Friday, February 27, 2009

Flashback Friday - last Friday

Today I am excited because Chris comes home from Dubai tonight about midnight. I decided to make this flashback about him. He is such a good daddy to our two little darlings. They love him so much and miss him when he is gone. No one has been sleeping well this week with him gone. We seem to have gotten a little out of whack this week. I am definitely looking forward to him being home. This picture is from Spring 2006. This was the first really nice day, very windy, but so nice that we could use the new wagon that Ben had gotten from his grandma to go for a walk. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"I want to see the temple mommy."

This is what Ben said to me this morning. We were driving to school and discussing all things spriritual...heaven...hell...Jesus...God...and the temple. But the conversation actually began with the temple comment.

My son the king of random uttered the comment...."I want to see the temple mommy." Confused, because I have had no coffee because I overslept due to being a single mommy this week, I say something profound like, "Huh, what temple are you talking about sweetheart?"

"You know, the temple that Jesus went to in the Bible. The one that the curtain was torn in, you KNOW, THE TEMPLE mommy."

And I am sitting in traffic dealing with all the other issues that mommies must deal with in the car, like driving, thinking well, DUH, mommy. So I try to explain to him that I am not even sure that particular temple exists, but some of them do, but that they don't look the same because of their age, and that it is very far away, all the while negotiating Tuesday morning traffic.

Then it totally dawns on me that I am having this conversation with a five-year-old. Wow, I don't think I knew about the temple until I was in my twenties. And even then I don't think I really could have a decent conversation with anyone about it. I certainly didn't know until I was 30 that the curtain was torn from the top to the bottom and the significance of that.

I love that both of my kids seem to have a grasp of the gospel. They know stories from the Bible and they understand principles that took me my whole life to grasp. I take really no credit for this. I give all the credit to my wonderful church, their awesome school, and the amazing people that we have in our life. The kids have had the most wonderful Sunday School teachers, each teacher has taught them principles from the gospel that I thought they might never understand. They have also had amazing chapel instruction at school. The pastor, director at their school and the teachers do a wonderful job of teaching them concepts and making the stories real to them. So real that they actually remember them. And then what can I say about the amazing examples that we have around us. Having good Christian examples around us has helped so much. Now I said Christian, not perfect. No one is perfect and I think that it is important that kids see that you are not perfect and that you have good examples, but not perfect ones.

Their early spiritual lives have been a big priority to me. I truly believe that if we don't get kids when they are young it will be very difficult for them to accept Christ. Not impossible, but difficult. I pray everyday for my children and for the children that I come in contact with through teaching Sunday School, and friends. I pray that the Lord will make me the best example of His teaching and life that I can be. That is about all any of us can do. I am so thankful that He has given us so much and feel truly blessed that my children know who He is.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Disney Follow-Up

Okay so Friday afternoon/evening I spent planning our trip to Disney. We are going to eat breakfast with Cinderella and all those crazy princess, dine with Pooh Bear (my personal favorite), lunch with Chip and Dale, The Little Einsteins, and attend the full on luau at our hotel. I am starting to think this is going to be the busiest week of our lives! I also found out there is a movie theater there on the resort/park property and a dueling piano bar, for a little adult entertainment. Maybe grandma will be sweet enough to let us slip out to the piano bar one night.

I am still taking ideas if anyone has any for the week. Is there anything else that is a must see or do while we are there? I just hope that I get to sleep in at least once!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Guess What?

We are going to Disney World at the end of March for seven days, yes SEVEN whole days! Everyone is so excited. Thanks grandma for the opportunity. We have our room, tickets to the parks, plane ticket, and meal plan. NOW...I just need to plan everything else...where are we going to eat, what characters are we going to try and see.....If anyone has ANY suggestions for me...please feel free to comment and comment and comment.

Here is where we are staying. The Polynesian. The Monorail runs right through this hotel and it has a volcano pool with a water slide. Also they have luaus there. Did I mention that I am excited? Probably more excited than the kids? Okay, so more later, but I wanted to let everyone know...we are off on a Disney adventure in a month!

Flashback Friday

This flashback is devoted to Supergirl. Mainly because she is just so darn cute, but also because she has been a pistol this week. I realize that you can see Chris in the background of all these pictures. I was at a baby shower and he was at home with the kids alone. He had decided to fix the toilet, yes he is fixing the toilet, and Ben was taking pictures of Supergirl.

Her super suit.

Able to leap tall buildings, and break a chain...

Getting ready to turn back into Emily.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Three is the New Two

So you ever hear the saying...Terrible Two's? Of course you have, if you are alive! But here is something they don't tell you, which I found out when my first born turned three, it is Terrible Three's. Yes my friends terrible three's, and three is the new two. If there ever really was a terrible two, which I am suspect of the mere thought. AND I am here to tell you that even if you make it through the first one, the second is still just as bad. Now I know you are thinking, if you did it once how hard can it be the second time around, well...

I remember when my angelic toe headed boy went to sleep the night before his third birthday. He was so sweet. I kissed him goodnight, and little did I know that sometime during that 8 hours of sleep the aliens that make my life h*ll were going to come and get him only to return him on the eve of his fourth birthday. From the morning of his third birthday when he had a meltdown about getting a haircut before his party, until the morning of his fourth birthday when he awoke with a smile on his face and a skip in his step life was awful. He was a completely different child. I swear there were days that I thought I was going to kill him. His sister who turned two during this time on the other hand was so easy to deal with, angelic as a matter of fact.

Well, now I am doing it again. Here I sit hidden in my bedroom to try and get a minutes peace to finish my Bible Study for Thursday night, write a couple of blog entries for my other blog, and hopefully get to bed at a decent hour wondering when the aliens will bring back my beautiful, angelic daughter. Will I really have to wait until she is four. I am not sure I will live that long, and more importantly, will she?

In all seriousness, I love her more than anything. But she is a pistol and she knows how to push EVERY single button I have. And she is strong-willed. Boundaries are a challenge for her. I think that she thinks..."How far can I push it before they actually kill me?" And...she is just the most beautiful girl you have ever seen. And she can be the best little girl you have ever met, kind, gentle, and loving. I am counting the months until her fourth birthday...five months...ten days...two hours...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Make and Takes

Hey...see that button over there on the side of my blog...go check her out. Today is her blog's second birthday and they are having a terrific giveaway!

Enjoy your day!

My friend is published!

I am so excited! A friend that I had the honor of meeting when we lived in College Station is now published. I got an email today about the availability of her book. I am so excited that I went right to the website and ordered it. I have to support fledgling writers, right? :)

I can't wait to read it. It is a book all about motherhood and the humor involved with raising kids. She has five of her own. Three of which I have met. All of them are adorable. I miss her and wish that we lived closer. I don't know if we could be farther apart, she lives in Washington and I live in Texas. What a trek!

Anyway her name is Kersten Campbell, and you can find out all about her at her website. She also has two blogs: and

Her book is called Confession of an In*sane Mother. Check it out!

Congrats, Kersten! I am so proud of you for following your dream and making it a reality! You are an inspiration as a mom and a friend! Thanks for sharing yourself with us.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Flashback Friday-vErY lAtE

OH my goodness look at these cuties! And there is evidence that we did used to own a rabbit. Most people don't believe me when I tell them, but now you can see.

The order goes, Ben, Molly, and Meg. These were our friends from Gymboree. The first two years of the kids' lives they were together every Saturday morning. We all had our second babies about the same time too. I remember how big we thought they all were. Molly and Ben are just days apart. We miss the Lyons' and the Larkin's. I did see Margaret (now that she is grown up she likes to go by Margaret) and Sarah in October. We promised to email or call, but life has gotten in the way, of course. The Lyons are in the UK right now and we miss them terribly, but Andrea is wonderful about sending pictures to keep us updated. I hate when we lose touch with people that we love. I wish we could hold everyone that has touched our lives close.

A snapshot of the gang at Ben's first b-day party. (OMG, I still had that awful wallpaper in my kitchen.) Ben's theme that year was dogs. That was the first word that he said coherently that was not mama or dada. He loved and loves his dog! He had on the cutest overalls with a dog on them and we painted, yes we actually painted. I really think Andrea was about to kill me, but she was a great sport. So began my obsession with birthday party extravaganza's.

Wonderful Writers

So this morning was the first of many writer's group meetings. We met at my mecca...not really...but if I had one it would probably be it...can you guess? Starbucks, of course. For a morning of chatting, coffee, and sharing. I think it was a successful. There are only three of us, but we all seem to mesh and get along very well. The two women I love dearly. Cher I have known quite awhile and is probably Ben's future mom-in-law, if I am the luckiest woman on the planet. And Cara I have know just a little while, but love her!

We talked about ourselves, mutual friends, kids, work, the healthcare agenda, and writing. Yes, we did finally get around to talking about writing. I totally had to suppress my nature and just let things develop how they were going to, and they did beautifully.

Lots of encouragement, compliments, and constructive advice. I love it, and I am excited about the prospect of the whole thing. Now I have to get to writing and finish the Heist. I am sure that my friend who follows that blog will be tickled pink!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Proud Mama i have been debating whether to post about this or not. Please know that I am not trying to boast, I am just so excited, and I am a Proud Mama. Proud of both my babies.

Back in January we had Ben tested for the gifted/talented program in our district. We really were just thinking that if he could go to a magnet school that would be really cool. So he went through the testing, and I think ticked off the diagnostician a little as well.

She did a picture vocabulary test and then asked him some "riddles". He told us that he knew the answers of the most of the riddles, but there were a few he did not know. Then at lunch he asked me if I knew what was big, pink, and got rid of mistakes. I said, an eraser. He says...that's what I thought, but erasers don't have to be pink mommy, I told her that I had an eraser at home that is a different color. (yes that is my child...and i LOVE him) Yes, Ben they can be different colors.

SO...anyway...I was sitting at my desk at work reading some copy that was making me fall asleep and the phone rings. The woman identified herself as Mrs. So and So from Hillside Academy and she was calling about Benjamin. Okay, now I know Ben is at school and the name of it is not Hillside I am a little confused. Then she says...I am calling to schedule his appointment for the second round of testing. He passed the first round of testing. I understand. So...we have an appointment for his second round of testing on next Tuesday. Daddy is taking him to this since I was out all last week with them, and I have my second dental cleaning on Thursday morning.

On that subject...don't neglect your teeth! That is all I am going to say...not going to bore you with the gory details!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Some Present Pics you can see it was quite a haul and there are presents I didn't even post! You will also notice that BFF Cadence is right by his side inspecting everything. This cracks me up because she was right there last year too! I see a future for these two!


Lighting the Candles

Singing Happy Birthday
Blowing out the Candles - It is at this point that it occurs to me that I have forgotten to buy forks! Oh well, we have some silverware.
Millie eating some yummy cake!

Treasure Hunt

Reading the first clue
Third clue

Fifth Clue

Sixth clue


Treasure Maps

Canon Ball Bowling

Mark David Bowling

Pirate Alec and Ben bowling

Ken waiting for kids and juggling

Pirate Target Practice

Pirate Riley and Jack
Pirate Abby
Pirate Mark David

Walk the Plank

Pirate Alec
Pirate Alec

Isn't that the best ship?

Pirate Daisy

Pirate Ben and Captain John

Pin the Eye Patch on the Pirate

These are not in the order that I would like, but oh well, you will get the idea! Doesn't have to be perfect, right?

Pirate Ben
Pirate Emily

Game after everyone played.

Emily pinning her eye-patch on

Emily with the blindfold on.

More party pictures

Making Pirate Flags

Pirate Daisy
Pirate Emily, Cadence, Ben, and Jack

Cher explaining how to make the flags! She is a natural!

Making our flags

Pirate Party - stations

I suppose I should start from the beginning. For Ben's fifth birthday we had a pirate party. Ben wanted to have the party at home so we had to really limit the number of kids he invited and I had to come up with a way to entertain those twelve kids between the ages of 2 and 5. I spent many days searching the Internet for ideas in January and came up with ten possible stations and a way to do a treasure hunt for the kids. Anyone wanting to have a pirate party, or just about any other party with stations, do some research. There are a lot of resources out there.

I decided that I wanted each child to have a pirate costume when they left. So I bought a yard of red material and cut it six inches wide and made sashes for all the kids. Then I got some piratey material and made drawstring bags for them to hold all their "loot". We took tubes and spray painted them black to make telescopes. Each child received these as soon as they got to the party.

Then I ended up with seven stations and they got something at each of the stations:
  1. Make a Flag - their very own flag for the ship
  2. Pirate Tattoo Parlor - tattoos, because all pirates need tattoos
  3. Pin the Eye-Patch on the Pirate - Eye Patch
  4. Pirate Face Painting - Moustache and Goatee
  5. Walk the Plank - plastic parrots
  6. Canon Ball Bowling - pirate bubbles
  7. Pirate Target Practice - a chance to shoot a Nerf gun (I was going to give them swords here, but with mostly boys I decided that it would probably be better to wait until the end of the party for the swords.

I also served them lunch and found some great make your own treasure maps with stickers at Oriental Trading Company for them to do while they waited for us to serve. The menu was Pirate Food - fish sticks, french fries, goldfish, and fruit snacks (fish shaped).

While the kids ate their lunch my mother in law put out the treasure hunt clues that she had written. She did such a good job. We read the first clue and we were off. The kids loved running around finding all the clues and it led to the cake. We also opened presents in there and ate the cake. I have to say that this was my favorite birthday party so far. It was a lot of work, but I think the kids had fun. Even though I did not do everything I wanted, the kids never knew and no one got bored! The house wasn't even trashed, so that is always a plus.

I need to say a few words of thanks, because without these people it never would have happened. First of all, I want to say thank you to my mother-in-law, Teresa. She really got into the whole idea from the very beginning and pitched in to help with everything. Without her I would have much more to do and I probably would have just decided to let the kids play with toys for an hour and a half. She came over early and helped set-up and manned a station, took pictures handed out food, and put out all the clues that she cleverly wrote that morning.

The second person that I need to thank is my dear friend Tracy. She came over early even though she pulled a muscle in her stomach coughing and helped with everything. She and my mother-in-law made the best pirate ship ever out of Ben's bunk bed. She painted moustache's and Jack Sparrow inspired goatee's. She also single-handedly cooked fish sticks and fries for twelve hungry children and made plates for them. I could not have done it without her!

Next I want to thank the parents that manned stations. Cher, John, and Ken you guys did a great job, and I couldn't have done it without you all as well!

Last, but certainly not least, I want to thank my husband. Even though you have had the flu all week you set-up the target practice station and manned it throughout the party. You also put up with me before the party, I get a little stressed and snippy. During the party, running around like a chicken with my head cut off, and after the party when I had to take a nap.

There are so many pictures that I have to split them up. It turned out to be a fairly nice day outside, not cold but a little cloudy. So we were able to set-up some stations outside. Here are the first batch of the stations.

Pirate Target Practice
Pirate Face Painting

Pirate Tattoo Parlor

Pin the Eye-Patch on the Pirate

Make a Flag

Friday, February 6, 2009

100th Post - Flashback Friday!

For this flashback I thought that I would involve the whole family. When we were married I wanted a picture of our hands because I had grown up looking at at picture of my parents hands when they were married. Thus, began my infatuation with pictures of hands. I thought that it would be appropriate to get a picture of our family's hands during our first family picture session. And I will tell you that with Allison we will have more! Such a joy! Thanks again, Allison. We love you!

April 30, 1994

February 1, 2009