Monday, August 31, 2009

the one about Quayd's 7th Birthday

Seriously... where does the time go? My tiny baby boy turned 7 yesterday. Yes. I said SEVEN!!! It is so crazy how quickly he is growing up. I know that everyone says that, but it is true. He started 2nd grade last week. So weird.
(This was on the first day of school. Brennen, Amelia and Quayd were just heading for the bus and they so DIDN'T want to stop for pictures!) Anyway, we have seriously partied all weekend! It started Friday afternoon. Quayd's friend party was from 5-7 at our house. He invited about 22 kids, and I think 19 showed up! His invitations said: Come "CHILL" with me at my Birthday Party! I hope you can "POP" on over! They were attached to a popsicle and we delivered them in the ice cream truck. We rented a big slide and a bounce house and the kids just played and played the whole time!

They loved it! We also had hotdogs, chips, pink lemonade, cupcakes and popsicles. I was going to have them play games if they got bored with the slide, but they never really did. It was a pretty big party! But it was so easy for me! I didn't have to do anything, really. Just the food part. They totally entertained themselves. It was great!

On Sunday, we had Quayd's family party. Danette let us use the pool area and it was so nice! Quayd wanted Tacos for dinner, so I assigned things out and it worked perfectly! We had my Grandparents, my mom, my brother and his family, Morgan, Gleneita and all of Brett's siblings and their families. Talia's new boyfriend, Tyson, has a little boy, Wyatt, and he was so cute! We had so much fun with him! His dad doesn't like him to get sticky or dirty, so when we gave Wyatt his own cupcake, I thought Tyson was going to have a stroke!
It was so cute and funny! We had a blast swimming. The weather was perfect and the company was even better.

He got some very cool gifts, including a $100 dollar bill and a razor scooter that makes sparks. Danette kept asking him what he wanted and he would say, "I don't know." So she kept telling him that if he didn't tell her, she was going to give him pink panties. Well, guess what!?!? He got pink panties!

Brett and I gave him this cool bike that he wanted. It is a big tricycle with a basket thing in the back so he can haul stuff. He is such a little boy! We also gave him a cell phone, jerky and a new backpack.

Brett, Brennen and Quayd got the rabbits out of the pen yesterday and took them for a ride in the new bike!

I always like to take a little bit of time on his Birthday to reflect on the past and remind myself how blessed I am to have him. It has been a tradition that on his Birthday, Brett or myself (sometimes both of us) write him a letter and put it away so he can read it when he gets older. Sadly, the last two years, Quayd's birthday has been overshadowed by funerals (Brett's dad, Mike, in 2007 and my Great-Grandma in 2008) and I think we have overlooked the letter writing. I wanted to be sure he got his letter this year, so here it is.

Dear Quayd,
Today, you turned seven years old. Why do you have to get so big!?!? You are such a handsome little boy and you have gotten so big and tall. You are in second grade now and I just can't believe it! It seems like just yesterday that you were still in my belly and Daddy and I were so excited to FINALLY be parents. It's funny to think back at that time in my life. I was so curious about you. I wanted to meet you so badly and I couldn't wait to see what your little personality would be like and what you would look like. Now I can't imagine what it was like not having you in my life. I feel like I have known you forever! You complete our little family. Daddy and I were always happy before you came to us, but now I realize that we weren't really that happy afterall. We were definatley missing something... and it was you! Thank you for being you and picking us to be your parents. I know we make mistakes and we are pretty stupid sometimes, but I guarantee that no little boy will ever be loved as much as you. EVER! We would do anything for you. You are our whole lives! You are such a perfect mix of Daddy and I. You have a little bit of a temper, like daddy, and you are very tender and emotional like me. You are built like your daddy with your broad shoulders, cute bum and skinny legs. But you have a round face and big brown eyes like me. You like to stay up late and sleep in, just like me, however, when you decide you want to go to bed, you don't want to be disturbed, like dad. Both Daddy and I love to swim, camp, laugh and have fun. Just like you.
As a seven-year-old, you love to ride bikes and scooters. You wear flip flops EVERYWHERE. You would rather wear pajamas or "comfy clothes" than anything else. You are a FISH in the water and you have become a GREAT swimmer. You like to eat pizza, tacos, cheesecake, ice cream, Cool Ranch Doritos, jerky, any kind of candy, peanuts and tomatoes. Your best friends are Brayden and Brennen, Amelia, Shade, and Gavin. You love soccer and you have gotten be a great player. You also enjoyed T-Ball and you will be starting flag football this fall. You have lost 5 teeth so far. Four in the front and one molar that had to be pulled. By the way, you HATE the dentist.
I hope you always feel like you can come to me with anything. I will love you, no matter what. You are such a special little boy. You are kind and sweet and you are always concerned about everybody elses feelings. I love it that you still like to hug, kiss and snuggle with your old mommy. I love our Sunday afternoon "snuggle fest." That is probably mine and dads favorite time of the week! Thank you for being you. I am so proud of you. Thank you for being my baby and for putting up with me. I know I am kind of a weird mom, but I swear I love you more than any mom has ever loved their child. There has never been a more special boy than you and I am so glad you are mine! Happy 7th Birthday, my little sugar bear!
Love, Mom


Friday, August 14, 2009

the one about the ice cream truck

My cute little nephew, Brayden, and I have been talking for months about starting an ice cream truck business. Everyone just laughed at us and thought we were silly. We already knew we had a vehicle. My Grandma has this old van that was not being used and we knew that it was already as good as ours. Well two weeks ago Friday, Brayden and I sat down and made a business plan. We went to my Grandma and asked if we could use the van. She was so excited that we were really serious about it, she offered to help us get our business started. Once everyone decided that we were serious, they were all on board and we all got super excited! We, meaning Brett, Quayd, My big brother Brandon, his wife Danette and their other son Brennen. We didn't think we could actually get it going for this year, but we thought we might as well start working on it now so we would be ready next Spring. Anyway, that Sunday, we decided to see what it was going to take to get the van running. We popped the hood. It didn't have a battery, so we took care of that. We poured a little gas in the tank, put air in the tires and no joke, it started right up!

We even took it for a spin around the neighborhood and it ran PERFECTLY! Once we realized that getting it going was not going to be as hard as we thought, we decided that if we all worked hard, we could get it done for the last couple months of summer. So the next step was to figure out how to make it look presentable. The old paint was awful! There were huge rust spots and it was chipping terrible. We knew we wanted it to look nice in the end, so we decided to sand all of the old crap off and just start fresh. We scraped, sanded, grinded for a whole week.

It was the suckiest job EVER! Brayden and his dad and Brett & I worked day and night. We did it in my back yard, so my whole house, inside and out, was covered in dust!!! Of course, during all of this sanding, I was running errands and making phone calls all day everyday to line up ice cream, bank account, sales tax info, business license, insurance, and on and on and on and on..... In the meantime, I was still taking care of my mom/wife duties, watching my nephews all day and working part time!FYI, setting up a business is HARD! Anyway, after the sanding was finished, we had to paint. My brother lined up a shop for us to use so we drove it there and had to mask everything. Of course, it needed a few coats of primer first. And each coat of primer had to be sanded again. So we all worked hard on that too.

Some of it was just to boring for the little boys, but they were so good and helped when they could. And when they couldn't, they rode bikes! Seriously though, they were such good boys.
Now let me back up a little bit. I showed you how awful the outside was... well we haven't even gotten to the inside yet! My grandparents had been using the inside of the van for storage. Yes, I said storage.... Look at that hideous wood paneling and orange upholstery. YUCK! And you can't even imagine all of the wasps nests we found! Anyway, the inside needed a makeover too. Brett ripped out all of the consoles, couches and carpet. The sub floor was in bad shape so Brandon replaced it. Brayden and I painted the inside, Brett did the linoleum and I reupholstered the ugly orange stuff.

As I said before, we never thought we could be up and running this summer. But here it is two weeks later and we are hitting the streets! I can't believe it. We went out and about yesterday and did quite well. There are still a few kinks to work out and a few things to fix up, but all in all, we are good to go. Now you have already seen the before pictures.... are you ready for the after pix??? The two big black things on the top are speakers.... Oh yah. We even have REAL ice cream truck music!!!

I can't believe we did it! I am so proud of it and it turned out better than I ever could have imagined. This old van has so much history in our family. I know that sounds stupid, but it really does. My grandma drove it for years and everyone knew it was her. We went on road trips in it and wherever else we needed to go that we could all fit inside. In fact, I even rode to my wedding in this old van!!! My skirt had the hoop things in it and was so big I couldn't get into a car and I didn't want to take the hoop slip thing off. I told all of my bridesmaids to hop in in the van and I plopped down right in the middle of the floor! It was so funny. Most brides ride to their wedding in a limo, but not me. I rode in the action van. We have called it the action van for ever, and it has a tiny squeak so we say it has a little mouse inside. When we first started it up and heard the squeak we all said, "The mouse is still there!" We have so many fun memories in this old van. The money will be used to help the three boys buy cars, college, or whatever else. For now it will be split between Brayden and myself. And when he gets older, the two little boys can run it and split the money. Since there are three boys, we decided to call it Triple Scoops. If you want to see us in your neighborhood, just call me, text me, email me or even leave comments on my blog or facebook. I have a blackberry so all of that stuff comes right to my cell phone. We are trying to find the best neighborhoods, so any help we can get is gladly accepted! Coming soon to a neighborhood near you!!!