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Thursday, October 29, 2009

My First Article on Examiner.com

I am the official Examiner of Family Friendly events on Examiner.com, "an insiders source for everything local".

My first article can be read here: Dayton Family Friendly Events Examiner

Enjoy reading! The more traffic my articles receive, the better I get paid :-)

PS I would love some criticism to better improve my writing. So comment on what you REALLY think!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Nostalgia - 1 year old Trouble

November 12, 2005 by maternal Grandmother passed away. Trouble was a few weeks away from turning one and Grammy (Travis' Mom) was visiting. I received a call from my mom that Grandma died. I knew it would be expensive to fly home so I decided not to, but knew that I needed to. So we called Northwest, got the bereavement fare (when that still existed) and I flew to Sacramento, CA the following afternoon with Trouble. Aunt Donna (Dad's sister) picked us up (Trouble and I flew in from Minot, ND the same time Dad flew in from Portland, OR) and we drove south to Modesto, where I was born and some of my family still lives.

The funeral went well and it was great to see all the family. My Grandma had a daughter from her first marriage that died 30 years earlier on the same day she died. Grandma lived a long and fulfilling life. Grandpa had died shortly after Trouble was born so we suspected that she wouldn't live much longer after that. I do miss her and am grateful for the time I was able to spend with her. My cousins referred to me as 'little Grandma' because I emulated her so much.

After the funeral, I went to stay a few days with Mom in Alameda, CA (just outside of Oakland). While there we had these taken at Picture People:

Backpack now wears these same clothes! Its been fun to pull out the boy clothes and be washed over with memories of Trouble's younger days.
Anyway ~ Dad flew had to go back up to Portland to work, but flew back down to Oakland a few days later. Then we all drove to Corona (Outside of LA) for Thanksgiving to Uncle Mike's house (Mom's brother). We had a wonderful time there with Aunt Candy (Mom's sister), Beau and Jessica. After that we drove back up to Alameda and flew to Portland with Dad. Then Dad and I put together a 1st year birthday party for Trouble in Portland and had all our friends over to celebrate. Mom was able to fly up for the weekend to party with us!
At the party Travis' sister, Regina, and her family and his Dad, Ray were able to come. Regina commented that it was so weird to hold Trouble, because it was like holding a baby Travis.
So we were gone for almost 3 weeks. But I remember needing the break and loved seeing the family despite the circumstances.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Mom's Night at Pre-school

Trouble did not have school today because tonight he and I went to Mothers Day at his pre-school.
The teachers had 3 craft projects set out along with play dough, the sand table, snack and all the other toys the kids play with before school starts.

First Trouble painted a gourd purple and we glued on blue squiggly eyes. He wanted a mouth, so we asked for some yarn. The teacher brought out some orange yarn. We later noticed that more than just us used the yarn.

Next Trouble used a technique called marble painting to paint his maple leaf. He put his paper leaf in a box, dabbed on different colors of paint, then put large marbles in the box. As he shifted the box the marbles made patterns in the paint. To finish it off he added a touch of glitter.

We played play dough while we waited to do the candy corn magnet. For this craft I traced around the templates onto foam and Trouble cut out the pieces, glued everything thing together, and added a magnet and eyes.

Next we had snack with our friends, Laura and her daughter Elizabeth, and played cars. I meet Trouble's friend, Brooklyn. She is a very nice girl that he likes to play with. Although, I found out that they like to hide by the little kitchen during clean-up time!! They don't make a sound so they won't be caught!!

The teacher rang her bell signaling clean-up time. We then we gathered around for rug time. For rug time they sing all kinds of songs, do the Pledge of Alliance, read a bible story, sing more songs and read other stories. That was the end of Mom's Night at Pre-school.

I have been impressed with the teachers at this school, there are two for his class of 20. They are organized, patient, creative, and full of love for the kids. On day one they told us that the kids will have so much fun that they won't even know they are learning. I felt that was important. They will have many years spent sitting behind a desk, so why start now! Why not have fun and play and just be kids.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Trunks of Treats

Saturday night we went to Trunks of Treats at Heartland of Beavercreek Nursing home. It was free for the kids to Trunk or Treat out of Corvette trunks, bounce in a pirate bouncy house, play games, and have treats. We trunk or treated first. They played two games: Duck pond and Ball toss. Got our picture taken, then they bounced around. We were only there for 45 mins, but they had fun. It was simple and not crowded. It was a bit cool, but we have plenty of cold weather gear.
I'm enjoying hot chocolate while the two older kiddos bounce around. See Oscar the Grouch behind me?Travis's dream is to build a 1968 black Stingray Corvette with Trouble while he's in High School. The goal is to have it finished his senior year so he can use it take his date to prom. While we were at the Trunks of Treats Travis told Trouble, "When you're in High School we'll build a car like this" referring to the Corvettes. Trouble said, "How about Preschool?" Guess he couldn't wait to get started!The kids went earlier in the day to a junk yard with Travis to find a part for his car. They got to see all the 'dead' cars, ride in a truck and get dirty. He saved over $100 on the part! Travis spend the rest of the day playing games with the kids and doing homework. The kids and I made our bi-weekly visit to Petsmart to get crickets. Then went to this event. We did stop by Goodwill on our way home. Travis can't resist a good deal. We came home with 2 games and books to add to our never ending collections!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Ward Halloween Party

We went to our fabulous ward Halloween party on Friday night. They kids were ultra excited. We've been compiling their costumes all week so they were excited to get them on.
Backpack as a lion. This is the same costume Trouble wore when he was 11 months. Our Goodwill $1 find!! He was practicing his roar. Couldn't you just eat this kid up!?!
Trouble went as a Monster Truck. He's loved Monster Trucks ever since we went to the that Rally. I saw this in a catalog for $50! So we saved a little money and made our own. He named it "The Blue Squid". We unsuccessfully tried to talk him into calling it Blue Cyclone (the name of Travis' old 1972 Chevy Malibu Station wagon....which would be more along the lines of the type of cars the Monster Trucks jump over).

Complete with flashing tail lights!
Dynomite went as a Fairy Princess. Last year's costume but with wings and wand. She has another princess dress that she'll wear next week. This one is from Yaya, the other from Grammy. What can we say, she's the first granddaughter on both sides!!

Our ward party was great! First they did a costume show. Cathy had all the kids say their name and what they were for Halloween
There were some very clever costumes. One guy was a 'baker' and his wife wore a shirt that had a 'bun in the oven', she's preggo! The tooth fairy was there giving out toothbrushes.

After the costume show we got to go to two different fun houses. One was scary for the older group and one was fun for the youngster. Then everyone migrated outside for Trunk or Treat.
When that wrapped up we went inside for the winners of the costume show.
'The Romans' were present! Or the official God and Goddess of our ward.
A picture of one of our favorite families:
I guess I didn't get a picture of our other favorite family, but they should know who they are :-)
Best adult costume goes to this bum: (Minot is in the area where he will be serving his mission, so look out for bums with a name tag and tie!!)
Cutest kids costume winner:
Honestly, this kid should get an award for the best impression. We asked him if his mom told him to pose like that...he said no! I just had to get a picture!!

We had a great time and we...okay the kids....got tons of candy. But that hasn't stopped us from digging through it!

HaPPy HaLLowEEn, EvEryOnE!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Majestic Amazing Maze

On Saturday we held true to our promise to the kiddos to take them to a farm for pumpkins and a corn maze. We chose to go to Majestic Nursery & Gardens.They used GPS mapping to make this picture into their corn field:

Here we are starting our little adventure. Dynomite is in starting formation to put her hands on her hips to protest walking! We first followed the outline of the picture to get to an observation deck in the top right-hand corner of the maze.
The view from the deck:
We were grateful for a beautiful day. It was a bit chilly because a slight wind was blowing, but once we entered the maze the corn kept us at a comfortable temperature.
Throughout the maze was hidden 5 scarecrows. You needed to return to the start with a paper from each scarecrow to get a prize. We didn't want to bother with this 'treasure hunt' until we found scarecrow numbers 1,2, and 3. Then Travis' determination kicked in and we were on a mission to find 5 and 6.
Scarecrow#1 was easy to find:
As was #2:
#3 caught us by surprise:
#4 took some searching:
#5 was well hidden:Can you see #5 now? Mostly I liked Trouble's look of "Are we done yet?!?"
Jokes were written on each paper! Trouble loves jokes so this was exciting for him. He's even taken to memorize a few.
Dynomite's favorite thing was there too....MUD!!Our big prize was...mini pumpkins! or funny looking gourds:

Backpack wondering what this thing is:
He's still not sure, even with an explination from Dad:
We let the kids play for a bit. We thought the wood structures were neat. Backpack had a blast going down the slide. We thought Trouble would be all over this but we was focused on the bikes.
Backpack was really excited to pet a goat.

Giving Daddy kisses:

Another great adventure had by the Tubbs Family. Thank you Ohio for giving us Fall!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

About Us!

We are a crazy family of six. We love to be outdoors, travel and go on wild adventures. This is a glimpse into the life that we lead. We treat this blog as our family scrapbook.

For security reasons we have given each of our children a blog name: Trouble, Dynomite, Backpack and Aussie. While we love and encourage comments, we ask that you use their alias when referring to them. We also try to leave out other people's last names, children's names, and home locations as a sign of respect to them.

He is a man of many talents! This man cannot sit still for 2 seconds. He is the mastermind behind all our adventures, whether he is present or not. He loves to tell a good story, so that often dictates our lives. Travis is a hard worker but loves to play. He expects much from his family but is also compassionate and understanding. Many people can vouch that he is the luckiest guy around! Travis loves the outdoors, making people smile, and Calvin and Hobbes.

She's a stay at home mom and homeschools. She finds great joy in that, but also knows the strain. She's a lifetime member of Girl Scouts because she believes in the program that gives girls the confidence that they need to survive the real world. She finds never ending support in church from her other 'sisters' and in MOPS. She loves carbs, google, books and her husband.


This boy is incredible! He makes us laugh with his antics. He is this 16 year old lost in a 7 year old body. His blog name is from Kelly. When he was a baby Kelly called him Trouble and it stuck. He loves school! When Travis blessed him as a baby he said that Trouble would be a good friend to everybody. That is very true. He loves knock-knock jokes, his stuffed turtle named 'Snot-nose', and playing games.

She is a true princess. She has this very unique beauty that we just cannot get enough of. She almost has a double personality, she comes off sweet, charming, and delicate but can be fiercely independent,demanding, and rough. This was first evident when she started talking. Sometimes she would say 'Mama' all high pitched and cute or she'd say 'Mama' low pitched and gravelly sounding. Her initials are TNT, so her blog name is Dynomite (spelled wrong on purpose) She loves climbing, to dance, and mud.

From the first day we met him, we had no idea what to do with this boy! He is our bi-polar baby (not really)! He is either really happy or screaming. When he smiles he lights up the whole room and you forget that 10 seconds ago you were pulling out your hair. He loves his mommy! The other two love Daddy, but this one is a mama's boy! Trouble called him Backpack while he was in the womb, because he liked Dora the Explorer and we didn't know if he was a boy or girl. So now it is his blog name. Backpack loves to play, water, and being outside.


Aussie has been a blessing to us. A fun loving, happy, little fellow. He is just one the gang as he tries to outrun his older siblings, get tackled often, and gets up for some more. He loves to mimic the rest of the gang from laughing to pouting. How did he get his blog name?? Lets just say that approximately 9 months before he was born, were we taking a 2nd honeymoon to Australia! He is our kid from the 'down under'. Aussie loves to laugh, wiggle his tongue, and give hugs!


Luckily we have been blessed with very smart children. They love books to read, to look at, and to eat! We are constantly blown away by what they do and accomplish everyday. They truly are a joy to have them in our lives. We are not the most patient parents, but we try to be. We do believe in living everyday to its fullest. Maybe to the extent of being crazy!!
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