Friday, April 24, 2009

Times are changing....

Tonight at dinner we were asking Isaac about the games he plays at recess. Lately, he's been playing a war game they call "Attack" where there are two opposing teams at war with one another and they have their own towers, etc. He told us that his teacher said they couldn't play it anymore, to which we agreed was a good idea.

Eric: "It's probably better that you don't fight at recess anyway."

Isaac: "Oh, we don't fight. We're not allowed to touch each other. If anyone touches someone during recess, the whole class has to go in."

Eric: "Wow, that's a pretty strict rule. So much for tag."

Isaac: (very brightly) "We play 'shadow' tag!"

It struck us funny and led us into a discussion of how times are changing. I can't think of a game I ever played at recess (besides making mud pies) that we didn't touch. Also, Eric tried to pick up a picture of Ashlyn at Wal-Mart today and they wouldn't let him because his name wasn't on the order. The guy knew who I was, quickly associated Eric with me, knew exactly what picture it was and what it was for, had my phone number to verify our marital bliss AND had a family picture of us all smiling together in the same file, but still wouldn't give it to him in case he was a pedofile. Eric wasn't too happy since he made a special trip there to get it and then I had to make another special trip to pick it up. The things you have to worry about! On the upside - the guy was very nice about it! :)

Some time changes are great, though. I'm LOVING having Eric home! He deserves this vacation after surviving four years of med school (Have I mentioned how PROUD I am of him?). I just hope that he can survive us these next two months!

Monday, April 13, 2009

More of March

I thought I would post a few of our other happenings in March, although Match Day and our cruise felt like it took the whole month!

St. Patrick's Day

For St. Patrick's Day, the boys were ready for any mischevious leprechauns that might happen through our house. To any outsider, the below picture may appear to be a pile of boxes, but to those of us in the know, it looks like the intricate network of tunnels and tripwires that it is. They worked hard and steady on their leprechaun traps and even set up Tureko to keep an eye on them so that the leprechauns couldn't disappear. They didn't catch one, but the leprechaun left them a candy and some money, but when they insisted on setting the trap again, he decided to reek a little havoc. We came home to find the house turned upside down. Cushions, chairs, and shoes were everywhere! The boys thought that the roll of toilet paper left on the couch was the funniest. We didn't tell them that Dad had left it there because he had a cold and we were out of Kleenex.

We had a nice green dinner, plus hot dogs, to finish off the day.

Mother Neff State Park

I've been wanting to take the boys to Mother Neff State Park for a good year now. It's the first state park in Texas and a friend told me how much fun they had fishing there, with almost a fish a cast. True to Chapman form, fishing wasn't very productive, but the boys had fun. They both learned how to cast themselves, which makes everything better, even if it is a bit more dangerous! We found out later that we were at the wrong fishing spot. Oh well.
Isaac is never too busy to smile for the camera.

Carter, on the other hand, has to be persuaded.

Just a minute....

Almost there....

Are you happy now, Mom?

We also had fun hiking around and playing in the creek and a really cool natural pool that we found. It was still a little to chilly for me, but the kids didn't seem to care.

Ashlyn was entertaining herself in the van while the guys were fishing. She's a monkey!


We've had a great time with soccer this season. We finally got a picture of Isaac, but this is all you'll see because we miss too much of the game trying to take pictures! Isaac is doing better and better, but his team gets creamed every time. They seem to be more in competition with each other than in competition with the other team. At practice, their coach was tired of their arguing (I'm faster, better, etc.) and came over to where they were waiting in line and yelled "Do you all just want to run the rest of practice?" Isaac, of course, got all excited and yelled "Yes!" Not exactly the desired reaction, but the coach assured them all that if they ran, they wouldn't like it. If we get the house that we put our offer in on, Isaac's elementary school has a cross country team starting in the second grade that he will love.

Carter is still hanging in their as well. He prefers to follow the pack around instead of getting in on the action, but at least he's enjoying himself. Besides, Isaac already effectively taught him that it's all about the trophy.
Girlie Girl

Ashlyn is turning more and more into a little Diva. Her life consists of bows, bracelets, babies, and PINK, PINK, PINK! She found all of her baby headbands the other day and this is how beautiful she looked when I found her. Eric let her pick out her own clothes yesterday and she wore a pink shirt with pink pants, pink bows, and pink shoes. Girls are great!

St. Patrick's Day Fun Run
I got to run another 5K this month. I trained for it pretty consistently since the last one and had a goal of taking two minutes off of my time. The morning was freezing and windy, but that seems to be the luck. The weekend before was beautiful and mid-70s. My family hadn't been able to make it to any of my other races, so I was excited that they got to come and support me. When the race started, Eric and the kids hadn't made it yet. I was a little disappointed, but I understood. About three fourths of the race through, there they were on the side of the road waving and cheering me on. It was hard to smile, because I was feeling so choked up. Isn't it funny what little things can mean to us? After I passed, they jumped in the van and drove up to another corner and got out to cheer again. Then they jumped back in and made it to the finish line. The other runners enjoyed them as much as I did. I had a good race and reached my goal. Hooray! I had to laugh when I watched this video. Something about a turtle goes through my mind. But boy, we were all giving it everything we had!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Remembering what it's all about...

The Hunt

After a nice, relaxing, wonderful cruise, we hit life full speed as we headed to AZ to begin looking for our new home. We got to Thatcher at about 5:30am and took the day to wash clothes, rest, research more, etc. and then went to Tucson early Tuesday morning. Our Realtors tried to warn us that there wasn't a lot available in our price range, but we had high hopes and were ready to find our house of dreams. We had the kids with us the first day and they were fantastic. It was funny seeing what was "important" in their little lives. One yard had a basketball hoop, another house had stairs, one yard had a rock pile. Carter was sold by a mailbox one minute and a chimney for Santa the next. Isaac diligently kept a notebook itemizing what he liked best about each house. Unfortunately, our "dreams" were not exactly coming true. We spent a couple of disappointing days looking at one house after another. We'd find one that we liked and then our realtor would call and it would be sold. Commute, size, price, school districts, weren't even close to matching up. We finally put an offer in on a house in West Tucson. We're actually pretty excited about it and hope that it works out. It's a short sale, so we won't know if our offer is accepted for 2-6 weeks - being optimistic. We feel like we did all that we could do and so now we just wait. We keep looking up listings, but nothing better has presented itself. It is only a 10 min drive to work for Eric and the schools are decent (not what I had hoped, but will do). We love the neighborhood. It's up on a hill and has gorgeous views of the mountains all around us. It's severely lacking in back yard space which is a big bummer and it is also severely lacking in appliances, light fixtures, thermostats, kitchen faucets, etc. The boys haven't seen it yet, but I think they will love it and I think that we'll be really happy there. I'd post pictures, but our camera decided to quit somewhere between Texas and Arizona. The mls # is 20901732 if anyone feels like looking it up. Exciting times!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Cruisin' in the Carribbean

After Match Day, Eric and I decided that we needed to do some serious celebrating. That Sunday we headed to Galveston to jump on a ship and leave our worries behind for 7 days. It didn't take us long to miss our "worries", but we knew they were in good hands! Eric and I have been planning our cruise for at least the last 7 years. Something always comes up and we've never gone, but we were not to be deterred this time. Life was not going to pass us by! After a few days at sea we realized that "life" was back home with our little monkeys. I was grateful for a new perspective and the cruise was a perfect refresher to send me back into the wonderful world of motherhood.

Cruise ships really are incredible. I still didn't know my way around by the end of the trip, much to Eric's dismay. How are you supposed to know direction when the walls are rocking all around you? However, it didn't take long for me to learn where the food was. No cooking or cleaning up meals for a whole week was pure bliss!

Here we are at dinner for one of the formal nights. We had our table to ourselves most of the nights, which we learned was a tender mercy of the Lord! At first we were disappointed for the lack of company, but the one night our table mates came left us full of gratitude! They were nice, but one of the ladies was a bit of a downer and they kept our beloved waiters hopping! We had another reality check as we got to know our waiters better. Asyis and Adi were both from Indonesia and were working on the cruise ship because they couldn't find work anywhere else. They work seven days a week for six months straight. Asyis has a wife and baby girl back home and Adi has a fiance that he left behind. As we talked to them, we could tell how much they missed their loved ones, and felt almost ashamed that they were waiting on us hand and foot for their livelihood, away from their families, while we vacationed away from our families because we didn't want to bother with them, without a care in the world. It sure made us grateful for the wonderful life that we have been blessed with. Side note: We were also feeling really blessed as we drove into Galveston and saw all of the destruction from the last hurricane. Favorite places we used to walk were no more and the apartment complex we lived in was half shut down, including our old apartment. Faithful friends had lost their homes and employment and were telling us how much we deserved this vacation. Humbling!

We had a running joke with the towel animals. I won't bore you with the details - just the pictures!

The three ports of call were definitely our favorite days. We'd wake up, spend the day on an island, come back, shower, go to a nice dinner, and enjoy the night show. We didn't get a whole lot of pictures, but it was probably for the best. I realized when I was flipping through them that we're not the most creative picture takers!
Our first stop was Montego Bay, Jamaica. This island, by far, had the most culture. We caught a bus with another group of people and went to a private beach after walking the streets for a little while. I had my first drug offer, but don't worry - I didn't accept! :)

The only beaches I'm very familiar with are the ones is Galveston. BIG difference! The water is so beautiful in the Carribbean and the soft, white,warm sand was next to heaven. A little girl found this starfish at about 3 ft deep.

The sunset was beautiful as we were leaving. I loved the Jamaican landscape and Eric loved that I said "Jamaican me crazy!" for the whole rest of our trip!:)

Handsomest man in the world!

Our next stop was in Georgetown, Grand Cayman Island. We had to tender on little boats at this stop. Here's our cruise ship behind us!

We booked our own excursion here. We went to Stingray City and snorkeling at the reef on a large catamaran with a very small crowd. Much better than our cruise sponsored excursion in Cozumel!

Eric was loving being back on a sailboat. If I would let him, he'd buy a boat, and live in the Carribbean for the rest of his life.

Stingray city was really neat, but I have to admit that I was pretty nervous. I never did feed them, but I did touch them and let them push me around. They were huge and they weren't afraid to push and shove!

Here's our tour guide, Chip, showing off a good one.
Eric loved the snorkeling. The reef was amazing! I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I hadn't been freaking out. I had a hard time getting the hang of it and was more than happy to return to the boat and breathe freely through my nose! The best part for me was the nice, relaxing sail back to shore.

Our last stop was Cozumel, Mexico. We went on a Jeep excursion that took us snorkeling, to a Mayan ruin, to see crocodiles in the wild, and to a lighthouse. The excursion ended with an amazing Mexican Buffet. I think that Cozumel was my favorite stop. Since we were with a large group of people, everything was rushed, but I would love to go back and spend a week there sometime. Eric talked me into trying snorkeling again and this time I got it! It was a whole new experience and I loved it!

You can't tell, but I'm at the top of this lighthouse. The view was spectacular!

Eric got his paybacks by answering "Coz u smell" to everything after this stop!:)

We spent our last day at sea eating and relaxing and getting ready for the week ahead. We left Galveston, picked up the kids, and headed straight to AZ to start looking for a house. We had a GREAT vacation and are so thankful to mine and Eric's parents, who watched the kids so that we could go. They're the best!

More Match Day

March 19th - the day we had all been waiting for finally arrived. Phew!

Here is Eric with several of his classmates that he was good friends with, waiting for the festivities to begin.

FINALLY - he has the envelope in his hand! We still had to wait awhile until we could open it, though.

Tucson, here we come!

Jeremy and Kassie are headed to Provo for Family Medicine.

Santino and Polly are going to Phoenix for ENT.

David and Amanda are on their way to Phoenix, also, for Pediatrics.
Glenn and Claudia decided to have a baby that morning, so they aren't pictured, but they are going to Dallas for General Surgery.

Eric, Ian, and Kushal were the three in his class that matched in Orthopaedics.
We are so proud of all of our friends and their successes! We were blessed to be surrounded by wonderful people all along our journey. I got teary eyed as I was typing where everyone was going because we aren't going together. We have made lifelong friends that we will miss a great deal.

That night we all had babysitters and jumped on a bus to Austin for a dinner cruise on the lake, compliments of the med school. The food was great (even if they only had fruit for dessert!) and it was nice to relax with friends when all the stress was over. We didn't last long, though. Our group was all staring at each other and yawning by the end of it with a unanimous show of hands of who had kids up through the night. It was about 9:30. We're party animals!

Here is our "Meadowbend" group (minus Glenn and Claudia). We wouldn't have survived med school without them!