Monday, May 31, 2010

Long time coming

It's hard to believe how long it has been since I took time to post any kind of news. I think about it but obviously never get anything done. So here is what we've been up to in the Dudley household! 

Rylan Roo turned two March 13th! I don't know where time went. Here she is showing off her new trike from Mommy and Daddy.

Rylan's party was butterfly/flower themed, so Mema made her these cookies and we all helped decorate. I hate decorating sugar cookies. I mean HATE. And now you know how much I love my little girl!

This year Rylan was really into opening presents-she thought everything she opened was just incredible!
Also in this pic you can see the newly opened kitchen. We love the feel of a big open area between the dining room and kitchen. Great job, Shaun!

She wasn't quite sure what to think of everyone singing to her! 

One of her fav new toys is a coffee pot from Auntie Daunee' and Uncle Damion. It is stored out of sight so we don't go crazy listening to her ask for it. She makes a huge mess when she plays!

Rylan went to her first big Easter Egg Hunt in Sheridan. A local church sponsors the Hunt in the city park and it's awesome-different areas for various ages, the Easter Bunny and fantastic Christian rock music blaring. It was fun to run into my friend Michelle from High School/College there! Daunee' is "helping" Lucas gather eggs in this shot! 

Another fun activity for Rylan was decorating eggs with Nana Carmen. She really got into it this year!

Checking out her Easter basket after a good dunk in the bath.

Aiden, Ella, Lucas and Rylan in their coordinating Easter outfits. We keep Children's Place in business! 

Rylan adores, I mean ADORES her cousin Lucas. She asks to see him about five times a day and prays for him during bedtime prayers at least ten times. You can see why, right?

At this point, Rylan was over cameras being pointed at her. What a turd!

Echo, Daunee' and I

Rylan digging through the eggs with Auntie Echo after a hunt in Daunee's back yard. 

I love these people. They're my favorite parents EVER. 

And sadly enough, that concludes the pictures we've taken this spring. Well, there are tons more of the above events, but not one shot since then! Needless to say, I got slightly overwhelmed with my last six weeks of college classes. I even had to resort to taking a day off of work to finish projects. Bleh. I've finished 12 credits of 30 required, and I'm praying the remaining classes aren't quite as time consuming. I have the most amazing husband in the world, though, because he never once complained about the time I spent wrapped up in homework. And he picked up my slack in all household areas. He is so wonderful.

I had an opportunity to go to Women of Faith in Billings right after Easter with my friend Jody. We had a great time but I missed being there with my sister, mom and aunts. At the end of April Shaun, Dad, Daunee', Damion and I had the chance to see Kutless in Sheridan. They are probably one of my favorite Christian bands ever. They do the best shows and their music always speaks to me. Their acoustic set was fantastic. I just want to be back there again! We have the best Daddy who raised us to LOVE loud music-and it was he that led us as far to the front as we could manage. And he still jumps up and down and pumps his fist and screams the lyrics. He's that cool! Mom was back at the Kennedy's house, watching Ry and Lucas. She was just as worn out as we were! 

Two weeks after Kutless we went to Rapid with Tucker and his girlfriend to see Skillet for the third time in ten months. Are we freaks? Yes. But the concert was worth it. We saw Red for the first time that night and they put on a great show. The best part by far, though, was the seven year old boy sitting next to me who knew all about Skillet and taught me about "acostic" (long o) guitars. 

May brought the end of classes for me, the beginning of numerous projects for Shaun and peace for Rylan. She is most content when she is outside playing. Shaun was able to build a new fence with her in tow and Titus now has his own area of the yard. We are hoping to bring grass back so Rylan can really enjoy the backyard. This weekend she got a new sand table and she loves it.

She finally had her 2-year-old check-up this month and all is well. At least then it was! During April she had pink eye, the flu and a nasty cold/cough. Yuck! Anyway, at her check-up she was 34 inches tall and 28.6 pounds. That's 45th percentile for both. Two weeks after her check-up she is on meds for a case of tonsillitis. The fun just never ends for her! 

I have three days of school left---woohoo! They are doing lots of work at school this summer, so I hand in my keys on Thursday and don't get them back until August. That breaks my heart. But not really. 

It looks like a small group of us from school along with a friend from church will be getting together to do a bible study over the summer. I am excited and nervous about this opportunity. I actually had the privilege of leading a close friend at school to the Lord this month. It ranks right next to getting married and having a child as one of the most memorable moments of my life. Anyway, pray that I follow God's leading in what I say to my friend and for the study we all do together.

I'm teaching summer school in July but it shouldn't be too bad. I'll be in 2nd grade with my buddy Charity which actually could spell trouble. We shall see! 

Plans for June include a trip to the Renaissance Fair in CO next week with my sisters, Mom, Carm and kids, Tennessee in two weeks, and hopefully a stay in IA with the Nebelsick clan. I can't wait! Hopefully we will take some pictures and I will update more about our fun times!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Small Update

I thought I should take a moment and update before the crazy weekend gets here. We're about to celebrate Rylan's 2nd birthday and planning a weekend of festivities with family and friends. Fun, but time consuming to think everything through for a party!

Our little girl is turning into a big girl very quickly. We've noticed a lot of small changes in Rylan lately that add up to lots of fun! First, she is a bit more, um...let's say...controlled now. She doesn't spend as much time dumping toys and being a tornado as she used to, focusing more on one thing. Her words, once just one or two at a time, suddenly come out in sentences. Sometimes it takes a minute to understand, but most of the time we get the idea. She is more into reading her books, though when she does she speaks another language! She is fairly proficient at dressing herself now and even wants to pick out her own clothes. We are on day three of no pacifier at bedtime or during car rides and so far, so good!  I could go on and on about all of her changes but that would make this post a lot longer than it needs to be.

Rylan Renee's birthday is on Saturday. She recently found a party hat from last year and has been wearing it around the house declaring, "My Happy!" I've been doing lots of talking about her birthday, and she will finally say "My Happy Day." I think she's going to have a ball this weekend.

Life other than that continues to chug along. I'm on Spring Break from classes, thank goodness. I'm looking forward to them being done. It's officially state testing time at school, and who knew that even though I left the classroom I would still be stuck testing. Bleh. I'm filling in for a 3rd grade teacher who is on maternity leave. Leaving the Library is a pain, but I did get a chance to finish a book for one of my classes, so I guess that's good.

Shaun knocked a wall down in our kitchen, so I'll have to snap some pics of it when he is done. He has a deadline of Saturday! What a hard worker he is. Anyway, I'm catching up on some movie watching while Shaun works nights, so I'll add my pictures and be done for now.

Modeling the hat from last year's birthday

Wearing a hat from her her other coat-a true goofy grape!

Kind of a blurry shot, but I still like it-mostly because of Ry's cute pose!

An odd pic to add, I know. Last week I was listening to Tenth Avenue North's newest song on their website. Rylan came over and saw the middle guy and said, "Tu-ter!" (Tucker, our friend across the street who is still working in CO and hasn't been home for a long time). She blabbered on and on to the screen like it was really him, then kissed the screen and told him good night. It was hilarious!! And I  think crazy-she truly hadn't seen him for six-seven weeks when it happened.

The outfit Ry helped pick out today. What a cutie!

I've been experimenting with straightening her hair. Probably sounds crazy, but it's fun to see how long her hair is without all of the curl!

Stay tuned for a birthday post soon!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

We're still here...

Yep, you read right. We do still exist. To say that life has been a little bit crazy would be underestimating things a bit. They started getting crazy when we left on our cruise. It was an amazing time and we had a blast! I have many more pics on Facebook, but these are my favs.

We're still in a winding line to actually enter the ship here. It was soooooo cold in Miami. I didn't get warm until Friday when we were in Mexico.

The cruise ship from the tender to Grand Cayman. This was the day of the earthquake in Haiti. Apparently there were tsunami warnings for the ship that we never knew about (Mom overheard staff talking about it).

Our last dinner on the ship. The dinners each night were probably one of my favorite parts. I loved getting to pick whatever I wanted off the menu and have it brought right to me every night! The best was a strawberry bisque. To. Die. For. Seriously.

And when we came home, life just went back into full swing. We were so glad to see Rylan again. I don't think I'll ever be able to leave her again for that long. Our internet bill from the ship was pretty hefty, as Betty Jo was awesome about e-mailing me and keeping me updated about all things Rylan.

I started another two classes for my endorsement in Library Media, and that is the reason life feels crazy right now. They take an obscene amount of my time and energy each week. I've struggled each week with feeling like I can't do it anymore and wanting to tell my teachers off. Everyone needs a Shaun in their life-he took over most of the household stuff while I got myself settled and in a routine of homework and reading. He's awesome. On his 35th birthday we went to Rapid to celebrate Aiden's 4th birthday(two days later) at Chucky Cheese's. Aiden has been doing pretty awesome lately. Lots less seizures and falls. He got into the Children's Center, which is totally exciting. They'll be working with him on some skills that have fallen away. They also just got a referral to do more testing down at Denver Children's Hospital. Your prayers in that area are always appreciated!

Rylan and Aiden on some kind of game. I don't think it's as cool as it was back when we were kids and it was Showbiz Pizza!

We started potty training Rylan. It was either that or work on giving up the pacifier. The latter scares me, so potty training it was! Most days she does pretty well at telling you she needs to go. She's mastered the art of taking her clothes on and off (and majority of the time she prefers them off)! She's also talking a ton. If you know her lingo it's pretty easy to understand. Today we played "puppy." She wanted me on all fours and then to ride around on my back. I kept telling her I was a pony, but puppy worked better for her! Oh, she got a cat! A one-year-old rag doll who is pretty awesome. Rylan named her Zoey and she LOVES her. It's one of the first things out of her mouth when she wakes up or when we get home from somewhere. Life with Rylan is never dull. We're starting to plan her (gasp!) 2nd Birthday party. It's just three weeks away. How can that be?? 

One of her favorite things to do still-play the piano.

Really, it's not right that she's getting so old. And so adorable. 

I haven't been very good at reading blogs lately, since all I ever seem to do is homework, but tomorrow looks like a good day to catch up. We found out yesterday that Ry has RSV, so we're quarantined and won't make it to church. She's acting fine-just has a cough and major runny nose. Like I said, never a dull moment around here. I should quit rambling and post this thing already, or it might be another five weeks before I get it up!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

We're out of here!

My love and I are madly dashing about making last minute preparations for our cruise. Rylan will be in the very capable hands of some dear Aunties but I am so going to miss her!! Maybe once I'm on the ship I'll relax and quit worrying about how things will go while we're away....

Love this song right now-it speaks to Shaun and I at this time! See you in a couple of weeks!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas in Pictures

Once again, I'll let the pics do the talking. We had an enjoyable, fairly quiet Christmas. I LOVE that we get to do Christmas at home and then journey over a block and open presents with my family!

Christmas Day, we woke to new snow on the ground.

Aiden opening a present with Mema and Papa

Echo holding Baby Lucas, Paul and Aiden

Shaun got a new camera from Rylan to replace the one that died in April. We've been using the "big" camera since and he was dying for a new one for the cruise. I told him no! Ha. Here he is playing with the black and white action and caught Ella with her tongue out-just like her Mommy does!

Rylan wanted to help pass out presents-and thought they should all be for her! She got the table and chairs from her Mema and Papa!

Damion and an unhappy Baby Lucas-he's very quiet until he's mad!

Aiden had his helmet off for a bit-so Rylan thought she should try it on!

After Christmas at Mom and Dad's we came home for naps and Ry got to play with her new kitchen. She loves it!

I love to cuddle with a sleeping baby-it's the best!!

After Christmas dinner we played Bingo. Ry can spy a camera any time it's pointed toward her!

A semi-cute picture if we didn't look so exhausted.

The day after Christmas, the wind made 5 inches of snow feel like much more. Shaun borrowed the snow blower from Tucker's house since he's not home to use it. Thanks, T!

Out and about running errands in town

Getting to enjoy her favorite treat-blueberries!

I am thrilled that we are leaving for Minnesota tomorrow! Mom and Dad changed their travel plans so that Rylan and I can make it to our friend Lexi's wedding. Her older sister and my oldest friend, Andrea, is home from South Korea. I don't think I've seen her since before I was pregnant--so I'm excited to see her and introduce her to Rylan. It is going to be frigid-but I've packed us warm clothes and I'll get to break in my new Uggs-my present from Rylan and Shaun! It will also be a quick trip, as we will head to southern Minnesota after the wedding to see my Great-Grandpa and wish him a Happy Birthday then get back home for work on Monday. Grandpa Ringen will be 99 on January 4th! Stay tuned for pics of the coming adventure!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

December Stuff

I can't even believe that I haven't posted a thing this month. Instead of lots of stories, I think I will post through pics, though there aren't many to choose from. We've been doing what I'm sure you are doing-making Christmas goodies, shopping and wrapping presents, going to Christmas parties and spending time with family!
I had my first Great Northern Book Fair December 3rd. It was the most successful one Conestoga has hosted! We had live music, hot drinks and yummy treats, and my boss read aloud Polar Express and had his train on display. I got over $500 in books for free off my commission!

I think my mom is laughing at something one of my friends-who were very helpful throughout the evening-must have been telling her.

I think Shaun took this photo on one of his many days at home with Rylan. Rare is the occasion that Titus gets to be in the dining room, so I think he's trying to be on his best behavior!

A couple of weeks ago Ry and Ella wore the same dresses that Mema got them to church. Rylan wasn't digging having her pic taken.

When we got home Shaun took a few more shots so we could get a Christmas picture ready to mail out. We opted not to do a family photo this year-too little time to get in anywhere.

Today I got to have my "cruise do" done. It had been over 14 weeks since I had been in for a color or cut so I was in sad shape. I almost had a meltdown last week when Tucker, who was in town for a wedding, texted me and said that my hairdresser was no longer at the place we thought she was. I was almost in tears-she's done my hair for almost six years and I don't know that I could trust anyone else. Shaun tracked her down at her new place, though, thank goodness! Anyway, I asked her to give me something fun and new for the big vaca-and I'm thrilled with the result. Although I don't know that I'll be able to duplicate all of the curls done with a straight iron!

That concludes this post. Stay tuned for more pics and what not after Christmas!

Oh, Echo created a Caring Bridge website for Aiden. She puts all the latest info and updates there.

Visit Aiden’s website
When you visit you’ll be asked to log in and enter the
website password, because I’ve chosen to keep the site private.
Website Password: aidendowney

May you remember the Reason for the Season this week!