Thursday, November 29, 2007

Home again!!

We have made it back to Spain and I will be updating this as soon I get caught up on our laundry (I have done 3 loads and have 2 more to go!!), unpacking and putting away, and just getting things done like going to the grocery store with 3 little ones. Until then, Adios!!!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Weekend with the Hellen's

Another weekend come and gone!! This was a fun weekend spent with the Hellen family. We celebrated Thanksgiving on Friday, and basically lounged around the house the rest of the weekend. There was a plethora of gifts opened on Friday as we celebrated multiple birthdays and Christmas. How many birthdays well, there was Paul and Sharla (Nov. 3), Carol (Nov. 11), Emily (Nov. 14), Amy (Nov. 15), Curt (Nov. 22) and finally Nathan on Dec. 3. I am not sure how we will get all of these gifts into the luggage, oh well, a few more days to worry about that.

Peanuts are much more fun than the present!!!

Saturday morning we went to breakfast with Josh and April Shiflett. It was fun to hang out with them. They are always good to get with and talk to. Emily enjoyed walking around IHOP and trying to get all of the other customers to notice her. She is a social little girl, shy at times, but more outgoing than the other two ever were. After breakfast we headed to Paul’s mom’s house were we learned that we had missed out on biscuits and gravy, one of the few foods that we enjoy getting while we are home in OKC. That is the way it goes I suppose. We spent the rest of the hanging out at Carol’s house playing games, and listening to the OSU/OU football game on the radio, no OSU did not win.There was a bit of UNO Attack played which is a pretty fun game and I am now seriously thinking about getting one, a new twist on a familiar game. Once the game was over and dinner had been eaten Grandma Hellen held a tea party for Nathan, Kayla and Avery. They were served tea and crackers. They all dressed in their tea time hats enjoyed some quality time with Grandma. Uncle Curt had to return to work on Sunday morning so Curt, Amy, and Cousin Avery headed back to Texas around 6PM and the rest of us headed over to Grandpa Hellen’s house so that Nathan and Kayla could roast marshmallows in his fireplace. Not the same as an open campfire, but the marshmallows sure were tasty!!

Playing UNO Attack

Nathan Serenades us with Some George Jones

Time to make the Marshmallows

Finally I’m back to today, Sunday! This morning we went to church then to lunch at Mazzio’s it was a nice morning, then we had to get all of our stuff packed and moved from Paul’s dad’s house back to the Cook house. After our move we headed off to another friend’s house, Brian and Sharron Schwidder. Brian was in the Fraternity with Paul at OSU. The Schwidder’s have a little girl, Abby, who just turned 5, and they are expecting their second child in January. We wish them a healthy and safe delivery of their baby. Nathan and Kayla enjoyed playing with Abby and her toys. Meanwhile Emily LOVED chasing their dog, Lucy around the house. She has a love of all things soft and furry. We went back to Mom and Dad’s house for dinner. Then, when the kids were all tucked into bed Paul, Susan and I went to Outback Steakhouse for a blooming onion and a beer. It has become kind of a tradition for us (Karen and Paul) to that at least once while we are home. That was our weekend in a nutshell!!

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Today was spent with the Cook family playing games, hanging out, and eating. Before dinner we went over to my sister Sue’s house and saw her eclectic array of pets. She has a ball python, chinchilla, and a cat. The cat hid under the bed the entire time we were there. The chinchilla took a dust bath and ate some hay. The snake came out to have a slither around anyone’s arm that would allow it. The snake was my favorite, it was kind of relaxing to have her slither in my hands on my arms. The snake was Nathan’s favorite as well. After Susan’s house I went with her to Wal-Mart to buy a “Thanksgiving Day bouquet” for my Mom. My brother asked Sue where to get a bouquet for her today and there was only one place that holds the value of the dollar higher than family, Wal-Mart. So, off we went to try to find something, after we picked out the flowers that we would use in the “bouquet, we were off to find something to put then in and to arrange them so that they do not look too much like Wal-Mart. I am not a snob, Wal-Mart has some nice things, but their flower department was definitely lacking. When we finally found some things that we could use it was time to do some rearranging. Lets just say my sister’s car was covered in little flower petals and glass beads, sorry Sue!! The arrangement turned quiet nice and no one complained, at least not to our face anyway!! It was great Thanksgiving we missed David and Katie and Joe and Annie, but understand you could not be there. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!!

Nathan with Ambrosia

James with the Chinchila The "Thanksgiving Day bouquet" The Turkey!! Kids eat first!! The Men Have a Drink of Norwegian Spirits (Aquavit) That face says it all!! Thanks for the Christmas Crackers, Gram!! No better way to travel Thanks for the lift cousin Ben!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Fishing and Ping-Pong

Yesterday was a girl’s day out for my mom, sisters Susan, Mikko and Emily and myself. We went to a spa in Edmond. Emily had her hair cut, while Mikko, Susan, and Mom had a pedicure. I had both a hair cut and a pedicure. It was fun and I was able to spend some with my mom to just chat, it was nice. While I was having a girl’s day out Paul was with his parents and the kids at the park doing some fishing. They caught some bass, and perch. The bass were brought home and filleted to be eaten later. Nathan really enjoyed fishing with his Grandpa. He is at an age were he enjoys spending time with the grandparents more and more. Grandma walked with Kayla to the playground while Grandpa and Nathan did some more fishing, Kayla just could not sit still long enough, too many things that she would rather be doing. For dinner we went to Chelinos for our Tex-Mex fix while in Oklahoma and it was GOOOOD! We ate far too much and walked (barely) out of the restaurant in pain. When we got back to Grandpa Hellen’s house and the kids finally settled into their beds we played a game or two of UNO and then it was late and everyone was ready to go to bed.

Mmmm Breakfast!!

Gone Fishing... Look at this Catch!! Wheee!!
Today was a lazy day at Grandpa Hellen’s house. When we woke up the temperature had dropped into the low 40’s and we were freezing!! This did not stop us from going across the street to look for pecans that had fallen from the pecan tree. Nathan was great at this and found A LOT. We came into the house to warm up and then Grandma Hellen came over to play. We played with the toys and a bit of ping-pong. Nathan tried his hardest to hit the ball, but just could not get his hand-eye coordination to hit the ball. There were a few lucky hits, but for the most part it was a lot of swings and misses. Nathan and Kayla enjoyed a treat of root beer float from Grandpa, unfortunately Nathan had a hard time keeping it down. At bedtime Grandpa read the story of Davey Crocket to Nathan as this has become Nathan’s favorite book to have Grandpa read to him, I think it is because he gets to wear the Davey Crocket coon skin hat!! Once the little ones were tucked into their beds Paul and Grandpa fired up the popcorn machine and enjoyed a bowl of popcorn as we played more ping-pong.

Gathering Pecans

Davey Crocket

Watching Ping-Pong

Root Beer Floats

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


I am sorry to say that Emily was FAR too tired from the previous 23 hour travel day to make a mess with her cake and would not eat it. However, she did enjoy the little sugar decoration on the cake.
Thank you for the cake, Gram!!

Nathan helps Emily blow out the candle

Kayla helps Emily eat her candy

Kisses for the Steiff Teddy Bear

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

will be back...

We are currently out of the country (Spain) and will be back in a few weeks, I will have MANY posts to add, so be ready for an enormous amount of reading and pictures when time allows. Until then Adios!!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Air Guitar!!

Here is a little video of Nathan practicing his stage act when he is HUGE music star.

How to keep an almost 1 year old busy….

…give her an onion to peel. Emily pulled this onion out of the cupboard and began peeling it. It kept her busy for about 10minutes, which in baby time is like 2 hours!!

Friday, November 9, 2007

What A Day!!!

Today, after dropping Nathan off at school, I took the girls to Gibraltar. I went to get some groceries and to look for some clothes for me. No luck in the clothes department I am going to do some shopping when we go back to Oklahoma when the clothes will be MUCH cheaper in price. As we were leaving Gibraltar the gate was closed and we had to wait for a plane to take off. It is pretty impressive to be so close to the plane as it speeds off down the runway. On the highway back to the house we ran into a road block set up by the Guardia Civil. For those of you that do not know what I am talking about it is very intimidating to come across one of these. As you approach, there are 4 SUV’s staggered in the road so that if you were to speed through the blockade you would have to swerve around each of these cars. There are two men standing in front of the blockade, one man waves people on or tells you to pull over where they will search your car VERY thoroughly. The other man is holding a machine gun with his hand on the trigger ready to shoot at anything. After you are waved through these two men and swerve in and out of the SUV’s you get to the final set of men. There is one man waiting with his machine gun, hand on trigger and about 50 yards past him there are two men and their SUV with a chain of spikes to throw on the ground to wound your car. Once you have made it past these last two men you are safe and home free. I assume they are looking for drugs being brought in from Morocco, but I truly have no idea of their purpose if anyone knows please inform me and satisfy my curiosity. I wanted to get a picture of the men with their machine guns and tire spikes, but was afraid they would shoot me, not really, but I was not about to tempt it!! Tonight Nathan’s school had a fireworks party to celebrate Guy Fawkes Day or Bonfire night (an English Holiday). It was good to get out and see some fireworks. There were tables set up selling anything from Mexican food, hotdogs and hamburgers, a “bar” selling beer, wine and drinks. There were also a table selling waffles with a cherry syrup and whipped cream or you could just get powdered sugar on top. The fireworks lasted about 10 minutes and Emily slept through them, Nathan and Kayla hid their faces in fear of the noise that goes along with the fireworks. It was fun and a good excuse to keep the kids up a little later than normal.