Wednesday, November 28, 2007


A long time ago (04/08/07 to be exact), I randomly clicked on a blog to see what it was about. It had an intresting title and I was new to the blogging word, so I checked it out.

Every day since that very first day, I have checked in on my friend Marissa and her family. I don't personally know Marissa, but she has touched my heart. I cannot even begin to understand what it is that she and her adoring husband and her children must be going through right now.

I pray for Marissa. I really really pray for Marissa. What a beautiful beautiful person. I know that our God has a plan. Please join me in saying a prayer for her and her family.

Tree Ha Ha

Can you believe that a few folks have made comments to us (the kids) about us cutting down the Christmas tree. We live in an area where everyone has an opinion (that they openly share) about how we should all be more enviromentally friendly. Our family does our part. We recycle. We use the long lasting light bulbs. So to all you people that think we are hurting the earth by cutting our tree down - read the article at the link below.

BTW all of you enviro-nazi's...practically everyone in Alvin and in small town Texas recycle straight to the dump.


Monday, November 26, 2007


A while back, JC put a sitemeter on my blog so that I could tell if anyone was actually looking at it. Well, low and behold, someone is!!! The numbers below are for the last day and a half. How in the world are all of these people finding my blog? And why do they care to read it? I guess I need to start thinking of something a little more profound to say. I think I'm gonna get with my friend CG and see if she can teach me a little more about the world-o-blog.

1 United States Austin, Texas
2 United States Austin, Texas
3 United States Brooklyn, New York
4 United States Austin, Texas
5 United States Houston, Texas
6 United States Mesa, Arizona
7 Colombia Bogot, Cundinamarca
8 United States Austin, Texas
9 United States Austin, Texas
10 Italy Milan, Lombardia
11 United States Austin, Texas
12 Greece Kavla, Kavala
13 Germany Leimen, Baden-Wurttemberg
14 United States Austin, Texas
15 Germany Berlin
16 Turkey Karabk, Kastamonu
17 United States Austin, Texas
18 United States Eden Prairie, Minnesota
19 United States Austin, Texas
20 United States Austin, Texas
21 United States Leander, Texas
22 United States Austin, Texas
23 United States Austin, Texas
24 Australia Kingswood, New South Wales
25 Spain Madrid
26 United States Austin, Texas
27 United States Austin, Texas
28 United States Austin, Texas
29 United States Ithaca, New York
30 United States Austin, Texas
31 United States Georgetown, Texas
32 United States Reno, Nevada
33 United States Austin, Texas
34 United States Georgetown, Texas
35 United States
36 United States Austin, Texas
37 United States Houston, Texas
38 United States Austin, Texas
39 United States Houston, Texas
40 United States Reno, Nevada

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Friday morning we got up and made our annual trip to the Elgin Christmas Tree farm to cut down our tree. I was trying to remember just how many years we have had this tradition...I am pretty certain that we have been doing this since 1998. So basically this is the only way that our kids will remember getting a tree. Over the years, we have invited many friends and family to join us on our hunt for the big tree. This year we decided to do it with just the six of us. What an incredible time. We got to the farm and bundled up. The high for the day was about 43 degrees! We took the hayride out to the field and spent just a little bit of time trying to find the right tree for us. And before I knew it, we had found the one that ALL of us agreed upon. We all took a turn cutting her down with JC finishing the job. Naturally, there were a couple of kids in the way and the tree literally fell right on top of them. After getting back on the hayride and making our way back to the front of the tree farm, the kids all played around while JC got our tree out to the car and I browsed in the Christmas cottage. I love all of the items that are for sale in the cottage. They always have lots of beautiful Christ centered ornaments and trinkets for Christmas. After we were all paid up, we went to the front of the farm where all of the animals are kept. The kids love seeing the llamas, goats, chickens, ducks, bunnies, pig and horse. But what they love the most is the two giant hay bales that sit in the front of the animal pens. We were seriously there for about an hour with the kids playing and being happy in and on this hay. They were laughing and jumping and throwing hay and just having the very best time. This is one of those moments that I will never ever forget in my whole life. My six...all together...all sharing the most perfect love that comes when you are a family. I know that they will always remember this day - maybe not the details, but they will remember the love. Once we left the Christmas tree farm, we made our traditional stop at our second favorite bar-b-que restaurant - Southside Market in Elgin. As always, the food was the tops and we had a great family meal. The kids were all so happy and full of life and love. We brought the tree home and had it fully decorated in no time at all. Everyone participated in hanging the lights and ornaments. It was #4's turn for the angel on top - he was REALLY excited to do it. I am so glad to have the tree here. It is so beautiful.

Santa Won't Miss Our House!

After our delicious Thanksgiving feast, we continued putting the lights on the house. I did around the front windows, the door and the garage doors. I went out one of the upstairs windows onto the roof and got yelled at by the kids and they told on JC came out and made me get down. ARGH!!!!

Needless to say, he got out the ladder and put the lights on the downstairs trim. Somehow I'm gonna get lights on the top portion of the house too. Just gotta figure out a plan!!!


Last Tuesday, the girls had their end of season softball party at the South Austin fields. The sky was incredible. I took this picture of these beautiful clouds and had a few moments where I was so thankful for the great camera that we have. And then it struck me that I was missing the point. I needed to rethink my thankfulness and focus on the Creator of the clouds. Everyday I realize how often I forget to thank God for all of the things that he has given us.

These powerful clouds are just one example.

Turkey Day at Our House

It is becoming our family tradition to have Thanksgiving at our house, with just the six of us. So here is how it all went down this year...

#1 was in charge of mashed potatoes and salad

#2 was in charge of the green bean casserole.

#3 was in charge of the stuffing and the fancy new placecards for the table

#4 was in charge of the corn and the rolls, but decided to nap instead.

Finally the food is ready and everyone is thrilled - except for #4 who has the post nap funk. (or PNF as it is affectionately referred to in our home)

Everyone is happy when they start to pour their fancy grape soda.

We had the very best time. What a wonderful thanksgiving. Before we ate, we all took a moment to give thanks to God and talk about the things we are thankful for...

Dad - Our family, the kid's school and friends
Mom - the mighty six
#1 - the pets
#2 - our family
#3 - family, friends and pets
#4 - our family and preschool

Everyone was in the very best mood - we even had grape soda shot through the nose in the middle of dinner. Now that is the sign of a wonderful day!

P.S. You'll notice that #3 was the secretary while the family was choosing the menu (first photo). She made sure to leave us a note of her dislike of pie. :)

Touching and Beautiful

The mom of one of #1's classmates died a few weeks ago. Last Tuesday the 5th graders had a beautiful tribute to her and her two sons at our school playground. She has a son that is in 5th grade and one that is in 7th grade. Both of the boys attended our school through all of the grades (K-6).

The 5th grade kids worked on digging a hole on Monday and Tuesday during recess and then on Tuesday night during the memorial, they planted a tree on the school playground. We go to a relatively small school where there are only two 5th grade classes. It appeared that 90% of the 5th grade kids/parents made it to the memorial.

After the tree was planted, kids and parents took turns reading beautiful poems and sharing wonderful memories about the mom and the two kids. Our friend Sara was there with her guitar and we sang beautiful songs. All of the 5th grade kids made a book for their classmate and presented it to him since he will be going to live with is dad and not going to our school any longer.

The service ended with an incredible few rounds of 'You are My Sunshine' where everyone was wrapped in a circle of love and there were no dry eyes anywhere around.

How beautiful and touching. The sky was incredible and the friendship and love were unbelievable.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Bath Tub Quotes

I was helping #4 in the bath tonight. He was mad at me because he didn't want to take a bath and for many other things that I don't even know I did.

Based on what he was saying to me, I think he thought he was getting even with me. Here are some of the things he said to me in his most pouty, put out, grumpy, gripey voice.

1. Life isn't short.

2. I am NOT close to being a parent.

3. Life ISN'T good.

Guess I must say the opposite of those things pretty often. ha ha.

136 and Still Going Strong

Tonight I went with my Throw Down girls for a little beginning of the week card playing. We play our old standard card game - HECK - and we eat, drink and chew the fat.

We have all kind of found each other in a very organic way. We all have kids (or grandkids) that are the same age and play on a soccer team. Over the past few seasons, we have kind of migrated towards each other. We enjoy each other's company. There are no limits as to what we can talk about or bring to the table. We can drink too much, cry too much, gossip too much, laugh the whole time and at the end of the night all walk away with a warm calm feeling inside.

These ladies make me smile. They remind me of life's simple pleasure.

So tonight after my gold medal ball game, I dropped JC and the kids at home and went to Joanie's house to throw some cards. As always, I was greeted with warm hugs and a safe forum to share whatever was on my mind. Not long after being there, Ruth walks out with a beautiful surprise.

She had gotten a beautiful delicious birthday cake to celebrate our November birthdays. I am overwhelmed with the generosity of these women. I can't remember the last time I had birthday cake with my name on it. And to be sung to and celebrated and waited on like a queen - and by my good friends, it just doesn't get any better.

You'll notice the terms of endearment that were put on the bottom of the cake...sometimes when the drinks are flowing (or not) we get a little rowdy and use a few choice words! Ruth didn't have the nerve to ask the cake gals at the Costco to write it, so she bought some icing and did it herself.

I am so blessed and so thankful.

P.S. Liz and Sarah - we missed you!!! We've saved lots of cake for you both to eat next week! So get ready you bitches and whores - I'll be way less emotional next week and will be really ready to take you on!!!

Gold Medal Moments

JC has been playing softball on a co-ed team this fall. It is so much fun to go and watch and I am proud that the kids get to see him do something that he enjoys.

Tonite, we all loaded in the car to go and watch his last game of the season. We were all very excited. It is fun for the kids and me to cheer on the one we love.

Well, sure enough, we get to the ballfield, and his team is down a woman and cannot play if they don't have someone fill in. So they asked me. I said yes in an akward sort of way and then just kinda thought it must be a joke. The team is warming up and getting ready to start the game and his team manager pulls some tennis shoes out of her bag and kinda says, 'here, see if these fit'. Oh, I guess they are serious. Ok - I CAN DO THIS!!!

They put me at the end of the batting line-up. And somehow my turn actually came up. At this point I am still in disbelief that this is actually happening. I get up to the mound, not really sure how to hold the bat and definately haven't given any thought to how I might react if I actually hit it!

Low and behold, the first pitch was thrown and I hit that ball. HOLY COW!!! I actually hit the ball. UNBELIEVABLE!!! I can hear the people cheering for me. I am running as fast as I can and I make it to first. WHOA!!! Did that just happen??? Needless to say, I got out on third.

Well, my turn to bat came up two more times. Each time I was able to hit the ball. What a wonderful triumphant moment. I did it! I put my mind to it and I did it. I never actually scored, but I tried my hardest and didn't look like a weenie out there!

For me, hitting the ball, hearing the cheering and running as hard as I could was almost like being Marion Jones, Mary Lou Retton or Dorothy Hamill.

The very very best gold medal moment was getting in the car and hearing all four of my kids saying how proud they were of me and telling me that they thought I did a great job. :)

A Friend In Need... a friend indeed!

Today was a pretty crummy day for me. I was in a pretty bad place this morning and needed someone to talk to. I called JC and we talked and I calmed down. Then I called my Heather.

Man-o-man, do I miss my BFF Heather.

Even though she is a million miles away and 7 hours ahead of me, we were still able to connect on that spiritual level where we can be raw and real. She listened while I talked on and on and on. Then, she talked. She was in the trenches with me while I tried to work through my feeling. She was fighting with me and for me. She held my hand and my heart at the same time and helped me to remember that I am not alone. She reminded me of my good qualities, and helped me work through the burden that I was holding. There is nothing more important than a best friend. The love that I feel for this woman is overwhelming. Who could know that 20 years later we could still have this beautiful real friendship and love for each other. I am so blessed. And I am so thankful.

She is home for me.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Western Diamondback Rattlesnake

This morning we were hiking around Pedernales Falls State Park when Grace screams there's a snake!, THERE IS A SNAKE!!!!! Tam, Max, Miles, and Sam had all gone over it and Ella and Grace were next. Grace yells and sends everyone into panic mode - most especially Ella. After we all got together and could all see the snake (he blended in well with the rocks) we took a moment to inspect him from afar and took these photos. Thank God for Grace and her excellent spotting skills!

Equal Time for ALL Holidays!!!

The kids and I were laughing this afternoon. It was brought to my attention that we are celebrating three holidays on our front porch! (Christmas, Thanksgiving and Halloween)

I guess I just get so excited that I want to decorate way before the holiday comes and long after it is past. :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

11 Is No Trick

Today our son turned 11. Yep, that's right...11!!! I just cannot believe it. We had a beautiful morning of family time before school, yummy sausage and egg breakfast made by dad and Elmo cupcakes at school to share with friends. We came home from school, did homework, played outside and enjoyed the beautiful and brisk evening air during soccer practice. Once we finally got home, we had our normal family birthday gathering with our six and our special two. There isn't a day that goes by that I do not think about Deerfield Drive and the love, friendship and family that we found through the bushes. (But that is a whole different post!)

We played a few tricks on #1 during this celebration. First, we didn't tell him that D&J were coming over - so he was happily surprised when he opened the door and found them hiding to the side!! Then we put 'never go out' candles on his cake. That is always a ton of fun, but boy-o-boy, do they make some smoke!

The biggest and best trick was saved for last though. We took one of his old skate decks and wrapped it up. When he opened it, he was confused until dad handed over the new deck! We all had a good laugh.

#2 gave him a new book by one of his favorite authors, Louis Sachar. #3 gave him the 'This is my Element' skate video. And #4 gave him really cool juggling sticks which he has almost mastered!

He was thrilled to get a really cool Skatepark of Austin t-shirt and the always expected and very coveted washcloth from D&J. Someday she is going to stop making these little treasures and our kids are going to go nuts!!! :)

So here's to getting one of our kids through to another year. We have made it this far and I am happy to report that he is a pretty darn good kid. What a beautiful blessing he has been to my life. I am SO thankful!

On Being A Carr

JC and I have been married for almost 17 years. JC is the oldest of three boys. This weekend was another of those times that I was able to walk away from the events and realize just how lucky we are to have each other and our Carr family. We might not see each other often enough and may all do different things in life, but we all love each other. It was SO SO SO nice to spend time with our family this weekend. Jeff and his brothers have a very special bond. I feel like they are both my brothers and I know that if I ever needed help, I would call them. I love their wives and most especially love all of the little Carr children. It was so heart warming for me to watch the 7 grandkids run and play together just as if they have been together everyday of their lives. Oh how I am thankful for these people.

What mother wouldn't be proud of these boys? And besides, they are all pretty hot!!!

Carr daughter-in-laws and grandkids.

And how about the fact that all of these grandkids can pass for siblings!


Sunday was my birthday. We were super duper busy doing family things for the wedding all weekend. I did get treated to a very nice dinner out Sunday night. Cathy and Steve (Jeff's mom and husband) were in town and flying out of Austin Monday morning. They took us all out to dinner - MY CHOICE!!! I didn't really know where to go...we went to Shady Grove, but it was a 45 min. wait...which is not a good idea with 4 kids - so we ended up at Uncle Billies Brew-B-Que. The food was good, the company was even better and it was just nice to get to do something with my family on my birthday. THANK YOU CATHY AND STEVE!!!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Stargrazer Ranch

The reception was held at the Stargrazer Ranch. This is the Leach family ranch (bride's parents) that is around the corner from the church - just minutes away from Schulenberg, Texas.

This is probably one of the most beautiful receptions I've ever been to. The ranch sits on many acres. In addition to a large tent, the family home and barn were also used for mingling and visiting with family and friends.

Upon arriving at the ranch, we were greeted by a three piece Texas Swing band that was playing all of the classics.

We enjoyed cocktail hour while having many delicious appetizers. The weather was perfect and the ranch was just beautiful! At some point, they rang the dinner bell and we all made our way to the tent. Oh my - it was SO beautiful inside. Our six were seated at the 'squirrel' table with Jeff's cousin. I was breaking my neck to try and see everything that was in this portable reception building. First of all, it was air conditioned and had wood floors. There were so many beautiful flowers. Everywhere - hanging from the ceiling, on the tables, on the couches - everywhere you looked more beautiful flowers. And the food - oh my! It was done in a buffet style with many different stations. Beef tenderloin, salad area, fresh veggies and mushrooms being sauteed right when you asked. Crab cakes being made while you waited, oh - it was ALL so so so good. All of our kids ate caviar too. This was offered at the avocado bar - where you got a half of pitted avocado and you could dress it with any of the sides that were available! It was so so so good!

Queen of Painted Churches

The beautiful wedding was held at the 'Queen of Painted Churches' St. Mary's Catholic Church in High Hill, Texas. This church is truly breath taking. The church was blessed in 1906 and the final decoration artwork, wall decorations and ceiling decorations were completed in 1912. What a beautiful background for a wedding!