Posts tagged family fun


We love our neighbors. Ever since they moved in last summer, Jude has been besties with cutie pies Fletcher & Ella next door. Last week, during spring break, we tried to go to the zoo with them and their mom, Joanna. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know her and even though our talks are punctuated by interruptions from the kiddos, I think she’s a cool girl.
You may remember Joanna from the poster project we did a few months ago as a fundraiser for the kids’ school. She shoots some pretty great photos.

From Joanna.

Anyway, she sent me some of these from our adventure last week. We didn’t make it to the zoo; apparently everybody in OKC thought that it was a good idea, too, so we avoided the crowds and went to Unpluggits instead and painted, glittered, and stamped to our hearts’ content.

From Joanna.

Partners in crime. 🙂

From Joanna.

I hung up some of our art from that day in the kitchen so Jude could remember all the fun we had. 🙂 I think I enjoy it more than he does.

Art in the kitchen

Jude @ Unpluggits

Jude @ Unpluggits


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Dramatic? Of course. It’s Oklahoma weather! The weathermen told us that the ice and snow combo coming our way this past Thursday would rival that of the Big One in December 2007. That was the storm that hit right after Jude was born and left us all at Mom & Dad’s with NO POWER for a WEEK. Why didn’t we go somewhere else, you ask? Because nobody had power. We really all thought we were going to go crazy. We were eating sandwiches by candlelight. Finally, some hotels started getting power, and so we moved into a hotel (even Mazie the Chihahua got to go) for a few days. Jude was only a few weeks old. He was at the height of colic. I remember it fondly well. Apparently other Oklahomans still remember that storm too. It was enough to make everybody consider getting a generator.

Plus, after the crazy Christmas Eve snow we got this year, I think everybody was thinking they ought to take the weathermen seriously this time. Hence, the Snowpocalypse. I went to the dreaded Wal-Mart on Wednesday (which was, incidentally a 65-degree day) and it was insane. The aisles were a mess. People were acting like we would never see civilization again.

But on Thursday, the ice came, and then it was followed by snow. We thought we might go crazy being cooped up at home another day, so on Friday we decided to make a go of it, and leave the house. Taking our lives into our own hands. Mom and Dad thought they were going stir crazy, too, so it was good to come over and hang out. The snow really is pretty; we don’t get enough of it to be sick of it, and still think of it as a novelty. Jude LOVED it. He and Simon went to the park by our house and got interviewed by the news. They were on Channel 5, and it was pretty cute. I even took pictures of the TV, that’s how proud I am.
Simon & Jude on TV
Poor kid – I had dressed him SO crazy in multiple layers. He was wearing 2 hats, 3 layers of pajamas, and his firetruck boots along with his puffy coat and mittens. He couldn’t put his arms down — they stuck straight out because he was stuffed so tight.
Jude on TVHe was tasting the snow. Pretty cute.
Anyway, nothing like a few snow days! We’ve been holed up here at Mom & Dad’s now, eating and watching movies. Last night we had Williams-Sonoma’s chicken chili and cornbread, and it was divine. We are also STILL eating the giant pan of Pioneer Woman’s lasagna that I made earlier in the week. Hop over and try out the recipe; it was delish.
Backyard - snow
Wrought Iron fence
I got out in the snow to, um, go get the mail. Yeah, that’s right … actually, it was my excuse to get outside and play in the snow. I just love it. Now it’s Saturday, and it’s slightly warmer, maybe 35 degrees. The snow is starting to melt, but the ice is still underneath, and it’s probably going to be pretty messy for a few days.
801 Snow
Today we got out to play in the snow. I didn’t get to really have fun in the snow at Christmas because I was still recuperating from surgery.

Once again. Dressing my kid so silly for the snow. We left his boots at home, and I didn’t want his feet to get wet in his normal sneakers, so I wrapped his feet in plastic bags. I know, I know. So humiliating for him.

He loves eating the snow. Little cold red hands!


Here, Daddy — try some!


Rachel the Snow Angel

Snow Angel Rachel

Try it, Jude!


Grandmother & Grandaddy watched from the comfort of the indoors.


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Here’s nephew Luke’s Elf on the Shelf. His name is Jack. We found him by the Nutella jar this morning. A good place to be, non?


The weathermen in Oklahoma are particularly amazing when it comes to Oklahoma-specific weather, such as tornadoes. Or thunderstorms. But snow? Well, to be fair, we’re just not that good at it. They tend to … overpredict. So when they told us that there was a chance of snow on Christmas Eve, I think  the entire state heaved a collective bellylaugh.


But the weathermen got the last laugh, because we got 14.1″ in Oklahoma City alone, a record to end all previous records. I cannot ever remember a Christmas like this. It totally made the day amazing!


Here’s Dad, enjoying trying his first-ever piece of Slim Jim beef jerky. He says once was enough.


Jude, enjoying Wingo’s choo train (Wingo is what he calls my mom.)


Hmmm. Is it ever going to be time for us to go outside and play in the snow?


YES! Yes, it is TIME TO PLAY IN THE SNOOOOOOOOW! Simon, Eric, and Earl each individually went out into the snow, and each said that it was absolutely awful. It was whiteout conditions, apparently and visibility was terrible. People were stuck, stranded in their cars in the snow. Suddenly all those people in their 4-wheel drive SUVs didn’t look so foolish anymore for having big ol’ cars.  Simon brought Jude some warm snow clothes, however, this green fleece outfit was a year too small for him. He was absolutely stuffed into that, but he was warm!


Ready for snow.


First, trepidatious steps into snow.


Now this is sad. I didn’t have warm mittens for my child, so he had to put on his own socks on his hands.  Pitiful.



Uncle Eric brought the sleds from their house. WHEEEEEE!  Darn it all, if i hadn’t had surgery, I would have been ALL over those sleds like nobody’s business.


This picture is for my mom. As a kid, she would wrap me up in garbage bags so I wouldn’t get wet when it snowed.  Earl made her proud: he covered his shoes in plastic Target bags and secured them with duct tape. Niiiice.


Afterwards, it was time for hot cocoa with the cousins.



When it snows, might as well make crafts! I made a pipe cleaner garland/necklace.


Meanwhile, where were the guys? Matthew, Simon, and Eric continued to sled down the hill in front of Mom & Dad’s. It was like a giant slip ‘n slide: they started running and then hit the ground on their sleds. Hilarious.



I shot all these photos from my childhood bedroom window. Simon below —


Weary sledders, heading back inside.


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The Crow!

My dad has a wicked sense of humor. He always has – he is legendary amongst the family. And my mom swears up and down that one day, she will, in fact, get him back. So anytime we can hatch up some kind of crazy plan to get him, we do.

Back in October, when we went to Lauren’s wedding in Dallas, we were perusing the Pottery Barn and we cracked up over their Halloween decorations. There was this big black crow, and Dad held it up and I took his picture with it. “Look real scared,” I said. We all laughed.  I think it goes back to our shared love of Alfred Hitchcock – who doesn’t love The Birds?

A week later I was walking through Michael’s and lo and behold, there was the exact same crow. I couldn’t help myself – I bought it and hatched a plan. Jude was semi-scared of the crow, but the minute I told him it was Dan-Dan’s (his name for my dad), he was like, “oh. Okay.”  Now anytime he sees a crow, he says “Dan-Dan.”

One afternoon, we showed up over at Mom & Dad’s. Dad was taking a nap, and so I took the crow out to the garage with a roll of tape. In the back of Dad’s SUV, there was this huge cardboard box, and I taped the crow to the lid of the box so when Dad backed the car out of the garage, there would be the crow, like it just flew on in and perched on the top of the box. I showed Mom and she started to laugh.  The next day, I got a phone call – he didn’t even see that crow until he almost got out of the neighborhood onto the main street! He said that there were these big black crows that had been hanging out in the neighborhood lately, and then as he was driving, he looked in the rearview mirror and saw the fake crow and thought, “Oh my gosh, how did one of them get in the car??!?!?!”

Anyway, it was a good little prank, and we’ve been having good fun with the crow ever since. One day, Mom set the crow up with breakfast:
At Jude’s birthday party, in particular, we all took “scared photos” with the crow, and I keep forgetting to post them.

Enjoy our craziness! 😉






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Further Confirming Our Insanity

Ok, we are all officially nuts. NUTS. After Jude & Noah’s costume party, Dad was remarking that we had so much fun with all the wigs that everybody brought were the life of the party. I think the exact phrase was, “We should bust out the wigs at our next party!”

So, we took him seriously. Maybe a little too seriously.

In the month of November, we have 3 birthdays: Dad (Nov. 5th), Luke (Nov. 10th) and Eric (Nov. 14th). So we did a big combined Wigapalooza. Amy ordered in meat from the Salt Lick BBQ in Austin, TX, and it was incredible. There was also quite the selection of cheeses. And for dessert? A spread of individual slices of cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory. I mean, it just doesn’t get any better than that.

It was a wigapalooza!

Unless it’s all happening when you’re wearing a crazy wig.

Mullet Simon

Me-YOW. Am I a lucky gal or what? Billy Ray Cyrus, you got nothin’ on Simon.

The Wig Spread

Here’s all the wigs laid out on the dining room table. And it’s true – there’s something about a wig that brings out the funny in everybody. It was pretty hilarious.

laid-back Earl

Everybody that put this wig on manages to look like a laid-back surfer dude. That whole, “I just rolled outta bed and into the surf” look.

70s Chrysi

let's adjust that mullet

Wigged out - Rachel

One moment, please

sporting our wigs

Dad in a mullet
Mom made Dad take off the mullet wig – she said he didn’t look good in it. LOL Actually, the mullet wig was probably the one wig that really looked awful on everybody.

Pirate/Gypsy/Fortune Teller Simon

Happy happy birthday to Dad, Eric, and Luke! It was a grand occasion!

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Bestest Birthday Party EVER!

I apologize in advance for what is sure to be the longest posts ever with a bajillion photos, but man, we had a PARTY! We did a joint party with my nephew Noah, who turned 9. It was a fantastic costume party at my parents’ house and it was just absolutely fabulous. My sister-in-law Chrysi throws an amazing party, and since Noah & Jude’s birthdays are only a few days apart (and in light of my upcoming trip to Mayo this next week), we decided to do a joint party. Noah was a really good sport even though Jude is much littler than he is, and I am so proud of him that he was okay to share his birthday with Jude.

I’ve got SO many photos to get through, and I also want to wait to get some from Dad and Chrysi, so I’ll just post the costumes on this first one. We had some REALLY great fun costumes! It was so much fun for everyone to participate!

Blythe went as Dorothy. Chrysi made every last bit of her costume. Isn’t it gorgeous?

This is Luke (aka, “Chuke” as Jude likes to call him) as a Transformer. He was fierce.

Chuke’s brother Ben, my oldest nephew, as Napoleon Dynamite. TOTALLY AWESOME.

Sweet Amelia. She was a little gnome-ette, Jude’s counterpart. Isn’t she precious? Chrysi made her costume, too.

Matthew was a hippie. We all had to put that wig on – you better believe I’m gonna borrow it for another costume (Marie Antoinette?! Wouldn’t it be fab?!)

Me! I was a clown.

The little family! Simon went as Where’s Waldo (in blue – we couldn’t land a red stripe shirt) and Jude the Gnome.

He was a darling gnome, but a beardless one. He did not like the beard I made for him out of felt.

Matthew, um, borrowed Ben’s wig and it landed there. We all laughed until we cried.

My sister-in-law, Carolyn, who is 9 months pregnant. Wasn’t she an awesome sport?

My father-in-law, Keith, who came as the motorcycle man. Jude LOVES his motorcycle helmet.

Noah was Obi Wan Kenobi. Chrysi made his costume, too!

And there’s Chrysi herself, on the right – she was Little Orphan Annie! And that hair? All hers! Gorgeous!

Waldo, taking a break from being found.

The gnome, borrowing his cousin’s hat.

Wearing Matthew’s wig. Surprisingly, that color blonde was really flattering on everyone who tried it.

Even Dad tried it on! And Mom put on the Napoleon wig!

More to come soon!

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Le Week-End

Yay for birthdays. I just love ’em. Saturday was Simon’s, as per my earlier post, and we had a marvelous weekend. On Saturday, he enjoyed a long workout and I stayed home and prepped a few things for the afternoon. Then, he drove me down to a friend’s baby shower and he and Jude went to hang out at his Grandma Jo’s house. At 4:00 on the button, they were there to pick me up and off we went to Norman. As OU grads, we love to live up the nostalgia and hit up old favorites from our college days in Norman. It was surprisingly calm in Norman despite the loss to Texas (a really big deal – OU/TX weekend). I was glad that it wasn’t too nutso.

I love the old red phonebooths on Campus Corner.

Jude does too.

We had dinner at Victoria’s on Campus Corner. It was a carb-apalooza. Italian food for all — me, Simon, Jude, my brother Earl and his family, my mother-in-law Linda, sister-in-law Carolyn, and Simon’s Grandma. We rolled on outta there in a cheese-and-pasta-induced coma. Then. We stopped at Maggie Moo’s to pick up Simon’s request — red velvet ice cream. Red velvet is his most favorite kind of cake, hence the creation of the red velvet whoopie pies. And then we descended upon his grandmother’s house with pies and ice cream in tow.

Here’s the birthday boy himself holding the whoopie pies. Ok, side story. Do you want to hear something totally gross? I had some cream cheese frosting at the house to fill the pies with, but I had gone to the store and thought that I better pick up another thing of frosting just in case we ran out. Well, inevitably, we did run out, and so I opened the pantry and pulled out my can of frosting. When I opened the lid, a sick smell assailed my nostrils. UM WHAT?! The can was OPEN AND EATEN OUT OF AND HAD GONE SOUR. But then whoever did it decided to go ahead and put that foil seal back on so it looked legit. NASTY NASTY NASTY. Who knows how long it was sitting there on the shelf? And what are the odds that I would be the person to buy that one can? Gross!

Here’s my brother Earl, on the left, with Amelia (behind him) and Jude in the center, Noah on the right, and Grandma Jo. We were singing Happy Birthday, or as Jude likes to say, “Happy Bum Bum.”

I was also concerned about not having enough red velvet whoopie pies to go around, so I made a batch of vanilla with a vanilla Sprinkles cupcake mix from Williams Sonoma. They did not turn out nearly as fluffy and dense as the red velvet ones; I think it’s because the vanilla mix only called for 1 egg and 2 egg whites, as opposed to the red velvet that had much more. But they still tasted good.

Here’s Noah giving us an impromptu concert. He is quite the pianist and we are so very very proud of him. You should ask him to play Coldplay’s Viva La Vida. It’s pretty rad.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Blythe and Jude were in the bathroom, washing their hands and getting into mischief.

Grandma Jo was so kind to let us have our little party at her house.

We laughed that we were going to submit this photo to

And there you have it! A birthday weekend of fun! I wish Jude was looking at the camera in this photo.


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