32 days...

Hello friends!!

Well, its been a while...again....

But, I have a good excuse this time, I promise! ;)

I haven't shared with all of you that my landlord decided not to pay his mortgage for 10 months and we finally found out April 1st that it was being foreclosed on. We were going to be without a place to live as of June 21st. Since, as you know, I have a family and run two businesses out of my home, its semi-crucial that we have one. So the search began and 15 houses later, we finally found the perfect place for our family and brood of little ones. The packing began as our new landlord wanted us in as soon as possible.

That we did, one week after signing the lease, we moved in Saturday May 1st and have been busy unpacking since. Combine that with packing initially, house hunting for three weeks, working full-time, 3 kids, Tika's 6th birthday, Jay's 36th birthday and Mother's Day and you'd be apologizing for not blogging either. Mind you, I also didn't have internet for 8 days and I was about ready to move again just for the opportunity for wi-fi...I was going slightly crazy {idea for a future post to come}.

Anyway, welcome to our new home. I will post pics soon of the inside and yard soon. Its good to be back, I have so much to share with you!!

and I'm following over at Trendy Treehouse. The sponsors this week are Rockin' Deals and Make It and Love It. Check back for my TGIF post...

Oh so pretty...

I recently joined Stampin' Up as a demonstrator to help support my hobby for stamping and crafting. I placed a large order to make Tika's birthday invitations for this weekend. Here's how they turned out...

These are her Thank You Cards:

So although these stamps are not from Stampin' Up, I had to use them since that was the reason I bought them :) and they're cute!! I did, however, use the Stampin' Up ink, paper, ribbon and markers. I have to say, I love their products!!

These are some other cards I made with Heather. I thought they turned out pretty cute:


These were made with Stampin' Up stamps and supplies.

I will be making some crowns, journal books, bookmarks and headbands tonight, tomorrow and Saturday for Tika's birthday party on Saturday. Check back to see how those turned out!!

Have a great Thursday!!

Happy Easter!

We were all a little sunburned, sore and tired from our adventure yesterday yet we still managed to have a great Easter. We went to Jay's parents house where we were joined with Jay's out of town relatives...all 9 of them making a total of 17! It was very nice to relax, eat good food and enjoy great company. The Easter Bunny hopped to our house last night and left goodies for the kiddos...

We all dolled up in our new Easter clothes and forgot to take any pictures. I do, of course, have a couple good ones of QJ. I don't really know how that happens, to be honest! Maybe since I am busy spending all my time with him and watching his ever move to keep him out of trouble...I tend to snap him more often?!? Well, thats my story at least and I'm stickin' to it! Actually, I don't think Tika and Zeek would sit still long enough for me. Their shots are more posed where QJ's is much more candid...my favorite!

Anyway, hope you all had a great Easter!!

the boat...down the Verde River...

We took another adventure this weekend with the kids, Jay's parents, their friends and Jay's Aunt and cousins. We headed South to warm weather and decided to take on the challenge of the Verde River. No, its not running nearly as fast as it has but it was still an adventure none the less.

Here's what the kids looked like heading down...

Here's what we left:

Here's where we were headed:

Here are some great pictures of the trip. It took about 6 hours, 1 hour was spent on the island eating lunch and another hour was spent prepping and packing up. The kids did great!! We didn't flip the boat which was nice but we did hit a tree and then later got attacked by another tree. It was, as I said, quite the adventure!

I think Jay has turned me into a river rat! I had so much fun rowing and listen to my Captain Jim that I hope I get the chance to do another one, maybe a little faster!

The kids did better than we expected. The water was cold and they had to sit in it the whole boat ride since there was water on the floor of the raft. QJ had a blast splashing in the puddles on the floor while Tika and Zeek squealed with delight when Jay ducked them in the cold, cold water. Mind you, this water was snow the day before! :)

Hope you all had a great weekend also!

I went to bed last night with a restless, itchy little man (aka QJ). I woke up this morning to a red, spotted monster!!

What the heck...?!?!

So I ran to the phone, called MVP (I happen to know the number by heart with 3 kids and all) and scheduled an appointment for 10:10. I grabbed the monster's hand, ready to change his diaper and...

What the heck...?!?!?

He disappeared...and in his place QJ stood looking up at me.

What the heck...?!?!

So I ran to the phone, canceled the appointment and went about my day.

We had breakfast, played with our friends, had snack, played outside, had lunch and took a nice long nap (QJ, not me...). Life was good..

Two hours later, a little warm body comes sneaking up on me and I turn to pick him up and...

What the heck...?!?!

The red, spotty monster was BACK!!

Ok, I'm confused...

So I ran to the phone (can you tell I got my workout in today just by running to the phone?!?!) and called MVP and scheduled yet another appointment for 3:45. I grab the monsters hand, change his diaper and send him off with Jay.

An hour later, Jay and QJ finally came home, that's right...no red, spotted monster in sight.

What the heck, you ask?!!? Well...its...

H.I.V.E.S...yes...hives! None of my children have EVER been allergic to anything before...I didn't know how to handle this sudden attack. Do I bust out the What To Expect the First Year? Me? Never. I dose up the Benadryl. Good night buddy...love you...spots and all.

But the question remains, what the heck...{?!?!?} did we have between last night and this afternoon that caused it?!?!

Blueberries? Nope, he eats those almost daily.
Strawberries? Nope, see answer above.
Bread? Nope, see answer above.
Cheese? Nope, see answer above.
Juice? Ahhh...I think I got something here...

Last night I experimented and made a new frozen juice that we were trying for the first time. He drank it with dinner and with lunch...


He's allergic to....


Go figure! Poor guy!!

of Friday Follower hosted by One 2 Try, Hearts Make Families and Midday Escapades!

I apologize to all you hardcore followers for not posting in a while! We have been very busy lately and I'm been slightly distracted. I promise I'll get back to our normal schedule soon!

In the meantime, listen to some great Gourd music as you cruise through these awesome pics of our trip to Grand Falls on the Navajo Reservation last weekend. I'll randomly place some more videos throughout this post since this CD was the one we listened to our whole drive in and out. Enjoy!!!

The drive out of Flag was beautiful with the snow on the Peaks and the sun shining. It only took about 45 minutes to get to the Falls. The most time consuming part was maneuvering the dirt road and guessing which way to go at the fork due to the lack of road signs on the reservation.

{Drive out to the res...check out the gorgeous peaks!}

I'm assuming this car was a landmarker..."Take a left a mile after the junker in the middle of the field..."

{Lovely dirt roads on the res (rough roads) with scenic views}

The Peaks is a dormant volcano in Flag and many years ago...I don't know exactly when...it erupted and spewed lava over the land. The black rock we have left (in many places) is left over, cooled lava. Out at the Falls, there was black sand covering the land on the north side of the falls and sandstone covering the south side. Apparently, the lava stopped at the canyon to the falls, creating the black sand and leaving piles of lava rock in its wake. Kinda neat...

We only know this info, not because we are The Smart Family, heehee, but because we actually ran into a friend of ours that happens to be a geologist while we were picnicking at the Falls...I know...only in Flag do you run into friends 45 minutes outside of town! ;)

{Pile of lava rocks}

The Grand Falls only runs like this in the Spring due to the snow melt run off from New Mexico. The water was gushing at high speeds and falling into the canyon that then carries it off to the Colorado River. Pretty amazing sight!!

{The Grand Falls}

We decided to hike down into the canyon where the water was flowing into. It was a risky adventure as we had to carry a 2 year old, Jay was wearing his Keen's (not exactly hiking boots) and we had two adventurous "I can do it!" kiddos leading the way. There was one point that I actually stopped and said, "No, no more...we are going to fall to our death!!" Yes, it was a 2 foot path descending into this canyon and the other side was a drop-off onto sharp, pointy rocks and from there, a fast flowing river that would surely pull us under before anyone even knew you fell!! I had just gotten over my near death experience...I didn't think I could do it again!! But...I did and I'm glad I did...can you believe it?!!? Stunning!!

Can you see the two people at the top?

{In the Falls Canyon...up close and personal}

We weren't too far down, it wasn't the Grand Canyon, mind you. But it was an amazing sight to look up and see these little people staring down at us! I loved the shadows the walls created as the kids ran close to the walls (Zeek is actually peeing...boys).

{Canyon Walls}

QJ may have had to be carried down but by golly...he was determined to crawl his way out!! At one point, the same point I stopped early and said, "No Way!", he actually started laughing hysterically as I was trembling. I was in shock...the boy that's scared of Jay's "BIG TRUCK" wasn't scared of a 50 foot drop off?!! Go figure...

{Hiking back to the car}

This song is in honor of QJ for smacking Tika with his sippy cup!! (In case you can't hear the lyric its..."You boys need a spankin'...)

After finally making it back to the car, we loaded up and headed home. I would say within...30 seconds, QJ and Tika were sound asleep and within...5 seconds, Zeek had his PSP blaring in his ears and his thumbs attacking the controls...I guess you can lead the boy to nature... I don't think I was even buckled yet?!?

{The drive home...we were dirty and tired!!}

{Great song!!}

BTW- for all you hardcore Gourd fans that live in NoAZ, they are coming in April to The Orpheum!!! See you there! :)

{Can't introduce The Gourds without playing their best one...}

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