Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 is OVER!

I can sum up 2007 in one word...rollercoaster!! Or is that two? We started off the year finding out that David was going to be out of a job *again*. He was working for Accenture on the state Medicaid project, and the state was ending their contract early. He could stay with Accenture and relocate, or he could get a job somewhere else. As many of you know, tech jobs can be hard to come by around here, at least ones that pay the bills. So we started looking at options for staying with Accenture. They had several job openings in Australia, Ireland, UK, Singapore, Italy, and Greece, so we really started contemplating the possibility of moving overseas. At times I was all for it, I would love to live somewhere other than the US and let the kids have that experience, but then at other times, the thought of leaving everything familiar behind, I just wasn't sure if I could handle that again. The prospect of selling or leasing the house, selling my truck, storing furniture, it all just seemed so daunting. He did have a few phone interviews in Australia and we were looking at rental properties online, but thankfully, in the end, David managed to stay on the exact same job he was doing, but working for the state instead, and a small raise to boot. So it all worked out well, but the first half of the year was kind of a blur dealing with all that.

We started the year with Regan in pre-school and being 4 years old, and loving school so much that I thought when she started kindergarten she would just take right to it. Was I ever wrong. She turned 5 just a month before school started, so maybe that has something to do with it, her being one of the youngest, smallest kids in her class, but she has no interest in learning. She does like to go to school, but it's to play in the centers. She would get mad at us for the longest time for correcting her ABC song (contrary to what she thinks, it does NOT go A-B-C-D-F-I-G). She is doing a lot better now, 6 months in, she has learned all of her sounds and letters and is starting to sound out words and can read simple words like cat and dog. I think the Leapster she got at Christmas is really helping, it's learning in disguise!! She never ceases to entertain us though, she has so much sass, and can talk the horns off a brass bull (which we firmly believe she inherited that skill from her Nana Mona). She is so rough and tumble, and can keep up with her brother and his friends all the time, and she just keeps us laughing all the time. I am amazed that someone so young can have such a sense of humor.

Riley is now in 3rd grade, which at his school is the highest grade this year, so he's one of the oldest kids on campus. After being diagnosed with ADHD and working with a child psychologist, he's really come to understand how to deal with his behavioral issues and is becoming a little man. He is learning responsibility and sometimes, rarely, watching him take care of his sister, I can see that one day he will make an awesome father. Of course his adventurous streak has no end, he still rides his dirt bike, and recently upgraded to a 65cc, which from what I understand, is bigger and has a clutch. He is so smart and enjoys reading, his books of choice lately have been Calvin and Hobbes, which brings back a lot of memories for mom and dad!!

We had a real up and down year with Kenzie, with her deciding to move out this summer, and anyone who has or has been a teenager, can relate to our situation. It was rough for a while, but now I know she is in a good place, and finishing school and getting the help that she needs to grow and mature into a young woman that our mom can be proud of.

We opened our home first to my brother Pete while he looked for a new place to live, then to David's sister Tiffany, and her dogs and cat. So we do officially have a zoo in our house now.

For me, it was an interesting year. I really thought that when Regan started school, my life would be on easy street. Boy was I wrong. I had a bad case of empty nest, I can't imagine how bad it's going to be when the kids actually go off to college, I will probably be a basket case. I did enjoy having some time to myself, for the first time in a long time. We've never paid a babysitter, and since Riley was born, we've only used family to watch the kids, and with not having a whole lot of family in the area, our options in the child care department have always been limited. So to have an hour or two in the day to do something just for myself was quite nice. I still work for David's parents two days a week, and I volunteer at the kids school as often as possible. I'm hoping to use some of that "me" time to get some projects done around the house.

We adopted a kitty in January, Ricky-Bobby, Riley wanted him to be called Ricky, Regan added the Bobby herself, and so it stuck. We still have Bailey, our sweet little Border Collie that we got as a stray, and he had to have been abused, he's got the meekest spirit ever. But since Tiffany moved in with her Great Pyrenees Kenya, they've been playing a lot and are new best friends.

We made several trips this year, to New Orleans in August for Papa Leo's 60th surprise party, to Ohio in October to see my dad and Linda, and many trips to Sea World and San Antonio, and several camping trips with my BFF Tammy and her family.

So overall, a good year, we are all healthy, happy, we have food to eat and clothes to wear. I am reminded of the saying "I felt sorry that I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet". I want us all to remember how good we truly have it, and that God has blessed us, and to pass those blessings on to others!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Sea World December

Sea World December

It was somewhat of an impromptu trip, we thought it would be nice to go over Christmas break and eke out every last drop of fun from our season passes, since they expire at the end of this year. So we decided to bring Tristan and Marissa with us. It was fun, a little nippy, but not too bad, it warmed up during the afternoon, we just had to keep moving to stay warm. We did all our favorites, fed the sea lions, the lorikeets, rode the Steel Eel a million times, Riley is still about an inch too short to ride the Great White so that makes him mad, but David and the girls rode that. We split for a while, Marissa and Mackenzie off to do their thing, David and the boys off to do their thing, and me and Regan to the kiddie rides. We stopped to feed some fish and turtles, and rode the spinning paint cans, and the Shamu roller coaster. We had nice warm chocolate and strawberry funnel cakes and saw the penguins, and played a midway game so the kids could all win their own Shamu. It closed at 5 so we went to Chacho's for dinner, our favorite place to eat in San Antonio, and the kids had so much fun, they just HAD to spend the night with us too, so we have a houseful of kids, playing Wii, jumping on the Pogo stick, watching TV, another fun day at the Crappell House!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Day

I was fully expecting the kids to wake us up at the crack of dawn, like they have in the past, but for some reason, they slept in, and David and I woke up before they did, around 8. David got the cinnamon rolls in the oven and I woke up the kids and we got started. They were excited about their Santa Gifts, those are left unwrapped, and Riley got a Ripstick, a Flybar Pogo Stick and the Stacking Cups. Regan got a dalmatian that skates, a Glo E bear, and a Bella Dancerella Cheerleader set. Riley also got some DVD's, a Chia Pet Bart Simpson, some Magic Cards, books, some t-shirts, and other miscellaneous items. Regan got a Leapster and some games (trying to fake her into reading) a Kidizoom digital camera, an iDog, Baby Alive with diapers, and some clothes. Kenzie got school supplies that she needed, clothes, shoes, gift card to Starbucks, and a purse. Each year they get socks and underwear, PJ's and slippers, so those aren't exactly the favorite gifts. I got a funny picture of Regan when she realized one of her presents was a package of socks, so then Kenzie and Riley each made a mean face when they opened theirs, it was funny. Then we spent the rest of the day playing around and eating leftovers. Riley wasn't on his pogo for 5 minutes before he fell and hurt his butt bone. Then he was mad cause he couldn't just hop right on the Ripstick and go a mile on it. It actually took a little practice, but before the day was through, he was going up and down the street with no problems. Baby Alive has already soiled a pack of diapers, the iDog is exhausted and the batteries on the digital camera are probably smoking. All in all a good day!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve

I love Christmas Eve!! I think we do it right. We went to church at 1 with Pam and Dave and the Shenkins, the kids LOVE going to church, I'm so glad. Then we came home and started cooking. David fried a turkey, we've been using Emeril's fried turkey recipe and I swear it is the best recipe ever. Pam and Dave brought a Honey Baked Ham, deviled eggs, and Marie Calendar's pies, cranberry-apple and pecan, and I made broccoli-rice casserole and potato salad. We wanted something different from Thanksgiving and it turned out perfect. The kids opened their presents from Mimi and Papa, Riley got Guitar Hero for the Wii, which he immediately went to work on, and Regan got a lavender iPod that she is terribly excited about, and Kenzie got some $$. David's brothers Matt and Kris came over, Tiffany and Kenzie were here, the kids played, we ate, Alex brought his dog Baby, and so we had a little doggie party in the back yard too. A total and complete zoo, as usual! We played some Wii Olympics and watched A Christmas Story. Now, all the cooking is done and we have only to relax on Christmas Day and the only thing I have to cook is the famous cinnamon rolls.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Santa Baby

Regan was singing her "State Song" and stopped in the middle and said, "Mom, did you know there is a state called New HAMPSTER?" She's so adorable.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Texas Jumping Beans/Benihana

We met up with some friends from school today at Texas Jumping Beans. We were there from 1 till 5:30, the kids were so worn out! We got home just in time to change clothes and go to Benihana for dinner with the Shenkins. It was SO much fun. I don't usually like to go there, mainly because I don't like seafood and there seems to be a lot of it, but we hadn't taken the kids there probably since we went to Disney World. The chef was great, he lit a bunch of stuff on fire for the kids, tossed some shrimp tails in his hat, threw some chicken at the kids for them to try to catch in their mouth. Riley ate more that night than I've seen him eat in entire days before!! David and I had some sushi, spicy tuna rolls or something, they were really good, Riley tried them, thought they were too spicy but I love that he will try anything.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Happy Birthday David!

Regan's Plant Show

Plant Show

The K-1 has been studying plants this session, and the plant growth cycle. They had to make a plant project for a show today. They had several options, they could grow a plant and keep a diary, grow a plant and do experiments with the amount of water, sunlight, types of water, etc. or Regan's choice, a diorama of what a plant looks like in all 4 seasons. The kids all did a great job, I took pictures of all of them with their projects since they all look so cute and scientific. They sit by their project and wait for the parents to come by and then they give their presentation. They're so smart!

Riley's Christmas Party

I'm about partied out at this point. I'm the room mom for both kids (won't do that again) so I have to have a hand in all of the festivities. Not a big deal, I'm at their school a lot and I think it's important to be involved, but I can't tell you how excited I am that the break is HERE! I think I need it worse than the kids do at this point. So, Riley's class had their party today, it was fun, Ms. Baxter can sure crack the whip with those kids!! We did the station rotation again, I made cookies, and oddly enough, that ended up being the cleanest station. I was prepared for the worst over there, but they did good. Parents sent in tons of snacks, I doubt any of them ate one bite at lunch today. After snacks and party time, they had a book exchange and watched party of the Live Action Grinch movie, and then opened presents from their teacher. Then I had to move on to Regan's class for her plant show. I spent the entire day at the school. It was fun, but I need a nap.

This is Riley's friend Mikale (brother to Regan's friend Kai) just a family of goofballs!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Regan's Christmas Party

Regan's class had their Christmas party today, and there were lots of parents there to help, which is always nice! They had their stations set up, Kenzie and I did the cookie station. I had made gingerbread cookies and brought icing and sprinkles. Another station was the candy cane/pipe cleaner Rudolph, and they made Christmas cards for parents, and at one of their study trips to the Elgin Christmas Tree Farm, one of the parents took pictures of each of the kids in front of a Christmas tree, and they laminated them and the kids got to decorate the picture of the tree, to make an ornament. Very cute!! The teacher gave each of the kids a book, The Biggest Snowman Ever Made, or something like that, and they had a book exchange. Lots of fun and goodies. This is Regan's friend Kai, he really liked the sprinkles, can you tell??? Such a cutie.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

NYOS Economics Fair

Riley's class is studying Economics this session. They had to create a store, make their wares to sell, plan out shifts, earn some cash, design their cash, and then finally, all the 2/3 classes got together for an "Economics Fair" where they all sold their wares, they had to work their shifts where they would get docked in pay if they didn't show up to work their shift on time. I think Riley spent his entire paycheck on a rubber band ball. But, his money. It was so cute watching him work his shift, and telling people to hurry it up, I told him he had to be nice to his customers so they would come back, he didn't quite get that concept, he just wanted to turn a buck and get back out there and shop some more.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Holiday Lunch

Today was Holiday Lunch at NYOS. The only problem is, Regan's lunch was at 10:45 and Riley's was at 12:55, so David and I were going to try to divide and conquer. I have nothing better to do, so I dropped the kids off, went home for a bit, went back for lunch with Regan which David was going to try to make, but couldn't get away from work that early. Then I ran some errands and went back to school for Riley's lunch, with David. We ate turkey, dressing, green beans, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, yummy cafeteria food!! It's been many, many years since we've had to eat congealed food with a spork. Brought back some memories.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas Baking

More Christmas fun!! We made sugar cookies. I totally cheated and just bought the roll and cut it in half, rolled it in flour and let the kids have at it.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Bathroom Issues

No, I'm not having intestinal problems, it's MUCH worse!!

When we bought the house, almost 2 years ago, the bathrooms upstairs had linoleum, but we were told the toilets were set for a thicker tile, so there was a gap between the toilet and the linoleum, no biggie, the listing realtor (NOT our realtor, who was AWESOME) told us her boyfriend is a handyman, he could put in ceramic tile, no problem. So that was done before we ever closed on the house. When we moved in we noticed it wasn't a great job, there were huge gaps in the grout and the tile, they weren't spaced correctly, and there was some sort of glue or something all over the tiles that progressively gets darker.

Cut to September of this year, I notice a spot on the ceiling above the TV in the living room, which coincidentally happens to be right under the toilet in our master bathroom. No problem, we have a Home Warranty, so I call them, they send a plumber out. He tells me that the person who put the floors in, did it wrong, and didn't set the toilet back right. There was a perfectly shaped wax ring sitting there, it hadn't been installed properly, so over the course of the year and a half, water had seeped out of the toilet, making it leak onto the wood around it and leak down to leave a spot on the ceiling. So he put a new wax ring on, and put a riser on it to make the toilet level, since the floor apparently isn't.

So the other day I notice there is a steady seeping of water coming from the light switch in the living room. Right under the spot. I call the warranty people again, they send a plumber again, who tells me that the wood floor under and around the toilet has rotten through and he can't put the toilet back on there, for fear of it falling through the floor. Because of the rotten floor, water is seeping down the wall to come out of the light switch. Also, it gets better...none of this is covered by the home warranty. So, I have no toilet, a rotten floor, quite possible mold in my walls and no way to pay for it to be fixed.

At this point I just laughed, what else can you do right?? David wants to find the guy who put the toilet and floor in originally and see if he has contractors insurance, and get him to pay to fix all this. Problem there is, I don't think he was a "contractor" I think he was someone's boyfriend/handyman who did his girlfriend/realtor a favor. So I am hoping our homeowner's insurance covers this mess, but I don't know since it's water damage and all that.

I am choosing to look on the bright side. I could see this as one more punch in the gut (I've had a few this year) or I can see this as an opportunity. I have wanted a new, low-flush toilet for a long time now. I've wanted to redo the tile in there from day one, and I've wanted our whole bathroom to be tile, not just the toilet room (whatever you call that). Heck, I should throw in a new jacuzzi tub and a bigger shower stall for good measure. And while I'm on it, maybe I can finagle some new cabinets out of the deal. I want it all!! So, I'm not going to worry about it, it's in God's hands, and we know he does exceedingly abundantly above all we could ask or think!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

More Christmas!

You can never have enough Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas Memories!

Brings me back...

Monday, December 10, 2007

I'm dreaming...

I just ADORE this song and this video. I send it around every year, I just dare you to watch it and not crack a smile (and I've watched this a million times!) It's so cute, and keep an eye on the white reindeer, he's super talented.
White Christmas

Sunday, December 9, 2007


How is it that one small family of four can not get it together enough to SMILE for about 5 minutes??? OMG this was one of the more frustrating 5 minutes of my life. Trying to get dad to agree in the first place, then get him to stop holding his head to the side like he's a big pimp, not stare lifelessly into the camera, or give me rabbit ears, then to get Riley to stop copying his dad, and stop making silly faces, stop trying to make his sister fall off the chair, I just hope people enjoy it cause it's more than likely the last time you guys will see a picture with the 4 of us in it until maybe Riley or Regan get married. Here's an outtake for you...

Decorating the Tree

A few days after Thanksgiving, we put our tree up, David was out of town on business, but Aunt Tiffany was here to help. We got the tree up, decorated it, put our stockings out, and watched my favorite Christmas movie of all time, White Christmas with Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye and Rosemary Clooney, an awesome movie!! Had hot cocoa and enjoyed the warm weather. It has certainly NOT felt like Christmas lately. The tree is a jumble, I let the kids hang all the ornaments, that explains why some branches have 2 or 3 ornaments and some branches are naked and bare! Riley couldn't be pulled from his computer game for long, but Regan grabbed some refrigerator magnets and hung the doggie stockings on the fireplace, what a great idea.

Happy Thanksgiving Part Two


Okay, so I'm WAY behind on posting pictures, but I finally got around to it today. We had a great Thanksgiving, Kenzie was here, David's friend Alex and his kids Tristan and Marissa, my brother Pete, his girlfriend Jessie and her daughter Ashley, and Dave and Pam. David fried a turkey (Emeril style) and we had TONS of food. We rocked out to Guitar Hero and the boys jumped most of the day on the pogo stick. Alex dared Pete to eat one tablespoon of cinnamon, that was interesting. He did it, but he said his mouth dried up pretty quick. Boys will be boys I guess. Then we all took turns trying on Regan's Ariel wig, not a pretty site!! All in all it was a fun, relaxing day and the food was just awesome.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Girl Scout Parade

Girl Scout Parade
After Regan was sick for over a week, hadn't eaten in over 6 days, she was finally feeling well enough to do the Pflugerville Christmas Parade. She got to ride in the float and toss out candy to the people along the sidelines. She was still not back to 100% but all she had to do was sit there, so she handled it. After the parade, the Girl Scouts had a party at the Pflugerville Library, and we stayed long enough to get a cookie, then headed home, she was already worn out. But, she looked so cute in her Santa hat.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Update on Regan

I took Regan back to the doctor today, they thought she was pretty dehydrated and that was why she wasn't getting over the virus, her poor little body was just fighting so hard. So they wanted to give her IV fluids, and it took them 3 tries before they could find a vein. She screamed, I know it hurt her so bad, she's always been so tough, she never cried when she got her immunization shots as a baby. But this was too much, even for mom, as I had to try to hold her down while they rolled a needle around in each hand before they finally found one deep in her elbow area. Then we just had to sit and wait for 2 bags of fluid to go in. The good thing, once she was done, she went to the bathroom, and she drank a half a can of Sprite on the way home. She's still been running a fever, and sleeps a lot, but at least now her body is better able to fight off the virus. Thanks for the prayers, they are working!

And how sweet is big brother? Today at book fair he spent his last $3 on a ring for his baby sister!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Pray for Sweet Baby Regan

I'm just asking for everyone's prayers for Regan. She started telling me on Saturday that she had a headache, we went to see Polar Express with her Girl Scout Troop, and she just didn't seem her normal active self. By that night, I knew something was wrong, she was running a fever and kept saying her head hurt so bad. By Sunday morning, her fever was 103.6, she was vomiting and miserable. I took her to the doctor on Monday and they said it's enterovirus, which being a virus, there's nothing they can do, no antibiotics to give her. They said to just watch her for any signs of meningitis. So today, her fever was up to 104.5 and I just hate it. She has sore muscles, hasn't eaten since her Girl Scout trip where she had half of a peanut butter and honey sandwich, and today she's only had about 1/4 of a can of Sprite. I just want her all better, she's never been sick like this, and it's hard for mom to watch and not be able to do anything to help her out.