Friday, November 28, 2008

To Popi and Yaya's house we go

Ok, so it's not really their house, it's the temporary town-house while their real house is being repaired post-Ike. Regardless, it's been a blast. We got here Tuesday evening and will leave tomorrow. The kids have been playing as much as they can, wearing out Popi and Yaya. Yaya had a few toys left that didn't get moldy. She'd bought a few new books and toys, and all new art supplies. What fun for Beth. She's been making all kinds of crafts, without scissors- she'd left them out where Jacob could reach them, so she was grounded. Jacob was very excited about the bouncy ball, but even more excited about a plastic box new blocks came in.

Beth doing crafts in the closet


Feel free to stop reading now. I needed to record the events and moments from our trip so I could have it all written when I eventually scrapbook this. There are lots of details about each day below. If you brave reading, I hope you enjoy, though I'm not an exciting writer.

Wednesday- Beth and Yaya went to Nanny's house to help get it cleaned for Thanksgiving "feast" (Beth loves that word). When Jacob woke up from his first nap, we joined them briefly then met our former playgroup friend, Christie- and her boys, for lunch. It was good to see them and catch up as much we can with kiddos around. After kiddo nap, we all went to Popi and Yaya's real house to see the progress. I think it helped Beth understand all we've been talking about with the storm and why they live somewhere else right now. It was odd to see all the trash still piled down the street, the yards with obviously fewer trees, the houses obviously empty while houses are being repaired. I never did drive around the town that was mostly devastaed. I don't know that I could, certainly not with Beth in the car. Off to dinner for some good Mexican food - Jacob loves ladas, beans and rice like Beth did. He also loves to be independent and feed himself. Then, to Popi and Yaya's church. Their building a new sanctuary, and the members were invited to write verses on the floor before the carpet is installed. What a great idea- to always be standing on the Word!

Thursday- Kevin drove in to meet for lunch. We all went to Nanny's house for delicious traditional dinner. Aunt Madeline, Aunt Diann and one of her firends were there too. We all ate WAY too much, and really enjoyed each other's company. I'm so thankful for the time together. Since it was a small crowd by family standards, it was pretty cool to sit at the grown-up table. Jacob loves to say "Nan-neeee", and Nanny loves to hear it. She just adores him. Beth loved the turkey, ham and rolls, especially since Nanny remembered to have ranch for her. Jacob loved everything, for a while. Then, he'd put his don't-like foods in the cup holder on the tray. Goofy kid. Back to the townhouse for kiddo naps and I planned my shopping plan.

At Nanny's house- I can't believe I didn't get any with Nanny


Friday- Dad/Popi and I got started shopping at 5:30am. Only one store was out of what we were looking for, sorda- we got Mom's but not mine and Dad's. We didn't have a wait in line- not at Kohls or Target- until we went to the mall , for one stinkin store. We were finished with our lists and on the way back by 10:30! Meanwhile, Yaya and the kids had been playing away. It was a bit warm, so Jacob was only sleeping in a shirt and diaper. Apparently he didn't want that wet diaper, since he took it off before Yaya could get in there. Haha! At least it was only wet! After afternoon kiddo nap, we went back to the real house to write on the concrete before the flooring goes down. My friends and neighbors, Sarah and Rachel, were in town visiting and helping their parents repair post-Ike. It was good to see them too. Back to the townhouse for a traditional pizza picnic. Jacob loves pizza as much as the rest of it. Beth, of course, loves pizza with ranch.


New Jacob tricks- He's been so entertaining and busy! New signs- thank you, car, cat, socks. New words- thank you, Popi, Casey, up (when he wants to be held). New tricks- nodding his head when you ask a question or he likes something, copying Popi's hand trick (don't ask, it's a weird family thing), telling us "poopoo" after he does his business.

Beth doesn't really have new tricks. She still asks lots of questions. She still have 4 year old drama. And she still amazes me with what she knows and can do.

Popi's "lap of love"

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!
Today, I'm thankful for the Pilgrims who came to America so we can have the freedom to worship God as we choose.
I'm thankful for my family- all of it.
I'm thanful for Black Friday- woohoo!
I'm thankful for my friends.
I'm thankful for internet.
I'm thankful for my education.
I'm thankful for my husband working so that I don't have to.

What are you thankful for?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Climb the Mountain

(copied from a bulletin board)
I tried to climb the mountain today. As I inched my way up the path, I felt out of breath and had to turn back.I tried to climb the mountain today. But, It was so hot outside, I thought I had better stay in my nice air-conditioned house and rest up for tomorrow's attempt.I tried to climb the mountain today. On my journey, darkness started to fall and I was full of fear, so I had to return to a safe place.I was ready to climb the mountain today. But I had so may other things to do, so instead of climbing the mountain I took care of the much more important tasks; I washed my car, mowed the grass and watched the big game. Today the mountain will have to wait.I was going to climb the mountain today. But as I stared at the mountain in all it's majestic beauty, I knew I had no chance of making it to the top, so I figured why even begin trying.I had forgotten about climbing the mountain today, until an old friend came by and asked what I was up to lately. I told him about all my plans to climb that mountain someday. I went on and on about how I was going to accomplish the task.He stopped me and said, "I just got back from climbing that mountain. for the longest time I told myself I was going to try to climb it but never made any progress.""I almost let the dream of making it to the top die. I came up with every excuse of why I could not make it up the mountain, but never once did I give myself a reason why I could. One day as I stared at the mountain and pondered, I realized that if I didn't make an attempt at this dream all my dreams would eventually die."" The next morning, I started my climb. It was not easy, and at times I wanted to quit. But no matter what I faced, I placed one foot in front of the other, keeping a steady pace. When the wind tried to blow me over the edge, I kept walking. When the voices inside my head screamed, stop! I focused on my goal, never letting it out of sight. I kept moving forward. I could not quit because I knew I had come too far to stop now. Time and time again, I reassured myself that I was going to finish this journey. I struggled mightily to make it to the top, but I CLIMBED THE MOUNTAIN.""I have to be going," my friend said. "Tomorrow is a new day to accomplish more dreams. By the way what are you going to do tomorrow?"I looked at him, with intensity and confidence in my eyes, and said, "I HAVE A MOUNTAIN TO CLIMB."


What's your mountain?

Mine is this weight I keep trying, ok half trying, to lose. I WILL get it off and get in shape by summer. I want look good in a bikini!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Shop Til Ya Drop


I love Christmas shopping! Heck, I love shopping! I buy too much, most of it for the kids. I've got 3 more things to pick up for the kids, then they're done. Next, I'll shop for our nieces. That's so much fun too. Eventually, I'll get around to every one else :)
I can't wait to see the Black Friday sales. I love seeing if it's worth getting out extra early. I love making a game plan and budget. I bet there are going to be some big sales this year!
Then, after Christmas, I hit the sales. I love getting decorations and stuff cheap! I really love that Kevin doesn't want to be a part of that shopping insanity, so I get to go alone. What a treat!

Beth's wish list:
Leapster, pink of course
baby doll that goes tee-tee when you squeeze it
bike thing for the tv (some kid video game thing)
scooter
boots

Can you guess what she's not getting?

Jacob's preferences:
balls
Elmo
He also loves socks, animals, pacis, books, and anything that's Beth's.

We're getting Beth/them a trampoline. That will be so much fun for all of us. Kevin's getting the Wii, and that will be a blast for all of us too. Beth played Mario Kart at the store, and she was hooked. Jacob's "big" gift is a car, one of those Little Tikes kind- the fire engine.
What's on your Christmas list?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

It's my favorite holiday! It truly is the most wonderful time of year. I love everything about it.
The time with family- Beth made an invitation asking my parents to come to our house for Christmas. It was so precious. Of course, they accepted! This will be the third Christmas morning they've been at our house (since we moved "up north"), and I'm so glad they come.
The sights- There is nothing more beautiful that a fire in the fireplace, a lit Christmas tree, all the lamps turned off, snuggling on the couch (even if it's just me and a blanket snuggling). The decorations are everywhere. I wish my bank account had no limitations, because I would decorate my house from top to bottom, inside and out. Beth has already given me permission to change her bathroom from ducks to Christmas, and she's quite excited about it. I love Christmas movies too. I prefer the old classics (Miracle on 34th, White Christmas, It's a Wonderful Life), but I do like some of the newer ones too (Santa Clause- all of them).
The sounds- There's something about Christmas music that just makes me feel good inside. Every year, I buy a new cd. I really love that we have a music channel on tv that plays Christmas music 24/7. My favorite song is O Holy Night. With the right singer, it gives me chill bumps. Beth has been listening to Christmas music for a couple months already. That's my girl!
The smells- Being outside and smelling that neighbors have fires in their fireplaces. Baking cookies that I shouldn't eat. A real Christmas tree. Hot apple cider. The cold in the air (when it happens here in Texas). Even the "old" smell from all the decorations in storage- it evokes great memories.
The shopping- Yes, I love the shopping. I love the thrill of the hunt of the perfect present. I love finding a special ornament for a friend. I love the Black Friday adventure. I willingly get up at the crack o'dawn for it. I look forward to seeing my family's reaction to the gift I've found that I just know they'll love. We buy way too much for the kids, but I always think of something else I'd love to give them. We usually start shopping in July, but this year it wasn't until October. Oh well.
The reason for the season- Above all, I try to keep a balance of remembering and talking about the reason we celebrate Christmas. I think it's so easy to push it aside in all the planning and shopping and going places. It's a shame it takes effort sometimes to bring it to our attention. Many, many years ago, baby Jesus was born, in a humble stable. His Father in Heaven had so many plans for the little one. How thankful I am of that. Jesus came to this earth to die for our sins. I don't deserve it, but I embrace it. I try to teach my children of His amazing love and sacrifice. Please don't forget to celebrate Jesus' birthday in all the busy-ness of the season.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Holiday traditions



I'm all kinds of giddy as the holiday season approaches. It's my favorite time of year! I've been thinking about our family's Christmas tradition and wanted to share. Plus, I want to try a Mr Linky to learn about your traditions.


Christmas tree- We put up our tree the weekend after Thanksgiving. We alternate years of real and artificial. Kevin puts on the lights, though I want to do it myself to get it how I like it. Then, we all put on the ornaments. It's so fun to remember where the ornaments came from. While the tree is going up, we have a Christmas movie (or 2, depending on how long it takes) playing on the tv. If it's cold, we have a fire in the fireplace too. All this remembering makes me want to go put it up right now!


Special treasures- Every year, I buy a special ornament that represents something important from the last year. We get one, Beth gets one and Jacob gets one. This year, ours is a key representing the move to this house. Beth's is Wizard of Oz because she's really been into that this year. Jacob's is a monkey in the bathtub since he LOVES bathtime. All from Hallmark, of course. I buy a Christmas themed book for me to read. This year it will be the new Mary Higgins Clark/Carol Higgins book. Then, buy a children's book. I'm a sucker for books. Ok, so the children's book, I pick based on exceptional artwork and/or a great story. I don't just buy anything, I want something good. I've also been collecting Christmas dishes- The Christmas Story by Susan Winget since 2000. They quit producing them for a while, now they're back. Woohoo! At least I won't have to do the crazy ebay prices.


Christmas Eve tradtions- Growing up, we always went to Nanny and Grandpas's for Christmas Eve with Dad's side of the family. Now that we're 5 hours from them, and I want to be home for Christmas morning for Beth's sake, we don't go. However, my parents have started coming to spend the night and share Christmas morning with us. I LOVE this new tradition! In fact, Beth made them an invitation (did I already tell you this?) for this year. Christmas Eve is a busy night in our house. We bake and decorate cookies for Santa. The first year, we used some pop out shape kind. Last year, we used a packaged mix. I think this year, we may actually make some from scratch. Maybe. Don't get me wrong. I love cooking, especially baking, but the "help" and comments from the peanut gallery (Kevin) and the whiny baby take some of the joy away. Ok, back to traditions. At some point while the cookies are baking, before bath, the doorbell rings. Lo and behold, there's a package on the porch. It contains adorable, coordinating/matching jommies for the family, just in time for all the cute Christmas morning pictures. This was a tradition in Kevin's family growing up, and it was a fun one to adopt once we had Beth. Beth told me just last week that she hopes she gets new jommies on the porch this year. I love that it's one of her memories already! Here are this year's jommies. Matching for Jacob and Beth. I'm not sure if that's what I'm going to get for me... For Kevin, I'll get something red.




After bath and new jommies, we sit down for a story, taking the time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. A couple years ago, I found an interactive story at Walmart. As we read through the story- of Jesus' birth, His dying on the cross and resurrection and His love for us- Beth opens boxes containing visuals for the story. Since we only read it at Christmas, it's like a new surprise every time. As soon as I unpack things, I'll tell you the name of it. Lastly, before bedtime, we make sure there are cookies and milk out for Santa, and carrots for the reindeer.



Christmas Day- Growing up, my parents had plenty of ways to keep us in my room (Casey always slept in my bed, then we played until we could get out) until everything was ready- meaning Mom had makeup on. Luckily, we're not at that point with Beth. We hear her getting up, and we beat her to it, make sure everything is ready and get our caffine, before she comes downstairs. There is nothing like the look on a child's face when they see that Santa came while they were sleeping. That's truly the magic of Christmas. We see what Santa left- all unwrapped and out to see- and go through stockings before opening gifts from each other. Once all the unwrapping is done, I fix breakfast. Kevin teases me that it's the one time of year that I fix breakfast, but that's baloney. I fix breakast (for dinner) once in a while! Anyway. This is one of the things I remember most about Christmas at home. It's always a delicious fritatta. Sometimes, I'll have biscuits or crescent rolls too. I'll share the recipie soon. It's so yummy! We spend the rest of the day enjoying out new goodies. I spend lots of time trying to figure out where to put things.



Day after Christmas- I hit the sales!



Ok, here's where Mr Linky comes in. When you post a blog about your holiday traditions, use MrLinky to have a link on my page. I can't wait to read about your traditions!



Kevin's birthday, pt2

Saturday, Kevin's parents came up to visit for his birthday. They took us to lunch at On the Border. YUM! Jacob loves beans and rice! There was a family with a little boy at the table next to us. They were playing hi-five with the little boy, and Jacob holds his hand up for a turn. Thankfully, they obliged. It was so cute!
After lunch, we all headed to the house for some play time and visiting.
Kevin got birthday presents and the kiddos got Christmas goodies
Grandpa/Pa had Jacob just a giggling. They look so handsome in their plaid shirts and jeans. All Jacob needed was some boots to be like Pa.
Beth got Grandma/Gaga to go upstairs to play as soon as she could. I managed to talk her into a picture, when she really just wanted me to go away so they could play. Hmph!
More playing!
We really enjoyed the visit since we don't see them often. Grandma made big plans with Beth for when we visit for Christmas- something about Gracie spending the night, in a tent, in Grandma and Grandpa's room. She was still talking about it today!

Monday, November 17, 2008

What a cheese!

While at the zoo, we worked with Jacob on animal sounds. He's got dog and cat down, just added cow and horse to that list. Sometimes, we can get him to do monkey and lion. So, I took out the camera to video it, and you can see for yourself how that turned out.

video

By the way, he's saying "cheese" if you can't tell.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Kevin's birthday, pt1

Since Kevin's birthday is on Veteran's Day, he takes the day off. We used the time to go to the zoo as a family. We watched the weather all morning and decided to just go after lunch. Let me tell you, that was the way to do it. All the school field trips were leaving, most people had gone home for the day, plus the weather had been iffy. So, it was almost like we had the place to ourselves.

We saw every animal. Ok, so we didn't stop and look at each and every one- the bird area smells- but we walked the entire zoo. All the baby animals were so cute- tigers, lions, giraffes.


Checking out the Gulf touch tank.
Beth touched the shells, Jacob thought he was big getting to be that close to all the stuff.


The momma lion and two of her cubs


Jacob would "hoohoo" at the monkeys and roar at the lions.

Then, we rode the zoo train to the bottom to head home.
It was a great day together as a family. Plus, the kiddos were worn out!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Good week

I've had a good week. I accomplished 3 1/2 things from my list.

HUGE HUGE thanks to Erica for helping me get 2 of those checked off. I went scrapbooking at her house tonight since the traditional Moms Night Out got postponed. This is the first time I've scrapbooked since before Jacob was born. I not only needed some grown up time away from the house, but I needed to scrapbook again. Scrapbooking is my therapy. Plus, there's nothing like a walk down memory lane, looking at days gone by of my precious children and adorable hubby.

The other things accomplished from my list- getting those things ebayed. Now, let's just hope they sell. Then, I got started on organizing the loose recipes and crafts that I've been pulling out of magazines. I hope to finish that up this weekend. Hooray!

Oh, and bonus, I got to buy my Christmas present tonight. Now, I've just got to work on Kevin to let me have it early. Hmmm!

Monday, November 10, 2008

One of the things I want to accomplish before the end of the year is list some things on ebay. Last night, I decided to at least get the pictures of the items. Hopefully today, I'll get them listed. Anyway, looking in that box in the closet, I hit the jackpot. I seriously had forgotten what was in there, but it's been in there for at least 2 years, maybe longer. I found things I can actually USE now!!!!! I don't remember where I got these things- my great-aunt, I think, who was moving.
All of my downstairs in going to be decorated in reds and browns. The guest room upstairs is going to be the most antique-y looking room, not entirely sure of the colors yet, but I have some ideas. So, in that box were a couple OLD books, then I remembered another I had on the bookshelf. Won't these be neat somewhere together?!

Also in the box was this red box. I don't know what it's original purpose was, but I thought I might be able to sell it. I needed to research a little. Regardless, now it will work with my decorations!

Better than that, I found treasures in the box! Costume jewelry from the 50s and 60s! When I put them in the box to sell, they weren't my style, but I knew I could sell them. Now, I like to periodically "dress up" with a fancier necklace than usual. Woohoo!!!

Now, what treasures do you have hiding in a box?

Friday, November 7, 2008

1year old pictures

My friend Alyssa is our "personal" photographer. She took Jacob's newborn pictures, Beth's 4 year old pictures, and this week she took Jacob's 1 year old pictures. We had lots of ideas planned and worked quickly to get through them, with the help of some goldfish and a silly big sister. These are just a few for you to enjoy!





Thanks for the idea B.Poe!

Ok, we're done!

Just for a point of reference, here are Beth at 15 mos and Jacob at, technically, almost 14 mos.
Yup, they look alike, and yup, they look like their daddy.

Family, I'll be sending you a link with all of them soon, so you can let me know what you want

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Change

I'm disappointed with the results of the election. But, I must say I figured it was coming. I'm saddened by the people who voted based on charm or popularity or race. I'm disappointed in people who I thought had Christian backgrounds, with conservative beliefs, and yet they voted Democratic.

Where will this change take us? I'm worried about laws that will be overturned. I'm worried about new laws that could become permanent. I'm worried about sanctity of life and of marriage. I'm worried about race becoming more important than the good of the country as a whole. I'm worried about socialism and that I may have to go back to work when my husband's hard earned money is given to someone who doesn't work. I'm worried.

Monday, November 3, 2008

My fabulous days!

Ok, so last week was my yearly "girl" doctor trip. How can that possibly make for a fabulous day, you ask? I got to go all by myself!!!!! Then, I went to Babies R Us and Target, BY MYSELF. Then, I even had lunch by myself and a much needed pedicure (the last one was in August, with Mom and Beth). How marvelous! Wait, it gets better. Kevin had taken the whole day off and decided to take Beth to a movie while Jacob napped. More time BY MYSELF!!!!! I wonder if I can schedule these every few months :)

So, my other fabulous day. I thought it would be interesting to see, in print, what I do on a typical Monday.
wake up to crying kid and singing kid- can you guess which is which?
change stinky, soaked diaper and maybe the sheets
kids have playtime while I play online a little and drink caffine
start breakfast
do some laundry
feed the kids breakfast, maybe eat some for myself
clean up dishes, including various dishes found around the house last night
do some house straightening- pick up toys, make bed
put Jacob down for a nap
do a "lesson" with Beth
oh yeah, need to switch the laundry
dang, why is he already waking up, I have more to do
change another stinky diaper
option 1- get everyone dressed to run errands, eat lunch
option 2- eat lunch
more laundry, more dishes
option 1b- go run errands
option 2b- play
naptime for both kids!
mommy gets quiet internet time
oh yeah, I should do some chores and more laundry
make sure kids are up by 4:15
change stinky diaper- at least he's regular
cajole grumpy Beth to get up and get dressed for dance
pack snacks and head out the door to dance
keep Jacob from annoying people, climbing the stairs, going where he doesn't belong- in the 45 mintues Beth is in class
pick up McDonalds on the way home
eat "fancy" Mc Donalds dinner while we catch up with Kevin's "busy" day
bath time for kids
Jacob to bed, movie for Beth, Kevin online
pick up toys, again
maybe sit down to watch a dvr'd show
bedtime for Beth
pick up various dishes around the house
finish watching show
eventually go to bed, maybe read

Ugh, Mondays wear me out. But I'm glad I don't have to add "go to work" in that list.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Tagged, again

Casey tagged me for a book thing. So, here it is.

I get the book closest to me and turn to page 56. Then I type a few paragraphs.

Well, I'm sitting next to the bookshelves, holding all the books I've read. I have another shelf downstairs with all the books I own/borrowed that I need to read. Then, there's the 3 pages, typed, of books I want to read. Yep, I love to read. Ok, I digress.

For my selection, I have decided to give you a list of my favorites on the shelf, hoping to spark your interest in something new.
1. Agatha Christie's Sleeping Murder- the first book I read of hers and loved it
2. anything and everything my Mary Higgins Clark- seriously, I have every book and soak in every page until I'm so tired words blur together
3. The Kitchen Boy by Robert Alexander- a fictionalized story about the last Russia czar and his family, told from a different viewpoint- I have always been interested in this part of history
4. Sheet Music by Kevin Leman- good stuff for those about to be married and for those who've been married a while, all from a Christian perspective
5. I'm going to stop now, but I have lots more books I'd love to tell you about if you ask.

For this one, I tag Brittney Poe, just to be different.

If you give a pig a pancake

As Beth was reading me her bedtime story last night, I thought Aunt Casey would like to see it. It's been almost a year since I read this story to Beth, so it's not a memorized thing. She continues to amaze me every day with what she can read. Oh, and she asked why "give" says "i" since it has "e" at the end. Umm, so much for that rule!

video

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Halloween

We had a busy, fun Halloween. It really is a holiday made for kids.


We went to a Moms Club Halloween Party,





home for a nap, our neighbors Bonnie and Tiffany hosted a party,




then trick or treating with our friends Elizabeth and Jackson, and Gilda and Ariana.

Needless to say, they both went to sleep without any fuss!

Funny stuff

Beth and I were in her room, music playing, and she said "Doesn't this song make you feel like a rainbow?" Where does she come up with stuff like this? I don't have a clue what song it was, but it must be pretty good.



Jacob likes to do a baby handstand- head on the ground, feet on the ground, like an upside down V. Then, he just gets to laughing, so tickled with himself. I need to get a video so you can get the full funny effect.

I know there are a thousand others, but I can't remember right now. The kids, they got up at 6:30. They don't understand the whole time change thing. Crap (that was for you, Casey).