Saturday, December 14, 2013

Christmas 2013



Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy New Year!  You name it I’m happy about it! This year has been 12 months long, with lots of days in between. The year started in January, and I can’t remember anything until May.  I don’t know what happened in those months, maybe I was abducted by aliens, or maybe I’m just getting old. I don’t remember!

Nick as the Grinch at his work Christmas Party

Nick is still in new home sales.  He’s been with the same company for almost 3 years. I remember this only because we’ve been to two Christmas party’s where he’s dressed up like a Christmas Character and we just went to our third.  The first year we were invited to the Christmas party the invitation said “come dressed in Holiday attire.”  Nick took that to mean dress up as an elf with pointy ears and pointy shoes.  The next year he dressed as Jack Frost with silver hair and more pointy ears.  This year he’s going as the Grinch, green face and all (and of course pointy ears).  I can’t wait to be embarrassed for the third year in a row. Other than his holiday non-sense, he’s doing great!  He’s awesome at new home sales, he really has found his nitch at Dunghill….oops I mean Dunhill. Dunhill is continuing to provide all kinds of excitement! Why, it’s almost been like one of those horror movies from the 1950’s! WILL Dunhill close a house on time?  Will we be grey-whiskered and wrinkled before we are able to enjoy the fruits of Nick's labor? WHEN will Dunhill’s all-male company finally replace the toilet paper roll in the restroom?

I'm a crazy lunatic!

I (Taren) am as crazy as ever! I’m still homeschooling the girls, volunteering in MOPS, being that crazy ballet mom who is always carpooling ballerinas and sewing Nutcracker costumes, AND working a part-time job at home.   I also couldn’t be more lacking in personal hygiene, increasingly socially impaired, addicted to sloppy yoga pants, and embarrassed by the growing butt-shaped, laptop-warmed dent in the couch, but YAY for working from home! (The best part is how there are NO vacation days!)

Kamri doesn't really wear glasses

Kamri is 9 and in fourth grade.  Along with her studies at home she’s also been in ballet.  This is her fourth year in ballet.  Even though she says she hates it, she really loves it.  She was in the ballet Swan Lake and in the Nutcracker.  She is also considering pursing an Art degree.  Well she should after the stunt she pulled on her little sister this year.  We woke up one morning to find Avery covered in red dots all over her body (except her legs), her feet, booty, ears, underarms and everywhere else were covered in red dots.  She fooled many people with the pictures I posted on Facebook, however she didn't full mom and dad.

Kamri's artwork on Avery

Evie "playing" soccer

Evie learned to play soccer this year and immediately showed a talent for wandering off the field in the middle of the game. She’s an excellent shot, sadly it was for the other team.  She also has a nack for fashion design, she loves combining her own outfits.  Like just today (in 33 degree weather) she was wearing cut off jean shorts, long sleeve teal shirt, pink tights and ugg boots. Evie’s best look: Shirt inside out & pants zipper down. It's good for emergencies, I guess.
Avery 

Avery is very much a big girl now, albeit a big girl who remains deathly afraid of dark bathrooms. She's five and in preschool two days a week at church and the rest of the week with us at home.  She has learned to write her name, and she defies the law of averages by writing her name backwards 75 percent of the time. 
Max and his artwork
Some of Max’s favorite activities are quite typical for a boy his age and include suddenly laying down in the middle of the aisle at Kroger for no apparent reason, insisting on playing on all the playground equipment within sight, and telling me to “go” when the car is stopped at every red light. Also, he's quite and artist, as you can see by the picture.  He's still our little colored boy.   Lately, Max has been working diligently to conquer potty training. He has done fairly well training me when he’s crapped in his diaper and when his pants are sopping wet, to change him. Max is usually most interested in going potty when it is time to leave the house. We are encouraged by his progress, but aren't holding our breath in hopes of being diaper free next year!


As you can see, our family is as crazy as ever. We look forward to the holiday season and impending New Year with brimming excitement. Each day we count our blessings and are happy fantastic voyage continues unabated. Please feel welcome to stop by for a spell any time and join in our voyage. We'd love to catch up! In the mean time, drop us a line or give us a call, if you get the chance.
From our family to yours,

Nick, Taren, Kamri, Evie, Avery & Max

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas 2012


Dear Friends and family,

Yes, Yes everyone wants to know what exciting things the Walters have been up to this year.  So here you have it, the exclusive interview you've all been anxiously waiting for.

Since it is the Holiday season, it seems fitting to mention that we have not been invited to a single Holiday party this year.  We only mention this to make you all feel guilty in case you had a Holiday party and failed to invite us. We've been free every weekend in December, we did get invited to a New Years Eve party, but that was our own, so that really doesn't count. 

I said we were free every weekend, but that really is a lie.  The first weekend in December we weren't free.  We spent way too much money, making sure our daughters got their 3 and ½ seconds of fame.   What I really mean is, Kamri and Evie were privileged enough to get to be in the Nutcracker Ballet again this year.  Kamri was in the Party scene as one of Clara’s friend’s and as a toy soldier.  Evie was a cute little mouse (who did not die) and a beautiful Seraph, who did more than just sit with her hands folded on stage.  She was adamant that she would not just sit there as an angel, this year, because last year as a cherub they had to do most of their “dancing” in the sitting position.
Kamri is the one in purple



Notice she's NOT sitting


Oh, and there was one more weekend we weren't free, that was the weekend where we went to Nick’s work Christmas party.  Not nearly as horrible as last year, but still quite embarrassing.  He insists on dressing in Holiday attire, which to him means dressing up as Jack Frost. I should just be glad that he’s still with the same company after last year’s Christmas debacle.  Heck I should just be glad he’s still with the same company because normally he only last about 2 months at a job.

We've enrolled the girls in an exclusive private girls academy. Kamri goes Monday’s and Wednesday’s and Evie goes Tuesday’s and Thursday’s.  Friday’s they stay home so we can wash the uniform.  Just kidding, the girls are home-schooled and stay in their pj’s all day. Kamri is eight and in third grade, Evie is 6 and in 1st grade.  Being home-schooled keeps me on my Prozac, I mean toes.  They are both in Ballet, as I mentioned before and they are both in Girl Scouts too.  


Avery has accomplished a lot this year.  She was potty trained, then unpotty trained and then potty trained again, followed by once again being unpotty trained.  She loves doing things over and over until they reach perfection.  We all hope this is her last attempt at potty training. She loves her job as big sister to Max.  She loves to play with him.  Just the other day I came into the room and heard Nick say “Avery, please don’t sit on Max’s head.”

Max is the smartest 20 month old you ever met.  He can say about 500 words, six of which are English. The others are part Mandarin, part Arabic and part of a lost civilization that communicated in shrieks, grunts and drools. He’s also quite good at drawing.  He loves to find markers, then draw all over himself, dubbing himself our “colored child”.


We took a family trip to the Disney World and the Ocean this year.  Avery’s favorite ride was the potty.  I think we stood in line for the potty almost as long as we did at Space Mountain. No I think it was longer.  

This was ride #1 of about 90



Max loved the beach almost as much as a cat loves a bath.  You would think we were torturing him, by letting him play in the sand. Kamri & Evie were pretty much fish, even the baby shark we saw didn't scare them out of the water.



My life has been full this year with homeschooling the girls and running 26 miles a day. I have little time for my Latin crossword puzzles.  After being hit by a truck this year, I decided to do something with my life.  Sadly I keep forgetting what it is, probably some of the brain damage I sustained from the accident.  I seem to be on the road to recovery and will…I forgot what I was talking about.

We've had another year, we survived two END OF THE WORLDS this year! Booya! We hope you survived the end of the world as well.  Until next year!



Love,
Taren, Nick, Kamri, Evie, Avery & Max Walters


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Mary Bailey Book Club

So this blog is inspired by a post I posted on Facebook several days ago about how the movie It's a Wonderful Life would have had a different outcome if it were about Mary Bailey mom of four, married to a middle income bipolar man, renovating a really old house. I told Nick that and he said I should write a musical about that. First off you shouldn't write musical's if you can't sing and second, I don't think I could come up with a WHOLE Broadway hit based on that one comment. BUT I can come up with a blog post and this is it. It came to me this morning on my morning jog (don't be impressed, I just started). Picture Mary Bailey sitting down with her book club after the events of the movie. This is where we start.

"So Mary, what was that whole thing with George last week." Cousin Tilly asks.

"Oh don't even get me started! I swear the man is crazy! He wakes up on top of the world because of Harry's medal of honor and meetin' the president and what not. Comes home down in the dumps about who knows what. Yelling at the kids. They didn't do anything, no one has any idea what's wrong with him.

"I swear the man thinks he's got it SO bad, he complains about never seeing the world. Talk about never seeing the world, at least he gets to go outside. I'm stuck at home with four kids. He complains that all he ever wanted to do was build houses. For crying out loud what is Bailey Park? Houses, that he built. While we live in this dump. Do you know how hard it is to replace these broken windows? That he broke mind you. It's not like I can go down to the nearest store and pick some out and come home. And I've been sanding these floors by hand for decade, I don't think he's even noticed. Not that it's done any good. Zuzu ruined them by continually peeing on them. It's like she's a dog. For crying out loud Zuzu use the bathroom, it's not like we have an outhouse. We do have indoor plumbing!

"You would think the man were deaf in both ears some days. Some times I go up behind his left ear and just whisper how much he drives me crazy. Or that Mother was right and I wished I would have married Sam Wainwright.

"Sometime I want to jab this in your eye" whispered in George's left ear
"Anyway, after freaking out that Zuzu had a cold. George just left the house. I had no idea where he was going. He's been crazy before, but this was scary. So I followed. Of course, he took the car, so I had to go on foot. Because we can't afford two cars and being he's the person who gets to be with adults all day, and I have to stay home with the kids and no car, I set on, on foot to try and find him. The only place I can think of that I go to when I'm upset is Martini's so I went there first. Nick said George was there, had one drink got into a fight and left. REALLY GEORGE! REALLY, one drink and you get into a fight? I mean, the man cannot hold his liquor! One drink! I go out and find the car crashed into a tree. You would think Nick spiked the drink or something. For crying out loud, when I'm at Martini's I can hold down at least 3 shots of tequila and 3 beers before Nick kicks me out. ANYWAY, the car is close to the bridge so I head on over to the bridge thinking maybe he jumped. Then Tom the tollhouse keeper yells at me not to "do it" I'm all like "Tom, you know me better than that, I'll always just look and never jump." and Tom says there was a fella here early that did jump and then there was this old man he saved from drowning. He went to go get the cops because he suspected that the fella was trying to comment suicide, but when he got back they both were gone.

"So now I'm thinking George must really think he's in trouble so I run and tell everyone who owes us from from that run on the bank debacle, figuring they owe us for us not being able to go on our honeymoon. By the time I get home there George is happy as can be again. I swear the man drives me crazy.

You're not going to believe what he says to me last night:
"Mary, Clarence saved my life."
"Clarence? Who's Clarence?"
"My guardian angel"
"George Bailey, I'm the one who saved you. I'm the one who ran around in the snow telling everyone you needed help. I'm the who saved you, no more of this crazy Clarence non-sense."
"I swear I should have him committed, but then I'd be left alone to deal with this craziness. So no way George Bailey, you're staying right here! Mother was right, I should have married Sam Wainwright, except all his "heehaw" drove me crazy. Nope I should have just been a spinster."

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Seeds of Friendship

When I was a kid I used to think my friends would be my best friends FOREVER!  I hear my girls say it all they time.  "She's my best friend, we'll be best friends forever."  As a kid I had no concept that there was no forever in friendships, that every friendship eventually dies.

As I got older I realized friends come and go.  For a while I harden myself to that fact.  "What's the point of making friend's if they're just going to leave soon?"  Then I moved to Amsterdam and I met Jeanette!  She was used to friends coming in and out of her life.  When you live on a YWAM base (Youth With A Mission) you get use to people coming and going every 2 years.  Even though she knew I wasn't going be there that long she committed everything to being my friend.  She was the first person to truly to teach me how to be a genuine friend.

Friendship is only for a short period of time, a window if you will.  Jesus knew that.  He had 3 years.  He poured everything he had into his twelve friends in those three years.  I learned that from Jeanette.  We had 9 months.  She was my best friend.  She poured everything into me.

Click here for picture credit

Friends rarely stay in your life FOREVER.  So take the time to cultivate your friendships, like a garden.  You don't grow a garden once and say "Oh I'm done, I never have to plant again or water again."  NO! It will die! You will have to plant again next season.  You will have to water again next week.  Your friendships are the same way, water your friendships weekly, plant them seasonally, weed them regularly. We need friendships throughout our life.  Even though we won't keep friendship our whole life (save family, spouse, children) we'll need new ones continually.

I learned that from my dear friend Jeanette.  Whom I'll never see again, except through Facebook, which really doesn't count. That's why we need friendship, to learn little seeds like this.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

MomCon

I just got back from the 2012 MOPS Convention! It was WONDERFUL!!!

Me with CEO Shelly Surratt


I spent 2 1/2 days with two thousand Mother's of Preschoolers worshiping God, feeling refreshed and hearing some wonderful speakers.  One of those speakers was author Shauna Niequist, she had a workshop about creating a Creative life.  Meaning those of us who are artists, writers, photographers, etc should take the time to use our artist abilities make a date with ourselves so that inner artist doesn't die.

I think my back and neck weren't the only things that got injured in my car accident in April. I went through a really deep depression, and I think just now I'm starting to pull myself out of it.  My inner artist really suffered during this time.  I couldn't write, I could barely find anything "funny" to blog about in the last few months.

But that's over.  I'm renewing my commitment to myself (and to you). I'm going to blog once a week, something funny. That's my commitment.  Everything else I blog will be gravy.  (Come on people, I have 4 kids and I homeschool, give a girl a break).

So I'm trying to think of funny things that happen this weekend and of course there were a ton of "you had to be there moments."  So I'll just give you a general on.  Imagine this, a Ballroom filled with 2000 Moms going to a MOM PROM.  Here if you don't have an imgination, here are some pictures to help:



I love the pregnant belly in the 80's dress

Apparently I didn't get the memo it was an 80's prom.  Oh well, these women were fabulous!  It was a ton of fun!  Next year's MomCon is in Kansas City, MO.  I'm planning on going!  You should too!


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Curse you Home Depot

I've always wondered what the slogan meant "that's the power of Home Depot" It never really made sense to me, until this week.

This is my favorite Home Depot image because it's with cheap Non-White Labor!

We've been removing this ugly shrubs from the front of our house.  Which, of course was just a small project.  Even though it took Nick's Dodge Ram Pick Up truck to yank them out.  Once we got the shrubs out, we then accidently broke a sprinkler line, so we headed to Home Depot to fix the problem (I say we, I mean Nick).  He came back with the solution. But then we had to go BACK to Home Depot to get the Flowers and shurbs to replace what we just knocked out.  Only, they didn't have exactly what we wanted.  So we headed to a nursery where an awesome man name Josh helped us out.  Totally recommend them. We got our layout, shrubs, All ready to go...except we needed dirt and garden trim.  So back to Home Depot.

Here's where the POWER of the HOME DEPOT comes into play.  You know you have a bed that's 15 ft x 4 ft.  So logically you only need  5 -4ft.  (you don't realize you have to cut them down so really you need 6). So, the POWER of the HOME DEPOT is they some how make you mathematically get things wrong, so you have to return 3-5 times which makes you 3-5 times more likely to get more things and that my friends is the POWER of the HOME DEPOT!

It NEVER fails, think about it.  When you are doing a small home project how many trips do you make to Home Depot?  Probably 5 or 6...Yep, that's the Power of the Home Depot.

Shop at Lowe's my friends, Shop at Lowe's!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Vicodin Hallucinations?

Since my accident in April I've had killer migraines, about 10 a month.   I've had this last one for two days.  So i finally took some Vicodin last night (that's suppose to be my last resort before heading to the ER for injections).  Well anyway, I had the WEIRDEST auditory hallucination last night.



I was in bed sleeping and suddenly I heard my friend Sarah at the end of my bed talking to me.  Like it was no big deal that she was in my room at midnight having a conversation about homeschooling.  I was telling her I found a new curriculum (which is lie).  Then she said I'd like to see it, so her voice sounded as if it was getting closer to my side of the bed, then it was behind me, then in front, then behind.  It was freaking me out, so I screamed.

Nick wakes up, shakes me and says "honey are you ok? what's wrong?"

At which point, I start laughing, how do I tell him that my friend Sarah who wants to see my homeschool curriculum is scaring me to the point of screaming? So instead I say "these drugs are giving me hallucinations, and are freaking me out."

He's like, "Oh I'm so sorry." (very sympathetic) But then I laugh and tell him what I heard.  He laughs and says "Your scream sounded like an elk in heat." At which point we both start giggling.


Thankfully I didn't have any more hallucinations and my headache has gone away for now!  


On a side note: while I was writing this post Nick wanted me to iron a shirt which was perfectly fine, so I went to the ironing board, made noises like I was ironing, brought it to him.  He put it on and is wearing it to work.  Oh Yeah!  I'm awesome!


I can't promise I'll be blogging much.  But writing this has sparked something in me that hasn't happened since my accident, so who knows, maybe I will.