Kid Funnies

The pics above are from our old collection, somewhere in 2002 just after Jack was born. Don’t Cole and Gabe (and Don?) look so much younger? Where does the time go???

I’ve been keeping track of the funny things my kids say on here. Well, it’s time to backtrack and add some from years past that we have written on tiny slips of paper and carrying around in wallets and purses F-O-R-E-V-E-R. Here goes!

Backstory: On the way to our OB appointment for Jack in my belly while Gabe was about a year and a half old.

Gabe: “The baby can have my car seat and I’ll get a new one, k?”

No response from us as we are considering his sense of entitlement at such a young age.

Gabe continues: “So, after we hear the heart beat, then they cut you open?”

Backstory: I was trying to get out of a very young Cole (about 8 or 9) if he really wanted to go hunting with his father. I was nervous and he could tell.

Mom: “So, Cole, do you want to go hunting with your father or do you want to go next year?”

Cole {very long sigh}: “I really want to go hunting, even though I know there’s a 50/50 chance I could die.”

Daisy in the Kitchen

So how cute is this?? I was headed back to the kitchen to finish up dinner dishes and look how cute…she’s such a good dog! The pig and puppy are Jack’s and Ben’s, respectively, but they didn’t mind at all. Daisy needed good company!

Settling In…

I’m too tired to even post a picture though I have a few really good ones of piles of boxes. The boys had an 11 or 12 foot tall fort created with boxes IN THE ENTRYWAY so that we couldn’t even get to the door if we wanted to.

We love this house. It feels like a little bit of heaven. We love the paint colors. We love the layout. I adore the kitchen and master bedroom – it is so big that Cole claims we could cut it in half and give him some extra yard outside! I am a bit afraid to go upstairs and see how the boys have unpacked their things! Back to the kitchen…I’ve been there for 2 days straight…it’s not a gas stove or a double oven (both were on my “must have” list) but I am so happy with what is here. I love the tile and the cabinets. I want to paint the inside of them Martha Stewart bluish green (probably the same color the previous owners used on the wainscoting in the laundry room which is DREAMY). Not only did the previous owners leave us a welcome basket of CHOCOLATE (dark, too!), she labeled all the house color paint cans with the room it was used in AND THE YEAR/DATE it was used…seriously, I wish everybody could buy a house from people as nice as we did. We were extremely blessed to meet them. Our own house “touches” will come in good time…I’m going to just enjoy our family being in a home again for awhile first.

The Zellmers really took good care of their home. The only hitch we’ve run into is our fridge won’t fit in the laundry room. Well, it fits in the slot but there is a windowsill in the way…not sure what we’re going to do about that yet. Our chest freezer was going to be sold but now Don thinks maybe that will fit instead. Let’s see…what else do we love? The kids love the big tub in the master bath. It’s not as big as our old one (nor is it a Jacuzzi) but they were all very pleased and seemed to like it more. I think not being a Jacuzzi is a plus.

The dog is in heaven. She keeps trying to sneak off into the field by our home. I bought a new rug for the kitchen today and she has claimed it.

The movers will need to replace 4 things: 1) Ben’s bunk bed headboard/footboard got lost before they even hit Texas (was never received in the warehouse) and 2) The loaders in Gretna damaged a big dresser on industrial wheels that we used to store the boys’ toys 3) my jogging stroller got damaged, and 4) a miscellaneous box of blankets was lost. Not too shabby for 20,720 lbs of stuff, I think. The only thing that breaks my heart is Ben is sleeping in Alex’s old room on the floor for now until his bed can be replaced. It’s okay, though, he is snuggling in blankets and the carpet is very soft. Hmm…as I type this he is sleeping in my bed. Not good.

I hear sawing upstairs. The older boys have taken my serrated kitchen knife and are building cardboard forts in the playroom. They asked for duct tape about an hour ago while I was preparing a lesson for church and I didn’t put two-and-two together…I’d better go take some pictures and see if anybody is bleeding!

More later when we’re coherent again.

Mercer Arboretum in Spring, Texas

We had a great time at the Mercer Arboretum last weekend. Here are some of the pictures but you can see them all at our flickr account.

Jack’s eyes in this one crack me up!

It’s such a beautiful area that people go there to take just about every kind of picture (choir, wedding, etc.). We stumbled upon a crowd of people with matching shirts, cowboy hats and boots. They looked so neat! Then we saw what they were there for: the most beautiful 15 year old hispanic girl. I guess it’s a tradition. All I know is she was luminous. They had two Hummer limos and it was very ceremonial looking. I snapped a couple of shots because I had just never seen anything like it before!

Don’s Cousin Becky!

We have been so time disoriented while not being in school and moving that we lost track of what day it actually was and forgot that Don’s cousin Becky was flying into Houston for a very long layover this past Sunday (she called from the airport while we were getting ready for church). We finally picked her up but I was so sad – I had made dinner for a couple of families in the ward and it took just about every vegetable and good thing we had in the house. I was planning chicken and rice or mac-n-cheese or pb&j for dinner (really) and I was so embarrassed when we had to eat normal just-to-get-by family food. She said she was so sick of rice and beans (she had been traveling internationally) that id didn’t matter. What a sweetheart! We haven’t seen her in about 8 years and she still looks just the same – always beautiful! Thanks for coming to see us, Becky – next time I promise we’ll have better food.

Things to do in Houston for Families

Okay, so I love that clown pic below but after really looking into it they want money and I hate that when you can do just a little research and get the information yourself. So….here is a basic list that I came up with for local Houston things to do for families. It’s easier and free to check out the websites yourself and get the information online. Hope this helps you as much as me – we have lots to do and discover!

Hot Sauce Festival –

The Health Museum –

Brazos Bend State Park –

Old Town Spring –

Houston Zoo –

Downtown Aquarium –

Memorial Park Conservancy –

288 Lake (formerly Tiki Lake) –

Blue Bell Creamery –

Dewberry Farm –

Armand Bayou Nature Center –

Marq*E Entertainment Center –

Bayou Wildlife Park –

Miller Outdoor Theatre –

Theater Under the Stars –

Kemah Boardwalk –

City of Houston Parks & Rec –

Mothers of the Woodlands (resourcel list) –

Woodland’s Children Museum –

Holocaust Museum Houston –

Houston Travel & Visitors Center/Info –

Houston Wilderness –

Galveston Island Travel & Tourism –

Things To Do in Houston (for Families!)

So the kids are bored. Up until now this vacation hasn’t been much of a vacation. Sure, we took a day off to go to Schlitterbahn and we’ve been swimming almost every day but I think the kids are itching to get out and explore their new city. I’ve been trying to research family oriented things to do online and the above pictures link to two of the sources I’ve found. We know nothing will compare to Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo so we’re looking for other substitutes. I’ve been to the children’s museum here and it compares to Omaha but surely there’s something else…we are anxious to try the aquarium as we’ve heard it’s wonderful. Are there any splash parks? I know there are other places out there that only locals know…if you live near Houston (we’re willing to drive!), please email me and let me know what you family enjoys.

Post Birthday Gratitude

Thank you, friends & clients, for the birthday cards in the mail!

Thank you, dear Facebook friends, for taking the time to email me short notes of love and encouragement.

Thank you, dear sister, for bringing over flowers and checking up on me (even if Mom did ask you to do it!). It helps.

Thank you, dear sister, for taking care of Mom & Dad this week and helping me feel better with an overly generous gift card (which will be completely used by me, I promise, I’m not even sharing!).

Thank you, crazy friend, for being so utterly creative and helping me have fun and vent my frustrations at the same time. I am so glad you didn’t get a ticket by that policeman.

Thank you, kids, for always being willing to help and snuggle only sighing mildly when you’re asked to pick up your things for the zillionth time.

Thank you, Don, for bringing home chocolate upon request and letting me sleep in.

Thank you, neighbor and friend, for your listening ear, cooking magazines, and rescuing my child from wandering the neighborhood.

I have been blessed!

The Eymann Family in Nebraska

Above: The Eymann Siblings in Nebraska. This is a picture of my mother’s mother and her siblings. Back row, left to right: Ollie, Daisy, Violet, Robert, Rose, Lillie Della. Front row: Lottie Ollie Thornton Eymann and Ernest Gottfried Eymann. Photo courtesy of Darlene May Jackson Bartlett’s personal collection.

Above: Lillie Della Eymann, photo courtesy of Darlene May Jackson Bartlett’s personal collection.

Genealogy. Family history. Whatever you call it – I just love it. My grandmother was Lillie Della and my mother tells me wonderful stories about her. She was a caretaker, friend, hard working individual. She was a medical wonder – she helped deliver babies and was the person everybody ran to if they had any problems. I hope to put up a Bartlett and Eymann genealogy website soon. I have so much information that I want to share in hopes of finding more! It is addicting. They say the Holy Ghost goes to bed at midnight but the Spirit of Elijah is just getting up about then…that’s why genealogy seems to include all-nighters doing research on the computer.

Becoming the Villain in a Quickdraw McGraw Cartoon

First I suppose a little back story is in order. Gabe and Jack have been participating in a reading competition at school. When they read for 15 minutes a night for a certain number of nights they received a certain shell or starfish or sand dollar as a prize. Well, with them both enjoying reading, they got all of the prizes available. At the end of the competition (Friday February 27th) they held a prize drawing that included all of the kids’ names. Jack’s name was drawn and called out over the intercom to come get a prize and he was awarded a ukulele. He was very happy to get it so we ‘tuned’ it last night and the kids have all been playing it and singing along.

Fast forward a few hours and the kids (except for Cole) are in bed so that Lizabeth, Cole, and Don can have an online scrabble tournament on Facebook. After three games we notice that it is almost midnight and we still have not prepared for the house showing at 10:30 the next morning. We hastily created a list of things that we needed to accomplish before the showing so that nothing gets missed, set the alarm for 5 a.m. so we can get it all done and head to bed, noticing that now it is after 1 a.m. Somehow we are ‘blessed’ with a wakeup call (wrong number) at 4:30 a.m. We decided that we should get up and moving anyway and began the day by making beds and doing dishes and shoveling the 6 inches of new snow.

Later when we are well into the cleaning routine and the kids are up the hilarity begins. Jack and Ben are standing in the hallway when I hear the following discussion:

Ben: "Is that your bitar?"
Jack: "It’s not a guitar, it’s a ukulele."
Ben: "It’s not a huku-lady, it’s a bitar!"
Jack: "No, it’s a ukulele not a guitar!"
Ben: "It’s not a huku-lady, it’s a bitar!!!"

This continued back and forth for probably ten or twelve times before I totally lost it and began laughing out loud. Then on and off throughout the day the same discussion has ensued. Ben still thinks it is a ‘bitar’ and NOT a ‘huku-lady’ no matter who tells him differently.

After the showing when we were all back home and resting, the kids were watching a Scooby-Doo video Ben was playing with the huku-lady when a scene right out of a Quick-draw McGraw cartoon occurred. (For those of you who are too young, look here: QuickDraw McGraw cartoon at YouTube) Ben climbed up onto the chair where I was dozing and kabonged me right on the forehead. I awoke, grabbed the kabonger and very loudly explained that we do NOT hit people. He cried for a bit until I hugged him and we were all better. Then Cole looked at me and said, “Dad you’re bleeding!” Sure enough, I had a split in my head right above my eyebrow. We debated for a bit whether or not it needed stitches, and finally decided that since no one lost a finger or had a chopstick in their ear, we could skip the emergency room and applied a little tape and I went back to dozing. I really didn’t want to either visit the ER nor pay the $100 deductable for said visit.

Added Monday morning by Lizabeth: I think it’s funny that Don categorized this under “Things to be Thankful For” on my blog. Nice perspective! Or, perhaps…you’re not thinking clearly from being bonged on the head?!?

The Benjasaurus Reads!

He’s so darn cute. Just wanted to share something simple since I’m really under the weather today. That’s what I get for bragging that we just hadn’t got sick like everybody else around us. I should know better by now. Plus, I’m thinking it’s time for a giveaway – gotta think up something good to share!

Weekend at Nana & Papa’s House

We had to get away. From the constant weekend cleaning for open houses and showings. So, we thought we’d be proactive and go stay with my parents for the weekend and just hang out. We had a lot of fun! Don, Cole, Gabe and I tried rollerblading for the first time. We ate glorious food cooked by somebody else. I love having my Mom around – I will miss her so much when we move – she is fun to talk to. My Dad watches Western movies all the time. One of the best things I like about my parents is that I know they both are always there for me. They’re the kind of parents who would respond if I murdered somebody like this, “Well, she must have just had a bad day!” Okay, so they wouldn’t justify murder but they would find SOME way to be my advocate. They are about as Christ-like as parents get and I’m so glad they’re mine.

Tribute to Cole – He’s 13 Today!

What?! I officially have a teenager?!? News to me. Other than being the world’s biggest eavesdropper, Cole is nothing like your typical teenager (give it time, right?). He is still a great kid and I’m proud of him and glad he’s in our family. He is like a superhero – kind, helpful, courageous, righteous, strong, smart, imaginative, friendly – and he has only one weakness that I know of: spelling. It’s his achilles heel. Not a bad trade for a superhero.

Memories of Cole from when he was a baby: he cried constantly because he had reflux. We had to do step aerobics to bounce him to keep him happy. He has always loved animals – especially dogs (and they seem to love him, too). He is also a very good big brother – he has helped take care of each of his three brothers. His first word was “Jesus” (seriously, even before mama or dada). He has always made friends easily and has a great sense of humor. The daycare he went to as a baby called him Mr. Personality. He enjoys piano, just quit trombone (with our blessing; we’re just not band people), is a brown belt in taekwondo (sooo close to black!), scouting, camping, swimming, etc. I asked him if he wanted to live in the country or suburb when we moved to Houston and he said without hesitate, “country”. He’s just an easygoing kid. We are grateful for him! We’re proud of you Cole.

Yesterday, at church, he got to be the Bishop’s helper and he held the microphone for a confirmation and had to sit up on the stand all during sacrament. His brother, Jack, looked up and said, “What’s Cole got?” (we were thinking microphone) and then he answered his own question by saying, “Cole’s got the priesthood?!”

Jack Turned Six Years Old!

Jack had a birthday waaay back on December 20th. He is happy to be six! He loved all of his Star Wars presents. He is our squeezy child. He is not fat at all but curls up into a ball and is just so fun to hug and squeeze. The other day he was mad at Cole and called him “fat and squeezy” and I told him that “squeezy” was a compliment. At least in my book.

Christmas Photos

Photos of Christmas are so memorable. And funny. My Mom is funny in a very quiet way. We will never forget 2008 – our last Christmas in Omaha for awhile. I think that if we never bought presents for the kids they would still be spoiled by my sisters and parents. They loved it all (even the extra Wii controller Jack wasn’t too pleased with at first – he is sure glad to have it now!). I think they’ve already worn out all their moustaches.