Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Happy Birthday Penelope!!!!

Penelope turned 4 years old on Monday! I can't believe it! Poor kid got kind of a sucky birthday as we were still trying to get settled. Luckily, on Sunday, some friends of ours, the Pews (who live here in Erlanger) had us over for dinner and made her a real birthday cake. They even took some pictures, which I will have to steal. I took her to the store and we looked through the cake book, but in the end, she wanted these cupcakes. She is a great kid. She is going to start preschool on Monday, and is super excited to go to school like Sophie. She is very into playing pretend. She also loves collecting anything small. I am always finding various pouches and baskets full of anything she finds that is sparkly or small. Oh, gosh I love Penny!

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The handful of pics I took while in AZ

Dallas and the kids made an amazing tower. I love my family. It is a good thing we get to go together everywhere. I don't know what I would do without them! (Oh, don't mind the un-brushed, un-bathed looking kids. Packing and getting ready to leave AZ meant the kids had to fend for themselves a bit more than usual.)

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Moving to Kentucky!

Very few pics, sorry. These are a few from our looooong trip. We made it, and that is all that matters.

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Our little show girl is in Kindergarten!

Okay, so I have been a slacker mom. I have yet to get a picture of Sophie at school. I was planning to on her first day, but it started pouring rain. She started on Tuesday, and I think she is really enjoying it so far. Her teacher is Ms. Rowland, and I really like her, as does Sophie. Sophie likes computer time and gym. She didn't like coloring yesterday because she said she was too sleepy and wanted to be home with us. She seems to be adjusting well to ALL DAY Kindergarten. It is weird for me to have her in school. I bawled when I had to say goodbye to her on her first day. I practically ran out of her classroom so she didn't worry that Kindergarten was a bad place. She has homework every night and her teacher said she is expected to be reading and writing by the end of the year. I sure don't remember Kindergarten being anything like that! I don't think we did much of anything except color and listen to stories. Sophie has a hard time focusing on her homework- she would rather be playing with Penny and Gabe. It can be a hard thing to grow up!

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And for those who are still viewing...

This is my belly today. I am 14 weeks and 3 days with twins. I am feeling sooooo much better these days! I am super hungry all the time. Sorry I look pretty bad in these. This is my hair on frizz. I just had to prove in that last picture that I can still hold those babies in, but most of the time I look a lot more like what you see in the first picture. If only I could keep that belly flexed all the time!

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Thursday, September 03, 2009

Exodus #4, or, the Journey has Ended

What will hereafter be known in the centuries to come as the Great Heaton Exodus of 2009 has finally ended. The goal, Erlanger Kentucky, has been reached. No casualties were suffered (besides the million of bugs splattered on our windshields) and total mental stability was maintained by all, even the weakest-minded among us.

Our travels today took us through Tennessee and Kentucky and both states are absolutely gorgeous! Trees and other vegetation appears to grow here naturally and unaided, resulting in a verdant, lush countryside punctuated by rolling fields, pastures, and frisky rivers. Our drive was uneventful save for the crazy procession of at least 200 Corvettes that we saw heading in the opposite direction on I-65 somewhere between Nashville and Louisville. We were victims of the natural result that if one looks at enough Corvettes for long enough, all other cars start to look really crappy.

We arrived in Erlanger around 6:30 pm - slightly later than we had hoped due to unforeseen traffic at the end of the trip and an emergency potty stop which turned into a long but pleasant sightseeing tour through the back roads of English, KY when we realized that there was no place for our rental truck & car dolly to turn around!

We met our prospective landlords at the house we were interested in and our friends the Pews that live here also stopped by. We saw, we liked, we rented. The only thing we dislike is that the previous residents were pretty rough on the carpets so they don't look really clean even though they are. But it's very big (bigger than we need, in fact), in a nice, newer part of town, has a nice yard, and is right next to a little wooded forest. The landlords seem very nice and trustworthy also.

I'll get Emily to take some pictures and we'll get them up here quick so everyone can see. Until then we have much to do unfortunately. We unpacked the essentials tonight (mattresses) but everything else will have to wait until tomorrow. Doug Pew kindly informed the local Elder's Quorum of our arrival so we will have some help to unload the truck, but we then need to unpack, get Sophie in school, get food, do laundry, etc. I think in a week or two things will finally settle down, but then school starts for me. Oh well.

Regardless, we are thankful that we made our trip in safety and are very grateful to be here in this beautiful area. Now that we have arrived I sign off for the last time as:

-The Leader of the Exodus

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Exodus #3

Well we made it to Memphis, Tennessee today. It was a long, yet very spiritual, day. Why was it so spiritual you ask? Let me list the ways:

1) Shortly after leaving Amarillo, Texas, we happened upon and did bear witness to the 'largest cross in the western hemisphere' in the small town of Groom. It was big. We knew at once that today was going to be special.
2) We next passed the 'Shrine of the Infant Jesus of Prague' in Prague, Oklahoma. We didn't even need to stop to feel the creepy presence of the shrine seep through and taint our souls.
3) In Arkansas we saw yet another huge cross off the I-40. Two giant crosses in one day! Phew!
4) Finally there were numerous billboards informing us and the other travelers of how much God and Jesus love us. There was also that one about the 'rare bear'... I'm not quite sure what it was about but it very well may have been spiritual, too!

So there you have it. Who could have had a more spiritual day of driving?

Other impressions of the day... starting in Texas, interstate speed limits decreased to 70 and stayed there... Texas also had what may be the largest and most sumptuous rest stop in the western hemisphere (at least it appeared that way from the highway)... Oklahoma didn't appear to have any rest stops... Oklahoma City was very windy and made our lunch somewhat miserable, and the native Okla-homies scared my kids in the grocery store... eastern Oklahoma and Arkansas were very beautiful and pleasant... the back right tire of the Nissan keeps going flat - luckily I noticed and filled it up... Super 8 motel is by far the dirtiest and nastiest hotel of any we have stayed in... Misha was spotted by a cunning hotel worker and almost had a sad, lonely night in the car... Memphis feels worse than Phoenix even though it's 20 degrees cooler (and my hair has frizzed in ways that defy description)...

We've got 460 more miles tomorrow, and then we are done! It should be a piece of cake compared to what we've done these last few days. Unfortunately we have to arrive in Erlanger, Kentucky, sometime before 6 pm so we can meet up with our prospective landlord to inspect the house we hope to rent. That means another early morning, so, goodnight travelers!!!

-The Leader of the Exodus

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Exodus #2

Tired... need sleep... but must update blog...

Yes, all the above are true. It is currently midnight in Amarillo, Texas. We lost two hours in driving here from Flagstaff, so it should feel to me like it's only 10 pm. Yet strangely if feels like 3 am...

Anyways, we made it all the way from Flagstaff, Arizona today, across the width of New Mexico, and to Amarillo in the center of the Texas Panhandle. This was approximately 600 miles done in about 8 hours of driving. We stopped for lunch in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which was a convenient midway point. Thanks to my dad's Garmin (which he kindly express mailed to us for this trip) we were able to find a nice park not too far off the interstate where we enjoyed a nice lunch of meat and cheese sandwiches while Misha was friendly with the New Mexicans.

Thankfully the land has been much flatter today, allowing our rental truck to travel at the posted speed limit. We are also grateful to have had no major mishaps or problems thus far. We also successfully sneaked Misha into a second hotel tonight without getting caught! (Our secret? Stuff her in a pillowcase!)

Tomorrow is the longest part of our trip and will probably be rough. We will cover 800 miles and hopefully make it to our final hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. It's going to mean probably about 11-12 hours from departure to arrival, and due to time changes we will also lose another hour. (Grrrr....)

Since everyone else is already asleep and I've got to be up to drive very soon, the Leader must retire from blogging and sleep. Good night, and wish us luck tomorrow!

-The Leader of the Exodus