Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I Tried

I must say I'm sorry to a few folks. You see, I have been so excited about Christmas this year. We even had all of our cards mailed in the middle of last week. Woo hoo. A truckload of cards signed by 7, addressed and ready to go. I was SO proud of myself.

Until yesterday....

The mail lady came. I ran to the box - hoping and praying to receive our second card of the season. Hoping and praying that a card for our family would come. Ooooo - yippee! Looks like we got a few. Hurray!

And then I am crushed. Because we got some cards. But they were not what I was hoping for. We got cards that WE had sent to our loved ones. These would be the cards that I mailed without stamping. Yep, you read that right. I mailed a stack of cards with no stamps.

At least I was able to get a good laugh about it with the sweet mail lady.

So sorry goes out to our friends and family that haven't gotten a card from us yet. It should arrive within the next few days.

Wait 5 Minutes

There is an old saying - If you don't like the weather in Texas, wait 5 minutes and it will change.

5:30pm - 72 degrees
9:00pm - 36 and sleeting
11:30pm - snowing

Holy cow. It snowed at our house. Everyone was asleep but JC. He didn't wake us up. I guess it is a good thing I was asleep too cause I would have gotten all of the kids out of the bed to play in the beautiful white stuff.

Ahhhh, I love Texas.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Love from Germany

A Christmas Greeting from Germany sent to Kansas City. I can't wait for the Austin greeting!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Not This One

We took pictures on Sunday for our Christmas card. Everybody took a bath, combed their hair and brushed their teeth. I had my neighbor take this shot before we got in the car and headed to the Christmas tree farm where AJ took the 'real' pictures. We didn't choose this one for the card, but I had to share.

Look at my hair!!!! I am actually having a GOOD hair day in this picture! I know that sounds so vain, but I just love it SO much. Oh yeah, and the rest of the people look good too. But man-o-man, can you just not believe how nice my hair looks! :) Go ahead, click on the picture and zoom in - you know you wanna see that FAB hair do!

P.S. Thank you Ruth!

Sweet Baby is Sick

And did I mention that my SBW has pneumonia? Yep, that's right - pneumonia and RSV. I took him to the doctor on Wednesday and that's what they told us. The good news is that after five days of medicine and breathing treatments every 5 hours, he seems to be getting better. I was a little stressed (to say the least) last week, but can now add this experience into my list of motherhood events with the broken bones, mouth retainers, reflux, ear tubes, hurt feelings and skinned knees.

For the Beauty of the Earth

The Dryer

A few years ago, JC's cousin had a house fire. As in - the whole house burned to the ground. It was horrible and sad and caused by the dryer. They turned it on and went to bed and it burned the house down. Thankfully, they were able to get out in time and they were safe with their kids.

Well, Saturday night we were home doing home things and our dryer caught on fire. Yep, you read that right...ON FIRE.

For some reason, JC went downstairs to check on the laundry and sure enough, it was on fire. He was able to get the fire out. The dryer is toast and the clothes that were in it are gone but our house is still standing the the kids are all safe.

I had the shaky leg for a few hours afterwards and I am still SO thankful that JC went down to check the laundry when he did. If I start thinking about the 'what if' I start to get pretty upset.

I guess the downside is that we both lost our blue jeans and a few of my favorite t-shirts. The upside is - we are all safe and still have a roof over our heads. If you thought I wore the same clothes all of the time before, well, I will REALLY be doing it now. And if you are free and wanna spend sometime with me at the laundry mat this week, I'll bring a deck of cards and a baby and we'll have a grand time!

Oh am I thankful that we are safe.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


And did I remember to tell you that I am the mother of a 12 year old???

He LOVES the risky business glasses that J gave him and the Madden 09 from W. He has already FINISHED reading the book he got from E, used ALL of his gift card from Dave and Darlene to get a new skateboard and has watched Balls of Fury from M at least 5 times.

I love that he appreciates and loves all of his gifts. I love that he told me that his favorite part of his birthday was his family party.

I am so thankful for this 12 year old kid. I love him So so SO much.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Second Set Of Eyes

I've gotten many responses to my Rain post. JC says that it is good that I know I am not alone. I think he is right.

I received a message from my BFF HRL who lives in Germany. I am always so thankful for her being my second set of eyes. Here is part of what she had to say.

Remember when that picture was taken? The cloud rolled in and the rain came, but then what? The kids still had a good time, everyone was still together, and you got free tickets to come back. So out of the rain came something good.

Yeah, she's right, I called her thrilled that we got to go twice for the price of a one day ticket. Our kids LOVED playing in the rain. They talk more about the rainy day trip than they talk about the sunny day trip.

Out of the rain comes something good. I just hope the good includes some dessert.

Hondo, Texas

Sweet little town. I bet every resident has a gun and eats mayo with every meal.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Rain

I recently read Brooke Shields book about post partum depression. I am moved by her story - or maybe I should say that I am moved about her coming clean. I'll probably never meet her - but if I do, I will tell her that I appreciate her honesty. She is helping people even if she doesn't know it. Miles would say that she has integrity. (Miles told us yesterday that integrity is doing the right thing when no one is watching.)

I've been trying my hardest to run away from the dark cloud. I can see it, I can feel it hovering. I am working so hard to stay out from under it, but sometimes the wind blows hard and before I know it, I am under it again. The dark cloud was clamped down on top of me when #2 was born. It was horrible. It latched on and I worked so hard to break free. When #3 and #4 were born, we worked so hard to keep that cloud in the distance. We were successful.

Now for my SBW, that stoopid cloud is hovering again. I love these children more than life. I love my husband more than that. We all take care of each other. We are all safe when we are together.

I don't have feelings of hurting my loved ones. Sometimes I just have the feeling that I need to pack us all up and run. RUN FAST. Sometimes I feel like I can't listen anymore, I can't breathe anymore, I can't do anymore, I can't cry anymore, I can't deal anymore. Not in a jump outta the window kinda way, more in a 'I'm fighting to get to the surface' kinda way. I am under the water and I can see the light and I've just gotta keep swimming to get there. I can do it - I just can't give up.

The doctor knows. We've talked in depth about it. I just feel like if I can get through the next couple of months, then we will have beaten down that dumb cloud.

My sweet JC and I were talking this morning. In the quite of our safe home with our sweet baby sleeping, we were talking. Sharing. Being real. I told him that the photo of the storm cloud over the water park is how I am feeling. I am watching it roll in. I am watching my family laugh and splash and have fun. I am watching it all happen. I know that at these times, instead of watching I need to be participating. Holding, loving, laughing - keeping the rain at bay. And if the rain comes down, then I should be with my people, not standing alone watching it happen.

And you should also know that these dumb dark clouds will not keep me from having another baby. Babies are blessings. These children are my purpose. These children are the hope for tomorrow. Being a mother to these children is all that I ever wanted in my whole life.


We went camping at Garner State Park this weekend. We took a day hike at Lost Maples State Natural area too. Beautiful fall color. More color than I ever remember seeing in Texas. I love Texas. I really do.

I wish I could stay gone with my people forever. Driving down the road all crammed in the car. Listening to good music, making sandwiches, hiking on the river bank. Not a care in the world. No cell phone, no TV, no computer, no schedule. Just family. Just perfect.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

20 Years and 1 Day Later

This picture was taken on my 18th birthday. These girls have been my true girlfriends for 30+ years.

We love each other. We connect. We spent too many months (sometimes years) without seeing or talking to each other. Silly old life just seems to get in the way.

We are going to get together soon. I am excited. I am nervous. We will cry, laugh, hold each other, share, drink and cry some more. I am glad we are all still here for each other.

I am thankful.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I Never Noticed

Watching the TV tonight and Miles says 'mom, does Barack Obama have black hair?'

I say 'yes Miles, he does. He is called African American because he also has skin that is black, like Theo.'

Miles says 'Theo is called black and African American????? (with a very puzzled look on his face) I never noticed that his skin is black.'

I guess it is true that true friends are color blind.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Boy-o-Boys Part 2

And two things I forgot to mention...

1. S actually invited M to his party. He wanted him here and included him in every event.

2. One of the gifts S received (and the most popular gift among the friends) is the Guinness Book of World Records 2009. I am not sure if it happened intentionally or accidentally, but one of the first things that was pointed out, passed around, looked at and then re-looked at, was the picture of the woman with the largest breasts. Oh boy-o-boys.


Tonight we are having a party. A 12 year old boy sleepover party. Not to be confused with a slumber party, which is apparently what it is called when girls do this thing.

Yes, that is right, I am about to be a mother of a 12 year old. 12.YEAR.OLD. Wow.

As you may know, we don't have birthday parties every year. This is the first party that S has had since 2nd grade. We usually just do the family party, but this year is a year that all the kids get to have a b-day party. Whew...

So, S invited 7 friends over for a sleepover. The night started with football and then hide-n-seek in the dark.

Next up was a scavenger hunt through the neighborhood (four different houses and a big walk up a hill).

The final reward at the end of the hunt was a jumbo can of shaving cream and then we headed back to the house for a shaving cream fight.

Once everyone was sprayed off with the water hose, we were on to hot dogs, veggie tray (only 12 year old in town asking for a veggie tray as his party),chips, cheese dip, then cake and gifts and now they are all in their sleeping bags watching a movie. Boy-o-boys!

All of the kids are really good kids. All but one of the kids is on the soccer team. All but two go to our school. All but one is in the 6th grade.

Tomorrow morning we will get up and have biscuit sandwiches for breakfast and they will run and play.

The almost 12 year old is very happy tonight. We are SO thankful that we can do this for him.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween 2008

What a PERFECT night! For the first time in many many years, we stayed in our neighborhood to trick or treat. Being that this was our first holiday in this 'hood, we didn't really know what to expect.

Our friends started arriving around 5pm and we headed out the door around 6:45. This year we had the following cast of characters...

The Gorilla

The Hippie (wearing a vest from when I was a kid)

The USA Cheerleader

The Werewolf

And the sweet little 2 month old Pumpkin

Everyone had a blast and I could have easily taken 8 gillion pictures of them all because I thought their costumes turned out so great!

Fred and Wilma even made a guest appearance. Jeff and I usually dress up, but this was the best we could do this year. It'd actually be a great Christmas card picture - oh, except for the fact that you can't see everyone's face!

And the very best part of the night, the annual tradition of the candy swap. This year's trade was crazy because our neighborhood didn't give out any of the cheap yucky candies.

All of the kids went to bed with bellies full of candy and great great feelings in their hearts. It really was a perfect night.

1,001 Words

HB - your wish is Krob's command. :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

1,000 Words

All of my very favorite people.
One of my favorite places.
Drinking our favorite drink!
Perfect weather.
Good laughs.
Ahhhhh-isn't life perfect.

P.S. Thank you Kim Karob for making it come true, even if it is just in pictures.


Two more reasons why I love Texas.

On Tour

We were so lucky to get to go out Friday night to see our good friend Fernie play with Jason Mraz at Stubbs. Fernie has been touring all over the world with Jason and we have even been able to watch him play on The Tonight Show and Late Night with David Letterman.

It was our first night out since I was 7 months pregnant with Wyatt - so it was really nice to have a couple of hours with just the two of us. Our dear friend Krob kept the kids - but since we didn't leave to go out until after 10pm, Wyatt was asleep and didn't wake up the whole time we were gone. I think Krob was pretty bummed cause she was hoping to hold him all night! :)

JC and Fernie (and me too) have been friends since high school. It is always SO SO SO good to see him, even if it is just for a very short time.

Fernie is a great example of how a kid can do anything that they put their mind to. Look - this is a boy from ALVIN on tour with another famous musician traveling all over the world. Isn't that incredible???

After seeing a great show and visiting for a while with Fernie, my husband took me out to eat. Well, where does one go in the middle of the night (1am) after drinking a few beers and seeing a rock show - Denny's, of course!! It isn't someplace we normally go, but it was great fun, the food was good and it brought back some great memories!

BHE Carnival

Last Friday night was one of the biggest nights of the year at our public school. It was the annual carnival. Our kids were jazzed about it.

Sam dunking his teacher. Maybe not such a good idea. Good thing that report cards have already come out!!! :) Also pretty good shot by mom, huh?

Once again, E and her friends had a fortune telling booth that had a line the whole night. These kids set-up and run the ONLY kid operated booth. They came up with the idea last year and had to write letters to the PTA and school principal to be able to do it.
S and J had a great time hanging with their friends and M and W hung with JC.
All had a blast and we are already looking forward to next year!

Sixth grade boys look pretty tough, eh?

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Tonight we were driving down the road on the way to soccer practice when we spotted a little fuzzball walking in the middle of Robert E. Lee. There were cars behind us and cars ahead of us. The cars coming toward us were kinda slowing down and moving over a little. I stopped. J got out of the car and called for the sweet little dog and the dog ran right up to her and hopped into our car!

We called the number on the tag - it was the vet. They referred us to the owner. Turns out that the sweet little fuzzball belongs to an older man named Bruce. He didn't know that his beloved Foxy had gotten out. She is the sweetest little dog that was SO calm and not scared at all. She just about licked the kids to death and even got into the carseat with my SBW.

After soccer practice we took her home. Of course, the kids wanted to keep her a little bit longer. Bruce met us at the end of the driveway. Then he had to indulge us and let us walk back down the drive so that M could hold her part of the time and J could hold her part of the time. Bruce was extremely thankful. More than you can even know. When we were driving away, he was crying.

Don't Even Think About It.

M got Battleship for his birthday. I was worried that it would be too hard for him and end up being very frustrating. Well - I.WAS.WRONG.

That kid has played more in the last week than I think I've played my whole life. He loves it. The kids love it. We all love it.

And don't you even think about sinking MY battleship!

A Slice of Heaven

A few years ago, our very best neighbor Denise wrote a story for the newspaper about a little diner that has pie happy hour.

I've always wanted to see what it was all about, so yesterday after driving a carload of kids to camp, my friend Rayma and I stopped and indulged ourselves. SBW and I had the chocolate cream pie - it was delicious. Rayma had the German chocolate pie and really liked it.

The place was packed to the gills and you know I was watching people. It seemed like everyone in the place got a slice of pie after they finished their lunch. It was SO so so good. Next time we are near Marble Falls, wanna stop and grab a slice??

Blue Fingers

Some might wonder what I am doing these days to fill up my time. Well, me and SBW, WE.STAY.BUSY. This week we tie dyed shirts for both 5th grade classes and the 6th grade class. Both the 5th and 6th graders were going to camp and had asked if I would help them make shirts again.
Here is the 5th grade.

I didn't get a photo of the 6th grade. I'm bummed.

The kids were all so proud of their shirts. I am so thankful that I had a couple of excellent moms to help me. It was a little more difficult this time with SBW strapped to the front of me. I am happy to report that no part of his body was accidentally dyed along with the shirts! :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Still Splain-in'

Yes, that's right. I'm still explaining signs to my kids. EVERYDAY there is something. I've decided to start taking the camera with me everywhere I go so that you can get a better picture of what I am dealing with.

This first sign is out in the front of El Arroyo Mexican restaurant. The sign is kinda famous because they change it everyday. Most of the time it is about a current event and pretty witty. This one made me chuckle. I couldn't think for the life of me how to explain it to the kids. 'Yes guys, former President Clinton is a Democrat. And yes, Sarah Palin is a Republican. And they are trying to be funny...ha ha ha...and hey, look over there at the slug bug.'

Now this display was WAY harder to explain because I was trying to help the kids understand that these folks are Democrat and they are pretending that these famous Republicans are dead in a Halloween way. They don't really want them dead, or at least I don't think they do. And you should know, this display is across the street from the school yard where S practices soccer. Why in the world can't they just have a Happy Halloween sign???? (Click photo to zoom in on the 'Elephant Graveyard.'

More to come...