Thursday, April 28, 2011

Birthday Boy

First Birthday Cupcake-

After  a few rounds with the cupcake-

After too many rounds with the cupcake! (Todd had a very similiar look on his face after five cupcakes.)

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Tornado Closet

Friday night we had to put the tornado closet to use.
Due to a high water table, basements are rare in Owensboro. Unfortunately, tornadoes are not.
That means we have an interior closet that is our "safe place".
 This closet is under our stairs and contains our 72 hour kit and our 30 day food storage.(I figure if a tornado is going to take everything out, I will want those things with me.)
Friday night I was putting together Easter baskets and we heard the sirens go off. We also subscribe to a local weather channel system that will call you when there is a severe thunder storm warning, a flash flood warning, or a tornado warning. The recorded call was for a tornado warning. It said that a funnel cloud had been spotted and that we should take emergency action immediately.
It is so weird, though. It goes from being completely peaceful outside to complete chaos - nice and calm one minute, then there will be a crack of thunder, gusts of winds, and then all of a sudden tornado force winds and pouring rain.
It is also kind of like you wonder if you should really get in the closet.  It just feels silly.  Like when you are at some public place and the fire alarm goes off but nobody does anything. 
Well, Todd and I looked at each other and said, "Should we get the kids?"  Because, really, does anyone want to wake up four peacefully sleeping children at 11 o'clock at night?  NO.
We did.  We got everyone crammed in the closet with our flashlights and our weather radio and we listened.
And we started to sweat.  It was hot.
Macie and Charlotte were calmer than I expected.  They had their blankies and they sucked their thumbs.  Riley was pretty scared.  She was saying, "I don't want there to be a tornado!"
She cried, so I kept reassuring her that it was OK and that we were fine.   Then she would get mad and say, "Then WHY can't we get OUT?!"
I tried to explain that most likely nothing was going to happen, but that we were in the closet just in case.  Kind of like you wear your seat belt every time you get in the car - just in case-, but that doesn't mean you are going to get in a crash.  It seemed to help a bit.
After about 30 minutes we had the go-ahead to get out.  Finally. We crawled out tired and sweaty.
The winds had calmed down, but the thunder was booming and the lightening was lighting up the whole house.  We put Carver back in his crib and he zonked.  The girls were all paraniod so they slept on our bedroom floor...which results in no sleep for anyone.
We've been having serious rain everyday since.  Somedays I wonder if our house will just up and float away.
Fortunately, no more tornado warnings.  Good thing, because yesterday Macie said she never wanted to go in the fire closet again.
I guess I should have a talk with her and let her know it is not a safe place to go when there is a fire.

Friday, April 22, 2011


Todd is a hands-on kind of guy.  I like to think that I am a rather active person, but Todd is much more likely to jump in the pool while I sit on the side and absorb the sun. 
We are like that in many ways. 
I like to watch him do things.  He likes to do them.  It works out well.
Last week it was announced that Todd got a promotion at his company, Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline. He is now in a management position. 
They absolutely love him.  How could you not?  He is just about the most perfect person out there.  Handsome, hardworking, honest, patient...
Anyway, when they gave him the promotion, he called and told me the details.  I was really excited and happy for him, but at the same time, in the back of my head, there was the thought that it just meant longer in Kentucky.  Isn't that horrible?
I do like it here, but it is different.  The most obvious difference is the religious atmosphere.  Our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, is a world-wide church.  In Idaho we were surrounded by other Mormons.  We went to church with our neighbors.  Our kids all went to school together.  Our lives revolved around each other and church activities. 
My life still revolves around my family and my church, but now my family is definitely the minority.  Our branch covers an area with about one hundred thousand people, and there are usually about sixty to seventy people at church each week.  Riley is the only member at her school.  Isn't that crazy?  It is to me. 
We live in a religious community and the people are absolutely wonderful.  It is just different.  I am still adjusting. 
I know it is true.  I just want everyone else to know it is true, too.
Wouldn't that be great?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I can't believe that in a mere three days this little man will be one-year-old.

I remember I was very nervous when I found out I was having a boy.  I knew how to love little girls, but I really wondered if I would know how to love a little boy.  It all seemed so foreign. 

That all changed the instant the doctor laid Carv on my chest.  I was overcome with love. 
With that, I loved him. 
He's been making it easy ever since.

For Brad

It's official.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Todd's company had an Easter egg hunt for the kids today.  I have a really hard time looking my kids in the face and telling them that a bunny hops into our house and leaves a basket full of treats.  I just don't have it in me to tell a lie like that.  I can handle many other lies, like that we go to bed right after they do, or that it is OK for me to drink pop but not them... but the bunny?  Can't do it.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


Not so sure I am ready to cut the apron strings and go out on my own. I mean, I have been posting to Dalemart for years! For five years, to be exact. Before it was cool to blog. Before most people even knew what a blog was.
And, I am too busy reading other people's blogs to have time to write my own.
But now I have finally grown up.
It took more than getting married. Or buying a house. Or having a baby. Or another baby. Or another one. Or even one more.
It took moving.
To Kentucky.
Now I am grown up. 
So, here's to the beginning of a new era...Idaho Val, cause, you know, you can take the girl out of Idaho, but you can't take the Idaho out of the girl...which may or may not be a good thing.
I considered naming my blog something new and fancy to go with our Kentucky lifestyle, because if there is one word to describe Owensboro, Kentucky, it is definitely fancy. I came really close to going with "My Kentucky Home", but then I read the original lyrics and they were actually quite horrible. Who knew? Anyway, here is a picture of our Kentucky home, because what is a blog post without a picture? Nothing, I tell you. And since our camera is dead, I had to dig into the files. A lovely picture from six months ago.