Monday, December 7, 2009

Update and hopefully we're back in business

It's been a crazy last 6 months or so - and I sadly neglected our blog but for anyone still interested, I intend to get my act together and keep it updated again. So
quick recap -
Darla's now 31 weeks prego. Baby Sophia is doing well (most definitely a girl)- and may be a "big" baby they tell me. Yikes. The pregnancy has not been particularly fun - more sickness, and probably experienced every one of those discomforts of pregnancy you read about with this one. I've also had to travel 2 1/2 hours 2-3 times a month to San Antonio for OB care with that number increasing now towards the end, so We'll be happy when she's here and healthy. I did have some fun at Halloween and turned my belly into a ball. It was a big hit.

Casey is always busy. He bought a Cherokee 140 this summer and has been instructing his first student pilot in it. He's like a little boy with a new toy.

Caitlyn is an 8th grader and involved in choir and academic meets (UIL. It got crazy so she has temporarily left the swim team till next spring. She's almost as tall as me (mom) (her only goal in life right now seems to be overtaking me) but is not quite there. That does not stop her from regular invasions of my closet! Lately it's "You can't fit into it anyway right now". gee, thanks for the reminder.

Ethan is always our sweet little boy. HE's so smart and fun. He's into legos and transformers and for some reason is hooked on Bionicles although his only exposure was a McDonald's happy meal toy. He's great at looking after his little sister most of the time and I love having him home with me. He's very excited about his new little sister on the way and is learning to read so he can read books to her.

Alisea is our little spitfire. She's got more energy than the rest of us put together and keeps me going all day long. She potty trained herself, picks out her own clothes, etc. and is very independent. She too is excited about baby "totilla". We laugh because she still pronounces Caitlyn like chicken so we'll have chicken and tortilla.

We did lots of camping this summer and I'll put much of it in the slide show.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Just in case anyone still looks at this thing

I know it's been forever. I intend to do a long catch up summer post, and get back into the swing of things soon - I promise. In the mean time, here's a tasty tid-bit to tide you over. For those who already know - well - the catch up's coming.

OKAY..... The Ratliff family is adding one more little person to the mix on or around Feb. 08, 2009. Yup, Darla is having a baby. It's quite crazy really, but a happy thing nonetheless. I really can't figure what God had in mind, but it would seem any fertility issues I had in my twenties have done an about face and I have now become fertile myrtle. Here, in writing is my proclamation that there will be NO MORE after this one. We do have a built in baby-sitter, at least for a few more years.

For any of you wondering if we planned this, the answer is Kinda but not really. Since we do know how babies are made, we can't say we were "preventing", but that litle window of opportunity was awfully small, so I am tinking God wanted to send this litte one our way pretty bad. And I think Santa may have had something to do with it.

Early ultrasound indicates probably a boy - I don't really like the name Casey's getting set in his head, so if you have some good ones, throw em my way while I can still change his mind. The kids are all excited. Ali likes to blow on my stomach and points to the general area when I ask her where the baby is. Ethan wants to share his room with the baby. He may have to. And Caitlyn, while wishing for another sister, is excited too. I wonder if she'll want to cut the cord again?

Okay then. Till next time.

Friday, May 8, 2009


I almost forgot to mention that we took the whole fam to the Rodeo - Bull-riding this weekend too. I'd never actually been to the bull riding and no rodeos since my Safford days. It was super fun - at least it was once the sun dropped behind the bleachers - No cover for us in the cheap seats! I loved getting decked out in my wranglers and boots - Casey didn't have any - but he does now. hmmmmm. Now we'll have to go dancing so can wear em.


Don't even remember where I left off, but in a nutshell. Caitlyn turned 13 on the 22nd. Her b-day party was right after Ethan's with water fun and pizza being the theme.

Casey's BIG dining out was on the 26th. It was a huge success, after five months of planning and condiderable stressing. The Chief of Staff, General Schwartz, seemed impressed, as he should have. It was amazing how he and his team of voluntolds transformed the Del Rio civic center into a beautiful banquet hall. The standard Dining Out protocol and meal made for a great evening. I'll post pictures when I get them uploaded.

May 2nd Darla's much smaller branch activity went off well - and was followed by yet another celebration BBQ by the folks who had made it through the dining out in one piece. Casey mastered the art of making sushi - and I even tried some with raw tuna in it and it wasn't bad. Still like the veggie ones better though. We joined our neighbors across the street for a poolside steak party the following night. I think that pretty much has us up to date.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


I didn't even realize it had been a whole month. Where does the time go? Mainly - I figured it wasn't much fun to read stuff without any pictures to look at but I finally found the usb cord for my camera!!

April is a busy month for the Ratliff clan. Casey's mom and Denny came out for a long weekend and Easter. We always enjoy when they visit. Got to spend a night in a fancy hotel on the Riverwalk in San Antonio, which we've wanted to do at least once before we leave here, so that's done! After a quick stop at the Alamo, we headed to Del Rio. We enjoyed a night at the local theater for a Hispanic comedy show. Good stuff. Then the base had some fun Easter activities planned for the kids. It's always fun to watch the kids plow down the field for the thousands of Easter eggs scattered all over - this time, the golf course. The pond was open for kids to fish, and there were activities for all.>

Easter Sunday meant more food - a buffet at the base club and a rack of lamb for dinner - our first attemt at lamb - not too bad, if I do say so myself. the weekend didn't do much for the waistline!

Monday was Ethan's birthday. We took a trip to SA to return Grams and Gramps and then visited Chuck-E-Cheeses for lunch. The gods were with me, as Ali fell asleep just as we arrived - I tucked her in her stroller and got to play with Ethan for a bit, and eat my sandwich. She woke up just before we left, rode a couple of motion toys and we were off.

We celebrated Ethan's 4th birthday the following Sat. in a combined party with his buddy. We had a carnival complete with bouncy castle,snow cones, pinata, games, cotton candy, prizes and more. It was a great time. My friend made the cake for this one, and as an awesome touch, made "popcorn" cupcakes that were so awesome.

I'll do more on the month later - kid meltdown in progress.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Answered Prayers

Brief recap; My (Darla's) dad has a rare form of cancer that he's been battling for 6 ish years now. This cancer grows in his abdomen, randomly and as they get large, do damage to his insides. He's had surgery to remove the masses and this has been successful in keeping him with us. Recently, they came back, much more quickly than before, and his doctors in California (he was on his mission) said they could not operate because of the location of the largest one and that he wasn't expected to live more than a year. I won't go into details except to say that he returned to AZ, his docs there weren't ready to throw in the towell just yet, operated on him this morning, and got the big bugger out that was going to kill him. I don't know what all else this entailed yet, but I'm so so so so so happy and thankful that we've been given more time with him!!! He will have to deal with the recovery, again, but he is such a strong man and I know he'll be alright!! I have some pictures of him from his visit last week, but my darn computer won't accept the card they're on so I am still figuring that one out. He and Fran spent a week here in Del Rio and we loved it!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Alisea's big bed

We moved Alisea into her "big girl" bed a few days ago. I know it's a bit early (20 months) but we want to use her room as the "guest" room so we got her a daybed with the pop up trundle which makes into a king size bed. She's actually doing quite well, I say that, and she's in her crib tonight (It's temporarily still up as a "threat") which worked till tonight. SHe was being mischevious and kept sneaking out tonight. It was actually very funny, but I had to be "mean mommy" and put her in the crib after the 3rd time. She looks so tiny on the bed, and I can't help feeling sad that she's getting to be such a big girl already.

On another note: Caitlyn got the part of Rooster in Annie. I remember so well the need to cast girls in the boy roles. She's taken to singing in the shower, and I can hear her trying to sound more "manly". Too cute.

we've been telling Ethan he can only turn four next month if he stays in his bed with the lights off (he's taken to getting up in the middle of the night and coming into our room) and drink his milk. It's funny how he stopped instantly. I guess he really wants to be a big boy. Are we bad????

Monday, March 2, 2009

I'm a victim of facebook

I have seriously neglected my dear little blog because what little computer time I have has been eaten up by facebook. I can't believe how many people have come out of the woodwork of my past in just a few short months. Holy Moley!! It's been fun, but I realize that a good number of my facebook "friends" are merely acquaintances and I don't need to read up on their daily thoughts or conversations. Anyway - here's what's been going on lately....

My computer CRASHED. I'm so sad, and angry that I didn't back it up when I kept having a feeling I should. So now, many pictures are lost, unless my dear brother-in-law Tim can save them. The rest of it isn't so important. In the meantime, I've been fighting with the internet and wireless connections and finally got the darn thing to work on Caseys laptop. My digital card doesn't work in his, so I'll have to figure out how to get my pictures on here.

Caitlyn placed fourth at the tournemant of Champions in her Oration. We are so proud of her. She's just beginning practice for Annie in her school play. More on that when I know it. SHe's also going to start swimming again with the base/community team.

Ethan and Alisea are my little monkeys. We are working to get Ali into her "big girl" bed. She's doing so-so in that category. She's had some boughts of illness, ear-infection, possible UTI, stomach bug, bad cold - so we're ready for her to feel better.

I'm off to pick up Caitlyn now. More to come - soon.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hugs and Kisses

For several weeks now, Ethan has let us know, regularly, that he's "mad at us" for various things. Usually, it's because he doesn't get something he wants right away. Anyway, at first, he wouldn't give me a hug or kiss after he said he was mad. I would act very sad over this. Then the other day, instead of the usual "I'm mad at you, and I'm not giving you hugs and kisses" - he changes the last part and hugs and kisses me. "But I'm still mad at you" he says. Now he always says, "I'm mad at you, but I'll still give you hugs and kisses!" I know, he always seems to be mad at me for something these days, but at least I'm still getting my hugs and kisses.
Casey laughs and says I hold out on the hugs and kisses too, when I'm mad. No way.

Ethan is our snuggle bug. He gives and gets hugs and kisses all day long. He tells me he loves me all the time - at random moments. I love it. I was at my friends house the other day, and Ethan was running around with her son on a playdate. He comes running after Derek around the corner, sees me and stops to say, "Mom, I love you." and off he went again. She thought it was the sweetest thing. I agree. In fact, he just walked over from his movie to put his arms around me, for no apparent reason. How lucky can a mom be?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Skinny Winnie

If only I could have a doctors orders to add fat, butter, cream, mucho calories to everything I eat because I was too skinny. Alas, it's not MY doctors orders, it's for Alisea. She's just a skinny winnie. She has had some craziness on the growth chart, so off to the nutritionist we went. I think she's just gonna be skinny, because even with all the added fat, she's still just getting taller, but not fatter. We have a weight check tomorrow - so we'll see if what we've done so far has made any difference. If our home scale is somewhat accurate, it's not gonna be pretty. I wish I had a good picture of her Uncle Darin - then they'd shut up and let her just be skinny - it's in the genes! Needless to say, we were off to Old Navy for pants with elastic waist cincher thingys!

So that was our news.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Gift of Gab

We have known Caitlyn had "the gift" since she was a little munchkin. She can talk, and talk, and then talk and talk. Her kindergarten teacher told us - and I paraphrase part of this, that she was such a mature little girl, and very intellegent, yada, yada but she sure is, and I quote "a chatty Cathy"! Nothing changed over the years - always the same thing - she's so smart, so intelligent, but she sure likes to talk! Well, it paid off!!!

Caitlyn got first place in the Oration competition at the UIL (University Interscholastic League) meet. I wish I could have been there to congratulate her on the spot, but we celebrated to make it up to her. She got a chocolate cake with green frosting and Christmas tree sprinkles (it was cheap!, and Ethan picked it) We're so proud of our "orator". Maybe she'll be the first female president -Good speeking ability seems to play a pretty big roll in who gets elected ????

The competition invoved choosing from a list of topics, researching and writing the speech, memorizing it, and delivering it to a panel of judges. She has worked very hard on it and we're super proud!!! Now she will be in the tournament of champions in February against winners in the other tournemants across the state!!!

I don't have time for a picture now, but stay tuned.

We're paci free! and other stuff.

It has actually been 2 weeks, but we are completely pacifier free in the Ratliff house! We went cold turkey (that always seems to work best for my clan) and just stopped giving it to her. I figured it was best to do it before she was old enough to really ask for it. She did fine. Other than laying in her bed a little longer to fall asleep, she hardly seemed to notice. I also managed to get two little pony-tails in her hair this morning. It was pushing it, but she looked so darn cute. I also caught her trying to give her "baby" a drink of her water. I love this age!

Caitlyn is at her first UIL competition. I wanted to go so badly, but it was almost 5 hours away, and too much for the little munchkins to sit through. Anyway, she just finished her oration competition and is anxiously awaiting the awards ceremony later this afternoon. We're keeping our fingers crossed. She also got all A's on her semester report card. We're very proud of her!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Is it Really Jan 6 already?

I can't believe the whole month of December is gone already. We stayed very busy!

I hope we aren't taken off anybody's Christmas card list for not sending one out this year. I don't know what happened - it just never got done.

We got to go home for Christmas this year. It was great to see all of my mom's family - aunts, uncles, cousins and oodles of new kids for the first time in 4 years. Then we enjoyed our Hancock family party where Santa visited once again, and we got to try our hands at chimes. Big success, I would say! Then we were off to Sierra Vista where we dwarfed Grams and Gramps tree under way too many gifts and enjoyed waking up Christmas morning and watching the joy in our children's faces. Then we were off to Bisbee for still more family reunions. Back in SV, we got to see old friends who were also home for the holidays. It was quite a treat.

After returning home, we got it all put away, and hosted a game night with some of our friends here. A barbecue with the neighbors and lots of yard work on our 82 degree jan. day rounded things out. Whew!

I hope everyone had a joyous Christmas season, remembering our Saviour and being with the ones you love.

Casey's back to work, Caitlyn in school, appointments abound, and life is back to normal after a wonderful 3 week break. Stay tuned.

current slideshow