Thursday, February 26, 2015

No more excuses!

Yesterday we reached a wonderful milestone in the Valenta family. 
Annah has the privilege of turning in the last orthodontist school excuse for our family EVER!
(Cue the party horns, cheers, claps and screams!!!!)

The Valenta kids have had YEARS of orthodontist visits. 19 years to be exact! Five out of six kids have spent time in spacers, expanders, rubber bands, braces, and retainers. One even spent a long time in a herbst device which can only be described as miniature hydraulic door closers you'd find on a 
storm door... but in your mouth. :P  

Yeah, I know....the kids are heroes for making it through and we are heroes for surviving the continual 6-8 week orthodontist visits 
(and not to mention the cost!) all these years!

A few family stats....
*First one in braces....Andrew
*Shortest time spent at the ortho....Jordan
*Longest one in braces....Jacob
*Most lost retainers...Abigail
*Last one in braces....Annah
*One who never needed braces....Young Tim :)
(Oh why couldn't they all have followed in the footsteps of their oldest brother?)

And why didn't one of our kids think of this? :P

Monday, February 23, 2015

Snow Happens -- Finally!

Winter finally made it's way to the Bluegrass State last Monday. All I can say is it's about time!!!!  It's been a long wait into the winter of 2015 for us to finally get some snow -- real snow -- as in "have to shovel it" snow! Usually we get a few inches and it melts off without even breaking out the gloves or shovel but not this time!

I first saw the weather alert come through to my phone at 5:30 Sunday morning, February 15th. After that I was so excited about the pending snow that I couldn't sleep! It was to start in the wee hours of Monday morning. We decided to make a midnight run to the store to get some dog food. We didn't need bread or milk but we went to look at the shelves and this is what we found... 

Bread shelves empty....

Even the hot dog and hamburger buns were gone....

And the milk was all gone...

With dog food in hand we headed back home to wait for the promised snow and already knowing there would be no school on Monday morning! I found it hard to go to sleep Sunday night waiting for the snow! I know, I am like a kid who can't wait for Christmas morning!

The snow began at 3 a.m. We had put out our snowman that my sister-in-law, Debbi, made for us several years ago. He's good for measuring only 6" of snow but with predicted amounts of 12-18" he was going to be overwhelmed quickly! 

Hoping we were going to need more than a 6" measure I put out a ruler! This was the last picture of it before Andrew, who was shoveling snow, accidentally threw snow on it! :(   

With school out on Monday the girls suited up and headed out to play in the snow. It was the first time all winter that the totes of winter clothing were opened!

Annah buried Abigail in the snow! (I was surprised to see how much Abigail looks like me in this picture!!)

While the girls played Tim shoveled out his truck...again. 

 And Andrew shoveled out his car

and then got stuck in the street

A snow plow came in the subdivision early Monday 
morning but only did the main street. Late afternoon this backhoe 
was brought in to plow the intersection only, no side streets. 
Guess you gotta use what you have!

I am in my glory with all the snow! School has been cancelled for 6 days so far. 

The girls have had fun playing in the snow and taking pictures...

With 13" of snow on the ground Mother Nature kindly gave us 4" more a few days later. The patio chairs have never seen so much snow! 

After the snow I got a text from my friend Amy. Amy hates snow. She sent this picture with five words for me....

"I hope you're happy now." :(

I love, love, love winter!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Cash it or frame it?

My parents resided a nursing home for several years before my father passed away on January 1, 2011. Then my mother passed away two years and a few weeks later on January 23, 2013. 

Now, two years later, imagine my surprise to get an envelope from the nursing home. i opened it up wondering the whole time what it could possibly be. To my surprise it was a check! Wow...I wasn't expecting that! What nice surprise! 

I had to call my sister...

Me: Cretta, I got an envelope in the mail from the nursing home. I was really surprised to open it up and find a check inside! 

Cretta: Really?

Me: Yeah! I am wondering if you think you and I should just split it or if we should let Bill know about it and split it with him too. 

Cretta: How much is it for?

Me: One cent.

Cretta: One cent??

Me: Yes, one cent.


I can't make this stuff up! 

Really? Did they seriously just spend $.46 to send me a check for $.01? Yes they did!  BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
Cretta said she would give up her third so Bill and I could split it. 
I am still trying to decide if I should cash it or frame it! :P
I guess my blog is appropriately named after all.... "Loretta's Little Life". :)

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Behind the scenes

In this day and age of social media with its tweeting, pinning, texting, posting, blogging, Instagramming, Snapchatting and more, it can be tempting to view all these things and conclude that life is perfect for other people.   

We see pictures of perfect food in restaurants without paying the bill. We see perfect meals made for dinners at home without the mess to clean up. We see perfect crafts not knowing it will cost us triple the amount they said in dollars and time. We see vacation scenery that makes us all wish we were there! But the truth is that that life is staged. Sometimes my own life on my blog is staged! I pick the best pictures, the most flattering pose, the most vivid sunsets. But in seeing the "perfect" we might begin think that that is the "norm" rather than the exception. Not every picture is flattering, not every shot is in focus, not every sunset is photo worthy.

With that said, I couldn't help but laugh out loud at some of the "behind the scenes" pictures that were taken during our 2 week long trip west to Arizona and California. They made me laugh and I wanted to post them on the blog but it was hard to slip the imperfect pictures in with all the ones that came out a little more "perfect". So the solution to my desire to post the imperfect was to dedicate a post to just that -- the imperfect, the out-takes, the behind-the-scenes pictures. Maybe we should celebrate the imperfect just a little bit more. :)

 Trying to smile looking into the sun!

Wait, how's my hair?

Anything for a good picture!

Just a little impromptu Scottish dance by Lisa!

Nobody got the memo on this one that a picture was about to be taken.

A little cotton candy love.

And a little deviled egg love.

Ummm, no words...

I swear this wasn't anyone we knew!

What else would you do in a Walmart checkout lane?

Do they know their side panel is sticking out?

She wants an orange *really* bad!

Partners in crime...Jeff stealing oranges for Annah 
(They looked sooo good but they were the worst tasting oranges we have ever had! Perhaps they were only ornamental for a reason.)

Sorry Lisa....Sooo funny, bad lighting and all!

What better to ruin a perfect wedding day than to have the San Diego Fire & Rescue drive up to the temple with sirens blaring? :)

And Sue (McKenna's mom) couldn't find a parking place 
so she had to unload people and stuff and let 
someone else go park her car 
so she could get to the wedding on time!
(All was well...never did know why they were there.)

Step on the crack, break a donkey's back.

Picture perfect except for Jordan's fly away hair!

Long hair on a windy day is apparently a problem for both the 
bride and the groom!

Try as we night we could not get a picture in front of the temple -- the shade of the trees and the bright white were not friends!

You make a good foot rest, Abigail!

Gotta love Annah and Abigail!

Don't ask him to explain what he's doing with his sister's dress!

Somebody wasn't ready for the picture! :) 
(Do you recognize this pillow, Joan? We were at Tim and Lisa's 
when I saw it on the couch and I knew who made it!)

 This girl (who shall remain nameless) needs a fashion intervention. She claims it's her traveling attire! :) We still love her.

Notice anything funny about this picture?
The baby Jesus is tie-wrapped!

1-2-3 Jump!...or not.

Our perfect lunch fail....

Sometimes there are no words or understanding to be found...

Was it that ornamental orange she tasted?

Okay, so we all have a weird streak!

But that is our imperfect life. Next time we each see the fabulous photos our friends and loved ones are posting just remember there are always "behind the scenes" things that nobody wants you to see...unless you're the Valentas! :P