Friday, March 13, 2009

Another Milestone...of sorts...

We reached another milestone this week and, even though I'm extrememly proud, it also leaves me wanting to shout what my friend Amy said, "Time, Stand Still"!

If you read my post when the kids started school, First Day, you know this has been a year of transition for our family - and it just won't stop! They keep changing and growing, and I'm slowly replacing all remants of baby-hood and toddler-hood for childhood and beyond. No more living room with a strategically placed bouncy chair or 360. No more dining room with a high chair. No more kids' bathroom with a step stool to reach the sink. And, now, no more bicycles with training wheels!

Emma learned how to ride a bike this past week! Honestly, I've really been looking forward to this. For Mother's Day last year, I asked for and received a bike, and couldn't wait until Emma could ride without training wheels. Our family bike rides consisted of Jeff, Pike and Grace motoring ahead, and me pedalling slowly waiting on Emma with her squeaky training wheels grinding along. I encouraged her every now and then to try to ride Grace's old bike that didn't have any training wheels. She would attempt a few times with me running along beside her, holding the back of the seat, but she wasn't ready.

Well, last weekend she asked her Dad to go out and practice with her. They were outside for about 2 minutes when she comes running in, "Momma, you've got to come outside. I have something to show you!" And there she goes...takes off riding the bike all by herself!!! I was so excited (and secretly thought...I'm pretty sure I did all the hard work on that know, like loosening the really tight lid on a jar when someone comes along behind you and opens it immediately!). But, as I watched her, I realized...Wow! That's one more thing we'll never have in our garage again - a bike with training wheels. I know it's silly, but time keeps flying by and they keep changing and growing, and I really do want to shout, "Time Stand Still"!

Thankfully, I got a few pictures of the girl riding on her own the first time. One of my favorite things about some of these is Gretta, our sweet dog, running along beside her. It was so fun to watch! And, even though I can get a little nostalgic about minor milestones, I can also smile because I know that each new accomplishment brings a wide range of adventures for our family!

Good Job Emma!!

Here's Emma and Daddy - who came along and opened the lid after I loosened it! :)

I love the way Gretta just ran with her and followed her up and down the street!

The only problem she had was pedalling too fast. One of my 'lessons' was telling her that the faster she pedalled the easier it would be. And, man...that girl can pedal fast!!

And her fast pedalling led to a few falls. But, as you can see, she was a trooper and it didn't bother her too much.

She kept getting right back on and riding again. I'm sure Gretta had something to do with that! Everything is always easier with a buddy!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Talent Show and Science Fair

The school had its Talent Show and Science Fair at the end of February. We had a fantastic turn-out and some really great acts. Grace did a dance to Taylor Swift's "Our Song" with 2 of her friends - Kayla and Christina. They made up the dance themselves and it was really cute! The Talent Show is only for 3rd - 5th graders...I bet you can guess that there was someone who was a little disappointed that she couldn't get her kindergarten self up there to perform in front of everyone! :)

Grace also entered the Science Fair with Jordan, a boy in her class. They announced the winners right before the Talent Show started...and Grace and Jordan won 1st place for the 3rd grade!! It was completely unexpected, so the only picture I have is from a friend. Thanks Julie!

Here are a few pictures from the fun evening...

Kayla, Christina and Grace "with their hair undone in the front seat of his car".

"Our song is the way you laugh"...

"I pulled out a pen and an old napkin, and I wrote down our song."

Here's Grace after she got her Science Fair ribbon and her partner Jordan getting his ribbon on stage. I sure wish I had been prepared!

They go to the district Science Fair at the end of least I can get a picture of them in front of their project when they have to set it up again there.

We are very proud of you Grace!!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Retro-Post II

One more catch-up post, and then I'll try to stay a little more current.

The week after Christmas, we went to Amarillo to visit my Dad and my brother and his family. Now by 'we' I mean my family and my sister's family. We were quite a sight during that almost 12 hour drive. The 2 cars were loaded down with 4 adults, 6 children, 2 dogs and enough luggage, games, movies, crayons and coloring books, snacks and suckers to keep all of us entertained. We did make a stop at a Gander Mountain along the way to get some hunting supplies, and I had to buy a jacket. I guess living in Houston for 3 years makes you forget how cold it really is once you get a little further north!

We had a great trip. The boys went hunting one day and then went to the river to shoot skeet (is that how you spell that?) another time. The girls shopped and played and talked. There was lots of good food and fun! We even got to go with Dad and Quentin to Wild Wings for their now-traditional Wing Night! Nothin' like eating wings and drinking beer with the greatest family in the world!!

I also got to spend some time with my sweet friend Amy and her precious kids. It was alot of fun to catch up with her. Emma got to play with Macy and even spend the night with her! What a treat! She still talks about it. Grace got to go play with her friend Camryn and spend the night, too. They had not seen each other in 3 years - and Camryn told me that if that happens again, they would be 11 the next time they saw each other! Yikes...we will have to work really hard to make sure that doesn't happen! (Cara...bring the family to Houston anytime!!!) :)

Here are some pictures from our time there...

The boys out hunting birds...Austin, Jeff, Adrian, Pike, Caden, Caden's friend, Quentin and Kyle

Showing off their kill...Adrian, Caden's friend, Caden, Pike and Austin...and, yes, they had to clean them when they got back to Quentin's. Pike still has a bloodstain on his jeans!

This picture makes me laugh! Kyle was outside talking to Kayla, Emma and Kade and realized they were playing with something in the yard. He asks them what it is and Emma picks up a dead bird! Guess they wanted to go hunting, too. The funny (gross) part is that I didn't know about this for a little bit and then I see this picture Kyle took...and there's Emma on the couch sucking her thumb...and she had not washed her hands!! (Gross...I know!!)

Gina and Grace climbing the tree in Grandpa's front yard.

The annual Christmas toast with Scotch...a favorite tradition of the boys!

Dad, Jeff, Quentin and year I need to get a picture of thier faces after the shot! :)

The girls hanging out...Linda, me, Deonna and Angie

Siblings and Spouses....Angie and Kyle, Quentin and Deonna, me and Jeff

Wing Night!!! And it wouldn't be complete without a picture of the Wing Leader...none other than POD!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

25 Random Things

This is something that was going around Facebook when I first signed up - and it actually turned out to be something fun to do. I've had a couple of people ask about it who are not on FB, so I thought I would post it on here. After reading it again, I realized it's something I wanted to keep on my blog...and maybe my kids would get a little bit of insight into their Mom someday (something that would be fun to have about my own Mom).

Anyway, it's simple and just what the title implies - you sit and write down 25 random things about yourself. If you end up doing one, please let me know...I'd love to read it!

1. I thought this 25 random things was kind of silly until I read several and then realized it's interesting and fun.

2. I love, love, love sports - especially football and baseball, and I plan our activities around watching games - especially the Longhorns. When I was dating Jeff, he wanted to go to a movie on a Sunday and I told him he was crazy...Sunday means football!

3. I got my love of sports from my Dad. I would sit by him for hours on the couch peppering him with questions to learn the game. If I had to go to bed before a game was over, I would leave a note on the kitchen table with blanks for 'final score', 'winning pitcher', 'homeruns' or 'most TDs' - whatever I could think of. He would always fill it out and leave it for me to find in the morning.

4. I never knew what the 'middle child syndrome' was until I saw the Brady Bunch episode where Jan went to the birthday party wearing the black wig to be different from Marcia. I thought I might have it too, but after a few weeks realized I didn't feel neglected for being the middle child.

5. I have always loved big family get-togethers. I love the kids, the noise, the games, the food and all the laughter.

6. I still desperately miss my mom, who died 24 years ago, when I was a junior in high school.

7. I'm an organizing freak - everything needs a place and should be returned to its place when you are done with it, from the ketchup bottle to the shoes you are wearing to the markers and crayons. I think baskets are the easiest way to organize and I love making lists. I am married to a non-list-making and non-list-following man...God does have a sense of humor!

8. Thankfully (for my family), I am able to laugh at myself about my organizing gene, and I don't get stressed out if things aren't just right.

9. I grew up in the church, but it wasn't until I was 27 that I finally realized what it meant to have a relationship with God, and that it was so much more than 'religion'. I am so thankful that He waited for me and actually followed me around planting seeds while I was searching for fulfillment in the wrong places.

10. Other than my relationship with Jesus, my husband and my 3 kids bring me the most joy.

11. I love how different all of my kids are - Pike is the Einstein (genius smarts, scatterbrained and amazingly witty all in one), Grace is my Saving Grace (responsible, helpful, detail-oriented, sweet-spirited, servant's heart, teacher's pet kind of girl), Emma is...Emma (outgoing, talkative, silly, where's my lip gloss - I might see a boy and I'm only 6 - kind of girl).

12. I think my dad is the smartest person I have ever met. He is also humble, gentle, kind, an amazing writer and has been the best role model. I still remember so many of his of my favorites on having a job: "Work so that they will miss you when you're gone". And that's what I have always tried to do.

13. It took me 40 years to find the perfect pair of jeans!

14. If I could pick one talent, it would be singing. I can totally see myself on stage singing my heart out...for now, the kitchen and car will have to do.

15. I hate scary movies...when I was a kid Scooby-Doo would give me nightmares!

16. I used to think the Tooth Fairy used all the teeth to make amazing jewelry for her friends.

17. A dream vacation would be going to different ballparks - Fenway, Wrigley, Camden Yards - I wish I would have seen Yankee Stadium before they tore it down.

18. I love colored Sharpies!

19. I really enjoy going to the beach, but I do not like getting in the water.

20. I cry for every emotion - when I'm overjoyed, frustrated, angry, scared, surprised or really sad. I am not a person who can hide the tears either...I get the red face, snotty nose and puffy eyes everytime.

21. I am a very light sleeper married to someone who snores very this that whole sense of humor thing again??

22. I love that my brother and sister are my best friends - and that I adore their spouses - and that we all make an effort every year to go on a vacation together with all the cousins.

23. I would much rather take a shower than a bath...something about sitting in water that you used to clean yourself is not appealing.

24. I have finally gotten over the fact that I have Fred Flintstone feet and I love to go get a pedicure.

25. I think it's hilarious that I'm a stay-at-home mom with 3 kids in school and it still took me over 9 hours to get this done!

Sunday, March 1, 2009


I'm going to try and catch up as much as possible in this one post - so it might get long!

Grace had her 9th birthday in November and I posted a letter to her, but never posted pictures. She had a slumber party and it was a blast! Finally, here are some pictures from the fun:

We got her an American Girl doll - Julie. She even dressed up as Julie for Halloween a few weeks before this. She was so excited! If you read the letter I wrote her, this is the gift she's talking about at the end.

Grace wanted brown and blue to be the only theme and I have a friend at church who made this cake for her. As you can see, she is extremely talented!

We did a "Make Your Own Pizza" - and thank you Angie for being there to help me clean up!

All smiles while eating thier pizzas!

Here's the whole group after playing a few games. The boys got to stay for the 'party' part - and we started the real party after they left. :)

Another picture of the amazing cake!

The girls decorating their own pillow cases. They were so creative!

Hanging out after the Fashion Show and Karoake.

In December, Emma turned 6! It's hard to believe my baby is already in kindergarten and is 6 years old! She had her party at Mudpie Co. I love that place! The kids had a great time painting - and all the dishes turned out so cute! The big kids (Pike, Adrian, Grace and Abby) got to choose something else and paint out in the big room.

Emma's excitement after getting her own American Girl doll.

She wanted Mia, who was the girl of the year. And, I have to tell you, she almost didn't get one after the reaction she had when Grace got her doll in November. Check out this next picture:

Yep...that's Emma crying because she couldn't understand why Grace got a doll and she didn't!

Here's Emma and her friend, Sarah, painting at Mudpie.

Grace out in the big room painting her turtle.

The boys, Pike and Adrian, working hard.

Emma just wanted a cookie cake, so Aunt Angie made it for her and we decorated it.

The Birthday Gang together for a group picture. Most of the kids are in Emma's class, and then cousins Kayla and Kade were there and Logan.
OK - that's all I can do tonight. It's late and I'm tired, but I still have some catching up to do. And then I really do plan on staying current!
Happy (very belated) Birthday to my 2 precious girls!!!