Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hit & Run

While I was in the kitchen peeling carrots this afternoon,
a hit and run occurred in our den

At first, the victim was in complete shock that some one
in a dump truck had driven over her legs
Soon the shock wore off and the pain
(or should I say anger) began to set in

The perpetrator's conscious must haven gotten to him, because he returned to the scene of the crime
to rescue his victim

In my personal opinion, I think the victim was targeted because she was wearing a BAMA shirt, doesn't she know that the Kentucky Wildcats and Auburn Tigers reign supreme
in the Sparks' household :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

January Photo Dump

I have several photos from this past month, but just haven't gotten around to blogging about them, so here's what we've been up to this month.

Luke had a great time crawling, rolling, swinging, balancing, jumping and eating at Ali's gymnastics birthday party,
go here to read all about the party

We've had some adventures in babysitting
over the last couple of weeks.

Radford, who's 18 months old, came to play with us first,
this is what we learned about him :

The boy loves to eat, he ate three times what Luke did!
He is fearless on the slide
If he is bullied (which happened several times that day),
he will get you back!
He apparently thinks we aren't feeding Aubrey enough
If he's around someone planning an escape,
he will act like he has no idea what's going on

Julia, who's 5 months old, came to play last week

It was really neat to see her and Aubrey "interacting",
all they really did was grab at each other
If you look closely, you can see Aubrey's hair sticking straight up on the top of her head, it kinda looks like a mohawk :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Cold Hippos in the Fireplace

I was just catching up on some blog reading, while Luke was sitting on the fireplace playing with his cars.

Suddenly Luke gets up, walks over to me,
and begins this conversation:

Luke, in a soft voice: "Shhh! Hippo's fweeping (sleeping)."

Me: "Hippo? Where is the Hippo?"

Luke: "In fireplace"

Me: "We have a Hippo in our fireplace?"

Luke: "Yes!", "Shh!, weeper(whisper), hippo's fweeping!"

Luke goes back to the fireplace for a minute and then returns.

Luke: "Hippo's cold!"

Me: "The hippo is cold?", "Where should he go if he's cold?"

Luke: "To the see his friends"

Apparently we have hippos sleeping in our fireplace, and I guess they're a bit cold because we have never actually built a fire in the fireplace.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

7 Months

Aubrey is 7 months old!

New Milestones:
  • Sitting up all by herself
  • LOVES fruits & veggies (homemade)
  • HATES rice cereal
  • Holding her own bottle
  • Mode of transportation is rolling
  • Says "dada" all the time
  • Laughing a lot more, especially at Daddy
  • Working on weaning from the paci
  • Her hair is starting to grow just on the top of her head & it sticks straight up :)
Daddy's assistant
Disclaimer: That is most certainly NOT our Christmas tree topper in the background of this picture, I never leave random Christmas decorations lying around the house because I missed them when I was packing up the rest of the decorations.

Aubrey wearing one of my baby dresses,
this was the first dress that my mom cross-stitched
Her new face, most of the time both eyes are squinting

Friday, January 22, 2010

12,000 Gallons of Water & An Adventure

I don't know about you guys, but after opening our most recent gas bill and nearly fainting, we were hoping that our other bills would be as close as possible to the normal range.

Our hopes were dashed as I opened our water bill and saw that it was quadruple what it was last month!

I scan through the bill and somehow we managed to use 12,000 more gallons of water than we did last month!

I immediately think that there is something wrong with our water meter, so I call the water company.

After a couple of calls and several minutes of waiting, the customer service agent picks up and first asks me if we had extra guests staying with us over the holidays and when I said no, she asks if I'm sure...well yes, I think I would know if we had people staying at our house!

Even if we did, I don't think a few guests would use an extra 12,000 gallons of water!

Next, she's tells me that they just replaced our water meter at the beginning of December, so there's NO way that the meter is wrong.

Then she proceeds to tell me that we need to put food coloring in each of our "commodes" then flush them because there's probably something wrong with the flappers in the toilet.

At this point I was getting pretty frustrated, so I give the phone to Ryan and he tells her than all of our toilets were replaced when we moved in a few months ago, so it's highly unlikely that our flappers are bad.

Ryan finally (and very nicely) asks for her manager
to call us back.

We never got a call back, but late Thursday morning some one from the water company shows up and rings the doorbell not one, but FOUR times in a row (needless to say he woke Aubrey up).

He takes one look at our water meter and says,
"Yup, you have a leak".

The meter was apparently spinning like crazy and we had no water running in the house, which also means that the leak is outside somewhere around the pipes and the
water company won't fix it.

At this point Ryan decides we need to turn off our water, so we aren't constantly being charged for the leak.

You never realize how convenient indoor plumbing is, until it's taken away or in our instance, turned off.

Ryan calls several plumbers trying to find one that can come out immediately and won't charge an arm and a leg to just see where the leak is.

Around 5:00 last night the plumber arrives and tells us that he thinks a pipe may have burst, but he can't tell exactly where the leak is, because the ground is wet from the recent rain, so he has to come back after we've had a few dry days.

The plumber also tells us that the water pipes are always placed in the most direct route to the house, which for us means under our driveway and
our concrete stairs & walkway.

While we still don't know exactly where the leak is, it's quite possible that either our driveway or stairs & walkway will have to be torn up to find and fix the leak.

After all the bad news of the day, we were really trying to keep a positive attitude, but it was getting
difficult to keep a smiling.

Thankfully, Thursday nights is when our small group meets and we can always find encouragement from our friends.

Shortly after we arrive, I was telling one of our friends the short version of what happened, she listens, says several times that she's so sorry and then she says,
"well it's just another adventure!".

I nodded and said, "yeah, you're right", and almost dismissed it, but then I really started thinking about what she said.

This particular friend has told us several stories about how she grew up with very little material things, and when times seemed to get hard her mother would always tell her and her siblings that they were on an adventure and try to make whatever they were going through fun.

It's all about your attitude and where you find your peace. If your peace comes from Christ then you can find joy in any circumstance that comes your way.

You have to train yourself to have a joyful attitude in all circumstances, and not to get down when things don't go according to your plans.

I fell asleep last night with this mindset and prayed that I would face tomorrow with a joyful attitude.

This morning when we turned the water back on for an hour.

In that hour we both had to take showers; I had to rinse dirty dishes, empty, reload and run the dishwasher; wash & boil the chicken for our casserole tonight; and fill our water pitchers and several bowls full of water for use
throughout the day.

While we were running around like crazy trying to complete all these tasks I started adventure...
that's exactly what this is!

I was actually having fun scrambling to get everything done before we had to turn the water back off.

I'll keep you updated on our adventure as
new developments come in!

P.S. Did I mention that I decided to start potty training Luke this week, YESTERDAY to be exact.

We didn't quite get off to the start I was hoping for, but Luke has sat on the potty many times in the past two days.

Nothing has happened yet, but he does seem to think it's fun to sit and the potty (that might have something to do with the M & M's bribe).
You didn't think I would actually have a post
WITHOUT a picture, did you?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

After dinner last night, Ryan and I stayed at the table to talk, while the kids were in the den playing.

When we returned to the den, this is what we found

Guess the couch is more comfortable without the cushions

What was the little miss doing, while the couch
was being torn apart?

Minding her own sweet business!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Artistic, I am not

I have no artistic abilities what-so-ever, I can't draw, paint, decorate, and even my handwriting is pretty pitiful!

I actually thought my lack of artistic abilities was a hereditary thing, because everyone in my immediate family seemed to be plagued with the same artistic illness...until my sister, Kathleen, got to college and started designing these adorable canvas paintings for herself and her friends.

I always knew that Kathleen had the best handwriting in the family, she did, however, want to be an elementary school teacher and for some unknown reason they ALL seem to have very elegant (or at least pretty) handwriting.

In the past Kathleen has just painted these signs for herself and as gifts for family and friends, but she started teaching this year and as many of you may know, teachers don't exactly strike in rich in their first few years...or ever for that matter.

So, she's decided to start selling her paintings to try to bring in some extra income.

Here's some examples of her canvas paintings:

She can paint anything on a sign from Bible verses to favorite quotes to names.

See these two posts on Kathleen's blog for more ideas.

You can pick the size canvas and any colors you want.

Kathleen also painted the letters that hang
in Aubrey's nursery

I had several toddlers to get Christmas presents for this year, so I bought some art supplies and put them in a plastic container, then Kathleen painted the kid's name on each of the containers. Wish I had some pictures of the gifts because they were super cute!

So, if you're ever in need for a unique gift or decoration for your own home, head on over to Kathleen's blog,
facebook page, or e-mail her at kealfano(at)gmail(dot)com.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Cool Toy Giveaway

My friend, Rachel, has an awesome giveaway
going on right now!

She's offering a $70 toy and game giveaway from

Head on over to her blog and check it out!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Calling Daddy

Going for a ride in big brother's truck

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

National De-Lurking Day

Before I started my own blog, I was a big time blog stalker.

I read several blogs and really enjoyed them, but never commented on a single post, I just never saw the need for it; until I met my friend, Rachel, who, through some of her own blog posts, encouraged me that commenting was not only an important, but a vital part of blogging and blog reading.

Everyone needs a little encouragement every once in a while, and you never know how much your little comment
can mean to the blogger.

Not to mention, you really can make new friends from reading and commenting on blogs, I sure have!

There's no better time than today, to start commenting, because January 10th-12th are officially
National Delurking Days.

Definition of Lurk, according to Urban Dictionary:

Lurk - To read without commenting or contributing, therefore effectively invisible to the rest of the group or community.

So, if there are any "invisible" readers out there,
it's time to de-lurk!

Leave me a comment and let me know who you are. Also, if you have your own blog, leave the web address,
I would love to read your blog!

Credit: The main idea of this blog post came from this post by Rachel.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Luke's Birthday Festivities

We kicked off Luke's Birthday festivities Saturday night
with a small family party.

One of Luke's favorite morning rituals in sitting in his chair, drinking milk and watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, so we decided to have his party centered around Mickey Mouse.

Birthday boy in his Mickey hoodie

Luke was beyond excited to have so many people he loves there to celebrate with him
My attempt at a Mickey cake, didn't turn out too terrible...
all that mattered was that Luke was able
to tell that it was Mickey

Luke wasn't quite sure about everyone
singing Happy Birthday to him

But he really got into the clapping after the song
He had a little trouble figuring out
how to blow out the candles

I think all that was coming out of his mouth was spit...
don't worry no one ate the contaminated Mickey ears
After many unsuccessful attempts to blow out the candles, Ryan and I decided that we should have had him practice blowing beforehand...there are so many things that you just assume your toddler knows how to do.

No practicing was necessary for unwrapping the presents, he's become a pro at that
Luke was thrilled to get Mack (from the Cars movie)

Aubrey wasn't quite sure what was going on, but I know she wanted to wish her big brother a very Happy Birthday

Luke's actual birthday was Monday and since it was FREEZING we couldn't do anything outside, so we loaded up and headed to the mall to ride the carousel, eat some Chick-fil-a,
and play on the hot dog truck.

While we were waiting for Aunt Kat and Ty to meet us,
I was playing around with the settings on my camera,
trying to get some cool shots of the kids

After some yummy Chick-fil-a (I will never get tired
of that place!), we went to take a ride on
the Christmas-themed carousel

Apparently for the Christmas season they remove all the normal animals and replace them with reindeer.

I really tried to get Luke excited about riding a reindeer, because our first (and last) trip to the carousel was a disaster.

It was just a few weeks before Aubrey was born and my sister-in-law and niece were in town, so we thought it would be fun to take the kids to the mall to ride the carousel.

Luke was beyond terrified of the entire carousel,
I tried to sit him on several different animals,
but he kept whining "nooo" and clung to me.

I even tried to get him to sit in my lap on one of the bench seats on the carousel, but he started to cry, so we just watched and waved to a beaming Parker
as she rode around and around.

Back to Monday, we get on the carousel and as soon as I place him on a reindeer he starts to whine and say he wanted off, but I was determined that he was going to enjoy the carousel this time, so I suggested to him that he wear the seat belt and assured him that I would hold onto him.

As you can see from the picture,
he wasn't completely thrilled to begin with
The riding part was ok, but he really got into waving to Ty who was sitting at the table watching Aubrey

Next, it was on to his favorite thing to do at the mall...
ride the Hot Dog Truck
He drove for a bit,
and then went to the back to take our orders
Two fries, three hot dogs, and two cokes, Comin' Up
Hot dogs, for me?!?
Yes, she REALLY does get that excited about food,
but No, we did not feed her any hot dogs

We had a wonderful time celebrating Luke turning 2!

Here's to the TERRIFIC TWOS! :)