Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

Meme and Ron Ron's new Christmas tree...
Braden is posing with his Pokemon cards. He was so excited!

Here is Kanton looking silly and posing with Woody from Toy Story.

We love our Webkinz!

All Ashton wanted was a "little Aggie helmet."

Here are Santa's cookies and carrots for the reindeer!

Christmas Eve pajamas are always a favorite present to look forward to each year!

Here we are! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Galvans!

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas! We were blessed to go back home for the first time in several years. My parents were so excited, they went out and bought tons of lights and decorated the tree, yard, and house. My poor dad threw his back out and had to make two trips to the chiropractor because of it! Thanks, Ron Ron. Mom got a beautiful new tree and decorations for the house. We had 13 people there, minus Dustin and Helen, because Dustin had to work weird hours Christmas Eve and the day after. We missed you guys!

The kids had a wonderful time, and they got everything they wanted and then some. They asked for a special hunt for a toy, so my mom, sister, and I made up clues to find a present on Christmas Day, and then we had another hunt (after the kids begged us for one) to find some snowman cookies hidden in the house! We were there for a week, and I think my parents are probably worn out and missing the kids, but enjoying the peace and quiet.

I am thankful that everyone arrived and returned safely, and I am blessed by my beautiful family, great fun, and the memories that were made. My parents were nice enough to bring me and the boys home (yes, all the way back here!) so we could stay a few extra days. We had a great time. Hopefully, we can do it all over again!

I hope that everyone has a blessed and Happy New Year. I wish everyone peace and prosperity, and I hope you keep all your resolutions.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas in the Park

There's nothing like a Christmas hayride in 75-degree weather. Notice how hot the kids look. We waited in line 25 minutes for the hayride, and they ran, and ran, and ran while we waited. They loved playing tag with their friends as they waited as well.
This display was huge. Each little display was as big as a person, so it probably took up about 50 yards of the park.

Ashton was a little worried about this "reindeer."

He thought it was a coyote, and he was afraid at first. Santa's elves are taking a break from their holiday fun! It looks like one sneaky elf

has a plan! O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree!
I am posting pictures from Christmas in the Park which is in College Station at Central Park. They have free hot chocolate and cookies, free hayrides, lights, and entertainment every Friday and Saturday. They have pictures with Santa, but we didn't wait in line for that. The 25-minute wait for the hayride was enough for us. It was a nice experience, and best of all, it was free.
So, we just returned from a 900-mile trip, and I forgot my camera. So, you'll just have to take my word for it. We went to my aunt's house on Wednesday night, San Angelo on Thursday, back to my aunt's house on Friday, and home on Sunday. I must take a minute to say how wonderful it was to be in San Angelo. I got to see most of my friends, hug them, hear them talk, see their kids, and visit their homes. I went to 3 friends homes, and it was great. Amy was so sweet to keep my boys while I had my interview. The boys had so much fun playing with Jett and Levi. They really wanted to move back! Amy was great. She even let me stay a while when I was done. I had a good time. Kristi let me get dressed, went to breakfast, and had a great but short time. She was so sweet to give the kids Christmas nerds. Half of them are in my car, and they ate the other half! Okay, well maybe not half were spilled, but a few were lost on the way! Kim and her family were able to visit for a little while, and the kids had fun playing with Kaden and Kait. Again, Ashton was a little timid around 'Yote, but he was okay. Visiting Paul Ann and just seeing everyone made my heart smile. I just felt so loved and like I was home. I really can't wait to get back "home."
I will make a special post about the interview when I hear the final news. I don't expect them to call. :)
We had fun at my aunt's house, and we had a good time at a birthday party for my cousin's daughter who turned 2. She got so many toys, I don't know what she needs for Christmas. Maybe a box to put them in. My grandparents were there, and we had a great time visiting. It felt like people were mom and dad, and my sister and kids, and Dustin. So, that was fun, but I wish everyone was there.
I had to take Kanton to the ER last night. He was running a 103 fever, coughing, getting sick from coughing, and breathing heavy. He got 2 antibiotic shots in his leg, an x-ray, and has left lower lobe pneumonia. The poor kid is one tough cookie. He has had pneumonia about 6 times in his life. I had to stay home again. I missed all last week of work, and I thought I was going to work today. Please send donations to....
Just joking.
Merry Christmas to everyone. I have bought 3 presents, and only 1 is for my kids. I am doing terrible, and I just realized we have 2 weeks left. (sigh) The sick and craziness of traveling and doing things is beating me, and I need to get to it with my shopping!! All my friends had presents under the tree.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007

One of the animal displays!!!
Braden on the rock wall!!!
Braden and Kanton checking out the monkey display!!!
Ashton enjoying his smore!!!
Kanton being silly!!!
Some of the animal displays!!!

Here are four chubby bunnies sitting around the fire and trying to stay warm.

Two little turkeys, a.k.a. Kanton and Braden on Thanksgiving.

Ashton, Thanksgiving 2007.

We had a great Thanksgiving, and despite the cold, dreary, and damp weather, the kids had a lot of fun. We drove to San Antonio to visit my brother and his wife, Helen. We spent Thanksgiving day making food and visiting. We had 18 people, 2 turkeys, a ham, 7 pies, and a chocolate cake! Yes, we had enough food. I'm sure my brother, who has no kids, was a little overwhelmed by his 5 nieces and nephews and the toys, clutter, and noise that they brought!! We went through 20 bags of trash in 5 days. He said they usually go through 2 a week. Oops!

The day after Thanksgiving, it was too cold for the zoo and other outdoor activities, so we went to Outdoor World/The Bass Pro Shop. Fun! I had never been. I should be getting pictures of this soon. They had the neatest displays of animals including zebras, turkeys, raccoons, and reindeer! The reindeer were just amazing! There was a 2-story rock wall that Braden climbed, and an indoor target range for the kids. When you shot the little skunk's target, he would spray you with a mist. It was a lot of fun. I think we spent nearly 3 hours in this store. If you're in San Antonio, check it out. There's a restaurant, fish tank of live fish, fudge shop, clothing, and anything to do with the outdoors you could imagine!
The cold weather never let up, but the kids had fun roasting marshmallows, sitting by the fire, and doing silly cartwheels and handstands in the backyard. There was not much outside time, but they made the most of what they had! Thanksgiving was a great time to spend with family. Now, I need to go and walk a few laps!!

On a side note, I need to tell a silly thing that Kanton said. This child comes up with some crazy things. I don't know where he gets them. They're just too silly to make up! Kanton told me that he wished he was a dog so he could "lick people and bite them!" Where does he come up with this stuff??? He has an awful habit of pinching people when he wants them to pay attention to him. I can't get it across to him that this is not nice, and he does it over and over again. RonRon and Dustin have the bruises to prove it!! Well, maybe not that bad, but have you ever heard a grown man yelp in pain and see a little 5-year-old boy smiling? That would be Kanton. He thinks it's funny. Pinching him back doesn't help, so I hope he outgrows this soon.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Spelling Lesson from Kanton

Well, today I was helping Braden with homework. I was reading in Genesis about Abraham, Sarah, and read "Almighty God." Braden asked how to spell "almighty." Kanton said, "Oh, I know Mom, 'O M I D- omighty.'" Isn't that cute?? Have a blessed day!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Weekend Getaway

This is what 3 worn out boys look like after a long day of playing in the dirt and messing with cousins!
Ashton with my Aunt Niece riding the mower.
Well, we actually had our first getaway since moving way over here! We have stayed in town, believe it or not, every single weekend since July 20th. That's hard to believe! We have enjoyed the parks, water parks, pools, mall, and children's museum. This weekend, we just had enough of the daily grind and doing the same old thing. We headed out to see my aunt in Gatesville. The kids are not used to being cooped up, so having the freedom to run around in the yard, throw dirt on each other, and not worry about being too loud while playing was a great escape for us! Ricky mentioned the idea on Friday, and my poor aunt had a one day notice to get ready for us! We had a great time eating BBQ, getting in the dirt, and staying up late playing great worship songs on the guitar with Alan, my cousin.
Today, it was cold and windy, so we stayed inside after school. The boys were playing in the room and decided to watch Ricky's baptism video from PaulAnn. I enjoyed hearing Clay sing again and was singing a little louder than my neighbors probably liked! The boys were laughing about how they looked so different on the video. Things that you PaulAnn people will have to share with fellow staffers... Ashton saw Jeff talking and getting ready to baptize a student, and he had his beard and long hair. Ashton said, "Oh, Jesus!" I got so tickled, because Ashton thought it was Jesus. He has seen Sunday school and MDO pictures of him, and I think he thought Jeff was Jesus! I was so tickled!! Then, I tried to turn off the video when Kirt started preaching, because I figured the kids just wanted to see the baptism and that's it. No, Ashton started CRYING saying he wanted to listen! Too funny. Every time he sees pics of PaulAnn and him singing, he says "That's where I sing 'Oh, How I love Jesus!'" It's so cute how they remember. I really miss this church, and the people especially. I am 'friends' with people at work, but outside work, not anything more. I miss my friends in San Angelo, I miss my church, and I miss being only 3 hours away from my family. I want to go home, but I don't think I can do the 8 hours and 3 kids alone. Hopefully God can show me what we're supposed to do.
Please pray for us as I have applied for a job, and I would like to know if this is the direction God wants me to go, or if it's not, please help me accept that and figure out where to go from there. Sometimes, things that make sense in my head are not in God's plan for me, and I am struggling still to find out what that is. The boys are doing great in school. Except Ashton still cries at MDO. Those who know Ashton understand he just wants to be in my class. So cute. I miss you all, and hope that you have a wonderful time while I am away. Please try to miss us...just a little!!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Fall Festivals and Fun

And what's the best thing you could possibly get in the mail?? Bubble wrap!! Thanks, MeMe and RonRon!!
Looking just like the ghost cookie in his hand, Kanton is proud of his "Boo!" face!!
The kids had a great time Sunday afternoon going to a local fall festival. The kids looked great in their costumes as the trunk or treated. They decided it was too hot for helmets, so Ricky and I toted them in our hands along with three sacks of candy and a camera. Fun, fun. The kids had a blast riding the ponies which Kanton kept doing with no hands. This would have made the overly-protective mom I am a little nervous, except for the fact that he was strapped to the saddle. Ashton must have ridden the ponies 4 or 5 times. He told us every color of pony he rode. Kanton and Ashton won cupcakes and cookies on the cake walk. Braden played until they ran out of cakes. He didn't win, but his brothers shared. He enjoyed doing the rock climbing wall in 5 seconds, jumping in the bounce house, and doing the bungee run. Kanton had his face painted and requested a blue ribbon with a #1 for first place. The girl asked if it was for first place in the costume contest, and he said "No, just because." Silly kid! Ashton was the hit of the festival in his Aggie costume. Everybody kept doing thumbs up to him, which he loved. The kids had a great time, and the weather was awesome. Hot at first, then cooler, and then when it was nearly dark and almost too cool, it was over. We had a great time. Wish you were here!!

Stopping for a quick "Hi Mom!" as he makes his way to the top!

Running on the bungee run.

Braden "flying" backwards on the bungee run.

Ashton looking down from the TOP of the rock wall. He just turned 3! No fear!

Guess who thought it would be funny to ride with no hands. Kanton on the pony at a church fall festival.

Braden without the mask so we can see how cute he is!

Looking sweet and innocent if only for a minute, Mr. Kanton in his Transformers costume.

Gig 'em Aggies! Ashton wants to be an Aggie Football player when he grows up.

Jango Fett (from Star Wars), Optimus Prime (Transformers) and an Aggie Football player (said Addie Pitball if you ask Ashton).

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Preschool Barnyard

Braden standing by the wheel of the John Deere. He was on Fall Break from his private school, so he got to go along with us.

So, Kanton had his first field trip ever. He was so excited, since his brother has had several field trips. It just so happened that this field trip fell during the week that Braden had Fall Break with his Christian school. We were all able to go on the field trip. We saw sheep, dairy cows, pigs, a tractor, beef cows, a sheep dog, a horse, and chicks. It was really fun. The kids learned that pigs are turned into bacon, cows make milk, other cows are turned into hamburgers and steaks, and sheep make wool. This was a hands-on experience, and some kids had never seen these animals. I know that we have seen them from a distance, but there's just something about petting that soft spot on a horse's nose that just doesn't get old. My boys were thrilled to touch the baby chicks. My camera's memory card was full, so I missed them. Kanton's teacher snapped a pic of him with his mouth wide open in awe of those chicks. It was a lot of fun. Ashton was so excited to touch a tractor. He's pretty much obsessed with tractors.

At the old house in Wall, he would ride up and down the grass in the yard next to a big chain-link fence that bordered the property line by the highway. He would ride up and down acting like he was mowing next to a real tractor mowing for the county on the other side. He loved it!

Ashton is loving this! He is fascinated with tractors and trailers!

Kanton up on the John Deere.

Here Piggy, Piggy, Piggy! Oh, aren't they cute?? Wilbur, Miss Piggy, Ham, and Bacon.
I have always wanted a pet pig. After reading Charlotte's Web, who could not want a pet pig?? I always thought I wanted a miniature pot-bellied pig. Pink would be good. Did anyone else imagine themselves rescuing a runt and having him as your very own baby? This was something I have always secretly wanted. I think that Ricky has been warned of this, and he tries to keep me away from pigs as much as possible. I think that he must think I would be tempted to bring one home. Well, after smelling the pen of Amy's pig, Phillip, last year. I decided that I would only love pigs in my heart and not in my home. Sorry Phillip.

Kanton checking out the cows.

Kanton's class at the annual Preschool Barnyard at Texas A&M. This is a bad picture, because all the tall moms were in front. Tall moms, please squat down and take a picture so the short moms can have a picture of something besides your heads and arms. I was raising my camera up over the tall moms heads, and I had no idea what I was snapping until I saw my LCD screen. Next time, I should just squeeze in and move to the front. What do you think? Okay, so I don't want to hurt my tall friends feelings...well, all my friends would be my tall friends, because all are taller than me. Oh, Amy, are you? No, I think I'm taller than someone besides my kids. Woo-Hoo. (There were a couple of typos in there I had to fix. Thanks, Nat. I saw them later, but I was too lazy to fix 'em til now. I sounded like a pirate talking about "me kids." LOL or should I say "Argh, argh, argh." Okay. Enough of that mateys.)

Saturday, October 6, 2007

What a week

The cake, which is Whale Island, from Pirates Past Noon by Mary Pope Osborne.
My little pirate, Braden, ready for his pirate party at school.

How do I turn this sideways?? Kanton and his R2D2 laptop, all he wanted for his birthday!

Kanton and his Pre-K teacher, Miss Bruce, with his cookie.

Kanton requested a cookie cake for his birthday. He shared it with his class at Pre-K.

This is a picture of the water heater spilling onto the floor. You can see all our furniture pushed around in the living room. The white chunks are calcium buildup.

Well, starting with Ricky's car being broken into on the 28th, the week was pretty much a mess. Our washer started leaking from the drain, and the carpet was flooded. Who in their right mind would put carpet in a laundry room? Well, someone here thought it would work, and it didn't. For those who don't know, we're renting an apartment until we can figure out where to live or what God has planned for us as far as staying here or going back to San Angelo. Anyway, so the laundry room flooded. The maintenance guy came twice to unclog the drain. Then, we noticed over the weekend that the hot water was slowly disappearing. Well, the hot water heater went out. It only took 4 days of cold showers before they decided to come and replace it. When the man was draining it, he sprayed 5 to 10 gallons of water on the new carpet in the dining room. So, now we have the wet laundry room, some wet carpet in the living room, and now the dining room. 9 days of wet carpet in the laundry room was really gross. Finally, they had someone come and bring us 3 huge fans to dry the carpet. Supposedly they were coming back today. Wrong. It is strange to me how our inconvenience does not matter to anyone here, and we have just had to sit in the wet, stinky, and cold shower house until they decided to get around to it. We did get the water heater fixed. Yeah, the primitive cold baths are gone! We are now living with half torn out padding and unattached carpet. Oh, and the laundry room is down to bare cement, glue, and carpet tack strips! I hope that next week proves more productive.

On a good note, Kanton turned 5 on Wednesday. He woke up in a wonderful mood. He was smiling and told me "Guess what? I'm taller." It was so cute. Well, being five, he informed me that he no longer needed the chair to brush his teeth. He can now reach the sink. Tuesday he could not do it, because he was just four! He could reach his toothbrush way back at the back of the counter. He also informed me that he doesn't cry anymore. Well, I did tell him that I think it's okay to cry, and that sometimes even daddies cry. I told him I didn't care if he was 5 or 25, he could still cry. There are certain times when it's just okay to cry.

I have been watching the show "Biggest Loser," and trying to motivate myself to lose some baby weight. The kids have seen me watching the show, and I explained to them that the people are trying to eat healthy, exercise, and drink water. I cheer for people when they lose weight (I am still a cheerleader in my mind). Well, Ricky was giving Kanton and Ashton a bath, and I walked into the bathroom and stepped on the scale. Kanton, giving me what he thought was a great compliment exclaimed, "Mom, you could be on Big Fat Loser! You could!" I smiled all the way down to my heart! He thought he was giving me this great compliment, but what a way to say it!! If that's not motivation for working out, I don't know what is.

Well, we have been trying to get the house in order. All the furniture is pushed into the middle of the living room. Braden told me that it feels like we're moving. He had a pirate party at school on Friday. The class read the Magic Treehouse book Pirates Past Noon by Mary Pope Osborne. I will have to post pictures of the whale island cake I made. Pictures will have to be added later, because I should be in bed sleeping and resting before church tomorrow.

I think the weekend is a nice break from the chaos that has been going on around here. I hope everyone has a blessed day tomorrow.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Houston and back

This one's out of order. I forgot to post it! Driving down the HOV lane! Crazy!
Ricky's car after the break in.

Ashton playing with a stingray.

Pretending to be screaming on the ferris wheel.

The Great White that got out of the tank!!

Sharks on the shark train tour.

A very big snake!! (300-pound reticulated python)

Kanton and Ashton looking at fish in the aquarium.

The Houston skyline

Leaving in the early morning fog. We're supposed to be following the van in front of this car, which we can't see.

Well, we took our first trip to Houston for Braden's class field trip. I am so glad that my mom convinced me that I could not drive there. We took the HOV lane (high occupancy vehicle). Our van was driving down the freeway with no lights and no traffic at 65 mph between the two other lanes. It was pretty scary. I am glad I was not driving. We saw the Houston skyline which was pretty impressive to a girl from West Texas. The biggest town I had been to was Dallas, and I think Houston was way more hectic.

The field trip was to the Downtown Aquarium. The kids had a blast looking at jellyfish, alligator snapping turtles, a 300-pound reticulated python, and petting the sting rays and sharks. Yes, I did say petting the sharks! I touched them, too. They were so awesome. We saw a white bengal tiger, and there was a train that took us through a tunnel full of sharks! The audio tour mentioned that the 5-inch thick glass over our heads was holding 700,000 gallons of water, not to mention that there were several aggressive sharks in the tank. The front door closed, leaving us sitting in the train in the dimly lit tunnel surrounded by the sharks. As I smelled the gas from the train get stronger and stronger, I couldn't help but wonder what would happen if we passed out in the tunnel and the door didn't open. I am a worrier like that. It did open, and we rode out of the tunnel. The audio guide mentioned a great white that escaped the tank, and we found it a few yards ahead when the great white jumped out of the water, sprayed us, and scared the kids on the train! They did ride the train again and still jumped when the shark sprayed water in the air and came up out of the water again.

There was a carousel, a fun little ride that went up in the air and down over and over so that you get that feeling in your stomach ...the one that only roller coaster enthusiasts would understand... called Sharky's Dive, and a ferris wheel. For a woman who is afraid of heights, I was proud of myself for braving the ride so Braden could ride. I must mention that there were no seat belts, which I freaked out about as we were leaving the safety of the ground. We did make it. We got lost from the group on the way home, but more people got lost following us. So, we had them lead us out after getting directions from the phone.

Last night, someone broke into Ricky's little car outside the apartment. They busted his window out and stole the front of his radio (because they couldn't get the rest out), his planner that had business appointments in it, and free phonebooks and cd's from Ricky's job. We had to buy a new window today, which we weren't planning for. Let me just tell you how upset I was with my husband when I found that he had left our van, parked next to the car, unlocked all night with our DVD player inside! We are not leaving that out there any more! I think I will be checking the van myself from now on! The police came and lifted prints. Hopefully, they will get a match. That is very scary when someone does this to you, and you just don't know why. I am thankful that it was only the window and not my van and DVD player for my kids. I hope that they are caught.

That's all that has happened the last two days. I think we are worn out from the excitement around here.