Thursday, December 28, 2006

just hanging out

...Since it has been a week since I've posted, I thought I'd better check in.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas! I think my favorite moment was when Noah went to check if Santa had come. He looked at his loot, which included a new Batman backpack, and his face lit up and he said, "Wow! A backpack! That's what I wanted! And I didn't even tell Santa that! How did he know!!?"

Other fun moments:
*making a gingerbread house with the boys
*watching my husband, sons, brother-in-law and nephew make a snowman at Nana' house
*watching my husband, sons and Cameron make a snowman at Grandmom's house (lots of snowman making!)
*munching on chocolate goodies
*finally getting to open my gifts from Seth :)
*just spending time with family
*watching Rhett complete a 100 piece puzzle. He was so proud!

I will post pictures later but right now I am at my parents' house, hanging out with my sister Jana and her kids. General consensus: we miss Krista and her family! :)

Tomorrow is a wonderful day because my parents celebrate their 40th anniversary! Wow! We are so proud of you and love you both! Happy Anniversary!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

my favorite things

...the taste of homemade cookies, the smell of cinnamon,
the red, green and white decorations around the house,
the boys putting ornaments up on the tree...
These are a few of my favorite things.

Opening Christmas cards, wrapping gifts for my loved ones,
the chill of the air outside means its the first day of winter,
packing up tons of clothes to go home...
These are a few of my favorite things.

Things don't always
go the way they should
but instead of being sad,
I simply remember my favorite things
and then I don't feel so bad!

(I'm in the mood to watch The Sound of Music. Does anyone know when its on tv?)

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

merry and bright days

...This will probably be a long post. I have a lot to share and this will probably be my last post before Christmas so let's get started. are the birthday boys, being silly. They look so grown-up compared to the baby pictures of the two that I shared in the previous posts, don't they?

The birthday party was a big success! I think everyone had a great time, save the child who got sick and had to go home early. Poor kid, he was so sad that his dad made him leave. :)

Hopefully, you can tell from the pictures that Rhett had a Spongebob cake and Noah had a Superman cake. I actually made these by myself and although, if you looked close at Superman, his face was messed up, I think they turned out pretty well. Not something I plan to do every birthday but at least I can say I did it once.

And since we had a party on Rhett's birthday, on Noah's we went to the movie Charlotte's Web. It was fantastic! So, so good. Such a sweet movie about friendship, promises and love. I felt like a kid again. And, of course, I cried. (The following contains a spoiler so if you have never read or watched this or ever heard about it, then I am warning you: Don't read if you don't want to know what happens!) During the movie, Noah looked at me and said, "Why are you crying?" I told him it was sad and he hugged me. Sweet kid. Then at dinner, Nana and Pop called to wish him a happy birthday and he had me tell them that I cried during the movie. Apparently, he thought it was funny or weird. Rhett asked when did I cry and I told him when Charlotte died. I asked, "Didn't that make you sad?" He said, "No, it made me happy. I knew she was with God."
Whoa. Talk about perspective. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I have two amazing kids.

On Friday night, my mom (who came for the party) and I went to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. If you haven't seen this group or heard of it, then you need too. It was an amazing lightshow full of wonderful music and fabulous singers . This is something I can take my husband and kids too and they would enjoy it. And it is even more wonderful that they are Christians, it was a clean show, it spread the word of Jesus, and that they raise money for different charities. Just amazing!
And, by the way Mom, Noah got your message and loved it. He thought he was pretty special to get a message from the phone! :)

And finally, here is picture of a Christmas goody. The Hot Chocolate Mix is from Food Network's Alton Brown and the Peppermint Marshmallows is a Martha Stewart recipe. Have you ever made homemade marshmallows? This was a first for me and it really wasn't that hard. Something different anyway. I gave away these three tins to some neighbors and friends, but I kept one for my family so we could enjoy it over Christmas. I hear it is going to be cold for Christmas where we are going, so this might be just what we need.

I am also making my very favorite Christmas cookie--the Chocolate Crinkle. It is gooey and delicious and my mom would make these every year. So I thought I would make them this year. I hope to make a few more goodies but I am running out of time. Having the boys' birthdays so close to Christmas takes it out of me. Right now the house is a mess and I have a ton of laundry to wash and fold and only 2 more days to do them! Aack! _____________________________
And a family picture. This was right after Rhett gave us gifts from him. His school had a Santa shop and so he went in, picked out gifts for his family and was so excited, he just couldn't wait for Christmas for us to open them.
Do you see his face? He gets it. He gets that Christmas is about giving. He is holding the lotion and body wash with an octopus massager that he picked out for me. He sure does know me well! He gave Seth some shoe polish, which Seth loved and gave Noah a whirly toy. (Don't know the correct name for it but Noah loved it!)

And finally, a word. One word. BELIEVE. I love this word. It holds so much promise, so much hope. Believe in Christmas miracles. Believe in the spirit of goodness that happens this year. Believe that next year will be better than the last. Believe that someone loves you, and that you matter to someone. Believe that you are doing some good in your life. Believe that you are important. Believe that your dreams can come true. Believe in everyday surprises.

I do. I hope you do too. And I hope that you have a very Merry Christmas!

Love to all!

Monday, December 18, 2006

and Noah is 4!

...Noah was born December 19, 2002. For Rhett's 2nd birthday, we went to the Houston Zoo and walked all over that place. I was so worried that I would have Noah on Rhett's birthday (didn't want to miss it by being in the hospital) but at the zoo, I started hoping to go into labor just so we could go. I was so tired! Rhett had fun though. 3 days later, Noah came quickly into this world.
And Noah is quick--with his emotions. He can turn a smile into a mad cry faster than you can say, "What happenend?" Very quick to get mad, he gets over things pretty quickly too, unlike his brother who stays upset about something for some time! Noah is a charmer--he will capture people's hearts just by giving them a hug and his smile. He is stubborn too. When he was 3 months old, Seth and I went to a concert and my parents kept the boys. I thought he would take a bottle (I'd been giving him one every so often) but no-he cried the whole time I was gone, never once took the bottle and I guess to show me how wrong it was for me to even try something other than nurse him, he never took a bottle again! He likes things his way for sure. But he is so sweet and lovable. I can't believe he is already 4. He is my baby. And now he can write his name, count up to 20 and do so many other things that I can hardly believe it. He is growing up, that's for sure.
Happy Birthday Noah! We love you and even though we have already had a party, we have a couple of surprises for you left for tomorrow!


Speaking of the b-day party, I will have pictures for you on Wednesday.
Have a great day!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Rhett is 6!

...Rhett was born on the 16th of December in a small town in Kansas. A week later, we moved to Amarillo. Looking back at that now, I don't know how we did it, but I know God blessed me with a sweet baby who hardly ever cried and was pretty happy-go-lucky. Rhett has since moved 3 more times in his life. He has lived in every kind of weather--from hot and humid to just hot, from breezy to blow you over windy, from cool at night to freezing during the day. He has seen an ocean, the mountains, has visited 3 other states for vacation, has lived in 3 (which is remarkable because I lived in just one until I was 22). He has flown in an airplane many times and occasionally says he wants to go to the moon someday. He is smart enough that I think he really could if he wanted. Other times he says he wants to be a policeman, a spy, a dinosaur hunter. He is a dreamer and I love that about him. He is like me in that way. Mostly, he is like Seth. He looks like him, wants to be just like daddy and he is just as sweet. He is the most unselfish kid I have ever met, always thinking of ways to help, even if you don't want it. He is sensitive and friendly and funny. He likes to get into things and he always wants to know how things work. And questions--he has asked a million. And he still is curious! He always wants someone near him and he is such a wonderful big brother. He loves Noah so much and comforts him when he is sad. Noah thinks he is the coolest--I know because I asked. He didn't even hesitate. Noah knows what Seth and I know--Rhett is a one cool kid. And we love him. And we hope his 6th birthday is the best!
Happy Birthday Rhett!

only at Nana's

...Yesterday, Noah asked me if a kid from his school was going to be at Nana's house for Christmas. (I had already told the boys that we were going to Nana and Pop's house for Christmas and Santa would come there on Christmas Eve.) I said no he probably would be with his own family. Then he said, "Well, I guess he won't get any presents."

It took me a minute but then I realized something: Noah thought Santa was ONLY going to Nana's house for Christmas Eve. No where else. I quickly said, "Oh, Noah, Santa goes to everyone's house on Christmas Eve. Not just where we are." Oh.

The irony of this situation is that I decided I wanted to have Santa go to Nana's in an effort not to confuse my children. They have talked a lot about how Santa comes on Christmas Eve and I didn't want to have to explain why he was coming early to our house (because we would be out of town) because I know I would have to keep explaining (but doesn't Santa go to Nana's house too?) Well, turns out, Noah was confused anyway.

It is just so funny. I wonder if he thought, "Wow, I must have been a great kid this year. Santa is only coming to see me."

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

no girls allowed--except mom

...Being a mom of boys, I've noticed some things. For instance:

1. I am always picking up legos off the floor seconds before they become sucked up in the vacuum.
2. There is not one conversation where I don't hear some sort of potty talk.
3. Boys scream just as shrill and loud as girls do. At least, I think they do.
4. Boys start hating the color pink at an early age.
5. I will probably get all sorts of flack for sharing my love of Broadway music with my sons or any other "girly" music for that matter. I had some Christmas music blaring the other day while making Christmas cookies and Rhett went to his room and turned on his own music--even louder.
6. Ballet and probably musicals are out too. I've missed my chance on taking the boys to see "The Nutcracker." I thought I had a couple more years. But no. They found out it was a ballet and gagged.
7. There is nothing they do that lasts longer than 15 minutes. Always on the go.
8. Little boys love to cuddle. Especially at night when reading books. That is my favorite part of the day.
9. If it is gross, it will find its way into my sons' life. Somehow.
10. They will always allow their mom into their "no girls allowed" club. Even if the only reason is because she provides the snacks.

I have now been a mom for almost 6 years. I probably will never have Barbies to pick up, or get to choose a girly movie on "movie night," and I will have to start liking sports (or at least pretend to) but that doesn't mean I will stop blaring the Christmas music or not even try to get them to watch a Julie Andrews movie. I am a girly girl at heart, you know. I like putting lipstick on and drinking from a flower cup. And it is kind of nice being the only female in the house. Especially because I am a mom (and wife) of some pretty incredible males.

Monday, December 11, 2006

in need of a christmas miracle

...I've been following a couple of blogs lately and want to ask for some big prayers. Both blogs have something in common: a fight with cancer. A little boy is fighting for his life right now and I just want them to have a Christmas miracle so badly. And a friend of a friend, who is also in the fight of her life, just wants to be home from the hospital in time for Christmas with her family. I really love the world of blogs and I'll tell you why. It has really helped me see how many people out there are going through a journey that may be the toughest they have ever seen. It has helped me realize how many people are survivors, brave and strong, just trying to live their lives with their family. It has made me less selfish with my prayers, more appreciative of what I've got and hopefully, more aware of how many need support from others. So, if you have a little time, say a prayer for these two families. God is listening....

Sunday, December 10, 2006

signs, scrapbooking, and Santa

...Happy Monday! In 5 days, Rhett will be 6 years old! I can't believe it. In 8 days, Noah will be 4. My babies are getting older and while I am so happy, I am also very nostalgic. I can remember holding their little warm baby bodies close to me and now I can barely pick them up. I remember Rhett coming into the hospital room to see his new baby brother and I thought he looked so big then. His hands were huge compared to Noah's. I never had that shock with Noah and so I still think of him as my baby. I told him that the other day and jokingly said that when he was 65, he would still be my baby. He thought that was funny, especially when I said that he'd probably be a grandad by then.

But oh, I am so enjoying my boys. They are so funny and full of life. The other day, I told Rhett and Noah to sweep up under their stools and then went into the other room. Later that night, Seth went into the kitchen and asked if Rhett wrote this:

I looked and just burst out laughing! First, I think it is great that Rhett is writing his own notes. But it was so hilarious because how he spelled it and to think of writing his brother's name too, when, I know, Noah did not help at all.


And here is something I created for Christmas. I used leftover tiles (Seth said next time, let's buy some cheap ones and not use the ones leftover--he wasn't too happy that I did that!) but I think wooden squares would work too. It was fun to do, especially since I haven't scrapped in a while!


And finally, the boys saw Santa on Saturday! Our neighborhood had sleigh rides and a visit with Santa and it was really neat. Rhett and Noah knew exactly what to do.

Santa: What do you boys want for Christmas?

Noah: A remote controlled spider!

Rhett: Uh, umm, umm, oh, a Legos Knight Kingdom.


Rhett: No, an IPOD!

Noah: Yeah, an IPOPE!

Santa: Ho! Ho! Ho! An expensive year....

Just so you know Santa, they are not getting Ipods. Not this year anyway. :)

Have a great day!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

And the bags go to...

...Sandy and Krista! Totally randomly, I drew for the red bag first, so my mom-in-law gets the red one and Krista gets the charcoal one. I'll ship them out to you today so you can enjoy them sooner!

Thanks to everyone who wrote about their favorite memories. I loved them all from Sandy's boots to Mom's tear-jerking memory about my dad to seeing Christmas through the eyes of children to the first Christmas with your new husband to getting to cut down your own Christmas tree with your grandfather to wondering how Santa knows when your family is celebrating your Christmas and finally, to hearing the most beautiful rendition of a Christmas carol, even when your heart was wanting to be home.

I had thought that I, too, was going to write about my favorite Christmas memory, but I don't know which one is my favorite. Every Christmas always has a special moment that makes me realize that this time of year is pure magic. People are nicer, love is shown more openly, the giving heart is in full swing.

I can remember getting a huge set of crayons one Christmas. The crayons were on this turn table and I was in awe of it. That was also the year we had "adopted" an older couple from our church as our grandparents. The looks on their faces said it all--they were so happy to be included. That was when I learned that gifts don't have to be physical things. Just a simple invitation was a wonderful gift to them.

I remember all those Christmases when we would go out to buy a real tree and my dad would work for hours trying to level it, put it in the stand, un-tangle the lights, put the lights on the tree, all while 4 eager kids and their mother would stand impatiently waiting to put our own ornaments on the tree. And we were listening to cheesy Christmas music. That is love, folks, especially when my dad would rather be doing anything else. And after all of that, one Christmas, the tree actually fell over after all the ornaments were put on. I learned from my dad that sometimes you have to do things you don't want to do, even during Christmas.

I remember all those Christmases that my brother and I would get up so early to see what Santa would bring us and then, as we got older, we still had to get up early because my dad had to go check up on cattle. Cows don't know it is Christmas. And my mom would take these pictures of us, looking tired and rumpled and smiling with our eyes closed, holding up our big gift. Every year. I learned from my mom the importance of tradition.

I remember when I started celebrating Christmas with Seth and his family. They were so glad I was there. I was surprised that they even had gifts for me--and not just a "here is one generic gift for my son's girlfriend" --an actual pile of presents for me. I knew that this could be a family that I could spend many Christmases with. I learned that "family" does not just mean your parents and brothers and sisters and grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins (I have a really big family, but my point is the same) it includes anyone that loves you and cares for you.

And, finally, now I am celebrating Christmas with my own children. I am doing the things that my parents once did (and I totally agree with dad--putting up trees and lights are a big pain) and I love that my kids are so excited about it. I love sharing traditions with them and making new traditions with them. I love finding the magic of Christmas--something different each year.

Here's to the magic of Christmas.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

tis the season give away a gift to my blog readers!

I wasn't going to blog today. I was tired and didn't feel like it. But then, I went to the mall with the boys to get my son new glasses. We ended up not getting the glasses because Seth, whom we met there, had to go back to work. However, I did go to a little store called Bath and Body Works and fell in love with these:

These lovely bags are so cute and holiday-ish and I had to get...3. One for me and two for...two of you! If you want one, post a comment about one of your favorite Christmas memories and I'll put your name in a drawing and randomly draw two names. Then I'll post the 2 lucky winners on Friday.

Have fun!

PS--This is to "just another reader": I haven't forgotten that you asked me to post a link to the instructions on how to make the trees. I just don't have a link. I got the idea for the trees from the December issue of Creating Keepsakes magazine. Then I just improvised from there. I will tell you the supplies I used:

*stryofoam trees from Hobby Lobby (different sizes)
*assorted holiday scrapbook paper
*pearl beaded garland
*paint for the beaded tree

Hope that helps some.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

a nasty cold and a biter

...has made my life a little more difficult these past few days. First, let me tell you, never try to do something constructive while your head is foggy from a cold. Yesterday, I picked up some invitations at the gym where the boys are going to have their birthday party (they provide the invitations and even though it is 15 minutes further to the gym than the nearest party store, the invitations also have a waiver on it so I went with those), addressed at least Noah'a friends' invitations, stuck a stamp on them and put them in the mailbox, 10 minutes before the postman got there. "Yea for me!" I thought, until 10 minutes later, I realized that I had stuck a 37 cent stamp on those invitations, not a 39 cent stamp. "Boo for me!" I thought again, mad at myself that I had even kept those silly stamps.

Back to square one, I decided that today I would have to go back to the gym. But, I emailed all of Noah's friends' moms to tell them about the party so they would at least know about it. I mean, it is the Christmas season, people have parties, I just didn't want them to make other plans, you know?

The mailing of invitations is another story. Apparently, one cannot go into a public school and ask for addresses of other children. I guess it makes sense, but how in the world am I going to invite Rhett's friends to his party? Luckily, the secretary was very nice and said she would mail them. I gave her $2 for stamps (she almost didn't take it because it was too much, and almost made me go to the cafeteria to get change, but I firmly insisted at this point to just take the money!)
So, now, hopefully, the invitations are mailed and someone will make it to the boys' birthday party. Fingers will be crossed.

And now to the second part of my story, which, strangely enough, has to do with the party too. Apparently, one of the kids that Noah wanted at his party, bit another kid, who is invited also. And the mom of the bitee is pretty mad at the biter and the biter's mom. I can certainly understand, but now I have this problem. What if the bitee doesn't come to the party if the biter is coming? Selfish of me to have that thought cross my mind, but I really like the bitee and his mom. She has become a good friend of mine and I really love her kids and want them to come to the party. But I had never seen her so mad. And the biter is, what I thought, a good kid too. Noah really likes to hang out with her and she lives in our neighborhood so they see each other more. And I can't univite the biter, that would be worse than the biting offense! I just don't know what to do. Hopefully, things will get better before the party.

And, to top it all off, I still have a brain fog from this cold. Everytime I get a cold, I promise myself that I will start taking vitamins and making sure I eat better, blah, blah, blah. Then, I start feeling better and I forget to take vitamins and well, you know. And then, I end up blogging about my cold, which can't be a fun read. Sorry.

As my great-grandmother wrote in her diaries, "It will be a better day tomorrow."

Monday, December 04, 2006

snow day pictures

...Yes, I can read. And that is how I fixed the problem of the disappearance of the icons. Yea for me. Anyway, here they are:

Thursday morning

Friday morning

All bundled up. I made them put on 2 of everything. It took at least 20 minutes to get everything on.

Noah tasting the snow.

I love this picture. Rhett was this excited!

I had to include a picture of the dogs. Scout actled like an excited kid--she was jumping around, chasing Brinkley's tail with much more ethusiasm than usual,and loving every minute. Brinkley was like Noah: he went out, played for about 5 minutes, then went back inside.

Rhett goes back to school today. I think he got used to the snow days. He was kind of grumbling.

Have a good Monday!

technical difficulties

...don't you just love them? I was going to post snow day pictures here but all of my icons disappeared. And I don't know how to get them back. So I don't know how to get my pictures here. Frustrating. Especially since I got up early to do this.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

help me celebrate

...Abbey's birthday! Abbey, I hope you had a great one! Happy Birthday friend!

Friday, December 01, 2006

just for fun/Mallory's b-day

...Today is another snow day for Rhett and it is so beautiful outside--the snow is just waiting for little boys to come mess it up. I'm waiting until 10:30 or so though because it is "bone-chillingly" cold, as the weatherman put it. I'll post pics tonight of our fun snow day. Or snow minutes, because Noah won't last too long. Yesterday, he lasted all of 5 minutes.

Anyway, I thought I would answer my friend Holly's email to me in this blog. It is a Christmas survey.

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot Chocolate. Egg Nog does not sound appealing to me at all.
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? He wraps every single one.
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? White lights on the trees, inside and out. I did add a little colored rope lights to our sidewalk. Just for the boys.
4. Do you hang mistletoe? No. Isn't it poisonous?
5. When do you put your decorations up? The Sunday after Thanksgiving.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Hmm, I'll have to go with my Mom's Fruit Salad on this one.
7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child: The year we went to DisneyLand for Christmas. I was 8 or 9 and I loved that place! The first thing I bought was a pair of mickey mouse ears and I wore them practically the whole time.
8.When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? What truth??? What do you mean? :)
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Yes. When I was a kid, my brother and I would bug mom so much she would finally relent on Christmas Eve. Honestly, I am still like that, except now I bug my husband.
10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? With all of our ornaments from years past.
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? Love it! But only for a day.
12. Can you ice skate? Yes. Not well, but I can do it.
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? I have two favorite gifts---Rhett, born on December 16 and Noah, born on December 19 just two years later.
14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Spending time with our families.
15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? I am a big dessert person so anything. I love homemade apple pie, anything chocolate and also pepperminty.
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? I think it is going to the Christmas Eve service at church. I love getting to sing Silent Night and light a candle. It is beautiful, magical and now that my kids are getting where they try to sing along, it means so much more.
17. What tops your tree? A silver star. That always leans.
18. Which do you prefer? -- Giving or Receiving? I think giving. I love shopping for that perfect gift for someone I love. I love surprising people.
19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? I have a long list. Seriously, I love Christmas music.
20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum? Yum!

I want to know your answers! You don't have to answer them all, but pick a favorite or two and let me know in the comments or answer them in your own blog. Just for fun!


I want to say a special "Happy Birthday" to my 5 year old niece, Mallory. I was going to save it until tomorrow, but I just got finished reading Krista's blog and have to recommend that everyone go and read what she wrote. It is a beautiful letter to her daughter on her fifth birthday. It is heart-warming, sweet, funny and honest. Mallory is a lucky girl.

Happy Birthday Mallory!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

holy jellybeans

...That is what my sons are saying this morning, "Holy Jellybeans! Look at the snow!" "Holy camoly! Look at the trampoline covered with snow!" "Holy smokes! Look at the street!" You get the point. My kids have been watching too many superhero shows, I guess. But I love their excitement!

They were also excited to find out that school had been cancelled. It is funny, last night before any of this started, they were cancelling things. I remember when I was in school, you had to wait until the snow was actually falling to cancel anything. Don't get me wrong--I was hoping they would cancel. Two hours of school is not worth driving back and forth in ice and snow.

So hopefully, this afternoon, we will get to go out and play. I don't know how long the snow will last, but I hope at least a day. I will try to get some pictures.

If the weather is bad in your neck of the woods, stay safe!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

ahh, memories

...I uploaded my pictures and discovered that I didn't take that many pictures. I guess I was too busy enjoying the moment. And, I am okay with that. Here are a few that I took of our Thanksgiving. Enjoy!

Krista is the lucky one in the middle of all the cute kids!

Good-bye time. That is why Cameron and Noah are so sad. Well, Cameron was sad because he didn't want to go to the potty, but Noah was very sad that everyone was leaving that day. Me too.

Rhett and Noah helped their Grandmom with her apple coffee cake. This was before everyone else got there. I think they had fun. They also helped their Great Gran make rolls. That kept them busy for a while! Who knew dough was so much fun?

storm's coming!

...So it looks like today will be the last 70 degree day for awhile. A cold front is blowing in tomorrow and it might even snow! I bought the boys some snow boots which means it won't, but that is okay. Be prepared.

I actually like snow. I don't like to drive in it but it makes things so beautiful and it is so fun to play in. Last year, it snowed on Rhett's birthday and we spent the whole morning outside building snowmen and having snowball fights. In Midland, the snow lasted all of the morning and then melted away, but hopefully here, it will last longer.

Some of my favorite memories are of Casey and me going outside in the snow to play. Mom would make us wear bread bags over our shoes to keep our feet dry. We would get our overalls on and get all bundled up and then out the door we would go to make fresh footprints in the snow. What fun.

I still haven't uploaded my pictures. Maybe tomorrow....

Off to tend to my mad child. Any guesses of who it is? :)

Monday, November 27, 2006

a little recap

...for you. The Thanksgiving holiday was so much fun. We had 7 little ones running around, jumping on the "jump-o-lene" as my niece Isabel called it, playing video games, opening Christmas presents and celebrating their birthdays. I loved getting to spend time with my family and was pretty sad yesterday when everyone had to leave. It just went by too fast.

Some highlights:

Downtown in December: Oklahoma City's Bricktown had a Christmas tree lighting ceremony with fireworks. That was pretty neat by itself but we also all went for ice cream and for a boat ride around the river. I loved that Rhett and Nicolas kept asking questions on the boat. I loved that Cameron was so excited to be on the boat. I loved that Isabel thought that she would get to see dolphins on the boat.

The weather: It was so beautiful. Not cold at all. We had our pictures made by a friend of a friend (and now a new friend of mine) outside at a park and I think she got some good ones. The ones she posted at her blog were good anyway. I am excited to see the rest. I know it was really difficult to shoot 16 people--7 of them being impatient children--so thank you Kim for this! It means so much to me and my family! Anyway, after the pictures, we enjoyed the park for awhile and took a little stroll on the hiking path. I love those kids!

The jump-o-lene/trampolene: The kids spent most of their time outdoors on this thing. They loved it! I think this was one of the best things we have ever gotten for our kids. The trampolene helped us bond with Phoebe, who wasn't too sure of all of us. It was so funny to see them interact with each other on it. Cameron and Isabel just loved getting on and off of it. The bigger boys played rough on it, even tackling Grandmom, which made Isabel cry. Mallory loved jumping on it with me or her mom.

Late night talks: We were wiped out most of the time but I am so glad that we stayed up to talk and catch up. My sisters and brothers (including Chris) are so interesting to me and they mean the world to me!

I will post some pictures soon. But for now, I am going to finish decorating for Christmas. It is raining right now, so I can't finish the trees outside, but that gives me a chance to clean up in the house....

Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

gobble, gobble

...This will be my last post for this week. Family starts coming today and I am so excited. Krista, see you tomorrow. I love getting to say that!!! Absolutely!

I hope everyone has a fun, fabulous Thanksgiving. I will be surrounded by my loved ones, good food, and I know we are so thankful for that. Remember to be thankful for what you have.

Oh, and one more thing on my thankful list. I am thankful for...

YOU. My blog reader. You could be my faithful friend, an occassional reader, one of my lovely family members, someone I don't know or someone I know very well. Whoever you are, I am thankful that you make time to stop by and read this thing. I love blogging. It has brought me closer to friends and family and has made me record events that would otherwise be forgotten. So, thank you. Have a great, great holiday!

Monday, November 20, 2006

a little conversation

...This morning Noah came into my room. I haven't shared a conversation with one of the boys in awhile, so here it is:

N: Will you scoot over, Mom?
(I look at the clock 7:13 am. It is okay. I need to be awake anyway).
N: Thank you!
silence for 8, 9, 10...
N: Mom, what are cheeks for?
me: Uhh, for holding your food in your mouth.
N: Ohhh. That's what they are for. I LOVE cheeks.
N: What are tummys for?
me: For holding your food inside your body. (Can you tell I was hungry?)
N: What are these for? (pointing to chin)
me: A Chin? So you can open and close your mouth. (have you ever tried to explain why your body has parts to an almost 4 year old? It is hard).
N: Ohhh. So if you didn't have a chin your mouth would just do this. (holding mouth open)
me: Yes.
N: Look. This is my Little Dog. See it has my name---Noah Houston (on the tag)
me: Yeah.
N: How do you spell Noah's dogs?
me: N-O-A-H-'-S D-O-G-S
N: What is a chee?
me: G!
N: Ohh. I get it. A G!
me: Yes.
N: Look. Rufus is a hairy dog. You can sleep with Rufus.
(hands me Rufus)
N: Joker's hair is spiky. He could poke Rufus with his hair....I wish Rufus was hard. Like a robot.
N: Mom?
me: Yes Noah?
N: I wish Rufus was a robot dog.
me: Ok. I am going to go to the bathroom.
N: If he was a robot dog, he would be hard and bark and move.
N: (a little louder now) Can I have a robot dog for my birthday? I want a big one!
N: MOM! Did you hear me?
A: Noah! I am in the bathroom!
N: Okay. Okay. I just wanted you to know about my robot dog.

I am thankful for the random minds of my children. I love that they can jump from one thing to another. I am thankful that they are so curious, although I wish I could come up with better answers. But how do you explain to a little child where water comes from? They don't understand elements. The first time Rhett asked me where water comes from, I said it came from the ground. (I was using the hose at the time). No, he said, where does it come from? Totally stumped. Then the 2nd time they asked I remembered (Ok, Seth reminded me) H2O. So I told them. Huh? Yeah, exactly. I am thankful for my kids. They keep me on my toes, they keep me laughing, they keep me on the move, and they always remind me how much I've got in this life. I am thankful that in less than 4 days, I will have my nephews and nieces here and we'll have 7 kids making us laugh and feel blessed. Thank God for kids.


We are going to see Happy Feet today. The boys were so good yesterday while I cleaned the house, so this is their little reward. I'll let you know how it is. But I know it will be cute. I love penguins.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Happy Birthday Mom!

...So, my mom turns 30 tomorrow! At least, that is what Rhett thinks and I am too good of a daughter to tell otherwise! :) I do have to say my mom does not look her age at all and that is good for her daughters. Hopefully, we got her genes.

My mom is someone I am very thankful for. I have many reasons why so I'll just write a list. Can you tell that I like lists?

1. She is a fantastic grandmom.
2. She helped me realize that you never stop being a mom--no matter how old your kids are.
3. She is always there for her kids and her grandkids.
4. She is a wonderful role model.
5. She has great taste.
6. Her love of Broadway musicals, The Beatles, and great musical movies.
7. She always makes her pies from scratch. And there truly is a difference.
8. She always made us a home-cooked meal--even after a full day of teaching. I never realized how special that was until I became a mom.
9. She is beautiful, inside and out.
10. She is an awesome teacher.
11. She believes in us.
12. She dragged us out of bed at 3 am in the morning to see (or not see) Haley's Comet. It was cold and we could not see a thing, but the point is she and dad made us try.
13. She passed on her love of books to her children.
14. She let us get real Christmas trees for many years. I love that smell.
15. She took pictures of us every year on the first day of school.
16. She made Casey and me two different cakes for our birthdays. That was a big deal. She could have just fixed one. But she made two.
17. I only heard her curse once. But when she did, it made me love her more. Why? Because I was a teenager and thought it was cool. :)
18. She is creative.
19. She has played the organ for the church for as long as I can remember. I don't even think she gets paid for it anymore, but she just does it. She taught me to do things for others and do right by God.
20. Because she is my mom. And because of her, I strive to be the best mom I can be. I love you Mom!

Have a wonderful birthday!!!!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

days like this

...are good just to stay under your covers, not go out at all. Unfortunately, we had to get up, go to work (Seth), get on the bus for school (Rhett), drive Noah to school (me), and be carried into school because it was so windy and cold that we had to hurry (Noah). Yes, Noah got off easy. The wind is terrible--we had to make sure everything was secure outside last night and thank goodness we did because our trampoline would have blown away by now.

It is hard to be thankful for days like this, because I don't like the wind. It makes my head hurt, my hair messy and my bones cold. But I guess it is days like this that make you appreciate the comfort of your home, the warmth of your bed, the roof over your head. It makes you appreciate all those things you have that keep you safe and dry and warm. Others aren't so lucky.

Here's hoping you are safe and warm today. And here's hoping we don't blow away...

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

all about books

...I checked out Krista's blog and she had answered a book quiz and suggested that we, her readers, answered it too on our blog. So, that is what I am going to do. And I will sneak in my #8 for my thankful list too. :)

1. A book that changed your life.
Starring Sally J. Freedman As Herself by Judy Blume. I think this was one of the first "big" books that I read and I absolutely loved it. Sally was imaginative, like me, and a dreamer, like me and I was instantly drawn to her. My real love of books began with this book. It had humor, drama and real-life history mixed in to make a great story. Wow.

2. A book you've read more than once.
Like my sister, I love re-reading books. I love re-reading biographies: Michael J. Fox, Nelly Connolly's, ect. and also great classics like To Kill a Mockingbird.
I re-read the Harry Potter collection every time a new one comes out.

3. A book you'd want on a desert island.
I think I'd want 3--The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. It takes me awhile to get through it, but I could read those three books over and over again. Classic good vs. evil.

4. A book that made you giddy.
Ummm, I really don't know. Maybe Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man because it was so hilarious and I just fell in love with Daisy Fay. And also, while I was reading it, I came across a passage that I had read in high school in my Prose competitions in Speech and I was so excited to read that again.

5. A book that you wish would be written.
A book that would never end. I don't like when the books I read end. It makes me sad.

6. A book that wracked you with sobs.
I don't know if a book has ever wracked me with sobs, but I know Where the Red Fern Grows came pretty close. Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco made my kids wonder what was wrong with me because I was crying so hard, I couldn't see the words. The Velveteen Rabbit is also a touching story. And that leads me to what I am thankful for:
#8. Good, ole Rufus. My mom and Christy may be the only people that remember Rufus so let me explain. He was a small, stuffed sheepdog. He had long, soft hair that covered his eyes and he wasn't stuffed very full, so he was pretty floppy. I think I got him in Jr. High, almost too old to play with stuffed animals, but I saw him and instantly loved him and told mom I wanted him for my birthday. So she gave him to me. Years after sleeping next to me, he was stuffed in the attic, along with my other childhood toys. The other day, I was cleaning out some things and I found this huge bag of stuffed toys. I went through them, wondering if I could wash some of them and let the boys have them. And who did I find? Rufus. He looked a little crumpled, but I gave him a good wash and dry and he came out good as new. I presented him to the boys and said to take good care of him. Now Rhett sleeps with him. He makes me give Rufus a kiss every night. And I love it. Absolutely love it!

7. A book you wish had never been written.
This is hard. I wish I had never read A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry because it was so sorrowful and disturbing that I could not go to sleep right away for weeks afterward, but to say I wish it had never been written would be wrong because things like those in the book really happen. Which is terribly sad.

8. A book you are currently reading.
Honestly, I have been reading cookbooks. And that is it. I am getting ready for Thanksgiving! :)

9. A book you've been meaning to read.
Look at Krista's blog. Every one that made her list, I am going to have to check out!

Now, it's your turn! What are some books you love?

Monday, November 13, 2006

brothers and sisters

...I have a new favorite show: Brothers and Sisters. It is really a great show about family. I love that no matter what the problem, they always are there for each other. They make each other mad, even crazy sometimes, but they love one another fiercely! It reminds me of my family. We have been through some stuff, as every family I am sure, these past few years and I think it has only made our relationships stronger. And it has made me very thankful for
7. my big family
I have always been a fan of big families. My grandfather has 5 brothers and sisters (all still living--my family has great genes) and I loved the times when all of them, with their children and grandchildren, got together. Now I love when we all get together with our children. 7 little ones running around is so much fun! And total chaos but that is okay. I love that we are not perfect, that we have problems, because that makes us normal and strong. I love that we are there for each other. I love that we have kids around the same age. I love that we can laugh and have a great time but also know when to hug and cry. I am always so excited to see them and always so sad to see them go. Yesterday, I was sad because I knew on Sunday in 2 weeks, my family would be leaving my house. (Isn't that funny? They haven't even come yet and I am already sad that they will be leaving!)
Families come in all shapes and sizes and they are always changing. But, just remember, as Rachael Ray said, "Families who eat together, stay together!" :)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

show and tell

...I took a break yesterday from doing what I was supposed to be doing and we did something that was a whole lot of fun. We made Christmas trees!

I saw the idea for the paper trees in Creating Keepsakes and had to make my own. The boys helped with the glitter and cutting the strips. The beaded tree took a little more time, but it turned out pretty too. I really went tree crazy because I also am making trees with fall colors. I just had too much fun.

#6 on my Thankful List is:
*Goof-off Days
I really could have waited to do these trees until December. Especially since Thnaksgiving is a mere two weeks away and my house is a complete mess and I need to do some things to get ready for my family coming, but it was one of those days. You know the days when you feel like you are in a rut and just can't bear to do one more load of laundry or pick up one more toy? That was me yesterday. So when Rhett came in wanting to do a craft, I jumped up and said, "Let's go to Hobby Lobby!"

I love goof-off days.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

that's life

...We all know life is hard. Sometimes we feel life is harder than it has to be, than it should be. But, then again, there are no guarantees from God that life will be easy.

These past two weeks, I have had my eyes opened about difficulties other people in my life are facing. Whether it be about health, jobs, big decisions, or waiting for prayers to be answered, these things are making their lives hard. Like I said before, God never said life would be easy. But He did say he would love us. And that's what I am going to be thankful for today.

6. God's love
It is a simple thought: God loves me. But it has profound meaning and it can get me through some tough times. And it is the only thing I can think of to say to all those who are going through rough times right now.

God loves you. He loves you for who you are, he loves you no matter what, he loves you all day long, he loves you during easy times and difficult times. And that love will never go away.

Thank heavens for that.

I forgot to mention that Tuesday was my brother-in-law's birthday! (I know, Miss I-Love-Birthdays forgot to give a shout-out to Scott!) Anyway, Happy Birthday Scott! I can always count on you to make my husband laugh and for that, I sincerely thank you.

like a good neighbor

...The fifth thing on my thankful list is something I am so excited about. When we lived in Midland, we didn't have this. Now, here, we do and I am so thankful

5. For good neighbors
Our neighbors have welcomed us with open arms, have been friendly toward us, they have helped us become familar with Edmond and they actually act like they mean all of this. I realize (now after not having them) that good neighbors are hard to find. Living in the country growing up, I had one neighbor--my grandparents and they were supposed to love us. It is so nice to be able to be able to trust your neighbors with things such as babysitting your kids, watching our house while we are away for the weekend, sending your kids to play with their kids and not worry. And all of this good neighborly stuff makes me want to be a good neighbor back. It makes it easy to be a good neighbor. This is one reason I love Edmond so much: My neighborhood.

I feel lucky.

Monday, November 06, 2006

all about the boy

...We have a neighbor boy, around 9 years of age, that waits at the bus stop with Rhett and some others. Rhett thinks he is totally cool and always follows him around and tries talking to him. I say "tries" because this boy totally ignores Rhett. He has two younger brothers and I guess he thinks Rhett is just like them, I am not sure. But it doesn't faze Rhett. No sir. My #4 thing that I am thankful for is:

4. Rhett's attitude toward people
Rhett is such a pleaser and just loves to be friends with others. It doesn't bother him at all that this kid does not pay him the time of day. He just smiles and goes right on talking to him. I want to scream, "Hey, you, what is wrong with you? Rhett is a good kid! Don't you hurt him!!" but then I look at Rhett and am so proud of him. He still likes the neighbor, still wants to be around him and is still so happy. And I know in my heart that he would never do that to others. He is a protector. Yesterday, we went to church with their grandparents and they asked for guests to come up and Rhett, who is so shy in front of large groups of people, put his arm around his little brother (who totally isn't shy at all) and they made their way up to the front together. He is such a good friend to Noah and an awesome brother. Yes, he does do annoying older brother things sometimes, but for the most part, he is so loving and caring. I am so proud of who is becoming.

Friday, November 03, 2006


...Of course, I have to be thankful

3. It's Friday!

Today, Rhett doesn't have school because of parent-teacher conferences. So I told them both last night, "Ok, tomorrow you can sleep in! You don't have to get up at the crack of dawn!"(time change is never a good thing around here. Do the boys know the time changed? No. Do they realize that now they are getting up a full hour earlier than they used to? No.) Well, that didn't work. But that is okay. They are in good moods and I am about to go make pancakes for them. It will be a good day. The sun is shining, we are going to see the grandparents this weekend, we are going to spend time being a family and enjoying each other, we are going to make a turkey for Noah's school together and it will be a great weekend.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend too!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

cowboy up!

I have my issues with Wal-mart. A lot of issues. It is always crowded, I can never find everything I am looking for, and its ethics are sometimes lacking, to name a few. But I have to give credit where credit is due. Because of Wal-mart, I have my #2 thing I am thankful for:

2. Cowboys boots.

My son is deliriously happy today because yesterday he got cowboy boots. This is something he has wanted for a very long time and I was really going to wait until Christmas, because they are expensive. But the other day, I found that Wal-mart has them for $15. That is great! That means we don't have to shell out some bucks for him to try boots and decide he doesn't like them. Or only wear them for a month before he outgrows them (his feet grow like weeds!) He hasn't taken them off since yesterday. He wore them with a pair of carpenter jeans today. It looked a little silly but I didn't say anything. I just went out and bought him some boot-cut jeans, told them to try those and really buttered him up--"Now, those are cowboy jeans! You look amazing!" And he said, "Let's take a picture!" So I did. And just look at him posing for the camera. Isn't he something?

It is a little thing. But it made my son so happy. I hope that today you find something small thing that makes you happy.

BTW, here is a link to Krista's book. It is an amazing story of a woman and her family who made a fresh start in West Texas. And what is so neat is that woman happened to be my great-grandmother.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

23 days

...until Thanksgiving! That means 22 more days until I see my sisters and their families! I am so excited! And because Thanksgiving is all about being thankful, I will post one thing I am thankful for each day of November. (or each time I blog). Because I really am thankful for so many things. So here's the first:

I am thankful for...
----my grandparents. Today is my grandad's birthday so I have been thinking about him and both my grandmothers a lot. I realize how lucky I am to still have living grandparents, because so many people around me do not. I realize how lucky my kids are to know their great-grandparents. I realize, now that I am older especially, how cool they are and how much they have lived through. My sister, Krista, edited a book of my Great-grandmother's diaries and I think my family is so fortunate to, one, have such a talented person to go through all those writings and actually get them into book form (thanks sis!) and two, have Grannie actually write down her history. Because now, not only do I get to read what life was like in her life, my kids and future grandkids do too. Cool. Anyway, my point is that I wish my three grandparents would do something similar. My late maternal grandfather was in the war and never really liked to talk about it but I wish that he had or at least wrote it down because wouldn't it be so cool to know his experiences? Wishing aside, I am very grateful for the time I had with him and have with my other grandparents.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

trick or treat

...and Happy Halloween! These are the boys costumes this year. (Noah felt he need make-up too and with his mask it looks really cool but he didn't want to wear his mask so he just looked really tired!) We went to Haunt the Zoo on Saturday night so they got to wear their costumes early. Tonight we do it again.

Have a spooky day!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

the four D's

...Today, the fam and I tried out a new church. It is a fairly new church (meaning small) and we were impressed with it the minute we got there. The minister is a fast-talker (reminding me of Gilmore Girls fast-talking, if you watch that show) and I honestly love it--but it was hard to keep up with him during recitation! But he was so down-to-earth and had such a great message. I would like to share it what I can remember with you now.

Basically, it was how to make your life easier. And it came down to the Four D's. Delete, Delay, Delegate, and Do it now.

Delete: all those things that is an extra-stress causing, life-cluttering, time-stealing, not really worth it in the long run, waste of your life so you can focus on things that really matter. He brought up all those hours watching tv (guilty as charged--as you can see from my Gilmore Girls reference to our preacher!). Now I don't watch during the day, unless I have loads of laundry to fold and I only turn on the tv at night after the boys are in bed, but then I just sit there and watch. I love my tv shows, but do I really need to watch The Nine when I don't even like what is going on? No. So my goal is to really cut down on watching at night.

Delay: all those things that don't need to be done right away or else! like cleaning your garage (that was his example) to again, focus on the people in your life that need a friend or a helping hand or just a hug. I really am good at procrastinating on doing chores so I liked this one. I do need to work on why I am procrastinating. Procrastinating just to do so is not what the preacher was talking about. But if I choose to spend time with my kids to make them feel loved instead of fold that load of laundry, then that is okay. And we need to be okay with that.

Delegate: all those things that that don't HAVE to be done by you. I loved his example: That is why we have kids--to take out the trash and mow the lawn! Kidding aside, it is fine to ask for help. It is great when someone wants to help you. It is awesome when you help someone else. No one alone. (from Buzz Lightyear: Star Command)

Do it now: do all these things so you can concentrate on the things that really matter: loving God with all your heart and your mind and your soul and loving your neighbor. Those are his commandments.

I know, it sounds a lot simpler than it really is. It is hard not to be selfish and to love all people. It is hard to be a Christian in this world today. This world has so much hatred in it, so much anger and bitterness. But I love when I find the good in people. Just today, when shopping at the grocery store, I tried smiling more to people. And you know what? People were more open to talking to me, they were friendlier and that made me feel happy.

Here's hoping you find happiness this week too.

Friday, October 27, 2006

my list of things to-do

...for today:
1. Laundry
2. Clean house
3. Think good thoughts for my brother. I hope the weight on his shoulders and his heart is lifted after today.

...for this weekend:
1. Spend time with Seth. He has been working non-stop this past week and we miss him.
2. Bake. I want to get a jump ahead of the upcoming holidays.
3. Scrapbook. I haven't done a layout in 2 weeks. The creative part in my mind is itching for something to do.
4. Go to the neighborhood fall festival. This should be fun for the boys. I never know about these things. Do the kids wear costumes? They never mention the word, "halloween" so I never know.

Yes, I know this has to be the most boring post ever. I don't even have any excuse for it. When I don't use the creative part of my mind, it falls asleep. Seriously. ...Okay, that was an excuse. Here's another: I got the FluMist yesterday and while it was much better than a shot (especially for Rhett who was high-fiving the nurse after it was over--remember he is terrified of shots), it made me so tired. I went to be early last night and still today I am dragging. Let's see if I can think of another...nope. Sorry. All tapped out. Signing off now.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

we've been hit the neighborhood phantom. Don't worry, it is not bad. I actually have never heard of this game, but apparently, one person gives 3 neighbors a treat, then they must in turn, give 3 of their neighbors treats and so on. But it has to be anonymous. So the tricky part for me is to get the boys to ring the bell of the neighbors houses we choose, then run as fast as they can away from the house. Hopefully, no one will be home. I can just see Noah just standing around waiting for the door to open, then let himself into the house to play. He loves other people's houses. I will let you know how it goes.

Other Halloween news: We carved a pumpkin yesterday into the shape of a skeleton. I know the boys wanted the little saw, but I just couldn't let them have it. I told them maybe the next one. I know it is too early to be carving a pumpkin because it is already looking sad, but it was rainy outside and we were bored.

We also made yummy cupcakes yesterday, as if we need more sweets for the holiday. But, in my defense, it was rainy outside and we were bored. (I know, I already used that excuse.) I did let them do most the work here. They had a lot of fun.

We also tried putting fake cobwebs outside our house, but the wind blew them into my fake flowers and it was a big, REAL mess trying to pull it apart. So that idea was a bust. Oh well.

I, for one, will be glad when this tooth-decaying holiday is over. Halloween is fun and all, but it has been one long month of it, you know?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

just say no

...This week is Red Ribbon Week for schools and as you all probably know, students wear silly things like slippers to school to promote Drug-free awareness. I have no problem with this. My problem is...have you ever tried to talk to a 5-year-old about how to stay away from drugs? If not, here is how the conversation would go:

the mom (on Monday): So, it is Red Ribbon Week. Do you know what the red ribbons are for?
the son: Yes. (rolling his eyes) It is for you to wear.
the mom: But do you know why?
the son: ummm
the mom: This week is all about teaching you about drugs. There are some really bad drugs out there that you need to stay away from and...
the son: What's a drug?
the mom: Well, you know when a doctor gives you drugs when you are sick? It is medicine that makes you feel better. But some drugs are not meant to be taken because they make you even sicker. If anyone besides a doctor offers you drugs, do not take them because they can make you sick.
the son: Okay, okay.
the mom: Do you understand?
the son: Yes! Do not take drugs from anyone, especially doctors.
the mom (knowing this conversation is doomed): No, you can take drugs from doctors. They know what they are doing.
the son: No! If they offer you drugs, it can make you sick.
the mom (frustration level rising): Not doctors! They give you medicine to help you feel better. But if one of your classmates or another kid from your school or even a stranger tries to give you drugs, then you should say "no" and walk away.
the son: Why?
the mom (rising even higher): I just told you why! Drugs are bad. They are not meant to be taken for fun.
the son (getting upset too): Fine!
the mom (trying to calm down): So, did you talk about drugs today at school?
the son: No.
the mom: They didn't try to explain why they gave you the ribbon?
the son: No. They just gave it to me. I don't know why.
the mom (giving up): Eat your dinner.

I need one of those pamplets that tell you how to talk to your child about drugs. Because after that conversation, all I could imagine is that commercial where they cracked an egg, which was your brain, and fried it. That is how I felt. So, while I commend schools for helping children learn about drugs, they need to send home notes to tell what they talked about that day. Wouldn't that make life easier for everyone?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

dinner with friends

...On Sunday night, we had a couple over to eat with us. They both work with Seth and we have known them for a few years, since we all lived in Midland before moving up here this summer. The only reason I am mentioning this dinner is because the boys were so excited that they were coming over. They talked of nothing else the whole week! And our friends didn't disappoint. She brought brownies just for them and he watched Buzz Lightyear with them. Then the boys brought out the game Hullabaloo. If you haven't heard of this game, here is a quick explaination: There are pads of different colors that you put on the floor. Each pad has a food, instrument or animal. There is a "box with a man trapped inside" (Noah's explaination) that shouts out instructions: Skip to a circle. Spin to an animal. Now make the animal noise. It is a fun kid game. Anyway, the boys wanted all of us to play it. Our friends are such troopers because they did. They have very big hearts and have helped us out so much since moving here and playing a twister-like game with Rhett and Noah just proved how good of people they are.


This next part is from Rhett:

When I woke up, I saw the money. Thanks Tooth Fairy for the $1 coin and the penny. Thank you for note too. I didn't hear you when you came in. I can't believe you live in a mouth. Do you have sisters? Do you like KitKats? My mom is really pretty. Do you have a dad? I have a clock. It is really cool. It is in the kitchen. The kitchen is red. It is pretty cool. You would like it. My dad doesn't like he is waked up by other kids in the middle of the night. Tooth Fairy, do you have any toys? Man, is it cold out there? What state do you live in? I really want to know? Um, bye Tooth Fairy. From, Rhett.

(I promise I didn't tell him to say the thing about his mom! This is pure Rhett. Talk, talk, talk. And I honestly don't know how the penny got there either. When the tooth fairy came, she left just the dollar. Maybe she came again? Or maybe her husband?)

Monday, October 23, 2006

oh, Tooth Fairy need to come to our house tonight! Rhett has lost his tooth!

It was so loose this morning that he let me pull it out. I wasn't sure I could do it. I still remember being the pulled, not the puller. (One time, my dad pulled my tooth out with my mouth full of peanut butter and jelly sandwich. What a guy!)

But , we did it in 2 tries. He was so excited! After telling daddy, he told me to make sure and write a note (that is his word for email or blog) to everyone.

R: Write a note to Grandmom about my tooth.

me: Ok, Rhett.

R: And Nana.

me: Ok, Rhett.

R: Oh and Nicolas!

And I am sure if we did not have to go to the bus stop, he would have had a much longer list that of family members that need to know. :)

Can you believe it? I am starting to get a mushy feeling, so I better go...

Friday, October 20, 2006

going to the movies (edited at bottom)

...I told the boys that we could go see a movie today. I really want to see Flicka, the boys want to see Open Season. I wonder who will win in this situation? I will have to wait until Flicka is out on video, I guess. :)

There are so many movies out on video that I want to see but just haven't yet. These are the movies that I wanted to see when they were out in the theaters but we just didn't. For starters, the prices are getting ridiculously high. I figure I can wait a few more months until it is on dvd. And for the most part, I can. I think Flicka is a book. Maybe I will read the book first. They are always better than the movie anyway.

I watched a really good movie the other day. North County. If you have not watched this yet, then make time for it. I thought it would be like other woman rights in the workplace movies, (like the Sally Field movie--Norma Ray--is that the spelling or the right name of the movie?) and a lot of it was similar. But this movie really touched me. I cried and cried. The father-daughter parts especially were so moving.

There are movies that no matter how many times I watch, I will cry. I think I cry harder each time because I know what is going to happen. But I love watching them. Here are my top tearjerkers with the parts that make me cry (so if you haven't watched them and don't want to know, stop reading!)

1. Castaway: The part where Wilson is lost forever and Tom Hanks character just breaks down makes me tear up but the part where I really cry is when he and Helen Hunt's character breakdown and reveal how much they love each other but they realize they can't be together. How sad is that!
2. Steel Magnolias: Of course. But I cried worse at this movie when I became a mother. Same goes for the other Shirley Maclaine movie with Debra Winger. What is that one called?
3. Backdraft: My love for Kurt Russell makes this one a top tearjerker. I just bawl. Seth laughs at me. It is a sad sight to see.
4. The Fox and the Hound: I can't even watch this movie because of the ending. I know it is coming and with the boys in the room, I have to leave. The other day while at Grandmom's house, the boys watched it with her and I walked in the last 2 minutes and started boo-hooing. I warned my mom it was sad and could see that it got to her too.

I am almost positive that Open Season won't be a tearjerker, so I don't think I'll bring my tissues. Have a great Friday!

eta: Okay, we saw Open Season and although it wasn't the best, it wasn't the worst either. There were a few funny moments. And I'll have to add The Family Stone to my "cry list" because I have watched it at least 5 times now and cry everytime. It also has some really funny moments too. Holly helped me think of that one, so thanks friend!

Thursday, October 19, 2006


...the colors, the cool air, the falling leaves are just so breathtaking! We took a little hike (Rhett's word for our walk) yesterday and collected leaves, which we later used to make leaf mobiles that now hang in their rooms. We also stopped at a small park so the boys could swing.

They didn't complain once about the chilly air, but I did have a hard time convincing them that they needed to wear coats and hats. They are warm weather children, what can I say?

Good times.


Even more amazing news:

Noah can write his name! He has been trying for awhile now and has written everything from NOON to NOHA (my fave) but yesterday he gave Rhett his autograph (that is Rhett's thing lately--he wants everyone to give him his autograph) and he wrote NOAH. Yay! He showed his dad last night and after writing it, Noah said, "I need to practice a lot more." This coming from a boy who does not like to sit down and color for more than 2 minutes. I guess he is growing up.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

i'm better now

...I got all my negativity out of my system. Really, Seth. :) Even after I tried to paint the office in a way that would allow us not to move the furniture and it didn't work out as plan. So after all the taping and measuring, I am back to square one. But I am choosing to breathe deeply and try to do something else for awhile.

Today is the start of Rhett and Noah's fall break so this morning we went to the library and I think this afternoon we will go for a nature walk. The trees are just beautiful and I want to get some pictures. We'll have to bundle up because it is cold, but it will be worth it, at least for me. I am so excited about fall this year. So expect some pictures tomorrow of the pretty leaves. :)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

women and men

...ok, mostly men. Just a few questions:

1. Why does the average male not care about having your picture made? Or having a photo made of your entire family? I could name names but I won't. I will say, although my husband was hard enough to convince about having a photographer come to our house over Thanksgiving, it was my brother's lack of caring about it that really annoyed me. (Hey, I didn't name anyone!)

2. Why does the average male not realize that he has indeed annoyed you? Are they really oblivious or do they act that way so they won't have to deal with it? I really want to know the answer to this one.

3. Why is it when you make a meal that takes an hour to prepare, the males in your house either a) do not like it or b) do not comment about it but when you fix frozen chicken strips, frozen tator tots and a quick veggie they are all praise? (quick note: my sweetie usually is very good at commenting about my meals. But he did look excited about the chicken strips. A little too excited. Hmmm...)

4. Why does the average female even let any of this bother her? (I am hoping I am considered average, only in this instance. Hee Hee!)

Monday, October 16, 2006

elephant, elephant

...Rhett has this book that he colored at school. It is about the zoo (because they are going to the zoo tomorrow) and it has 12 words per page, 10 being repeated over and over on each page: "Elephant, Elephant", I said at the zoo. "Elephant, Elephant", I like you. "Giraffe, Giraffe", I said at the zoo. "Giraffe, Giraffe", I like you. And so on. Well, he reads this book to Noah a lot. So much that tonight Noah read it to me. It was so cute. I was so amazed at both of them. And it was so funny to hear them try to say, "Chimpanzee." It came out "perpanzee."

Then, Rhett read the words on the back page. It was a list of animals. I know that he has most of them memorized, but he actually sounded out the word "penguin." He was really reading. So cool.

Now, about their clothing choices. This is what happens when I talk to long on the phone with my mom and dad before their bedtime. They go in their closets, find last year's Christmas sweaters, their caps and long socks and put an outfit together. Yes, they are silly. And I wouldn't want them any other way!

happy birthday Dad!

...I hope you have had a wonderful day!

We love you!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

sunday funnies

...So today I was reading the new TV Week in the Sunday paper and they have a section called TV Forum which I always find so hilarious. People can comment on any tv-related topics by calling a phone number. Here are some questions by the Oklahoman public: "I would like to request that they cancel Friday Night Lights in Oklahoma, because it's about Texas football." Wait, it gets better... "How much older is Dick Clark than Bob Barker? Dick Clark doesn't look a day over 40, but Bob Barker looks dead." And finally, "Geraldo is twice as good as Anderson Cooper. So I propose that Geraldo has a show called 720 degrees." And there is always a comment about the Family Feud show. At first I wondered why they even have this column. Is it supposed to be funny? Are we supposed to feel sad for these people? And why do I read it every week? It is like a bad car wreck. I cannot keep from reading it every Sunday. What is even worse is that it is the very first thing I read from the paper. I know. Sad, isn't it?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

pumpkins aren't just for pie

or for carving jack o' laterns. You can also make pumpkin pancakes! Yummy!

Friday night is usually Breakfast for Dinner night around here, but that night we are going to Rhett's school's Fall Festival so I decided to have it on a Thursday night instead. And, also, making breakfast is always quicker and uses a lot less pans and I was tired because I cleaned house all day, so that is thee main reason why I decided to have pancakes.

Anyway, because it is fall, I decided to add a little spice to my pancakes. I found the recipe in Martha Stewart Living and they were wonderful. Here is the recipe in case you want to try it. And I really recommend that you do.

Pumpkin Pancakes
1 1/4 c flour
2 T sugar
2 t baking powder
1/2 t each cinnamon, ground ginger, and salt
1/8 t nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves

Whisk these ingredients together. Then add,

1 c milk
6 T canned pumpkin puree
2 T melted butter
1 egg

Stir until combined. Melt some butter in a skillet over med. heat; pour in 1/4 c batter for each pancake. Cook pancakes about 3 minutes per side; serve with butter and syrup. Makes 8-10 (from Martha Stewart Living Oct 06)

Have a great weekend and Happy 6th Birthday Nicolas on Sunday!

more birthdays coming

...this weekend. My nephew's, my dad's and my grandmother's are the 15th, 16th and 17th, respectively. (I have always wanted to use that word that way!) Sad for us, we won't be there to celebrate any of them. Rhett and Noah are pretty sad that they won't be at Nicolas' birthday party. The first time in 4 years. Maybe next year...

This layout is about my dad. Noah put on Grandad's boots and was being silly. I, of course, decided to scrapbook the moment. The journaling reads: these are Noah's grandad's boots--my dad's. My dad is a great man--hard worker, wonderful storyteller, and so smart. I hope Noah learns from him what it takes to fill a good man's shoes.

I am finding myself using dadism's (dad's wisdom) more and more now. Just the other day, Rhett was trying to zip his coat (me: Do you need help? R: No, I got it.) and got it stuck. So stuck I had to take his coat off of him the hard way because I couldn't get it unstuck. What did I say while doing this? "Rhett, you are more trouble than a goat." Ha! My dad told me that so many times. And I think all of his grandchildren use "Bad Business" because of him. My favorite was the time when he, while trying to get Rhett and Nicolas to stop crawling all over him, called those two boys: Pande and Monium. (hopefully, he meant it as wild uproar and not the other definition you'll find under the word) Anyway, my dad keeps us laughing, that is sure.

Here's hoping all three have a wonderful birthday!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

d.o.g.s. are watching son's school, that is. Watch D.O.G.S. or Dads of Great Students is a group of fathers (duh) that literally hang around the school and watch out for the kids. They also help out at the school. When Seth went to the first meeting a month ago, I didn't think much about it. I thought it was nice. Then, the wave of school shootings happened. And, honestly, I didn't think about it then either. I think I was blocking those things from my mind because if I gave it a seconds thought, I would have connected those with "oh my son goes to school...I hope he is safe." and that would have been overwhelming. But Seth mentioned it and I finally realized that I need to be aware of these things. I also saw a little blurb in the school's newsletter about how they need the Watch D.O.G.S more than ever. Just having men present in the hallways makes the school safer.

But I didn't really appreciate it until Monday. That day, while picking Rhett up from school, I noticed two fathers helping with the pick-up. They were taking children to their cars. One was a pretty big man. Instantly, my heart felt relief. Those men are taking time out from their work to take care of my son and other mother's children. Keeping them safe and keeping the other parents from worrying so much. Because if a school shooting can occur in an Amish community, then it can occur anywhere. So I am very thankful for those dads. And I am very thankful for the school for doing their part in keeping my kid safe.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

one smart cookie

...A few weeks ago, after eating some chinese food, I opened my fortune cookie. It read: No one can make you feel bad without your permission. Since then, I have thought about that a lot and tried to apply it to my life and also try to teach the philosophy to my sons. I think that it is the most profound thing I have ever gotten from a fortune cookie. Think about how true it is. A person can be as mean to you as he/she wants, but unless you allow yourself to get all worked up about it, that person does not have to affect you.

Today, I thought about these words again because something happened that made me feel terrible. I was stood up. I was supposed to meet a woman for breakfast that I had met a couple of months ago at a party. She said she knew what it was like to be new and not know anyone, so she gave me her number. I called her two weeks ago and we decided to meet for breakfast today. I showed up, she didn't. Now, I am a sensitive person. I do know that there is the possibility that she just forgot, or she wrote down the wrong phone number and couldn't get a hold of me, but whatever the reason, I felt that I was not worth it to her to make sure I knew why she didn't make it. So I was hurt. And upset. Because of something she did, I felt bad.

Then, I wondered why I felt bad. Can she see that she hurt my feelings? No. Is there a huge possiblity that she forgot and doesn't even realize she did this? Yes. Yet, I was giving her permission to make me feel bad. It is easy to do. So, I decided to listen to my wise cookie fortune. I got up out of the chair I was in at Panera, I got in line for a Chai Tea Latte and a German Chocolate pastry (because chocolate always makes you feel better) and left. I kept myself busy until getting my boys at school. I celebrated with Noah because his teachers were so proud of him today because he didn't cry when it was time to clean up (this is a BIG thing for him. HUGE!) We watched our neighbor, who is a policeman pilot, fly over our houses in his helicopter. (Very cool.) And, you know what? I am feeling better.

Thanks to a very wise fortune cookie. :)