown city. 
A bunch of toys and candy at my kids every turn, but they can't have anything?!
Now, I might have been okay telling them we weren't going to get anything right at that moment, but I didn't even try.  I gave in and let them pick out one thing.
We were on "vacation" right?!
And dad wasn't there to tell us no (or help us get out of the store in one piece if they all started freaking out).
Riley picked out a seahorse, Cash a penguin and Tripp a scuba diver.
Not too bad.
We got out to the car and Riley said "and now we go to the zoo!"
I told her no, that we went to the "water zoo" and now it was time to go back to the hotel.
Mommy was tired.
"But," Riley said, "there were no zebras there." time, Riles.
We will see the zebras next time.
It was time to navigate our way through the Tulsa toll roads and back to the hotel.
And we made it back without getting lost again!
I'd say our trip was a success!

Joplin, MO

Most of you know about the following I am sure...

The 2011 Joplin tornado was a large, extremely powerful, and fast-moving EF5 multiple-vortex tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri, USA, at about 5:41 p.m. CDT on Sunday, May 22, 2011. It was part of a larger late-May tornado outbreak sequence and reached a maximum width of in excess of 0.75 miles (1.21 km) during its path through the southern part of the city. It rapidly intensified and tracked eastward across the city, and then continued eastward across Interstate 44 into rural portions of Jasper County. This was the third significant tornado to strike Joplin since May 1971. Along with the Tri-State Tornado and the 1896 St. Louis-East St. Louis tornado, it ranks as one of Missouri's and America's deadliest tornadoes, and is likely to be one of the costliest; the cost to rebuild Joplin could reach $3 billion. The May 2011 tornado was the deadliest tornado to hit the United States since 1947 and the eighth-deadliest single tornado in U.S. history. As of June 5, officials reported that 141 people were killed by the tornado.

Last week, we drove through Joplin, MO on our trip to Tulsa.
We heard reporters say that pictures just do not do justice to the amount of destruction and damage there is in Joplin.
And they certainly do not.
As we drove down the main street we were on, it looks like a bomb went off and there is nothing but destruction as far as you can see.
And we were there about 2 weeks since the storm hit so I can't imagine what it looked like immediately after.

We saw cars completely destroyed, metal wrapped around trees that had been totally stripped of all their bark, we saw lumber, insulation and appliances everywhere, red X's on houses, messages of "we all made it" or "we will rebuild" spray painted on walls that were still left standing and so much loss.
It was really an erie and somber site to see.

So if you ever come across a "Help the Victims of the Joplin Tornado" donation jar or anything like that, donate.
They need it.