December 29, 2007

Have you ever actually SEEN a partridge?

Well here's a partridge in a PINE tree! Sorry about the picture quality, I took it from inside the house, screen and window in the way. They are really skittish, so I knew I wouldn't be able to sneak outside and get a shot.
My Dad's got a flock of 70+ quail (quail are partridges) that call his backyard home. They are the CUTEST darn birds you've ever seen.

Christmas in Seattle, Part 2-Spokane

The 26th we headed across the snowy Cascades to Spokane, to my Dad's. The traditions there are as follows:
1) Roast Beast. That's what we call it, sorry. Every Christmas we have the very best prime rib on the planet. It is so good I never order prime rib, even at a good steakhouse for fear that it will not live up to my Dad's.
2) presents after dinner. At least this seems like a tradition now. This may be because they always fix the famous dinner for the night we get there.

This year, Sylvia's son, Bob, and girlfriend Melanie were able to join us. AIt was really nice to see them and meet Melanie, since we don't get to spend hardly any time with them. Maggie checking out Tyler's new paintball mask. Maggie with Poppy and Mimie.
We got to enjoy snow, too! It made for a stinky drive (but not dangerous), but Maggie loved all the snow, as long as she didn't have to touch it or get it on her boots. =)

Maggie also got to play with the baby llamas, but I didn't bring my camera for that, and I really wish I had. All we heard about on the car ride back to Seattle was "baby llamas, baby llamas"!

Christmas in Seattle, Part 1

Christmas Day we flew up to Seattle from Phoenix for Christmas with my Mom and family. We've got a couple of traditions for Christmas with my Mom:
1) we open presents on Christmas Eve - Maggie's hospital visit didn't allow that, so we did them all Christmas afternoon.
2) we have a finger foods dinner. This year we had Chinese BBQ pork with hot mustard(this is asian, NOT like the BBQ pork we love in the South), some cheeses, artichoke dip, crackers, cookies, wine. It was fabulous! I don't think Christmas at my Mom's would be the same without the finger foods.
3) we wear the bows from our packages on our heads. I don't know when this started, but we all do it at some point during presents.
4) we get our stockings on Christmas morning. This year Mom gave us a free pass to have them on the 26th.

Maggie "helping" unwrap Mom's gift. After Christmas at Tara & Alex's, she got the hang of opening presents, and really liked to help everyone. Note the bow on Maggie's head. Grampa with a bow on his head. Ok, so Brian, Annica and Zach weren't participating, but at least I got them all in one shot without one of the boys pulling a face. Note: bow on Tyler's head, AND the gift he got. Grampa Clark got him a replica of the leg lamp from the movie A Christmas Story. The movie came out about the same time when Tyler was the age of the main character, and Tyler looked a lot like the main character... anyway. The movie is a family favorite, and that lamp will be enjoyed for many years to come, I'm sure. The next morning Maggie enjoys some chocolates from our stockings. Nothing makes a better lipgloss than a hershey's kiss!

Christmas in Phoenix, Part 1

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas this year! Our Christmas vacation started off in Phoenix, visiting Tyler's sister and family. We ended up having to stay an extra day in Phoenix unexpectedly, but we were able to change our flights at the last minute WITHOUT additional charge with Southwest. how awesome was that? Anyway, that's another story...

Tara just had baby girl #2, Gabriela (Gabby) Pearl on December 7th. We were so excited to meet Gabby for the first time! And, we were happy that we could see everyone at Christmas, since we knew they would not be traveling with a newborn.

Maggie and Alexis had a great time on the swingset. They went out with Uncle Alex, and once with Papa for 2 hours! It was a great break for the mommies. The Boys' matching PJ's. Tyler and Tara, enjoying our Christmas morning (we did our gifts together on the 23rd). A picture of a big group of stockings that I've made. There are only 3 left out that weren't there. Maggie holding "baby Babby". She just LOVED holding that baby! Gaga (Amron) got all three girls rolling backpacks for Christmas. It really helps with the flying - way more stuff can fit in there than Maggie's diaper bag. And, she loves to pull it herself, even though it took us 10 minutes to go the same distance that normally takes just 3 teeny-tiny minutes... the bag was just too heavy for her, but refused help at SeaTac. Last year Amron had me photoshop pictures of them with Maggie and Alexis. This year, at Tara's, I did another photoshop jobby in Microsoft Paint so we had a picture with EVERYONE smiling. It turned out pretty good for doing it in Paint in 20 minutes.

Christmas in Phoenix, Part 2

So here's why we had to extend our stay an additional day: we got to take Maggie to the ER for the first time.

Sunday night, the 23rd, right Maggie started throwing up, and we tried all night (seriously, all night) to get it to stop and get her to hold down some water, and her tummy just couldn't do it. We headed for the ER just after midnight, but on the way it seemed like she was finally able to keep some water down so we decided to head back to the house. As soon as we got back to the house she threw it all up again- of course. It was so pitiful! She got a little sleep after we got back, but every time I tried to get a little water in her, she'd throw it up.

Finally, about 5:30 a.m. Tyler went over to his parent's house there and picked up Amron; Maggie couldn't even hold down a 1/2 teaspoon of water for 5 minutes. Tyler and I were so exhausted we knew there was no way we could make the 1-hour trek from Tara & Alex's to the hospital. We got there about 6:30, and they admitted Maggie right away ahead of 3 other kids. She was so dehydrated and sick she was super pale (and she's quite a fair-skinned girl already) and her belly was really sunken in! She also hadn't made a wet diaper since 6:30p.m. on the 23rd, and that was pretty serious. The doctor's diagnosis was that she was really dehydrated and needed an IV drip to rehydrate her body and give her tummy a rest. Let me tell you, the tears fell when she said that. I was so tired I just started bawling. I know that IV was the right thing, but I just couldn't handle her having to get poked!

She handled it like a trooper, though. Tyler and I prayed for her, and the nurse used a special numbing spray and we distracted her with some chapstick, and the IV was in before she knew it. With the drip going, she was finally able to get some sleep in the waiting room. Here's Tyler holding her in the waiting area of the pediatric ER, and Maggie's IV:
About 10:45 we were discharged after Maggie got 500cc's through her IV (one whole bag of saline) and held down 3 ounces of pedialyte AND had a wet diaper. Right when the nurse came to check if she had made a wet diaper, Tyler felt something warm on his leg... all that fluid ran right on through her and filled her diaper - plus some - in one fell swoop. =)

We went home and took a nice 3-hour nap, Maggie included. That night we got to join everyone at Alex's parents for a FABULOUS dinner! Then, we had to get packed up to go to Seattle.

As of today, we've gone through about 2 bottles of pedialyte and she finally got back her appetite last night (27th). As for our plane tickets, Southwest let us change them from the 24th to the 25th at no charge! I know, not very Christmas-y to be flying on Christmas, but Maggie was better, so we continued our vacation and headed up to Seattle.

December 20, 2007

The Things Maggie Knows...

You know how your child will mimic what you do, and it's really scary what they really know? Last night Maggie got ahold of the deodorant I picked up for Tyler:

Christmas Gifts a Little Early

Last night we did a SMALL Christmas with just the 3 of us. Poppy sent us a BUNCH of our gifts so we wouldn't have to pack them home with us, so we got to open up all those, and some between the two of us. Anyway, Poppy and Mimie got Maggie the BEST little tricycle I have ever seen! It is so darn cute! I put it together last night after she went to bed, and she tried it out this morning in her jammies in the kitchen. I would've loved to take pictures of her outside on it, but the weather is not coppoerating. It's rained all day.

Here we are unwrapping said tricycle. Posing with tricycle in box.
In the middle of me doing the dishes last night, after dinner, after presents, I see Blitz come into the kitchen from the living room - which was still filled with ripped wrapping paper and bows everywhere. Then, I notice the sparkle. he sat in the pile of bows!!! I DID NOT MAKE THIS UP. He got a bow stuck right on his hiney. I could barely hold the camera still enough for a picture I was laughing so hard!STUPID CAT!

December 18, 2007

Friday Play Group Christmas Party

Most Friday mornings Maggie and I head to the gym at our church after going to the real gym bright and early. It is a really fun time of playing and fellowship with other moms in our church. We did a small gift and cookie exchange for Christmas. Here are some pictures from the event:

Can you believe all the munchkins are facing/looking forward? I snapped this in the one second where they were all obeying. From Left the Right: Maggie, John, Jake, Zayli, Aaralyn.
Maggie's SO CUTE Peruvian princess outfit that Poppy & Mimie got her last year for her birthday. You can't see the shirt under the vest, but it is a girl with a llama - appropriate since Poppy & Mimie have 40+ llamas on their farm now. This outfit was the main reason I bought that darn cute boots!

And a link to my dad's llama farm website, click here.

a second batch of Seattle pics

Niki had these great pictures on her blog. I copied them. You can check out her blog, too - and read all the very nice things she had to say about me by clicking on The Spanglers link below left. Again, it was so awesome to see her and her family, and to get to share in her sister's wedding. The whole thing was such a blessing to me. So mush fun with the Stevens girls!

Us after the wedding. This one turned out a lot better than me holding the camera for ourselves.
Us and our girls at church. Niki says Addie never sucks her thumb. How funny is that? Maggie quite often gets other kids to do her bidding. Ha! I would also like to point out that they both have the "ow! that flash is bright squint" on their faces. We hid out in the cry room so we didn't have to plunk them in a foreign nursery. It went pretty well, actually. I got to hear most of the message that morning.

December 11, 2007

Whew! I'm Home

First, an apology to everyone in the Seattle area that I did not get to see this quick trip. Don't take it personally, I just didn't have a lot of time outside of wedding flowers this time. We'll be back at Christmas, so give me a call.

I had a great time getting to do the flowers for my friend Kim's wedding. It was really nice that I was able to participate. It was also nice to get to do flowers and my Mom getting to see them in person. I trashed their garage with flower stems and mess, but it was fun.

Here are some pictures from my trip:
The flowers, bride and bridesmaid.
The flower girls carried kissing balls. They turned out really great for my first try. And Ros and Mikayla (pictured) did a great job.
My favorite picture from my trip: Niki Spangler. We've been friends since high school and she was in my wedding. She and her family live in the Los Angeles area, and I haven't seen her since Christmas 2003, so this was a REALLY BIG TREAT!!! I even got to meet her daughter, who turns 2 on Saturday. I cannot tell you how awesome it was to spend just a couple of short hours with her at her sister's wedding.
And, we did get to vist our cousin Olivia for a little bit. She was feeling a bit under the weather, so after some dancing and dinner we went back home.

December 8, 2007

Tyler here again. With Melissa being in Seattle doing flowers for Kim's wedding I'm left to feed myself. For those of you who don't know I've discovered a few food allergies lately and have had to change the way I eat. We'll that's gone right out the window this weekend. Here's breakfast: Left over pizza from last night's dinner with a side of week old bacon taken out of the meat drawer in the fridge. I polished this bad boy off with a 20 ounce cup of coffee. How you like me now?

TyMel in Woods

Tyler here. I know I don't post much but Melissa's out of town so here I go.

Last weekend, Melissa, myself, and four other daring couples braved the elements in the back woods of East Tennessee. We roughed it in a five bedroom, three story cabin with hard wood floors, 20 foot ceilings, a ping-pong table, a pool table, a hot tub, a pin ball machine, and sweeping views of Tennessee. Well, we made it (barely). But really, this post isn't about that. We did this same thing three years ago and Janet Yates snapped a great picture of Melissa and I on the balcony without us knowing she was there. This year, Anthony Brooks tried to bring back that same magic. But this time, Melissa says I have an "I just farted" look on my face. I think it was the photographer but that's up for debate.

Anyway, here's the new pic followed by the old one. After that are some pics of the group.

Anthony's Picture:

Janet's Picture (3 years earlier):

The Group:

The Guys:

December 4, 2007

First Weekend away from Maggie

I'll upload pictures later, but here's how the first weekend away from Maggie went:

I dropped off Maggie Friday morning at Dixie's, after first backing into our friends' car. Nice! I was SO frazzled getting her ready to go I totally forgot it was behind me. Ug. Not a great way to start off the weekend. I drop her off at Dixie's, and she was not concerned at all that Mama was going away. She said a quick "bye-bye Mommy" and was ready to play with Dixie.

We had a great weekend in Gatlinburg (for you Washington folks, it's kinda like Leavenworth WITHOUT the quaintness, and way too much cheese) with old and new friends in the nicest cabin I've ever been in.

Sunday afternoon I was SO ready to see Maggie. We pick her up at Dixie's and she's still taking a nap. I wake her up, and she rolls over as says "Teecee"(Dixie). Doesn't even care that Mommy is back after a weekend. I tell her Daddy is here, too, and she jumps off my lap and runs over to him. Needless to say, she totally didn't miss Mommy. I guess that is a good thing, but I am sure glad to be back and have my baby.

November 28, 2007

Getting Ready for Christmas

I love Christmas. I love decorating the house, making cookies, Christmas parties, Christmas music, Christmas food, and especially the original reason for Christmas: the birth of Jesus. Here are some of my favorite decorative things about Christmas:

Maggie being old enough to help and enjoy decorating the tree. Here she is with Daddy hanging up her 1st ornament:
Our tree. It's small, but the only ornaments on it are ones I've collected over the years or inherited from family. I love every ornament on that tree!
One of my favorite ornaments. A reminder that I get to go home at Christmas this year.
And, our stockings. This is a family tradition on my Mom's side of the family. I remade mine and made a new one for Tyler the year we got married, and I had a great time making Maggie's last year for her first Christmas.
Lights on the house. Tyler did a good job putting them up.
A Wreath on the door. I love the green ribbon and putting our intial on the wreath.

Raking leaves

Friday after Thanksgiving Tyler tackled all the leaves in the yard. Having 4 dogwoods, 2 HUGE maples and several smaller maples makes for a LOT of leaves to get rid of every fall. Think of it like this: there are enough leaves from just the 2 big maples in the back to fill up a regular size bedroom with about 3-4 feet of leaves.

He spent almost all day Friday sweeping leaves off the driveway and redistributing them across the yard so he could mulch them all up with the mower. There is no way we could've bagged them all, and without a blower the redistribution takes a lot of arm work. Maggie and I went outside for a while to "help". Maggie likes to do what Daddy does, so we gave her a broom and off to work she went! It was really cute.

November 23, 2007


There is so much to be thankful for this year! I can't even begin to list our blessings. I guess in short I am thankful for God's provision in our lives: good health, Tyler's career, Maggie is growing, a great house to live in and cars that work, a wonderful church to attend, awesome friends and most importantly Gods work and presence in our lives through Christ.

This year our friends Jamin & Christie and their two girls, Nyah and Aubrey, joined us and the Christians for our annnual Thanksgiving dinner. Jamin & Christie moved to Michigan this past spring, so we were really glad they could make it down.

Aubrey, playing with the top to the booster seat during dinner.
Jamin and Seth hamming it up for the camera.
Christie, Nyah and Jamin.
Tyler - really looking forward to turkey!
Alright, not the best picture of Maggie, but the only one I took. I guess I was too busy eating!
Seth, Dixie and Zayli - staples of our Thanksgiving. Every year except one we have had Thanksgiving together since we moved to Nashville. They are great friends!