Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Catch Up

Tarin Driving the Duck Boat

Walker seemed to know exactly what to do

Beautiful lake in Branson...

Duck calls ready!

All of us at the Branson 's Landing....waiting for the watershow...that never really happened.

The girls and I killed some time with the three barrell roller....they look ADORABLE.

Swimming with the Youngs

Walker's serious pout.....oh, I am so excited for a 3 year old...

Seriously folks, if you want an experience, go sit on Santa's lap in Arkansas. Real beards, and thick accents...."Did ya'll get yourself a build a bear coupon?"

Walker didn't quite know what to think...HILLARIOUS

Ella LOVES Hillbilly Santa

So, we haven't posted in a while, thought I would get you all up to speed. For Thanksgiving we spent a few days in Branson MO. It is only 86 miles from our house, but we went the round about way through Northeast Arkansas so Dan could work a few days before we left. The drive to Jonesboro is only about 200 miles, but took us approximately 5 hours because of all the twists and turns. I do believe that noone in Arkansas believes in building a straight road. Needless to say we made a few stops just to get a breather. It was LONG and very curvy. We had fun in Jonesboro, mostly swimming at the pool and hanging out at the mall. It brought back memories of when we lived in Mansfield and I would load up the girls in the car and head out on the road with Dan. He would drop us off at the nearest mall while he worked. I have become very successful at entertaining the kiddos at malls for varying amounts of time. I love going to little obscure towns and going to their malls. That is where I always seem to find the best deals. The mall in Jonesboro even had a Target in it....who can't kill a few hours there on a regular basis? Anywho, needless to say, it was fun. On Weds we drove over to Branson and that night Dan and the girls went with the Young's to Silver Dollar City. Walker was feeling a little under the weather, and it was pretty chilly so we opted to go brave Wal-Mart and get the fixin's for our Thanksgiving dinner.

Dan and the girls had a blast. Dan said it was like no Christmas lights display he had ever seen before. It put everything else to shame. The girls loved it too. They had lots of Christmas activities and shows along with the typical rides. I think we will definately make an effort to get there next fall. We also did a Duck Boat tour in Branson. The kids thought this was a TOTAL kick. You should have seen Walker's face when the truck drove right into the water and made a HUGE splash. Walker and Tarin each got a turn to drive the duck boat. Ella opted out. It was pretty cool. We took the kids to see the new Christmas Carol movie....BIG MISTAKE. It was really scary and we spent the next few hours really upset that we had gone. I kept waiting for it to get funny....after all, isn't Jim Carey in it? Anywho, it was a little traumatizing...especially in 3-D.

We had Thanksgiving dinner with the Young's in our condo. She made a bunch of stuff and I did the turkey and the ended up being FABULOUS! We each just made the stuff we cared about having for left overs, and it was awesome. The following three days were filled with leftover turkey sandwiches and pie. Does it get any better than that? It was a nice, relaxing break. We played a lot of cards, went for walks/runs, shopped a little, ate lots of leftovers, and just enjoyed having some stress-free time together. A big shout out to ma and pa Welling for hooking us up with the condo. It was awesome. It was a cute little cabin-like condo. It had two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a loft. The only think it lacked was a pool, but thanks to the Youngs we got to get a swim in at their condo before we left. It was GREAT!

We went to the old time photo place and got some fun Christmas card pics taken. I will post some of them at a later date. Walker LOVED it. He was totally hamming it up for the photographer. She was convinced that we needed to get the kid an agent and get him into some modeling. It was hillarious. Dress him up like a cowboy and give him a toy gun, and you get a pretty great show. Totally lived up to his Walker Texas Ranger name...
The only suggestion I would make before leaving Branson, is DO NOT go have a nice breakfast buffet and then leave town. Fully tummys and very windy curvey roads DO NOT MIX. Poor Ella was sitting in the back of the car and she got sick. It wasn't pleasant for ANY of us involved. Other than a pretty messy ending, it was a GREAT week!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!!!

Just thought I would post some Halloween Pics...

Starring the Fabulous DeLong Kiddos:

Tarin as the Witch

Ella as the "Pumpkin Princess" what else would she be?

And Walker as Spiderman himself, although he thinks he is superman.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Tarin's Baptism

Last weekend we had Tarin's baptism. She seemed to think that she had to wait forever because she turned 8 about 6 weeks ago. But with Grandparents flying in from all over...this weekend worked out perfectly. It was little rainy and a little chilly, but with lots of warm soup and snuggling with Grandparents we made it work. Tarin got to have her baptism all by herself, she was the only one, it was nice and small. I will admit, when we first moved here, I was a little concerned that it would just be our parents at the baptism, but we have made some pretty incredible friends already and it was nice to have them there to support Tarin on her special day. Ron and Emily drove over from Tulsa....becuase they are moving we had friends from everywhere there. It was a great day. Nana gave the talk on baptism, my dad gave the talk on the Holy Ghost, and we had a couple really special video presentations and a muscial number by Ella, Lyndee Young, Kaitlyn Young, and Tarin. It was a great day. Here are some pics before...the kids were running like crazies after, so we didn't get any post-dunk pictures. Oh's what we have!

Grandparent Visit

The night everyone got into town, we had some CRAZY rain. We got like 5 inches over night, so the next day we went to check out some of the waterfalls we had played in with Ron and Emily on Labor Day. They were ROARING and didn't look very appealing to play in. It was amazing to see the difference a little, or a lot of rain, can make.
Both Dan's parents and my parents came for a visit. We were SO lucky to get all four of them here for Tarin's baptism. It was a fun-filled weekend. We went to a little city called Eureka Springs about an hour away. It was a fun shop-filled town. It was know for it's healing springs and used to be where people went to drink the healing waters and get better..the store owner we spoke with said she just thinks it was because people actually came and relaxed that they got better. There was a little store where there was a trained bunny that took your money, and then gave you your pen and receipt to sign. The kids were greatly amused by it. Of course we had to buy something to see the bunny in action.

Eureka Springs is also one of two places in the world where the Passion Play is put on. I went when I was in high school, and it is a pretty amazing production. Who would think that Oberomergau Germany and Eureka Springs, AR would have something in common. In Germany they only put on the passion play once in 10 years, but in AR, they do it every summer. We got some pictures of the "Big Jesus" or as they call him here the "Christ of the Ozarks." It is a BEAUTIFUL spot with an incredible view.

Dan's Race

So, Dan got somewhat coerced into running 5K with our neighbor Tiffany. He wasn't thrilled about it, but it was fun for him. The kids and I went to watch him run and finish. It was for a charity called Hannah's Hope...a little girl that died of cancer, who's family is now raising money to help find the cure. It was a good cause, but wasn't well attended. It was the first year though, so it can only grow from here on out. .Here are some pics of the runners... I am trying to get Dan addicted to running so that he will run a marathon with me next hasn't been working so far, but I have about 8 months to convince him... we will see.

Labor Day Itself

I ran a 10K race on LaborDay. It was a small race here in northwest AR called Run for a Child. A bunch of ladies from church have organized a group to run together for the past few years. Everyone wears a pink shirt that says "Sole Sisters." I was lucky, soon after we moved here, to meet some great running friends. A few from church, and one right next door. They were so sweet to let me join their "sole sisters" group literally a few days before the race. The race was really close to our house so it was fun to see Dan and the kids along the way with their signs. I was at this point 15 weeks pregnant, and it was kindof hard, mostly because I ended with a full bladder. We spent some time at the party after the race, lots of free food and fun for the whole family. . . bounce houses and lots of Wal-Mart vendors just giving away stuff. It was fun for all of us.

After the race, we hurried home, showered and cleaned up and then headed off to Branson, MO with another great family we met here....kindof here...the girl I met this summer in Utah and her family, the Youngs. They took us up to Silver Dollar City...which is an amusement park in Branson. It was a beautiful, hilly, windy road that made most of us car sick. It is only like 60 miles, but because of the crazy roads, takes about an hour and a half to get there. It was a great time. Tarin loved it because she was FINALLY tall enough to ride every ride she wanted. She and her new BFF Lyndee rode a rollercoaster called Powderkeg with their dad's and got STUCK on the rollercoaster. IT broke down right as they were ALMOST getting off. They closed the ride down and luckily got everyone off safely. They had to climb down off the ride onto a ladder. It was crazy...but FUN! Another perk of Walker being SO big is that there aren't too many rides he can't ride at amusement parks. Most kids his age have to ride with an adult, but the kids is really the size of a 4 year old, so he can do most by himself, which make his nautious mommy VERY happy. The Youngs also introduced us to a great place for BBQ, as we have been feeling deprived since leaving TX. It was some of the best we have had since moving. I wish I could remember the name of the place. It was awesome though! It was a busy busy, but FUN filled weekend.

Ella the Amazing....

I know, I am a slacker. I have been meaning to update the blog in such a long time and haven't taken the time to do it, why you ask...simply because I am lazy. We ended with Labor Day weekend last that is where I will pick up. After the Gilleland's left we had a nice calm Sunday. Ella decided it was time for her to ride with no training wheels. She had still been using them quite a bit, but was begging us enough that we gave in. Dan took her training wheels off, and then set her up on the drive way (with a helmet of course) and we were expecting a big crash and lots of crying...SHE COMPLETELY Surprised us. She took off down the driveway, made a big turn, got stuck, fell off, got right back on, and started up again, ALL BY HERSELF. She could do it, she just had to decide that it was time. She has been loving to ride her bike ever since. We have been on family bike rides, and now there are NO complaints from her. It is fun for her to feel like she can keep up with her big sister. This is a miracle on so many levels. Coming from the girl who doesn't like to sweat, and refused to ride a bike until last year...pretty miraculous. Dan even bought her a power wheel for her 3rd birthday because she couldn't keep up with the kids on the street.....pretty sad. Anyway...power wheel is in storage and now Ella is in her own power behind the wheel....We are so proud of her Walker didn't want to be left out either. He is a pretty speedy bike rider himself....probably won't be using training wheels much longer....

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Labor Day Part 1

So, this weekend has been fun so far. It started with a nice relaxing Friday evening and then our good friends the Gillilands came for a night. We took them up to a place called Tanyard Creek. Six kids, two dogs, and four adults. These pictures are the result of a fabulous time. It was great. After the adventure we go to go have a nice adult dinner while a brave sitter watched all six kiddos! It was great! Here are some pics of the hike.

Dan and Walker and Willie all going for a swim in the lake after the hike..

Hiding behind the waterfal

Everyone braving the water to get a shot behind a waterfall

Kings of the Mountain

Ella the little hiker girl

Scaling the mossy was pretty slippery but really fun.

All the kids enjoying a rest

Zach thought this was great!

Hiking the creek to the waterfall

Thursday, September 3, 2009

It's a Phone????

I had to post this...Tarin opening her phone for her birthday.

I Love Free Stuff....

So, our Stake here in Bentonville hosts an annual preparedess fair for the community. Our stake hosts, and runs most of it, but apparantly it has turned into a HUGE community event. Lots of vendors and businesses in the area donate things and also come support with volunteers, etc. So, we have been hearing about it for a few weekends and I am way excited to go see what this is all about. They give out 72 hour starter kits to everyone who comes, provide lunch, games for the kids, etc. It is gonna be great. One of the girls in our ward was in charge of getting all the donations for the 72 hour kids and money for the food, prizes, etc. After playgroup today she invited us over to her house to get some stuff that they couldn't use...that Wal-Mart had donated and she needed to get rid of. I thought I might end up with a tube or two of toothpaste or some shampoo or something...but when I saw the BOXES of stuff that had already been ran-sacked for the 72 hour kids, by the RS presidents in the area, and a few other folks in the ward...and this was what was LEFT, I was overwhelmed. I probably got at least a year supply of razors, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, bar soap, etc. Here is a pic to show you just what I got...and there were still boxes FULL when I left. It was amazing. If people around the country could figure out how to get pallets of this stuff from food banks would run low and shelters would be stocked. The pallett she got was ONE WEEKS worth of returns and non-sellable items from the Wal Marts around the nation. AMAZING.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The "Closing" of another chapter

I assumed that the end of our chapter in Texas was a few months ago when we moved away... I didn't know how sad I would feel after today and our official closing on our house that makes us no longer property owners in the great state of Texas...but more importantly...on "the loop." We have moved around some...enough to know what a fabulous neighborhood is and can be. Each 'hood we have lived in has been the BEST for what I have needed at the time. In Utah, our 'hood helped me grow in the motherhood department. We had a neighbor right next door, Leanne, who taught me so much about being a mom and what a good mom does. She started me running and working out more regularly, and for that I will ALWAYS be grateful. I got to be Primary president and learned much more from that calling than I have EVER learned anywhere else. Given, I was really young at that time and needed to learn a lot too...

Our second 'hood was in Mansfield and the neighbors there were beyond what I could have ever imagined. Not only the ones on Austin St, but the ones we met at church. I learned that you can make "family" anywhere you live. I learned how much I loved going to my mom's house for Sunday dinner, and how much fun it was to swap dinners with the Ellsworths and other friends in the area. I learned that there are SO many more Christian people out there then I could have ever imagined...who are just good. I learned that friendships don't end with an address change...they just change. We also learned that our family, meaning our little family unit, is strong and we can do anything as long as we are together.

Our third 'hood is the one we just left... "the loop" is a magical place. It was hard to put a value on my house there, because what you get when you live on that street is worth far more than what money can buy. There are neighbors there who care and love you and don't judge. They pull your weeds and mow your lawn when you aren't there to do it yourself. They watch out for the lady down the street, who's husband is in Iraq. They walk your kids to school when you are too lazy to get out the door and go yourself. They drop by with a little gift just to let you know they care and are thinking about you. They invite you to dinner when your husband is gone. They coach your kid's soccer teams...they don't hate you because your dog barks all the time. They take you out for your birthday and any other special occasion that gives you a reason to go out. They give you "non-going away" parties. You get about 25 kids going door to door all dressed up asking for candy...and the parents trying to run ahead to make sure someone is home. But best of all...they are just good people helping one another and trying to get by as best they can. How can you put a price on that? So, today as I signed all the papers and essentially "paid" to leave this 'hood, I can't help but be a little sad. Don't get me wrong..Arkansas is fabulous and we have made some great friends already and I know the next neighborhood will be fabulous too...but today I am mourning the loss of what we had in our past 'hood. I feel bad for anyone who doesn't get to live on the loop and today that person is me...

So, as far as the house goes...who cares...the house was great, but the location is what made it special. I will miss the paint...heaven knows without Livia down the street I will never do another nursery like Walker's was. I will also miss a few other things like the extra bathroom and maybe having the kids upstairs....but that can all be replaced. The loop cannot!

Here's a photoshow of our TX we say goodbye...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Happy Eighth Birthday Tarin!!

Nana made this cute photoshow of Tarin's life. I had to post it. She is getting so big and is so mature. .and responsible. Sometimes, I feel like I have a 12 year old rather than an 8 year old. There is no task to big or no challenge to great for her. She is a smart girl, great student, wonderful big sister and takes care of everyone in this house. In so many ways I look up to my little girl. I can't believe she will be getting baptized soon. Tarin, we love you! Have a very happy birthday!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

First Day of School was the first day of school for the kids here at their new school in AR. Tarin is going into the 3rd grade and Ella is in Kindergarden. It has been fun to see their excitement about what they are going to wear and their new teachers and meeting new friends and the whole package that comes with moving and starting over in a new place. Ella has been trying to wear this outfit every day for the past three weeks...ever since Grandma took her shopping to buy it. Tarin did great. If she was nervous, it didn't show. She made new friends and has decided that she might just be able to handle riding the bus's her mom that's not. Because we got here so late...they didn't get into the school that is close by our house, so they would have to make a bus transfer to get to their school. They would have to leave at 6:55 AM and wouldn't get home until 5 PM. That seems like a bit too long of a day for a 3rd grader and a kindergartner. So...we may try it a few times...but I don't know if we are willing to make that kind of thing happen. Here are some pics to document the event.