Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A week of family fun

So, last week, we disappeared as a family to spend some time together having LOTS of fun. We went from kids-up to kids-crash, all day long, every day. We never watched the news or check in on facebook. Kevin did check in on work email once a day, but that wasn't a big deal. I'm still sifting through pictures and laundry, but here's a sneak peak at some of our fun.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Oh my sweet boy,
I can't believe you are turning 3 today! Where has the time gone? It seems just yesterday that you joined our family. You arrived at full speed and haven't slowed down since! I couldn't imagine our life without you. Our family is complete, with you in it.

You fill our lives with such adventure on a daily basis. You keep us on our toes and full of laughter. I'm seeing how different little boys are from little girls. Honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way. The way you play, the toys you like, the sounds you make, the things you find funny. Oh, you are such a hoot! You are quick to play along when I tease you.
J: Where are we going?
M: Crazy. Wanna go?
J: Where are we going AFTER crazy?
Even though Daddy sometimes scares you playing Zurg, you love it and ask for more. You're such a daredevil too. You love hanging upside down, being slung around in play then laugh and ask for more. What a difference from your cautious sister! Playtime with Daddy is so much fun. You both love playing blasters (guns) together. If you can't find your blasters, you just make one out of blocks. You are total boy in that you find body humor absolutely hilarious- toots, burps, talking about them, saying potty words, etc. I know you didn't learn that from me, so it's got to be part of being a boy. I want to laugh along with you sometimes, because you're so tickled, but I have to teach you when and where those things are okay. OH, and when you get to laughing, whole-heartedly laughing, a vein pops out on your neck, and I can't help but giggle with you. It's such a precious, sweet sound, hearing you laugh.

Most of the time, you love to learn new things. Anytime I go to the hall closet, you ask if we're going to do a lesson. It has been fun learning about the letters and their sounds. You find such joy in recognizing letter while we're out and about. That's how I know you've been listening! I'm glad you've started to like coloring. Your little brain is just an amazing sponge. When you listen and aren't distracted, you learn so quickly. You're really starting to understand how to play games on the computer. It amazes me that I can leave you in the chair to play your new "Frog Jr" (Webkinz Jr), and you don't need help.

It's been a joy to hear you memorizing scriptures! Your favorite is still the first one you learned, the one you pretend to read when you hold a Bible- Ephesians 6:1 "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right." You love going to church to see your friends and favorite teachers. That makes me so proud. I know you're listening to the stories and lessons, sometime remembering what you heard. You've been learning so many songs that you love to sing at home too. Your favorites are B-I-B-L-E and Zaccheus.

Those scriptures and lessons you've learned come in handy when you get in trouble. You know when you disobey and why you get in trouble, but you sure don't like it. When we talk about what Jesus asks us to do, you know the answer. You're 99% of the time remorseful and ready to say "Sorry for ---" and give hugs. Usually, you have to tell Mommy our reminder "Obey the first time, with no fits." I know it's hard for you to do that when you have a mind of your own wanting to do your own thing, but you're learning. I'm glad you're tender-hearted to doing what's right.

You love your sister and your friends with everything you have. You wake up and want to know where Beth is. You can't wait to see her when she gets home from school. Then, you love to play with her and be in her business. If she's close, you may be content to sit together, or you may irritate her just because you can. I absolutely see that little brother side of you, pushing her buttons until you get in trouble. I love seeing the sweet, loving brother side of you too. You share your toys or snack, you're willing to play things like "Beth's Restaurant". Those precious moments bring me such joy. I hope you will always love each other like that.
I can't wait to see what adventures the next year brings. I have big plans for you with potty training. You told me you'd go on the potty when you are 3. So, it's time kiddo! With Sister in school all day, you and I will have lots of time for lessons, trips to Target and so much more! I'm so glad I get to share in the joy and adventures of your life!
Love, Mommy

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Greatest Show on Earth

Last month (hey- better late than never, right?) we took the kids to the circus, while it was in town. It was their first trip EVER, and I haven't been since I was young. Kevin and I were really looking forward to it! We thought about keeping it a secret until we got there, but we just couldn't.

We got there early enough to watch the pre-show. We watched clowns balance plates, Chinese acrobats bend and balance furniture, the ringmaster do magic tricks. Though we couldn't see it well, Jacob was most impressed by the elephant that was painting. Neither of the kids were interested in trying on the costumes like I'd hoped.

We headed for our seats, and Kevin stopped for some cotton candy. Jacob had never tried it before and was pretty pleased. Beth really liked the pink kind.

Time for the show! Boy, it's changed from what I remember. Nobody rode the animals, the tigers were in a cage, there were lots of flashy lights and fireworks. Still, we were all mesmorized by the fun music and great sights to see! Jacob liked the animals- horses, dogs, elephants, tigers- that did tricks.
Beth really liked the acrobats and was quite impressed with the ones who rode the bike on the high-wire. She said she would like to work in the circus one day and be an acrobat. Though, there was one trick she said she wouldn't do- some circle thing that goes around and around. She also decided that our whole family should work the circus together (we'd talked about how sometimes whole families work together).
My favorite part was watching it all through their eyes. It's so much fun to have kids, because then you have an excuse to go to fun places!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Still time to shop JBF Fort Worth

Ok, so I've talked every 6 months about JBF, the huge consignment sale in Fort Worth. This weekend will be the last two days of the fall sale. If you want to shop, go to Will Rogers in Ft Worth Friday 10am-7pm or Saturday (the 1/2 price sale) 8am-8pm.

This is a video shot at FW JBF after a second item drop off for consignors. As it goes through, showing all the incredible choices at great prices, imagine twice as much stuff. That's what I got to shop through last weekend by being a volunteer. I'm just blown away at how this sale gets bigger and bigger every time. They said that 1300 people consigned items this time!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy (Updated)

We have been super busy, and I haven't slowed down to blog. I'm sorry. In the next week, you'll see all these new posts. When the post is ready, you can click the link from here!
No Cavities! (wordless)
First Day of First Grade
It's Beginning to Look a lot Like....

*new* Birthday Party Circuit
*new* Since it's Not Fall, Yet
*new* Honoring Mr. Owens

The Greatest Show On Earth

I was looking at my blog design. The picture in the heading is almost a year and a half old. I guess I really need to get my blog designer to help me out with an updated look. That, or I need to figure out how to do it myself. Ha!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Honoring Mr. Owens

Mr. Donnie Owens is an incredible teacher. Or was, since he retired, again. I was quite priveleged to be a member of the marching band in high school while under direction from Mr. Owens. Now, while I didn't play an instrument, I was in the color gaurd. (I know, I'm looking dorkier and dorkier as this post continues.) He was the teacher who challenged you to give more than your best because you respected him. His lessons were not only that of music and marching but of life. Marching practice at 6am- "To be early is to be on time. To be on time is to be late. To be late is to be sorry."- as he hollered directions into the megaphone for people to stay on step, get in line, etc. In those early morning hours, band practice could be heard miles away, especially when the wind was just right. He taught us to deal with it and move on- "You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear." His life was an example in and of itself. As of now, he and his wife have been married 53 years. She offered unending support- sewing band uniforms, at every event in Gator blue, as an elementary teacher. They together lived the life of God-fearing Christians.

Mr. Owens came to my hometown in 1973, from Oklahoma where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Southeastern Oklahoma State University and later a Master of Music Education degree from North Texas State University. Mr. Owens has forty-five years of experience in the states of Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas as well as State Honor Bands in all three states. His Dickinson High School Marching Band advanced to every 4A State Marching Contest, made finals every time and won the State Marching Contest five times. In 1994 the Dickinson Band Hall was renamed the "Don Owens Band Hall", the year he retired from Dickinson. Mr. Owens has held individual offices in Oklahoma and Texas band organizations and has received numerous individual honors. He was inducted into the Oklahoma Bandmasters Hall of Fame, he was the first Texas band director to receive the UIL Denius Sponsor Excellence Award, and he was receive the National Band Association Citation of Merit. He was inducted into the Texas Bandmasters Hall of Fame in July 2010. Less than 1% of high school band directors are inducted into a hall of fame, and Mr. Owens did it twice! The requirements to be considered for induction are incredible- length of service overall, continued service to one school, awards won, etc. Hands down, Mr. Owens earned and deserved these honors.

Recently, some former DHS graduates and Donnie O students organized a banquet honoring Mr. Owens upon his induction into the Texas hall of fame. I was so honored to be able to attend. I know he touched thousands of lives over the course of his career, and there was quite a crowd to prove it. As people shared their stories, you could hear that Mr. Owens was the kind of teacher who truly made a difference beyond the classroom. The director of music in the district found old files while cleaning the band office and found proof of Mr. Owens' dedication to his job. There were only 4 days that Mr. Owens requested off in his 20 years at DHS. One to be pall bearer at the funeral of the father of 4 students, one to be a pall bearer for a former student, one to deal with his father's estate (I don't recall the other). It's incredible to see a good handful of former students who have returned to work in the same district as band directors and teachers at the various levels. At the banquet, the Mayor of Dickinson came by to declare "Mr. Owens Day" for the city. He certainly deserves it!
I can't even begin to express the wonderful memories and experiences of being part of the band program under the direction on Don Owens. At the banquet, I also found out that he and Mrs. Owens live about an hour from me. They invited me to come visit. I may just have to take them up on it.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Since fall doesn't officially start yet

We're doing what we can to tolerate the 100+ degrees temperature days of August. It was quite hot, still at 100 degrees come 6 in the evening. In August, we had 21 days that crossed 100 degrees, and 5 more days that were 97-99 degress. Talk about HOT!
Good things to do when it's hot:
1) Wash your tractor
2) Drive tractor/4 wheeler in the rain....
...that Daddy makes
3) Race to see who can get across the hot, crunchy-dry grass to the pool first
4) And just lounge around in the pool
Now that we're getting rain again and cool evenings/mornings, I think these pictures are officially the last swim of summer. While I do love the sun and fun of summer, I'm looking forward to the cooler temps in fall, opening the windows to freshen the house, decorating with pumpkins and such, and enjoying the sights, sounds and smells that fall brings.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Birthday Party Circuit

It seems like we've had a birthday party to attend every weekend! But it sure has been fun celebrating in lots of different ways with lots of friends and family!

Tatum's 6th birthday- All the girls got dress up wings, crowns and dresses. Plus, there were pony rides! Talk about fun!

Marissa's 3rd birthday- at Chuck E Cheese. You can't go wrong with games and pizza!

Popi's 59th birthday cookout

Mallory's 2nd birthday- An ADORABLE ice cream shoppe theme. The buffet of ice cream toppings, the cupcakes that looked like ice cream cones and pink everywhere!

Ryan's 5th birthday at McDonalds- happy meals, cake and playland time. What more could they ask for? (I purposely left my camera at home so I could enjoy visiting with adults while the kids played)

Jacob's 3rd birthday- Toy Story themed (and more details coming later)

Coming this weekend- Cody's 9th birthday at the fire station!