Friday, December 14, 2007

A visit with Santa

We went to visit Santa tonight. The girls remember this from past years and have been asking continually when we're going to Santa's "friend's" house. (Kenzie knows Santa lives at the North Pole, so this is just his friend's house). This guy does a great job! He tells them what time he'll be at their house Christmas Eve night, asks what they want (then tells them how many of that item he has left), then tells them he has a few extra surprise gifts & asks if it's OK for him to bring those as well, and lastly lets them know how many chocolate chip cookies we need to leave out & to leave skim milk as well. Pretty impressive, and of course the girls are hooked :)

Camden was impressed with the beard (not the least bit scared) and wanted to get a fistful of it!

Trimming the tree

We finally got our tree up last night, and the girls helped decorate again this year. I'm getting better each year at not worrying about where the ornaments long as the girls are happy with it, I don't need to worry about it looking just right :)

Here are the girls with some of the ornaments. They got so excited over EVERY one they put on the tree!

Camden was happy just to play next to the tub that had leftover ribbon in it:

For some reason all of a sudden Mackenzie got mad about something, and boy did she get mad!

When we were all done, we put our train under the tree, and Camden wanted so bad to get his hands on it!! I literally had to hold him back. Today we actually put batteries in it & ran it around the tree & it was so fun to watch him get so excited over it & just sit & watch it. Eventually he knocked it off the track, but he actually likes to crawl after it & just watch it most of the time.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Christmas concert

Mackenzie had her 1st Christmas concert for school last night. It was just my kind of concert - short & sweet! :)

Unfortunately, Tom didn't really get any good pictures of Mackenzie on stage during the concert, but here's one of Mackenzie & her friend Nick afterwards:

Then, as I was looking through the pictures after I downloaded them, I came across this picture from last night as well, which I just had to share because it is "so Jenna" and I burst out laughing when I saw it.


I'm a little late with this, but thought I'd post a couple pictures from Thanksgiving. We went to NY to be with my family this year.

One day my brother-in-law took a bunch of us (Tom, myself, and 4 kids) on a gator ride. My dad owns a 6X4 gator (kinda like a 4-wheeler only bigger) & it can get through pretty much anything. Well, it had rained the night before so it was REALLY muddy, and we had a blast slinging mud like crazy!

Here's the road we started on:

Here's what Tom looked like after the ride (note how wet his pants are!):

And this is what the gator looked like when we were done:

We also got the cousins to attempt to sit still for a picture, which is always a chore:

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Big News....I think

Well, as of this morning, I think it's pretty much official that we're moving to Alabama! The guy from Harley Davidson called this morning & verbally "accepted" Tom's counter-offer to their offer that we got last week. Make sense? Anyways, they're gonna get an updated offer letter out to him, and do their background check, etc. Tom will also have to pass a drug test before he's officially hired, so hopefully he can pass that :)

We will have to break the news to Mackenzie this afternoon when she gets home from school. Ever since Tom went for his interview, she has been telling us she does NOT want to move. (Maybe it's due to the fact that Tom told her quite some time ago that if we moved, it would mean she would never see her friends again?! - what was he thinking??) As for me, I'm finding that I seem to be OK with the whole thing until I actually start to talk about it out loud. We'll be OK, and the Lord will take care of us, but please do keep us in your prayers as we start working on this whole transition. We obviously don't know the official start date yet or anything, but it definitely won't be until at least January.

Thanks for checking on us, and I'll continue to keep you posted with any other news.

Monday, November 19, 2007


You may be wondering what we're doing for food around here since Tom is on strike. Well, last week when he went to pick up his big strike check, he was able to get a voucher for food at the food bank here in town. Plus, there were food donations brought in to the union hall that everyone was allowed to help themselves to. So, when it was all said & done, we had food coming out our ears. Ok, maybe not our ears, but so much that I don't think our pantry has ever been as full as it is right now! (This picture was taken after I had already unpacked 2 other boxes, and about 3 other brown bags full of groceries!!)

And speaking of food, Camden is really into food right now. He LOVES to feed himself, so we try to keep him busy with stuff he can feed himself. And he's not afraid to make a mess either!

Not much other news to report. Still no news on when the strike may end...negotiations are supposed to start again next Monday, and they're supposed to hear any day now from the National Labor Relations Board with a ruling on the paperwork filed for the Unfair Labor practices. We're keeping our fingers crossed that in the next week or so there will be some kind of news. Until then, Tom continues to walk the picket line once a week...

Thursday, November 8, 2007


For those that don't know, Tom interviewed with Harley Davidson on Tuesday. The job is down in Talladega, Alabama. He took a few pictures while he was down there:

This is supposed to be a picture of the "rolling hills":

Here's the famous speedway that I'd LOVE to go see a race at!!!

And lastly, this a lake Tom would like to get a house on if we actually move down there:

He got a call from Harley today & it looks like they're interested in him, so thus begins another series of "negotiations" that I dread! He did finally turn down the job in Memphis, though, so at least that's one option out of the picture.

I'll do my best to keep you posted on any other news around here.

As for the kids, Camden has been babbling "dadadadada" like crazy lately. I'm not sure if I'm ready to call his first word "da da" yet though!!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Lots of Misc. stuff to post

First off, I wanted to include a couple pictures from Halloween...

Secondly, just figured I'd tell you that Tom's strike duty has changed. Now, unless they're a strike captain, they only have 4 hour shifts, and his is from 4 a.m - 8 a.m. on Thurs. morning. He feels this is much more do-able. Strike captains get to do 8 hour shifts now. Doesn't that stink? Everyone else gets reduced to 4 hours, and they get extended to 8 hours...hmmm?? Who signed up for that job? Ha ha ha!

Then, I wanted to comment real quick on the poll I had up a few weeks ago about the keys being locked in the van. I LOVED all the comments we got! We sat & laughed at them partly because some of them were inside jokes to us that we completely understood, but others were just plain funny. In the end, Tom obviously was person B and Ruth was person A. I felt it was both of our faults for lack of communication, and Tom felt it was ALL my fault. Doesn't really was a lesson learned when it was all said & done :)

With that said, I have another poll to take....(WARNING - gross picture at the end!!!)
Tom wants me to go back to work while he's on strike. I keep trying to remind him of all the things he'll have to do while I'm at work, and the biggest being that he'll have to change poopy diapers! Everyone that knows Tom knows this won't go over well. So my question is, what is Tom gonna do when he gets a diaper that looks like this???

AGAIN...WARNING - GROSS PICTURE, but see if you can find the humor in it!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

A family affair...

We visited the picket line this afternoon to support the UAW! Camden thought it was a great idea to picket! Jenna thought the sun was too bright.

But, Jenna did like the burn barrel:

And for those of you anxiously awaiting news of Tom's decision whether or not to go to Memphis...I guess we keep on waiting. He e-mailed them yesteray & asked for an extension. So, now he's got till Monday morning. I'm so aggravated - just make a decision already!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Life during a strike

So it's been a week now that Navistar has been on strike. It's been interesting :) Here's a few of the things going on now that Tom is home:

- Tom babysat Friday afternoon while I went out for a "girl's afternoon". He not only had our 2 girls, but he had 2 extra boys as well! For Camden's sake, I took him to a friend's house for fear that he'd get stuck w/o ANY attention since Tom had 4 others to keep an eye on!

- Tom babysat yesterday afternoon for a couple hours as well, this time getting paid! Who knew Tom was such a good babysitter?

- Tom sent me out yesterday morning to go job hunting! I've been told I need to get a job, and quick! Nevermind that it might interfere with his nap schedule, or his interviewing across the United States! :)

- Not much new with the girls...when Mackenzie got home from school today, she (& Jenna) & 2 of her friends were outside coloring. A few minutes later I looked outside & this is what I saw...

Of course nothing picked up, and they were off to someone else's house to play & probably leave a mess there as well! Where did we go wrong teaching our kids to pick up after themselves??

On a more serious note, Tom has some tough decisions to make even in the next day or so. He has an offer from a company in Memphis, TN and he has to let them know by tomorrow whether or not he's going to accept, plus he's had 2 phone interviews with another company in Alabama. Please continue to pray for our family as we take each day & decision one at a time. It's so hard to know what's best!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Just wanted to let everyone know that as of 5:00 today, the union is on strike at Navistar. (It's being called an Unfair Labor Practice strike) So, Tom is officially on strike, although he doesn't actually have to walk the picket line until tomorrow night at 12:00 a.m. He gets the 12-6 a.m. shift. Lucky him...

We'll keep you posted as to what's going on. Although interestingly enough he & a few of his friends from work have already made plans for tomorrow afternoon to play computer games at one guy's house. Sounds like it's all fun & games for him for right now.

In the meantime, he's been getting contacted by a quite a few different people about various jobs (none of which are in Ft. Wayne of course), so please pray for wisdom for him as he makes decisions about what he should do & what's best for our family!


Monday, October 15, 2007


Tom took this picture of Camden Saturday morning:

But, he is actually doing much better now. No more yucky eyes. On the other hand, every kid on the street has been sick, and of course they're always in & out of our house as well as everyone else's houses, so it was bound to happen that they all shared what they had. There have been 5 kids on the street that have tested positive for strep, and one of those is Jenna's little friend, who also had 2 ear infections, and pink eye. SO...I guess it was our turn. Mackenzie tested positive for strep yesterday (she makes #6 on the street) & Jenna woke up with pink eye yesterday. So, although Camden is feeling better, now the girls are on medicine, but both seem to be doing better already. Hopefully they won't pass their "stuff" to each other! I keep telling them to keep their hands off each other & their brother & to wash their hands often :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Whose fault is it??

Ok, so I'm taking a fun poll....make sure you put your 2 cents in!!
I forgot to tell you all about a funny (?) thing that happened over the weekend. On our way to Cedarville on Friday, we stopped in Springfield to get something to eat for the girls since they hadn't had dinner. Here's where the story begins:

Person A was driving, and Person B was napping in the front seat. Person A parks right in front of the door, gets the kids out to go into Arby's, and put the keys in the front cup holder since person B was staying in the car. Person B wakes up, looks everywhere for the keys, doesn't see them, and locks the van since the laptop is sitting in the backseat. And so...the keys are locked in the van!!! Mind you this is the gray van which does not have keyless entry or an extra key anywhere but on the key rack at home.

So the ongoing discussion that night was whose fault was it that the keys were locked in the van?? What do you think? Person A, Person B, or both since Person A should have kept the keys with them, and Person B shouldn't have locked the van until they knew for sure where the keys were?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

More from the weekend

My sister & I took the kids to Chuck E. Cheese's while Tom and Dave went to a guy's night out for church.
Here's Jenna with some b-day hat we found:

And here's Jenna with Chuck E.:

This is the cake we had back at my sister's:

Jenna blowing out the candle:

And lastly, G-ma & G-pa Palmer came for dinner last night & we "celebrated" again with cupcakes this time:

A busy weekend

This weekend we went to Ohio for Homecoming at Cedarville as well as to celebrate Jenna's birthday with her cousins. It was a busy weekend with lots of fun stuff to do!

Saturday morning we went to the Homecoming parade where the kids got tons of candy:

Camden wanted Tom's sunglasses:

Here's Mackenzie climbing a blow-up obstacle course:

Poor Camden

Well, Camden has taken his turn getting sick. Well, not really sick, but a cold - in his eyes! Poor kid started with goop in his eyes on Saturday, and yesterday (Monday) he looked miserable, but he was actually pretty happy overall. Tom snapped a picture of him at dinner last night & you can kinda see how his eyes are all red, and his nose is runny.

Today, he woke up & his eyes weren't yucky, but he had this mysterious "boo-boo" under his eye. It's the weirdest thing! The only thing I can think of is that yesterday under this same eye, it was really red & puffy by the time he went to bed, and he either rubbed it so hard or something that it popped. I just cut his nails Satruday, so I can't imagine that he actaully scratched it that bad! I know it sounds gross, but I have no idea how else he could have gotten it because he didn't have it when he went to bed!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Hour by Hour....

For those of you wondering about Tom's job, well, he's actually still working. Ever since Monday morning, they've been told to continue to come into work. The negotions are taking place on an "hour by hour" basis. At first I thought this probably meant they were close to getting this contract thing taken care of. I've since learned that's probably not true!! It's now been 3 days, and each day he has to check in & it's the same old thing....negotions are on-going hour by hour. So who knows what this really means. Mainly just that our lives are somewhat on an hour by hour basis as well! He may be on strike tomorrow, or he may's anybody's guess. Kinda frustrating. I guess I should just be thankful that he's still got a job.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Camden standing??

I was sitting in Camden's room with him tonight while he played. He discovered the baskets on his changing table & was getting into those & checking out the stuff in them (socks, samples I got in the mail & never used, and pacifiers that he was never interested in). Anyways, he was having a ball, and so I decided to snap a few pictures. Then, I thought I'd see what he'd do with some sandals on. Low & behold, for some reason when I stood him up to see how he looked, it was like he was ready to stand by himself! So I snapped a quick picture....

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


I was looking through some of the most recent pictures, and thought I'd do a post about the girls & their friends. Since school has started, it seems every day when Mackenzie gets off the bus, she & her friends have to decide who's going to whose house, etc! It's pretty interesting. Anyways, for some reason, they actually like to play school when they get home from school - they use our white board to "teach" & of course write down who is being bad! It's pretty funny. And when they're not teaching, they like to just draw stuff. Here's a picture of the girls with their friend Camryn from across the street:

Another day we went with their friend Nick to Crazy Pins to play mini golf. While there, they had a new "ride" (simulated roller coaster rides from Cedar Point), which Mackenzie & Nick rode. They loved it!!

And then this week I watched some other kids one day, so when Mackenzie got home, they all decided to watch Strawberry Shortcake!! It was a little odd to me that all these boys agreed to watch it! And the cutest part was that they all plopped themselves on the window ledge behind the couch to watch. From the left is Jenna, Nick, Kenzie, Paul, and Peter.

And on a final note, keep us in your prayers as we await news from Tom's job as to whether they're going to strike starting next week! Their contract is up at 12:01 a.m. Oct. 1. So, as of right now, he's trying to make some decisions on a new job, and whether or not we should move! Not an easy decision :)

We'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Another tooth

Sorry I don't have pictures this time. Just wanted to say that Camden cut one of his top teeth yesterday. It's just barely through, but enough so that when he puts your finger in his mouth now you get bit from top & bottom :) That's kinda how I found out....he was chewing on my chin yesterday (OK, I know it's weird that he had my chin in his mouth, but you have to understand that he has been chewing on absolutely anything he can get his hands on) and I thought "hmm....that feels sharp from both the top & bottom." So, I checked & sure enough it had come through his gum.

Tonight we took the girls bowling. Mackenzie actually did really well! She got a 90!! Granted she had the bumpers up, but she actually got the ball down the alley quite a few times w/o hitting them! And in the 2nd or 3rd frame, she actually got a strike w/o hitting the bumpers!!! We were absolutely amazed. Tom only beat her by getting a strike in the 10th frame, and he ended with 105. Needless to say, Mackenzie was not too happy that he pulled through in the end to beat her. Must be she inherited our competitive spirit, and she did not like to lose. For those of you that may remember, we used to be able to say she was the 2nd winner, or whatever, but that no longer works. I tried to keep her innocence as long as possible....

Jenna on the other hand was just happy to get the ball down the alley. Her average speed was about 1.5 mph I think :) And Camden was happy to just sit in the stroller & watch the screen & lights & such. I opted not to bowl (probably so I wouldn't lose to Mackenzie).

Guess that's it for now!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Just another update

Once again, we've been keeping busy. We went to my sister's house in Ohio last weekend...
We went to the beach & Camden loved the sand!!

Tom & my brother-in-law Dave are having a singing "competition" here:

Camden is continuing to get better at lots of new things! The other night the girls were in the bathtub & he crawled into the bathroom & pulled himself up to watch them! He was so excited.

His crawling is getting better & better. This is a quick video from the other night:

Thursday, September 6, 2007


Well, Camden's teeth are in. Actually, they've been in for a little bit, but I just haven't had a chance to take a picture & post it. Both bottom front teeth came in at about the same time, so that was fun. Well, not really, because it caused some poop issues, but I think we made it through that. For about 3 or 4 days, we were going through clothes like crazy cuz no diaper could keep the pooh contained! It went all over the stroller one day, the car seat another day, and his bed numerous times.

Anyways, here's a picture:

Besides that, we have mosquitos around here like nobody's business!! Poor Jenna has been eaten like crazy. We really do spray her with spray, but it doesn't seem to matter. Last night before her bath, I counted 22 on her, which includes like 5 or 6 on her face! Camden has a couple, too, and Mackenzie has lucked out with only 1 or 2. Speaking of Mackenzie, she ended up having strep throat on her extended weekend! Let's hope this isn't a sign of what the school year has to bring for her. Luckily it didn't seem to bother her much, and we got her on antibiotics so she didn't miss a day of school!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

More Big Stuff

Camden had his 6 month checkup at the doctor on Monday, and he now weighs 15 lbs. He got another round of shots, and is doing well overall. In just the last couple days he's decided he needs to get around, so he's started crawling!! Here's a little video from today:

He was so excited to get a hold of that paper!! He also sat up on the "sit 'n spin" toy:
And finally....he's working on getting his 1st tooth in! Stay tuned for a picture. It should be completely in any day now! You can see it coming through his bottom gum, and just barely feel it. Yeah!

Monday, August 20, 2007


Today was a big day at the Palmer house!! Mackenzie started school, and boy was she ever excited! :) Can you tell from her smile?

We have to walk down just to the end of our street, and don't you know it was POURING down rain this morning? We haven't had much rain all summer, and today it just wouldn't stop! We had a whole group of us (g-ma & g-pa Palmer came from Ohio for the occassion as well), and then to top it all off, the bus was like 30 minutes late, and we were all soaked by the time it finally came, but it didn't dampen the kid's spirits! Here's Mackenzie with her friend Nick from across the street who is also in her class at school.

Here she is getting on the bus. (That's the neighbor talking to the bus driver as she's getting on)

And here she is this afternoon getting off the bus. I might add it was STILL raining, and the bus was 45 minutes late this afternoon, but all in all, she looks like she had a good day!

And lastly, here she is asking Jenna if she had a "good day". Surprisingly, she didn't really have much to say about her day once we got home. She said she didn't even know anybody else's name in her class besides Nick. Hmmm....