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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Welcome Little One...

Although this is a little belated, I wanted to welcome our newest little nephew into the world. Camden Jay Durfee was born 8.19.2008 at 3:56 p.m., weighing in at 8 pounds 13 ounces, measuring 21 inches long. He's a cutie, just like his big brother (this photo is compliments of his mama's blog).
Also, congratulations to Clint & Brooke Blackham, who were married on 8.23.2008. We are so happy for these two and wish them only the best!

Home Sweet Home

Well...the girls and I have returned to Arizona after our 2 1/2 week long trip to California. We had a very fun time, but so much went on in that seemingly short period, I think we may need a few days rest to recover from all the excitement! The first few days in CA were spent in Upland with Gma & Gpa Leach and Auntie Em - the daytime temps were not much cooler than in AZ, but it did cool off at night so the girls and I were able to enjoy the evening breeze.

We then went down to San Diego to see Aunt Shauna, Uncle AJ, and cousin Keegan. Our arrival turned out to be perfect timing, since the girls' new baby cousin Camden decided not to wait for his scheduled inducement date and came a day earlier than his parents had planned. AK, Roo and I were able to spend one-on-one time with Keegan, which meant lots of outside playtime - in the backyard, in the sandbox, and going on walks. We also went to Sea World (thank you Shauna & AJ), where the girls enjoyed seeing penguins, sharks, manatees, and getting drenched during the dolphin show (yes, folks - for any who may have questioned it, the "soak zone" is appropriately named).

After a few days in San Diego, Doug joined us and we took the family up to Fallbrook to see Gma & Gpa Hoopes. The girls were able to get more outside playtime - in the dirt, feeding & riding on Miles (we even got Doug up on the horse for a little bit), playing in the pool, and loving on Kupua. We also attended the wedding of Doug's best friend Clint, which was absolutely beautiful and allowed us the chance to catch up with old friends.

Doug had to leave a day after the wedding, but the girls and I spent a few days in Oceanside with one of my best friends Casey, and her daughters Madison and Sonja. We enjoyed a morning at the SD Wild Animal Park, some playtime at the beach and the park, and simply hanging out with "just the girls." We then returned to Shauna's house in San Diego for a couple more days before the girls finally hit their breaking point and started saying "I want my papa, mama...I want papa. I miss papa, mama....I want to see my papa." I was also missing Doug at that point, so I decided it was finally time to leave California and return back to Arizona.
And, there you have it folks...the Reader's Digest Condensed Version of our trip. All-in-all, it was a wonderful trip and we really enjoyed getting to visit with our family and friends. I didn't take pictures of everything we did, but you can see some of our adventures in the slideshow below.


As you can see, we had a great time in California...however, it is nice to have all four of us back together again in our home sweet home...even though it means being back in hot, hot Arizona.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Alphabet Tag

I saw this on a friend's blog and I loved it, especially since it correlates with the start of a new school year for many of us. Although it took a little bit of time to complete, I thought it could be a fun (and educational) way to learn more about our family. Don't worry, there won't be any homework as I am not going to explicity tag anyone; just consider this a type of extra credit!

Hoopes Family ABC's:


A – is for AIDEN, which is an Irish name meaning ‘fiery one.’ Although this name is traditionally a boy’s name, it couldn’t be more appropriate than for our temperamental little firecracker. Sassy, feisty, and extremely independent, our first born is also an absolute sweetheart who loves to snuggle and give kisses.

B – is for BECKY (aka “Mama”). I am a mother, wife, daughter, sister, student, and friend. Every day is a learning experience for me; some days I handle a little better than others. I am not a perfect person, but I do try to be as honest, loyal, patient, loving, and forgiving as possible. I love my daughters, I love my husband, and I am thankful for every day I get to spend with them.

C – is for CHICKEN, a common nickname in our family. Doug’s father used to refer to his mom as a “young spring chicken,” which influenced Doug’s nickname for me “Chicken Little.” After the girls were born, we often referred to them as our “little chickens” or “chick-a-dees.”

D – is for DANCING, something that takes place often in our home. Dancing seems to make everything better – laundry, doing the dishes, folding clothes, picking up toys – you name the chore, and I can guarantee that adding a little ditty to your cleaning regime will make the time pass by that much faster.

E – is for ETERNAL. We believe that our marriage and family is eternally bound, which means we were together before we came to earth and will continue to be together after we pass from this earth. Although the going is not always easy, we have passed through many trials and know we will see many more to come, we feel that everything we face will help us to be a stronger eternal family.
F – is for FAMILY and FRIENDS, two things that are extremely important to us. We are fortunate to live near many of Doug’s siblings, but we are also very far from so many other loved ones. Rest assured, regardless of where we are, our friends and family are always in our hearts, thoughts, and prayers.
G – is for GIGGLES, something we can’t get enough of in our home. Doug is a pro at getting the girls to laugh and squeal in delight, which gives me a first-row seat to watch them and enjoy the show. We are fortunate to have two very happy girls who laugh often. Consider yourself warned, however, their giggles are usually contagious.


H – is for HORSEY, one of Aiden and Reilly’s favorite animals. They talk endlessly about “Paga’s horsey” (Grandpa’s horse Miles), whom they ask to ride on every single day. Another word is HOT, the most simple way to describe summers in the blasted state of Arizona. H also stands for HOOPES; not the kind used in basketball (note the different spelling) but rather our family name.


I – is for ICE CREAM, one of the staples in our freezer. Doug loves it, Reilly loves it, Aiden and I don’t mind it too terribly. I guess the old saying “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!” certainly holds true for this little family.

J – is for JUMPING, which happens to be one of the girls’ favorite activities (especially on mama and papa’s bed). The girls have so much doing it, I have a hard time telling them “no,” and often end up joining them!

K – is for KISSES from Aiden and Reilly. This statement needs no further explanation, other than kisses are one of the greatest joys and best rewards of being a parent.

L – is for LOCO, as in El Pollo Loco, one of mine and the girls’ favorite fast-food joints (Doug isn’t too big a fan). I mean, where else can you order popcorn chicken, tacos, rice, and mac & cheese all from the same menu? And, when three people can eat a relatively healthy meal for under $10, you really can’t go wrong!

M – is for MONSOON, one of the few things I love about Arizona…as long as I don’t have to drive in one. For those who have never seen one of these, it could be described as one of Mother Nature’s schizophrenic episodes. Imagine a furious and intense combination of black skies, thunder, lightening, torrential rain and wind. Monsoons are both scary and beautiful; just make sure you are in the safety of your home when one strikes.

N – is for NO, the current word of choice for our two gals. Regardless of what the question was, or whether the girls really mean it or not, the answer is almost always “NO.” N also stands for NAUNY (the girls’ pronunciation of “naughty,” another common word used in our home), NEMO (used to describe any type, color, or size of fish), and NUBY (Aiden’s preferred sippy cup of choice and the only way she will drink milk).
O – is for OCEANSIDE, CA, the city where our story began and where our hearts still remain…one of these days, we will get back to our beloved beach city.


P – is for PAPA, who also answers to Doug, LugNut, Bugsy, Babe, and [occasionally] DoorKnob. Don’t let the nicknames fool you, because he is the most patient, loving, hard-working, handsome, and forgiving husband and father our family could ask for.


Q – is for QUIET, something that is hard to come by in our home. However, I am grateful for this because in its place there is much talking, laughter, sharing, music, and giggles.
R – is for REILLY, which is also an Irish name, but means ‘courageous and valiant’. Holding true to her name’s meaning, Roo is strong-willed and fearless. She is our resident bug hunter and mud/dirt lover, who also loves princesses and playing dress-up.


S – is for SPECIAL TREATS, our family’s way of justifying all things yummy. Doug’s favorites are ice cream and milkshakes, Becky’s are popsicles and shaved ice, Aiden and Reilly will pretty much eat anything and everything under the classification of “sweets,” “goodies,” “tasty,” or “treats.”

T – is for TUTUs, which provide hours and hours of fun and entertainment for our two girls. Who would have thought that a combination of tulle and elastic would prove to be such a wonderful thing? T also stands for TWINS - the greatest blessing and most challenging responsibility Doug and I have ever received.


U – is for UNEXPECTED, which could pretty much sum up our lives. We didn’t expect to get pregnant as soon as we did, we certainly didn’t expect to have twins, we never expected to move around so much, and we didn’t expect to still be in school 10 years after we graduated from high school. However unexpected the happenings of our lives have been, it has made us stronger as a couple, more humble as individuals, and more complete as a family. Honestly, we really couldn’t imagine things any other way.

V – is for the ROMAN NUMBERAL 5, which will be the number of years Doug and I have been married come January 2, 2009. Crazy how the time flies!!
W – is for WATER, something that everyone in this family loves. Regardless of whether it is the roaring ocean waves, the gentle lapping of a pool, the freezing chill of a mountain river, or spewing from the sprinklers in the yard, water is one of our family’s favorite things.


X – is for X OUT, as in cross out or draw a line through. I have a tendency to write out long and elaborate lists (shopping, chores, wishes, to-do’s, etc.), cross out a few items and then leave the half-finished list posted on the side of the fridge for months at a time.
Y – is for YOKWE, the Marshallese phrase for “hello” and “good-bye,” that literally translates to “love.” Doug spent 2 years in the Marshall Islands serving as a LDS Missionary, but it was only a matter of weeks before he fell in love with the people, beautiful landscape, and culture.

Z – is for ZINNIA, which traditionally symbolizes laughter, friendship, and joy – three things that are very important to our family and to life itself. A close runner-up was ZIPCODES, of which we have had 7 in less than 5 years of marriage.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Our New Pet...

We have a pet spider names Franny. She lives in the driver-side mirror of the Mazda. Reilly is very proud of her new pet. She talks to her "cute buggie spider" any time we go to the car. Frankly, I am a little creeped out by it, but the darn thing has lasted through car washes, the blistering heat, strong winds, and a few monsoons. It doesn't look like the spider is going anywhere any time soon. Darn it.

Better Late Then Never...

As promised a few weeks ago, here are the pictures from our Idaho trip. Enjoy!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Memories

**An alternate title for this post would be: "If you can't beat them, join them"**

After seeing this post on a few of my friends' and family members' blogs, I have decided to give in and see what memories people have of me. I am putting myself on the chopping block, so let the memories roll...whether they are happy, sad, embarrassing, scandalous, silly, or whatever other adjective you may come up with.

So, here are the rules:
1. As a comment on my blog, leave a memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember! If you don't have a google ID you can post a comment and click anonymous as your identity -- just make sure to sign your name so I know who you are!
2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you.It should be funny to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you (or if you don't have a blog I will e-mail you my memory!).

Thursday, August 7, 2008

What Do You Do in the Summertime?

"Oh, what do you do in the summertime? Do you sit in the shade, and drink lemonade? Do you fish in a stream, or lazily dream on the banks as the clouds go by? Do you swim in the pool so you can stay cool, or swing in a tree up high? Is that what you do? So do I!"
So, now that August is upon us (usually the hottest month for this blasted state), the girls and I are having to get very creative with ways to entertain ourselves in the relentless heat. The pools in our apartment complex have been a welcome treat, although some days it's just too hot to even think about walking outside! We have watched a lot of movies, read books, had pretend tea parties, played Lego's to no end, wandered the mall, danced around the apartment, gone on walks and bug hunts, played dress up, and all sorts of fun things.
Unfortunately, it's not all fun and games...there are some days on which I need to get things done. I feel bad dragging AK and Roo around with me on the days where I need to run errands, because the car stays unbearably hot. In an attempt to lessen the drudgery of these "errand days," I usually take the girls out afterward for a "special treat" so we can all cool off while eating something yummy. Here are some phone pics from earlier this summer - this was the girls first visit to Bahama Bucks, home to the most delicious shaved-ice & ice cream concoction known to man.
AK
Roo

The next few pictures were also taken with my phone. Sorry the resolution isn't the greatest, but the pictures were so cute I wanted to share.
Showing their cousin Lexie ("Sessy" as they call her) around the mall

Snuggling in the storage compartments of the train table, watching a movie