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!