Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My Dad, the Retiree

Growing up, I remember sometimes waking up to the news playing in the other room and the smell of coffee that filled the walls of our house. I knew the noise of the news and the smell of fresh coffee only meant one thing--Dad hadn't left for work yet. On those mornings, I'd get up real quick to make sure that I didn't miss him before he headed off for the day. I'd hang out in his room if I was too early and hugged him bye before he left.

I've always known my dad great work ethics growing up. He rarely ever called in sick even when he really should have. He was always on time to work and I believed that he did his job well when he was there. He took his job seriously to be able provide for our family. It built a solid foundation for how I should approach my work.

Last Friday, Cody (my brother), Aleeyah, and I went up to General Motors for my dad's and some of his fellow co-workers retirement lunch. During this time, Cody and I got a little bit more of a taste of just how Dad has spent the last 30 years at his job and were able to meet some of the people that he has worked with.

It was neat to see what they do and how it's all done. Aleeyah was mesmerized by all the moving parts and couldn't take her eyes off the cars rolling by as workers did their jobs. Dad was a proud Peepaw showing off his girl ans she soaked in all the compliments.

We met a lot of people and some people that we've heard stories of. Many threatened to tell stories on my dad and I'm sure none of them would surprise me! But more importantly, they all talked about how much they will miss him. He has only spent some 3ish years at this plant and spent the prior 27 years at the OKC plant, but even in those 3 years he had already left his mark and you could tell that by the way they spoke about him. I have always been so proud of him in the way that he approaches his job, but both Cody and I talked about just how proud of him we were on our way back home.

Today, is his last day at his job of 30 years at General Motors. He has spend a good chunk of those 30 years supervising people to keep the lines running smoothly and constantly coming up with new ideas and advice that GM takes and then into place around the plant. It's been a long, hard 30 year journey for him-physically and emotionally. It will be a hard day as he says good-bye, but a good start for a new journey!

Happy Retirement Dad! We are SO proud of you!!!

(picture of my daddy-o on my birthday last year)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Weekend Highlights

We had a great weekend! Here are some highlights without a lot of Abbie ramblings.

Aleeyah has been bugging me about getting her Bendaroos ever since we went to a restaurant that had them. She sees them from time to time on an infomercial. We just happen to find them at Walgreens and they come in a box of 500! She has been on cloud 9 with her Bendaroos and I love it because it's a good, quiet toy!

She is using her play voice and for some reason she thinks this goose makes a donkey noise.

Ignore the big brown glob on her sweater. She had a chocolate filled egg on the way home from Walgreens that made it's way in her hair, face, seatbelt, shirt, pants...you name it!

Then after we played Bendaroos, she rode her bike in the house. No, she doesn't normally get to ride her bike in the house, but it was raining and well...it was something other than Bendaroos!

Saturday afternoon we took Aleeyah to see Monsters VS Aliens in 3D. She wasn't feelin' the whole 3D thing. Well, she did alright until stuff started flying at her face then the glasses quickly came off! I didn't get a pic of her in oversized glasses, but she did look pretty snazzy!

Then Saturday evening we went to go play over at my dad's house on his 4 wheelers in the snow. Let's just say, I could have just about peed in my pants and all over my dad when he took me sliding down a hill SIDEWAYS!!! Not cool!

Dad hooked Aleeyah's sled up to the 4 wheeler and took Aleeyah and Chris for a little cruise. Now the in the first video you will see what I agreed to. Then the next video you will see how they returned--notice the 3 year old on the 4 wheeler BEHIND my dad. They did that to keep her face shielded from the wind after she got a whole face full of snow/water mixture, but I am one of those people that could be a good risk analyzer and well...that scene just about made my heart jump into my throat!

All that to say, we did have a good time and Aleeyah wasn't ready to go home, but Chris had homework, Aleeyah was very cold, and I wanted to get off the roads before dark.

Here are a few more pictures from our time out in the snow.

And brother Cody on his 4 wheeler..

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Twas the first week of spring....

Okay, so hopefully my absenteeism does not start becoming a problem! I've got something exciting in the works, but I can't really talk about it yet. I'm hoping to be able to start talking about it soon. Sounds like an empty "I'll tell you later" kind of deal, but I promise it will be soon! Lets just say it has something to do with babies, Africa, and boxes and just in case--no we are not moving to Africa to help with the babies! Whew! I knew you got a little worried there for a second!

Outside of working on the exciting news I can't tell you about, I've been working on some other exciting stuff.

There ya have it!

Okay, okay. So maybe this post won't have a whole lot of details on the secret, exciting stuff going on right now, BUT I do promise to update you on a few things going on in our family. Like one of those, once a year, Christmas updates that you get in the mail!

So, with snow just around the corner (no joke there) we are hanging our Easter baskets by the chimney with care in hopes that the Easter Bunny will soon be here.

Life in the Hamblin household has been steadily busy, mixed with lots of great family downtime lately. We have been home searching. I say home, because we still have no clue if we want to be in a house, apartment, duplex, or townhouse. We still have several months before we have to make a decision, but we are looking at all our options now that we know a little more about the area. We looked at several of each option. It's a bit difficult because we live in such a nice area where the duplexes and townhouses are fairly new 1700+ Sq ft, expensive suckers, but we aren't so willing to move out of our area because it is so nice and Aleeyah will be in a school district with student test scores that consistently rank in the top 10 percent of the nation-an important factor in our moving decisions.

We are loving our apartment life besides for the fact that we are on a second floor and the poor people downstairs can probably here every step we make-every move we make-every single day....sing with me!

.....ohhh...hi blog readers....

As I was saying--apartment life has been good to us. No yard work and a free pool and gym has been great-especially with Chris being in fast track, full time school right now. That has been going well and he will be graduating with his bachelors, I think, in October. Then he will go right into his master's program. It will be nice when all is said and done, but he has to spend so much time studying as well as work a full-time job. It's been a bit hard to juggle all of it. He does, however, have a 3.9 GPA right now and has spent a lot of time leading group projects in each of his classes. I'm definitely proud of him.

Aleeyah has been great as usual! A chatterbox 3 year old that is testing her boundaries in talking back to mom and dad. It usually is coupled with some sweet face and voice, as to try to win us over. Oh, that girl. I've been considering getting her into some type of program soon. Chris wants to put her in dance and well, she has had this hip thing going on lately. I'll have to try to get a video of it soon. I'm hesitant, because I don't feel like one of those dance moms. Pool lessons are definitely in her near future-maybe she can show her momma a few moves. :)

Academically, she continues to do great. We've been talking a lot about different kinds of shapes and she can now tell the difference in Octagons, Hexagons, and Pentagons by counting their sides. She is also continuing to read more and more words and she even remember some words by site. Have I mentioned she has a little bit of OCD in organization? I don't know where she gets it from.... Yes, this is what I walked into the kitchen to see. I probably shouldn't mentioned that I really wanted to shove that basketball to be properly in line with everyone else, but she did manage to get them all in size order.

She has been loving having Oliver around. The two of them are inseparable. Anywhere she is running off to, he is right behind her. He will be 11 weeks old tomorrow. He is all puppy--chewing on everything and of course, potty training. I'm thankful though that he has started understanding that when the lights go out, it is bed time. His ears found their upright stance proudly on his head last week. So now, he looks more Yorkie.

I've been feeling much better on the new/old medicine. One of my medicines is new and the other is old, but I haven't taken it in quite some time. It's a bit stronger of a medicine than what the new doc would have liked to try me out on, but he said since I've been taking it before, he is going to trust that I needed it. Our plan is to get my allergies under control so that my asthma doesn't bother me. Which I'm happy about. Once allergy season is at bay, I will be taken off my meds to do allergy testing in hopes of possibly doing immunotheropy. I still have more researching to do on that one, but am looking into the possibility.

So that is my little update! I hope to be back on some time this week to share some old pics. My friend, Jess, has been blogging about her school days since her 10 year reunion coming up. She challenged her 99 grad friends to join in humiliating ourselves. I thought it sounded like fun and have been meaning to get some pics posted up!

Until then--Have a Merry Spring with lots of fluffy bunnies hopping in the snow!!!

Some pics of Aleeyah and Oliver playing outside...

and Chris studying while we were downstairs playing....

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Just a little update!

Whew! I went to a new asthma/allergy specialist today in hopes to get some relief from this cloudy head. No, not the cloudy head I wrote about last post. Snot clouds. Yuck, I know! I'm looking forward to feeling better soon!

So what have we been up to? Well, tonight I've got lots of emails to respond to, blog reading to catch up on, letters to write, comments to write (I miss my online peeps!). We have been enjoying our time together as a family and so I will share some pictures from out last couple of weeks below.

Thanks so much for the comments and prayers in response to my last post. Honestly, my mind has been wandering through a desires and big decisions for our family. I'm finding it hard to lay it at God's feet and then step away-accepting in my heart that He will be our ultimate guide. It's only in Him that I want our decisions to be made, but I struggle giving it all to Him. I struggle seeing what is His will over my own. Thankfully, He gave me a great friend that has helped me see this week that maybe He has already given me my answer a few times, but my own doubt and fear is holding me back from seeing that it is His will.

He knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us hope and a future.

So hear are a few highlights from our past couple of weeks. We took Aleeyah bowling for the first time the Sunday I got back from my mini trip with my friend. Then last weekend we took her to play miniature golf!

I'll try to not slip away for so long next time! :)

Don't you love the way that Aleeyah plays golf? LOL AND BTW-I just have to point out that the yellow ball hitting the rock in the bottom of the screen is Chris' ball!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A state of unclarity...

I apologize for the emptiness in my blog this week. My internet has been a bit cooky the last 2 days. Tonight, I sat down to write a post about my weekend with my friend and share some random pictures from the last week.

But I can't.

I would say that my mind is empty like my blog, but it isn't. What is in it isn't clear. Almost seems like a cloudy mess of thoughts in a huge thunderstorm. A thunderstorm of life decisions and the never ending 5 year plan question.

What can be done? When can it be done? What can I do?

More importantly...What is HE calling me to do?

Why am I writing all this? Why do I dare push the publish post button? Because many of you are prayer warriors.

We have prayed for babies who are sick. We have prayed for adoptions. We have prayed for family members who just found out they had cancer. We have prayed for new life. We have prayed for friends. We have prayed for each other.

And tonight, I ask that you pray for me.

As to not leave you empty handed,, I give you a great blog that found it's way here. It's writer left me a message and I have to say, I've quite enjoyed it's fanciness, but more importantly--its messages. On that blog, I found this video.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Bring on the Sunshine!!!

Yesterday, we went to the park since it was in the high 70s. It was beautiful, but VERY windy! Oliver was a hit with the kids....a little too much of a hit! I had several kids around me asking to hold him every few minutes and trying to take him out of my hands. I did let the ones asking hold him for a short bit and only one time. I kept trying to explain to them that he is a very young puppy and that it is his first real time being outside. He was a bit skiddish of the wind and all, but eventually got brave and started trying to help Aleeyah with the sand.

Later that day after we got home, we all went outside in front of the apartment. I'm trying to get Oliver more use to outside, but also not overwhelming him at such a young age. Aleeyah and him ran ALL over the place in front of our building. It was non-stop. She just kept running and he kept chasing her. I sat outside watching them at it like that for about 45 minutes. They were both so tuckered out by time all was said and done!

I wish I would have brought my little camera out so that I could have got a video of it. By the way, I don't really know why we own an actual DVD camcorder-I always end up using my camera because it's a lot easier to upload to YouTube to put on the blog. I was able to get a few pictures from my phone though.

Aleeyah and Ollie

Aleeyah strikin' a pose!

She is going to love me for this one when she gets older!

Aleeyah and Oliver running

Well, I'm out for the weekend. I'm meeting a friend a few hours away to have a girls weekend! Aleeyah is staying here with Chris! Saturday will be my 3rd night away from her since she was born. And my first night without Oliver. I don't know what I will do without an Oliver squeaking in the other or a 3 year old sneaking into my bed in the middle of the night only to kick me in my ribs every couple of minutes!

Have a great weekend!!!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Snow and a few Okies

Well, before I get into posting any pictures of today's lovely weather of 78, I should really finish up my posts from our last weekend....when it poured snow on us! Yes, lots of snow! (Okay, Jill-not your kind of snow!)

We had big plans on Saturday to go to a science museum of sorts and then to a night out at a very, classy restaurant--the kind that doesn't like people like me there! You know, the kind that thinks going to Red Lobster is the classiest place to go for Valentine's Day.

Well, we ended up spending the afternoon playing in the snow. Mark and Benita stayed inside and watched us from the back window. We have small hills in the front of our building that you can see from the balcony or back door. They are perfect for sledding with a 3 year old. I didn't get a whole lot of pics because after Chris and I both fell into the snow together with my camera, I decided to take it back inside while we played. By time all was said and done, I had snow both up my pants and down my pants, Aleeyah's cheeks were so red from the cold, and Chris-well, he dressed more for the occasion than us girls. Here are some pics. The last 2 were taken last time we had snow or what was left of it. I figured I might get in trouble for not being in the pics again!

After playing in the snow, we spent some time hanging out before we had to get ready for dinner reservations. I used this time to wear my new black dress again. Everyone looked so snazzy by time it was time to go. We still managed to not get an pictures though. :( All of us (myself, Chris, Aleeyah, Chris' parents, and my dad) headed up to the Plaza to The Capital Grille.

We passed by the 3 valet people and parked our own car in the parking garage and made our way to the front door where the lady promptly helped us with our coats and checked them into a little closet-something I've only seen in movies! With I'm sure my Okie accent, I asked, "Oh, you take our coats?" She said, "Yes, ma'am" while all the while probably thinking in her head that we just needed to turn around and find the nearest McDonalds. We all sat down where we were greeted by both of our waiters. One for drinks and one for the whole dining experience. Our main waiter was SO nice and accomidating. He just kept asking if we wanted to have such and such brought out and he just kept bringing stuff--later to realize that it just kept racking up our bill! Apparently, they had some really great chocolate milk. Aleeyah already had 2 glasses down before her $20 Mac and Cheese arrived.

Speaking of Aleeyah, she was quite the little lady during on extended stay at the restaurant. She looked beautiful in her creme dress with a black ribbon sash and a black bolero. She spent the last part of our evening at the table with my iPhone-playing games. She got quite the laugh and comment walking out with it too!

We enjoyed a lovely evening of laughs and conversation. Aside from the time that my roll when flying off the table when I tried to cut it (yes, embarrassing, but provided for lots of laughs), our most entertaining moments were every time someone got up from the table to go to the restroom, the drink waiter would be there within seconds to refold your napkin and neatly place it back on the table for your return. It never got old! We came just short of placing bets.

Finally, our dinner ended with some yummy dessert and hot, moist towels. And I'm not talking the towelettes. It was the real deal. One of us (I won't mention who) pretended to wipe their pits quietly as to not disturb the classy folk, but enough to cause giggles amongst our table.

On the way out, I had to do one last thing to show them that I was clearly like a fish out of water and told the hostesses that "some lady took our coats". She not-so-nicely grinned at me and said, "yes we have your coat check and she is getting them."

"Thanks lady!" Okay, completely didn't say that last one, but I sure wanted to!

Sunday, we went to church and then Chris' parents left that afternoon! Overall, I think we all had a great time. I love that they are willing to come see us. They typically come here when we won't be back in Oklahoma for several months. We actually aren't going to be going back until mid May when the little lady below will be birthing the bump that is to be named, Mason. (I hope she doesn't mind me sharing her picture! She is too cute of a prego lady to not share! Well, I don't think she visits often so Shhhhh we just wont tell her!)
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