Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Road Trip Part 2

I've decided that we should try, once a year, to go somewhere with my siblings. I know that it'll be too crazy when our families grow and etc., but while we can, anyway.

We'll probably take our kids with us when they get a tad older, but for this time it was wonderful to have a full 36 hours with just adults! There was so much less stress in my life on our trip, even when Art made a Q-turn. (You'll have to ask him about that.) It was nice to know that my children were safe and happy with their grandmas, and I didn't have to worry for the whole time about the state of their bladders, noses, stomachs and etc.

We left Friday morning and went to the Dallas Museum of Art in the afternoon, when we arrived. I wanted to see the King Tut exhibit. but I ended up quite annoyed with it, actually. It cost us approximately $30 a person to get in (that included the rest of the museum too) so I was expecting something fairly spectacular, like, oh, maybe some of the artifacts on all the signs and posters. Although they did have a few room of artifacts from Tut's tomb, there were just as many rooms of artifacts from other "relatives" of Tut. They didn't have the actual sarcophagus, or that beautiful mask, or anything belonging to the mummy itself except a bit of jewelry that had been in the wrappings. Those large, thin animals that are such an iconic part of the Tut photos and story were also absent. I was quite disappointed with the exhibit.

However, the museum did have a section of Winston Churchill memorabilia in connection with the Reves family. (Good friends of Churchill's and subjects of a large exhibit themselves.) That made the trip worth it. They even had a set of his paints and some of his paintings done at the Reves' home on the Riviera. (He was a better statesman than artist, I'm afraid.)

We went to the Celtic Thunder concert that night; just us and the uppity Dallas PBS crowd. Musically it was great. The songs were well done, and the instrumentalists were all very skilled. However, the venue was disappointing. The Nokia Theater in Grand Prairie did not inspire me. We were seated up in the nose-bleed section, (It's like a huge pie wedge, and we were up in the crust.) and they did not have any kind of screen or cameras, so we could hardly see what was going on. You could see people, but not facial features, really. Sometimes I would forget that I was at a live concert, and then be suddenly jerked back to it by someone interacting with the crowd down near the stage.

All in all, I had a great time and I would definitely do it again, but if I could've had a little chat with my future self I would have skipped the museum and used the extra money to get seats much closer to the front of the theater. Then we could've gone to the combined Ripley's Believe it or Not and Louis Tussaud's Wax Museum, the gaudy facade of which was down the highway a bit from our hotel. It probably would've been more interesting than the DMOA, and much cheaper. We're from Oklahoma after all; it's not like we demand high class entertainment.

On the way home Saturday we stopped at IKEA, my favorite store of all time. We bought a computer chair, and another POANG chair with ottomans to go in our soon-to-be den. (She said with hope.)(Ours are navy blue with birch wood, so slightly different than the photo.)

Oh, and Elijah seranaded us in the car with a little throat singing. I should have videotaped it, but here's a picture anyway. He's dressed like a hobo; not on purpose, I think. We weren't sure if the rich, Crown Royal guzzling, concert-goers would let him stay in the theater on Friday night, but apparently they'll let anyone come to those things as long as they pay.

In fact, he sang for quite a while, and my sister and I started singing Celtic Thunder songs in self-defense. The guys got a real kick out of the fact that we both knew the entire Old Irish verse of "Come by the Hills." (below) What can I say? It's cool!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Here we grow...

Art and I are back from a trip we took to Dallas with my brother and sister. (Elijah and Claye). I will be blogging about that soon, God willing and the cricks don't rise.

For now, here are a couple of family pictures. Art's parents celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary this last Sunday, and we got a quick family picture in the church after service. Art's sister is pregnant (Jaida and Addy will be meeting their baby brother in 3-4 months) so my mother-in-law wanted to get a picture of the whole family pre-baby for history's sake.

Here are two of the more humorous pictures. Zaya is using his usual photo-taking techniques. And yes, I believe he is, indeed, making a spit bubble in one of those pictures.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


We installed our woodstove about a week and a half ago, and we've really been enjoying it. Of course, the temperatures have been fairly mild thus far. I think it might have hit freezing outside one night, but that's all.

The kids are still having a lot of fun with it. (And Art is too, truth be told. He's a pyromaniac at heart.) Mim especially loves to go get wood for me. Of course, all the pieces I get from her fall more in the kindling category, but she's in there trying anyway.

Art worked very hard on all the tiling and he installed the stove too, all by himself, as per usual. I'm not complaining, though. He did the work much faster, cheaper and probably better than a professional would've done. I'm so glad that I married a handyman. I think God knew that I would need the help. (Especially the cars. Art: "Honey, what's that noise your car is making?" Me: "Noise? What noise? Isn't that how it's supposed to sound?")

Anyway, I've been sitting next to the fire at night, writing or researching, and it's all very...well...cozy.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Checking In

Just letting you know we're all still alive here. I'm woefully behind on my word count for NaNoWriMo, as I knew I would be, but I've got my whole plot figured out in my head, and about the first 3 or 4 chapters written. (8,000 words)

Here are some cute pictures of Mim in her princess costume for the parade at the Nursing Home here in town. She was a princess because I already had all these things in her closet, so there was no purchasing of costume involved.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Foolish Optimism

I have been and will be all but AWOL from the blog for a couple weeks. I'm trying, once again, to write a novel. It's NaNoWriMo, you know. (That's National Novel Writing Month)

The kids are still doing cute things, and there is still much insanity around the Stepper household, but it will be sparingly reported until I give up on this year's attempt at greatness. I'll leave you with this little bit of cuteness.

In my clever attempt at naptime, I told the kids they had to have "rest time" in their bedrooms. It worked. Mim bored herself to sleep on my computer chair while she waited for the timer to go off. Ah, a sleeping pre-schooler. Is there any more beautiful sight in all the world of motherhood? Oh, except a sleeping infant. That's the absolute epitome of beauty.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Crazy Life - Updated

"I have to poo. Keep guard of my Freshnut Pinecone."

This is something I just heard from my sweet, little boy.

Do you want details? I didn't think so.

Update: Since details were indeed requested, here's the basic information.

Zaya was playing with his safety scissors and some blue paper and created this roughly pinecone shaped object, with little slits all around the edges. When he brought it to me I asked him to "tell me about it" and he said. "It's a Freshnut Pinecone!" I'm pretty sure he just made that up at the exact moment I asked for an explanation. Anyway, the excitement of his creation was to much for him, so he laid down the aforementioned paper flora and said, "I have to poo. Keep guard of my Freshnut Pinecone." I agreed to do so, and he ran off to the bathroom. As soon as things were accomplished to his satisfaction, he requested the return of his creation, and looking at it with pride, said, "Yup. This sure is a Freshnut Pinecone!"

So, now you know. Do you feel more fulfilled?

Sunday, November 02, 2008


I was pleasantly surprised by Zaya's first school picture. I just knew they would get one of his goofy goober faces, but they did a great job getting a real smile. I'm very happy with it.