Monday, December 29, 2008

She Works Hard for the Money

Today UJ and CassiJo went to G-mom's to help out with the babies, visit and generally soak up all the love they could.

They put in a full day of it, arriving at noon and not returning home til 8pm tonight.

Joe bragged on how much of a help Cassi was with keeping Kai occupied and being sweet with Maya. (UJ got a big dose of love when Maya fell asleep on his chest......ahhhhh the sweet sounds of babies sleeping on you...)

Cassi and I were engaged in an embrace so I could love on her and brag on her and she whispered, "Can I get paid?"

I replied, "How much do you want?"

She said "Well I worked 8 hours how about $8?"


Let's hope she feels the same way in a few years. Yea right.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

There is No Such Thing

There is no such thing as too much love.

But there may be a point of exhaustion.

I think we may have reached it yesterday.

We spent the entire afternoon and evening with JorySan and the babies.

We played, wallered and kissed them all day and they tolerated it very well.
Kai is a hider. He hides his toys and puts them in cabinets, under sofas, behind furniture. Jory has to hide his wallet so Kai doesn't get a hold of it and hide it! (he almost forgot where he hid it too!)Maya is a doll baby. She rarely cried and tolerated all the girls holding her and playing with her. She got a little fussy last night and when we took some of her clothes off and went outside to cool off and rock in the swing at Papa's she went right to sleep. I can still put "the moves" on these babies!

We even made time to squeeze in a Walmart trip with Mr.& Mrs. Iwabe, Noriko's parents. They don't speak much English but did very well. We lost them for a while and after I walked the store, it dawned on me to look in the music section. They love country music and whenever they get a chance, they buy lots and lots of cd's to take home. When I found the check out with Joe, I admired all the cd's they had. Mr. Iwabe could say all the names of the artists. :o) They also can't believe the price of ham here. In Japan a small (maybe) 3lb ham might be $200!!! Mr Iwabe (or J-Pop as Jory calls him) loves ham, so last night when we had ham on our little snack buffet, you know he was there eating some of that!

We ended the evening at Papa's for a little Christmas with them and took the Iwabes through the Garden of Lights or Illumination as they called it. Kai kept saying "atah" or "look what I found"!

Needless to say we were glad to see that bed last night! (But can't wait to see the babies again......but tomorrow.)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Themes

Merry Christmas to all you Bloggers!
We revved up Wednesday for a busy few days. Started with lunch with my family followed by a visit to G-moms followed by visit to Nana's then a lovely candle light service at church. We ended the day with a supper of snack foods and punch with my Aunt Joyce and her family. The children got to read the Christmas story from the Bible and I thought that was pretty special. (All our babies can read now!)

We had a very nice Christmas day at the Joes too. (Pictures will follow later)

Joe and I stayed up way too late on Christmas Eve and didn't get to bed til about 130am, watching movies piled up on the couch. I won't promise that I didn't snooze a little, so don't expect me to pass any quizzes about the movie!

Cassidy was the first to wake up and God bless that child, she let us sleep in til 8am. :o)

What followed was wrapping paper flying,lots of smiles and giggles and a few "Are you serious?"s

Cassi was pleased with her purple big-girl bike and itty bitty tv with dvd.

Carly was thrilled with her small HD tv for her room to. Now we need an inexpensive dvd player to use with it. Who knew that thing wouldn't pick up any local stations??

Joe's theme for this Christmas was Iron Chef at Camp. He got several cooking themed gifts and some camping lanterns. They should come in handy for our next camping rendevous. :o) He also got some silly gifts in with his real gifts. A shower curtain liner and compressed air. I had to throw him off the trail!

My theme was Iron Chef at Camp also. (unplanned! Hey great minds think alike!) I got a nice two burner camp stove. That will be so nice not to have to load up our huge grill to take with us next camping trip! Whew that thing was heavy! When Joe bought the stove he said, "Let me just say that my gift in NO WAY implies you are the woman and I am the man." Note:I will make sure he cooks on it just as much as me. Promise!

We got to see my BIL Jory and his sweet family from Japan yesterday too. Kai, my nephew was very sweet and let me hold him and play with him. It's funny that play does not need language. Laughter is the same in all languages. He is a busy little thing and kept us laughing. I have a funny picture of the first moment Kai saw Uncle Joe. He was soooooo tall!

My niece, Maya got to hold Uncle Joe first.She was snoozing when we got there and Noriko, her mother brought her to Joe for her first snuggle. She is the sweetest baby! She laughed and smiled at us and was generally an angel.

We can't wait to see them again today. I am pretty sure they are missing me. I can feel it. :o)

My gift to myself was a nice 2 1/2 hour nap after lunch.

Monday, December 22, 2008

And the Children Said, "Whew!"

Last night I finally got some gifts wrapped and under our tree.

The girls' gifts are all wrapped and color coded. CassiJo's are wrapped in mint green paper with snowflakes and CarlyJo is wrapped in B/W stripes. UJ's are wrapped in Batman paper, what else??

I wish I could have been here to see the look on CassiJo's face when she saw all the gifts. She knew I color coded them and called me to ask which color was hers. I almost didn't tell her but decided that unless I wanted 88 phone calls today asking me "What color is mine?" all day I had better tell her, so I did. She helped me out by putting tags on the gifts. She put 10 on her "big" box. I guess she didn't want anyone to open HER gift.

My brother in law, Jory and his family (from Japan) will be in attendance this Christmas. We are waiting (im)patiently for Kai and Baby Maya to arrive so we can squeeze them and kiss their little cheeks!

Merry Christmas Y'all!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Series of Unfortunate but Funny Events

Today I ran in my first 5K run. I finished in 45:23. According to a runner's website that is moderate. I am ok with that.

The race was held at Honor Heights Park in Muskogee. We ran in the park, around the outside to the "back" entrance then up a large hill (you don't realize how long and steep the incline is until you are walking it!)and back down. The uphill part was about 1K. I walked up it, not wanting to overdo it.....remembering the good advice from Leslie and my SIL Andi......slow and steady......compete with yourself only.....don't pay any attention to others. I loved the downhill part and was SO grateful for it!

Here is the ingredients for a funny story:

1. prior to departure, people in my house were having laundry issues. damp clothes cannot be worn in frigid air. we had to wait for the pants to dry.

2. a person in my house had toilet issues right before we left. (and said person cannot and will not be rushed)

3. We had hoped to be at the park at 415 for the race to start at 445. we left our house at 422. I refused to look at the clock because it was going to give me anxiety.

4. we decided to take both children AND the dog.....thinking it would be a fun adventure for them. (next time it will be me and Joe.)

5. Joe had to drive at unsafe speeds.....and dart in and out of traffic. Why were all the slow-pokes out today? Going the same direction we were?? And why was the Batmobile in the shop?? Man we really needed that jet engine today. He also S-T-O-P -Go at a stop sign when we were in a hurry to the registration. We got honked at by a old people car.

6. The start line was NOT where we thought it was and there is only three entrances to the park. They are spread WAY out. We, naturally went to the wrong one.

7. Joe dropped me off at the closest point to the registration desk. I ran up there and didn't have time to search for my I had to start with out a number. (keep that in mind for my finish line story) I wasn't too worried about the number since I was "competing with myself".

8. I was overdressed a bit and had to try and keep track of all my clothes as I shucked them during the race. At the 4K mark the wind picked up and it got really cold so then I had to put all the stuff back on.

9. I came up on the finish grateful to see it. I was freezing and dizzy and looking for my family among the people cheering on the sidelines. I didn't spot Carly until the camera flashed. She almost missed me!

10. The finish line people take this running stuff very VERY seriously. When I arrived, I expected "Good Job!!"
I got: Where is your tag?? No number? TURKEY! If you don't have a number you SHOULD NOT CROSS THE FINISH LINE."
Wow. Who knew?? NOT ME CAUSE I WAS LATE!! I should have just gobbled and went on.

11. Carly took my picture crossing the finish line and said Joe was in the truck. She said, "Dad was worried about you and almost ripped the front of the truck off on a rock he parked on."
WHAT??? When Joe parked, there was a rock sticking up and it cracked the plastic part of the lower bumper. He was not happy. I examined it later and determined in all my mechanical prowess (none) that we could order the part off the internet. When I told him that I got "the look". I didn't talk any more. :o)

12. The dog wasn't happy either. She was panting the whole time and really was over stimulated by all the people and strange smells not to mention the the ride over in the truck. Poor baby.

13. Leslie asked if I got a t-shirt since I didn't get my packet. I told her I sure did. I went right over to the table and "stole" one. I paid for it with my registration but didn't want to wait around to find someone to hunt my packet I helped myself and got the heck outta there.

It is funny now.........well actually it was funny to me as it was happening......
I was just too stunned to laugh out loud.

On a positive note:

I have been assured that this is not normal and my next race will not be this way.

I am counting on it.

Rush? What Rush?

Christmas shopping at dawn's crack insures short lines and peace while shopping. (you just have to walk around the Stockers and their pallets of stuff) I was done shopping and home before anyone stirred from sleep at my house. Woohoo!!

Gifts are bought and hidden.

Do I have to wrap them??

There is not one wrapped gift under our tree.


I'll fix that!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Round She Goes

Last night it was frigid here in Greencountry Oklahoma. So cold we had ice on the roads. Uncle Joe offered to drive my running route to check for ice so I wouldn't fall down and hurt myself. He also offered to follow me in the truck in case I got cold or couldn't finish. How sweet!!

After we pulled into the driveway to let Cassidy out I immediately got out of the truck and started running. I got to to the end of the block and he was still there. I ran further and could see him through the neighborhood through the yards. He was still there. I thought he was just giving me a head start.

He was still there when I came around the corner. I thought to myself: he must just be staying warm in the truck. Maybe he was talking on the phone. Yes he is on his phone. I can see the light....oh wait. He is just playing a game. He probably has the seat all nice and warm for me when I am done. I wonder if he even sees me. He has to see me I am wearing a pink jacket.

Fourth lap I am coming around the final turn and he is getting out of the truck. I think to myself: (y'all don't laugh) WOW He is coming out to cheer me on. He is meeting his woman in the time she needs him most. He will pat me on the back and say, "way to go honey". What a sweetie.

Uh. No.

When I get to him, he said, "Where have you been? I have been waiting on you to come out of the house! haha!! I thought you were inside! I went looking for you in the house and out in the back yard."

He never saw me leave and go to the road and start running. He never saw me......

I laughed about that all day!!

I could have tapped on the window while he was playing the game, but he said I would have scared him to death.

We crack me up. :o)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

It's a Gouda Thing

This my gourmet supper I whipped up last night.
Note the fancy glass full of Diet Pepsi. We are fancy around here people!

Yummy and easy chicken noodle soup with bowtie pasta for added fanciness.

Grilled Cheese, gourmet style.......

Gouda cheese (shredded) with cumin and sauteed onions on Rye bread.
Very interesting and different but all in all a.....
pretty tasty dish!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008


The secret ,( according to Uncle Joe and Aunt Jo) to making soup so good you say Mmmmm all through the meal is:

Swanson Vegetable Broth

We have used it in most of the soups we have made lately and what a yumm addition!! It is even good when you are sick plain with crackers.

There you have it secrets. Can you beat that?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Great Expectations

Last night was a huge surprise and exciting time for us in the Joe house.

It was Finals for the swim team in Claremore. This was CarlyJo's age group competing, age 11-15. There were quite a few more swimmers competing and the competition was great!

CarlyJo had to be begged to participate. She dug her heels in and would not relent.......until we made a deal with her.

Short story: she had been grounded for several weeks and in order to get some days knocked off for "good behaviour" she agreed to compete in two events.

Coach Christa chose Backstroke and Breast stroke. CarlyJo has a beautiful and graceful stroke, but she just needed to put her "all" into it and s.w.i.m.! We just wanted her to complete the event....competing with herself and work to overcome her performance anxieties. Get this.........

She won.

Both events.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Road Trip Dos

Another roadtrip was enjoyed by the Joes yesterday. I was nice and gave Joe a weeks notice this time and it sure did make a difference! haha. He slept like a log and got some good rest while I took the children to school and got ready. I let him sleep until he woke up...which took a while even with me blaring harmonica music from the internet radio. :o) I on the other hand was awake at dawn's crack, excited about our trip. :oD

We chose a new destination: Fayetteville AR. It is only about 80 miles away and a great day trip destination. We mapped out our plans and got on the road about noon. We planned to go to Dickson Street and explore the local restaurants and shops. If you don't know, Fayetteville is the home of the University of Arkansas, so you can imagine the great things they have to keep students busy. (staying in trouble or be the judge)

Our first stop was lunch since we were pretty hungry. We snacked on Clif Bars on the way down there but they don't fill you up for too long. We stopped at Bangkok for lunch. Take a look below at the beautiful food we ordered.

Our appetizers.
Spring Rolls.
very tasty and look at the beautiful presentation

Next course:
Tofu soup.
Not too hot but hot enough to be very comforting on a wintery day.

Joe's entree (i can't remember the Thai name)
Tofu Curry with pineapple.
Very yummy! He said it was his favorite of all the Thai we have had.

My entree: Pad Thai with shrimp
I usually stick with things I know since we usually share our meals. Joe usually goes for a walk on the wild side and gets "new" dishes. :o)
This was very yummy and full of shrimp. I really liked it and ate every bite!

Next you will see our next stop: Dickson Street Bookstore. This store took our breath away. It was like the bookstores we have seen on movies. Books from floor to ceiling, wall to wall, stacked in corners and going on for what seemed like miles! It was a sight to behold and very overwhelming to book lovers. We did manage to find something for each of us and one Christmas gift for G-mom. (Shhhh don't tell!)

We also found the NorthWest Arkansas Mall and it was very nice. Full of nice stores and food vendors. We found a few Christmas gifts there as well and generally had a nice time looking around. Found some decorating ideas for when we repaint the living room and had a nice walk from one end to the other.

Headed back to the Dickson Street restaurants and ate a gyro at Kosmos Greek Restaurant. If you have never tried a gyros, you really missing out. They are very good and such a change from the same ole hamburger! The dipping sauce was very dill-y and cool on the hot lamb. Mmmmm We love gyros!
We headed home with our tummies full and our heads full of ideas for our next trip back. There were many more things we wanted to see, but just ran out of time. The trip home was very pleasant and really flew by since we were chatting about all we saw.

Daytrips are very fun and I look forward to the next one.........
Note to self: recharge camera before road trips!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Just Keep Swimming

Today we took CassiJo to the finals for her swim season. The meet was in Claremore, about a one hour drive away. We only made one wrong turn (a record for I mean me.)

CassiJo swam in 3 events and placed in two. We were so proud of our little swimmer....even when she was doing a Rockette dance while waiting for her turn to swim. UJ asked if that little number was the "PeePee Dance." (Mom's know exactly what I am talking about) No. It was not. It was just a little number for the entertainment of the parents in the stands. :o)

Way to go CassiJo!

One down and one to go. CarlyJo's age group competes Thursday. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Baby Brudda

While we were at our family Christmas gathering this weekend I asked our little cousin, Nicholas if he wanted CarlyJo to come and live with him and be his big sister.
He agreed.
He really liked CarlyJo who played a lot with him and his baby brudda, Zachary the whole time we were visiting.
He liked the idea so much that when he did something (semi) naughty he was afraid she would not want to come and be his big sister. He sat in her lap and held her hands and said, "I want to talk to you about being my big sister."
We thought this kid was a hoot!
He was not happy when we had to leave. He was talking it over (tearfully I might add) with his mother when we left. His mother, Candace assured me that he would be fine as soon as his grandparents came to pick him up. Apparently a big sister is NO competition for grandparents!


CarlyJo on Crazy Day during Homecoming week at school. I love her eyelashes!! She got them at Sephora when she and Megan went shopping.

A Gaggle of Giggly Girls
CarlyJo's 14th Boobay Party
Top L to R: Cassidy, Kyndra, Sarah, Ashley, Taylor
Middle: Lillian, Megan and Kaitlyn
Bottom: Carly holding Domo, and Bailey

Cheezin for Christmas

Ho Ho Ho
from the Joes!

Here we are in Heavener OK for an early Christmas celebration with Joe's side of the family.

We had a nice drive down there, Joe pestering me the whole way.......

....and he is so funny he cracks himself up!

A rare sight: Carly smiling in a picture....voluntarily. :o)

She loves taking B&W's. I can see why. They change the look of the photo so wonderfully!

I had to work really hard to get this photo. I have two daughters that take after their father and LOVE LOVE LOVE to ham it up for the camera. I have heard people say they have stacks of pictures of Joe making silly faces. :o)

I only wish our daughters were as innocent as they looked in this photograph. Soon as the flash went off they started arguing again. haha!!

Happy Sunday Blog Friends!