April 24, 2007

Remember when our living room looked like this??

with our brand new living room furniture
and you can't forget the new sofa table and accessories

Well, this is the living room we had this weekend:
No, we weren't robbed. We had to empty our living room and dining room because we are pulling up the carpet and getting stained concrete floors. One of the tasks involved in getting the new floor is to clear out the rooms. That means our bedrooms are now piled high with furniture. Our dining room table and curio cabinet found a new temporary home in our bedroom and Avery's room is piled with our entertainment center and all the breakables. Our office/extra bedroom is housing the rest of the stuff.

Luckily we only have to live like this for a few days. We did all the moving on Sunday only leaving a few necessities (including the small tv from our travel trailer) to get us through the week. We are leaving Wednesday morning for our annual camping trip/family reunion down south so the floors will be complete by the time we get home on Sunday.

Be sure to check back next week for pictures of our new floor!!!

I just had to include this picture of our precious Rowdy:
after we removed all the furniture he was resigned to having to lay in the windowsill.

Just another crazy day in the life of Paul and Robyn!!

Kelley's Ribbonlicious Bag Tags



One of my dear friends, Kelley, has just opened her very on store on the web. She is hand-making these personalized ID tags. They are too cute and can be individualized to whatever you desire.

All of the tag designs have different names and I have to admit that I am partial to the Avery tag. It is after all named after our very own Avery. So if you are in the market for a cute, inexpensive name tag check her out. Click here for the link Li Tian Designs and start shopping.

March of Dimes Walk

Saturday Paul and I participated in the annual March of Dimes Walk. We were part of a team spear-headed by my friend Jamie in honor of her son Parker who was born 14 weeks premature. Jamie had some awesome shirts made for everyone on our team!!! We had so much fun and most of our team walked the whole 5 miles!! We were also able to score some great free stuff from the corporate sponsors of the event. The weather was perfect and a wonderful time was had by all!!

Our Team Captain:
The front of Parker's shirt simply says: I'm Parker

The back is too cute:
and these are my peeps!!

Our team: Parker's Peeps
Posing in front of the Nature's Own Bread Truck. This will have significant meaning in a later picture!!!

Loving the free stuff!!!!
Christie show off her new Dr. Scholls insoles!!

See why we love Nature's Own. There were giving out loaves of bread by the handful.

Matt, Parker, and Jamie with several of their friends who were our team members.

GO PEEPS!!!
Paul, Bob, Ray(Erin's dad), Erin, Christie, Anton, and the adorable Miss Mollianne

Mollianne had her own special strategy for enjoying the walk.
She loves riding on Pa's shoulders!!

Now when could Christie possible have had time to take a leisurely swing????

Christie and I pose by the "I walked 5 miles" sign.
I better go ahead and fess up now before I get busted. Christie and I only walked 3 out of the 5 miles. The walk was a 2.5 mile trek then you u-turn and make your way back. At about the 1.5 mile mark we decided to have a break (hence the swing picture above) and then catch up with the rest of the team on their way back.

Even though we did not go the entire distance we were still very proud of ourselves for the distance we DID walk.

To cap off the walk Bob took Mollianne for a spin around the parking lot. I did not get a front shot but believe me she was giggling her head off while Bob was toting her like this.


It was a great day with great friends!!!!

April 20, 2007

Queen of Bargains....

I decided to write a light, funny post for this sunny Friday afternoon.

I will give you little background about me first: I am a bargain shopper, nothing gets my adrenaline running faster than finding a good sale. Paul often says to others "just tell Robyn it's on sale and she will buy 2, whether she needs it or not" I think this is a little exaggerated. Anyway, today was my grocery shopping day for our family. I usually go once every 2 weeks and stock the cabinets and refrigerator. This week was an exceptionally good shopping week. It started yesterday when I went to Target to get ink cartridges for my printer and found that they were all on sale for my brand. I wound up saving a whopping $26 dollars on my ink.

Today on my weekly grocery shopping expedition I did something that would totally humiliate Paul. Yes, I went to Wal-Mart with not only coupons, but also with a gift card, and the sales ads from both Kroger and Albertsons. Yes that's right people I was one of those obnoxious shoppers that holds up the line by having the cashier match the prices of their competitors, and on top of that I had coupons!! I wound up getting 4 items for free. FREE!!!! and paid only 50 cents for several other items. In total I got a trunk full of groceries, a pair of shorts for Paul, a shirt for me, and special dog treats for Rowdy for the bargain price of $65.21!!!! I was so excited!!!

Paul always gives me a hard time and tells me that we are not poor, we are doing just fine, so the money I save on coupons and price matches is not a big deal. Well heck, why should I spend any money that I don't have to??? I don't know if it is just a man thing or what. Do any of your men use coupons??? If so let me know so they can have a talk with Paul.

So that's the story of my bargain shopping for the week. Admit it.....this story brought a little smile to your face!!!

Happy Friday everyone and incidentally Happy 16 month LID to us!!!

April 17, 2007

Kolin's Birthday Party.......

Kolin had his birthday party Sunday afternoon at the local skating rink. This is the same rink that my brother, Chris, and I used to go to every Friday and Saturday night when we were in junior high. We logged many hours cruising around this rink and I have to say that the inside has not changed a bit. Kolin invited 25 friends to his party and only 3 were girls, I guess that is pretty typical of a 12 year old.

Paul and I refrained from skating, we did not want to risk any broken bones.

Now for the pictures of the party:
The obligatory group shot.

Some of the "kids" challenging each other to a race. Incidently Kolin is surrounded by his Uncle Sonny and Aunt Tiffany on the left and his parents on the right.

Blowing out the candles.

Amazingly Kolin did not have one gift to unwrap only envelopes with money. We later found out that when asked by all his friends what he wanted for his birthday his standard answer was: "Money, because I am saving to buy a go-cart"

Kolin and Kelby have both been saving their money and pooling it together to buy themselves a go kart. During the party Dad loaded up Kelby and they went to the store to so that they could surprise the birthday boy with this awesome gift.

This is Kolin's reaction when he was told to go outside the skating rink for one last present. He immediately saw it in the back of Papaw's truck and the smile on his face was priceless.

He could not wait to climb in the back of the truck and check it out.

Of course immediately after the party was over we went to Chris and Danette's to see Kolin try out his new present.

Paul and Danette get the boys all buckled in and adjusted to go out for their first ride.

Our 2 Daredevils.

and just for the fun of it. Mom and I took it for a spin.

Dad, you really made Kolin's day. I am sure this new toy will get a ton of use!!!!

April 16, 2007

When the weather hands you lemons......make lemonade

So our weekend did not turn out exactly as planned but we regrouped and had a great time with great friends anyway.

The original plan was to go camping up in Oklahoma with Erin and her family, Kelley and her family, Christie and us. Plans changed Thursday night when Kelley and Emily came down with the flu and then we started watching the weather and found out a massive storm with hail and tornado activity was headed right toward our camping spot. After several phone calls between Erin and I we changed camping locations and went ahead as planned. On the drive down to our new destination the weather was in the 60's with minimal sprinkling rain every once in a while. When we actually arrived at the campsite the rain had disappeared. We "thought" we were safe. Paul and I set up camp and shortly thereafter Erin, Bob, Mollianne, and Christie arrived. Bob and Erin proceeded to put up their tent and the weather just kept getting worse and worse. A little while later we had what will always be known as "The great tent catastrophe of 2007". Suffice it say that we all wound up in our travel trailer but it worked out great because there was plenty of room for everyone. The weather still refused to cooperate and even though the rain stopped the temperature continued to drop and the wind made staying outdoors unbearable.

Friday evening and night we had a game filled, dog watching, plenty of laughs night in the travel trailer. Long after Mollianne, Bob, and Paul had gone to sleep Erin, Christie, and I stayed up enjoying each other's company as usual.

Now on to pictures of our camping expedition:
The tent before the great catastrophe.

Paul and I sitting under the awning watching the darkening sky.

Yep, I think there may be a storm brewing.

After we were sequestered inside we found several ways to entertain ourselves:
Erin, Christie, and I played Clue with a little help from Rowdy.

It was also very entertaining to watch Bob and Mollianne play with a dish set we have in the trailer. Yes those are cups on Bob's ears!!

Don't ever let Bob tell you that Lucy is "Erin's dog". This picture of the 2 of them sleeping is priceless.

When we woke up Saturday morning and the weather was still crappy we decided to cut our losses and head back home. We devised a plan to go to Christie's house after Anton was finished with play practice and cook out as planned and just hang together.

We did make one interesting tourist stop on the way home
How many chances in life do you get to visit the World's Largest Wheelbarrow????

Now onto the fun at Christies. We entertained ourselves playing Wii and Guitar Hero. Since Paul and I went straight to Christies from camping we had to bring Rowdy with us. That meant we had to get Christie's dogs acclimated to Rowdy. It was very interesting to say the least.

Paul held Rowdy for awhile after we arrived so that Kaleigh could get used to a little dog being in the house. She still wanted to check Rowdy out!!

It didn't take long before Rowdy and Kaleigh were friends, teasing and chasing each other through the house. Annabelle (Christie's other dog)was pretty immune to all the chaos.

Bob, Erin, Christie, and Anton play a friendly game of tennis. Bob and Erin are severely hooked on the Wii system now. Much like Paul and I were after we played it several months ago.

Erin wants to point out that she won the bowling match, her very first time playing.

Before we started the Wii marathon we spent a couple of hours playing Guitar Hero. This is a game in which you are the guitar player in the band. The notes come on the tv screen and you have to follow along or risk getting boo'd off the stage. Christie is officially the Guitar Hero Diva. It was her first time to play and she blew us all out of the water.
Erin and Christie "Rock Out" and entertain the rest of us.

Paul and Christie strike true rocker pose with a little Gene Simmons action.

So you see, even though the weekend did not turn out as planned we were still able to have fun and make tons of memories with our friends.

Always remember: This is what memories are made of....

April 10, 2007

Yep, that's it........

2 whole log in dates covered in this referral batch. The CCAA only managed to get through Oct 25&26. That means now there are a mere 55 days between the last date referred and our log in date. I have officially no clue when we might get our referral. We are not even going to think about the possibilities of only covering 2 days each month. Nope......not going there!!

Suprisingly we were not devestated by this news. I think we have conditioned ourselves to crappy referral ranges each month. When and if they do finally refer several weeks in one month that will simply blow us away!!!!

We have some awesome plans to go camping this weekend with some dear friends of ours so we should have tons of good pictures and funny stories to entertain you next week!!

Celebrating Easter

It is a familiy tradition with my mom's extended family to have a huge easter egg hunt every year. My great aunts fill an unreal amount of plastic eggs with candy, money, balloons, small trinkets, etc and the "kids" hunt until their arms are aching from the weight of the eggs they are carrying. There are also the requisite boiled eggs but it is not unusual for the kids to pass those up in favor of the "good stuff".

Easter 2007 was no exception. The weather was unusually chilly but that did not stop our hunt. This year we had a whopping 1200 (yes, that is one thousand two hundred)eggs to hide and hunt. Our cousin who hosted the hunt had mowed the yard this week so it was more of drop and pick up than a hide and hunt. And of course there are the "big kids" who still love to get out the field and gather eggs as well.

Here are some pictures from our day:
My aunt Kathy and her husband Bill trying to keep warm!!

This picture does not do justice to the scene.
Hopefully you can enlarge this picture and get an idea of all the eggs (or dots of color) on the ground!!

My grandpa stayed all bundled up to keep warm in the 40 degree weather.

Robyn and Paul - our official easter portrait.

My "big kid" with his egg haul:
no easter basket would do he had to use the ever sturdy Wal-Mart sack.

After the hunt (while still on a sugar high) we went to Paul's parents and had dinner and a good visit with them and Grammy and Daddy Sonny.

Hopefully we will have our own little "egg hunter" next year!!

April 6, 2007

Catching up.......

I know it has been a while since my last post, so after much nagging (Thanks Mom!) I think I have finally caught up on the blog. I had uploaded pictures several days ago but had neglected to go back and add the text. So be sure and scroll down through the last several posts to catch all the goings on around here!!

April 3, 2007

Fingerprints....again.....


This past weekend Paul and I had to trek back down the CIS (Citizenship and Immigration Services)office to get our fingerprints done again. Our approval that we received from the government to bring Avery back to the US and have her become a US citizen has expired. We are now in the process of renewing it and one of the steps involved includes getting re-fingerprinted. I am happy to say that we now have that behind us. We just lack a couple more documents and we will have everything gathered to resubmit our papers. The most frustrating part of the whole renewal process is that it has absolutely nothing to do with China, it is the US government that is requiring this check. I guess they want to make sure we did not turn into criminals during the last year and a half. Oh well, just another step to complete.

We did treat ourselves afterwards because let's face it: spending several hours on a Saturday in a loud, crowded, ugly, government office was not a load of fun. So after we were done we purchased a Wii game system. Paul has been wanting one of these every since he played it at Anton and Christie's back in January. They are still hard to find but we finally got our hands on one and spent the rest of our Saturday battling it out.

I know....I know.....we have such an exciting life!

A night with the girls!!

Our monthly M3 gathering was held a couple of weeks ago. I just now got around to posting some pics. Once again Valerie was our wonderful "hostess with the mostest". There was definitely alot of laughter, alot of shared secrets, alot of food, and a alot of fun. It is funny how it seems I have known these women forever yet in reality it has only been a short time. They have really been my anchors through this process; so to Kelley, Erin, Valerie, Christie, and Jamie: You gals mean the world to me and I can't imagine traveling on this journey without you!!

Now enough mushy stuff, on to the pictures:

I wanted to share a few outfits we had recently bought for Avery. Let me tell you this child in never going to have a chance to wear anything out. I told Paul I am "officially" done buying clothes now but for some reason he doesn't believe me!! These three sets are Disney characters. I purchased 2 and Mimi and Poppy (Paul's parents) purchase the dress. They were all on the clearance rack at Wal-Mart for $6 each. Now, how was I supposed to resist that?????

Before we gathered at Valerie's for our girls night, Christie conned Erin and I into checking out a new Carter's store that opened. I just have three words: OH MY GOODNESS!!!! Virturally all the clothes were on sale (and I mean cheap) so I had a hard time even narrowing it down to this:

Now you know why I stated above that I was "officially" done shopping.

At last......

We were finally able to get a group shot with all of us in our M3 t's. I personally wanted us to build a pyramid but I was quickly veto'd so we had to settle for a sitting pyramid on the staircase.

Our nights are always full of adventure, you never really know what is going to transpire.

It could be a fashion show by Christie.......
Bed-vaulting by Jamie.........
or the introduction of the newest M3 family member: Maggie. Valerie recently adopted this little dog and she is adorable!! Welcome to the clan Maggie!!

So that's about all I have for now.

Thanks for checking in!!!