What a year!
Good to us in so many ways, but not with out it's stressful moments.
Here is a recap that will be of no particular interest to anyone but me, although you are more than welcome to read along. :)
We rang the New Year in with the promise of a new career path for Rob. In the months of January and February I realized what a toll the bank had taken on my husband. Who knew those worry lines weren't etched in his brow permanently! It was a great start to the new year.
My friend Shae and I spent the first two weeks of the New Year doing a Trading Spaces, While You Were Out redo of the Teachers lounge at Kolby's school. It was hard work but well worth it! I have never received so many thank you notes in my life, and the personal thanks I still get TO THIS DAY, make me wish we could re-do another room!
Shortly after finishing the Teacher Lounge, Rob and I re-did our room and finally got new furniture to replace the bedroom furniture Rob had used since the fifth grade! I still love my furniture!
February is Kolby's birthday month and it feels like it takes the whole month to get all the celebrations in! She had a big skating party and we were so excited when good friends Jonathan, Jackson, and Susan came in to surprise her from Arkansas! It was in the last days of February that the word dyslexia started to swirl around Kolby. I was left dizzy and down by the whole thought of my daughter having any type of disorder.
March brought a big fat rebate from th tax man, and an unforgettable trip to San Antonio and Sea World over Spring break! Rhett and Kolby rediscovered their love affair with hotels and I rediscovered the River Walk! Great times and great memories!
Don't remember much about April, but who could forget May ...Episode III! We had so much fun with Star Wars this year. Starting in May our premiere party on Rob's birthday and continuing through Rhett's birthday in September until the launch of the DVD in November we were all about using the Force. It has been so fun to share our love for this series with our kids and to find ourselves being kids once again! For us 2005 will always be the year of the Jedi.
Summer 2005 was one for the record books as far as the heat and lack of rain went, but we managed to have a great time anyway! Highlights were our trip to Palestine, Texas with my parents and sister, our Fort Worth Friends reunion in Fort Worth in July, our trip to Arkansas and Kolby and Rhetts first airplane flight, and Kolby being incredibly blessed to attend Camp Success at Baylor for seven weeks.
I can't say enough about Camp Success. I think it saved the confidence and love of learning in my little girl. In a mere seven intense weeks Kolby's reading improved an entire grade level. By the time August rolled around she was able to start school exactly on the level where she needed to be! Can I ever thank God enough for the wonderful people who fund and operate this camp? Though Kolby still goes to Baylor for tutoring 4 hours a week, after Camp Success we knew that she would be able to overcome this disorder and flourish!
August. School started. We love Kolby's teacher and then Rhett's Mothers Day Out teachers. September we had a big Star Wars celebration for Rhett's bithday. Can one ever have to many Star Wars parties in one year? I have had more time to myself since August than I have had in 7 years, but I seem to fill that time up! Teacher Appreciation has taken more time than I ever thought. I enjoy what I do but I am going to have to curb my PTA time to get ready for this baby!
So let's skip to November and the huge surprise that awaited me On the 7th!!! I was in the middle of the "Teacher Prom" and feeling like I was coming down with the flu. Only after calling my doctors office about getting a flu shot or maybe something stronger did I realize that I couldn't remember my last cycle. Took the test. Almost fell out of my chair when the little PLUS sign appeared. WOW!!!
So here we are. I am almost 12 weeks along and the shock and awe still haven't worn off. (Although the nausea has slowly begun to lift= HALLELUJAH!) Where are we going to put this baby? How are we going to afford another one? Will I be able to do everything I did for Kolby and Rhett for this baby at age 36? I have 6 years of scrapbooks to catch up on before this baby is born! I have four closets to clean out and magically combine into three to make room for this baby. We don't have a carseat, a stroller, bedding, or a swing. I have to think about carrying a daiper bag again and buying daipers ... and then there is the whole breastfeeding thing ...OH MY GOSH! What are we doing????? We're having a baby!
Still, I can't wait to find out what this baby is! (AND WE WILL BE FINDING OUT!) I can't wait to see Kolby's expression the first time she holds her new sibling! I can't wait for Rhett to finally be "a big Brother!" I am so excited to have a baby in Waco with my whole family at the hospital waiting to welcome the new one! I can't wait to see Rob change that first diaper again and act all goofy making faces. I can't wait until I can actually feel that little baby growing inside of me kick and turn somersaults like my other two did! I start to tear up when I think about holding a tiny little baby fresh from heaven, with tiny little finger and toes and looking into those little eyes knowing I am the mother of this little miracle! Is there anything as sweet and precious as a baby? Thank you so much God for giving us this last chance at having a baby!
I guess all the ups and downs of 2005 and the great anticipation of 2006 have taught me one basic lesson over and over again. God is faithful. (I loved what Jon Owen had to say about this a few days ago.) In the good and in the bad, he is faithful. When I am weak or when I am strong, he is faithful. In times of doubt, in times of faith, he is faithful. Through heartbreak and terrible darkness he is faithful. Through joys and overwhelming love and light, he is faithful. At all times the name of the Lord should be praised. He is faithful.
May I always remember to praise him in all situations in 2006! Happy New Year!!!!!
Saturday, December 31, 2005
Thursday, December 29, 2005
Warning: Most of you will not get why I am so excited about this...but if you grew up in San Angelo, Texas you will know exactly why Rob and I are so pumped.
As I recall, it all started in San Angelo in a little joint that used to be a burger stand on Bryant Blvd. not to far from Central High School. That's where the first Rosa's Cafe & Tortilla Factory was born. I ate many a meal there with my family was thrilled when Rosa's 2 opened on our side of town. They had the best tortillas, the best beans & cheese and the best queso fajitas... In High School I would go with friends to "the old one" for lunch. Most days we would get the Bobcat Special which included three piping hot tortillas, a half pint of beans and cheese, and a medium drink for $1.85! Heaven in a tortilla! And sooo good when your school had off campus lunch and you had a $2 a day lunch allowance!
Fast forward ten years. My family "did" Rosa's at least once a week and kept a stash of tortillas in the house most times in between. My friend and I each lost 10 pounds on a Rosa's chicken fajita fueled diet during that time! When Rob and I were dating we ate at Rosa's in Angelo and Odessa, as a man named Bobby Cox had bought the Rosa's by our house in Angelo and then opened one in Midland and another in Odessa.
Almost five years ago Rosa's came to Fort Worth. The one on Precint Line and Grapevine Highway saw our little family (and all the friends we could convince to go with us) very often. Kolby was hooked immediately and again I felt so at home. Rosa's and Maccaroni Grill were two of the places we hated to leave behind when we moved to Waco.
Fast forward to today. There are now 29 Rosa's. They opened five new ones this year and hope to open ten more next year. All Rosa's have that magic tortilla machine where you can watch the workers put little balls of dough in and, as they slowly spiral down past gas fueled flames, they become the best tortillas ever! Though the menu isn't as economical as it once was, you can still get 8 hot sopapillas for under $2.00 and fajitas for four for $20.00.
We tried the Waco Rosa's tonight for the first time. I feel like a little piece of my past has moved to Waco. We chatted with Mr. Cox and saw some familiar faces. We heard plans for future expansions and were assured there would be no short cuts and no microwaves in any Rosa's. We also learned that the only Rosa's Cafe's not a part of the current growing chain are the original ones in San Angelo. They are still owned and operated by a family there, though not the original family. I wonder if they still have the Bobcat Special? No matter! I am happy to have a little bite of "home" so close by.
Welcome to Waco Rosa's! It's great to get reaquainted with an old friend!
And for those not blessed enough to live close to a Rosa's... just wait! If Mr. Cox has his way, there will soon be one opening near you!
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
We had a very merry little Christmas and I hope you did too! Here are some of the highlights.
Mama K & Papa gave Kolby and Rhett a trampoline! They have spent hours jumping each day and have even perfected a few flips!
We had our traditional Christmas Eve meal of enchiladas & tamales and did "the Christmas Tree" with my parents and sister on Saturday night.
Though I could not eat a bite of anything without turning green and running for the restroom, everyone else loved it all and we had a great time. Kolby told me earlier in the week that she didn't think she would help put out Santas cookies, but when the time came she was all about the cookies, milk and tomatoes for the reindeer! I guess she couldn't bare to not believe at least one more year! :) Santa delivered as usual!
Christmas morning my big family all met up at my parents for family church since our church didn't have a service that morning. I love having church on Christmas morning! It was a really neat thing for us and for the kids. When I was a little girl we used to have family church often during the holidays and at family reunions. I have great memories of my whole big family sitting around singing hyms and "having church." I hope our family will start doing this more when we have the occasion! We topped the day off with a huge Christmas Dinner (aka Thanksgiving part 2) and lots of games, talk and play. A good timewas had by all, and we all slept very well that night!
Monday Rob's folks came down and we had Christmas with them. Rhett and Kolby were sad not to see their cousin Drake but were thrilled to see Granma and Grandpa's little fur person, Muffin! We loved having them here. Rhett cried and cried when they left!
Rob is off this week from L-3 but has basketball games almost every day or night. The kids and I went to see Lion, Witch & The Wardrobe yesterday. We actually planned to see Chicken Little but it had moved on, so Kolby and Rhett talked me into Narnia. I still think Rhett was too young. He burried his head in my lap for a good half of the movie but Kolby loved every minute of it. She has talked alot about the differences in the book and the movie. Rhett says now that it really wasn't too scary and told his Daddy all about Aslan and how he died so that Edmund could stay alive. I guess he got more of it than I realized. CS Lewis really knew how to tell a story!
I have been battling the pukey pregnant thing the whole week but otherwise I feel much better. Probably won't be blogging too regularly until Rob goes back to work on the 2nd or until Kolby and Rhett start back on the 11th, but I hope you all have a great holiday and a very happy and safe NEW YEAR!!!
Thursday, December 22, 2005
Like my friend Elizabeth, I think this will be my last pre-Christmas post. I hope all of you have a very Merry Christmas! Wish I could have you all over for a big Christmas Party!
1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot Chocolate!
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree? Unwrapped, unpackaged, and fully assembled with a big red bow on top!
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? White on both.
4. Do you hang mistletoe? Would if I had some, but never have.
5. When do you put your decorations up? Ideally, the day after Thanksgiving, but it's usually at least a week long process.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Sausage balls, Sweet & Hot over Cream Cheese with Wheat Thins and White ChocolateChristmas tree pretzels with M&M ornaments!
7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? Going to Coleman or Waco or whereever the whole family was gathering, opening presents on Christmas Eve, sleeping on the couch bed with my cousins while telling stories and scratching backs!.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I don't remember if I ever truly bought into the whole Santa thing and that makes me sad. My mother didn't want to lie to me so she always just said Santa was a symbol of all the good will and generosity in Christmas.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? We open them all on Christmas Eve but what Santa brings the next morning. We usually do this after a Mexican food feast of tamales or enchiladas, while sipping hot chocolate and listening to Christmas music. maybe that is why as a child I loved Christmas Eve more than Christmas Day!
10. What kind of cookies does Santa get set out for him? Whatever is in the house...some years he gets pretzels. Kolby insists on putting out tomatoes for the reindeer.
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? Love it! But this is Texas!
12. Can you ice skate? I could 16 years ago but I'm not sure about now!
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? Several! An Atari one year. A private phone line in my room with WHY-STEF (949-7833) as the phone number another year. When I was really little I got the Donny & Marie playstage and dolls and loved it. In fact, I think I still have it in the attic!!!
14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Being thankful, being together, giving.
15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Pumkin Chiffon Pie
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? I used to love to go carroling when I was young and hope to do that with my kids one of these years. I love to drive around and look at lights with my family. I also love turning out all the lights in the house but the Christmas Tree and the fire place fire, reading from the "book of Christmas," listening to Christmas musi, and snuggling!
17. What tops your tree? A Gold star that Rob and I bought on our honeymoon from the Holland store at Epcot. I love this star.It is one of my favorite Christmas decorations!
18. Which do you prefer Giving or Receiving? Giving
19. What is your favorite Christmas Carol? this moment? This one on the net is cute. I love the Celine Dion Christmas Album! But my favorite carol is any one that my kids sing when they don't know I am listening!
20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum? Rhett loves big candy canes and somehow started a tradition of putting them all over our Christmas tree! Kolby and I like the little ones that we can dissolve in our hot chocolate... Yum!
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
I just read an article about a young man who is now on his way to prison because he confessed to causing an accident on his blog. Wow! I guess that is bad for him but maybe good for man kind? So this post is a random disscussion on the value of blogging.
You know I love blogs but I admit they can get you into trouble. I recently commented on our preachers blog and evidentally ruffled a few feathers. I have friends who have been put out at snide little comments left on their blogs, and rightly so.
So I am wondering AGAIN for about the 1000th time this year, is blogging worth it? I read Mike Copes blog every morning like most people read the newspaper and it starts my day out right. Mike is the kind of guy who can be inspirational when he isn't trying. Even the "guacamole" posts seem to get the juices flowing. But there are very few Mike Copes in the world.
I love keeping up with friends on blogs. I love meeting new friends on blogs. I love getting cool ideas or great recipes from blog world. I love seeing peoples pictures and hearing their stories. I even like to read the occasional well founded,not too crazy "rant" because it makes me feel like I'm not alone. I love blogs that talk about the struggles and triumphs of life in Christ. I love "mommy" blogs and "family" blogs.
Then there are blogs I avoid. I stay away from blogs that tear and tear at one type of religion, or one type of political party. I'm not into "the world is going to hell in a hand basket" or "I'm so messed up and depressed" blogs. My least favorite blogs are "we are right and you are wrong religious blogs". While I love blogs of thanksgiving, blogs that are full of bragging and "my life is so perfect" make me want to hurl. Val recently talked about many blogs being "ego trips"(...so hope he wasn't talking about me!) and I have thought about that alot.
So I have rambled on for several paragraphs and not really made much of a statement here...So I'll ask the three or four of you who read this, what do you think about blogs? What does blogging do for you? Is it worth it? Just wondering?
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Today one of my favorite people in the world celebrates her birthday! Susan Jenkins is another year older according to the calendar, but she is one of those young souls who never seems to age. A few years ago we lived in Fort Worth together. At first she was just a friend of a friend. Then somehow those friends moved and Susan and I found each other quickly becoming best friends. Funny how friendships grow that way.
I have often said I would never have survived my pregnancy with Rhett if it weren't for Susan. She put up with all my drama queen moments and we had so much fun together! Then me moved to Waco, and a year or so later they moved to Arkansas. But still I consider Susan one of my best friends. She is one of the first people I call when I have news, good, bad or just "juicy". My kids think of her and her kids as relatives and Rhett claims he is going to move to Arkansas when he grows up and live by his best buddy Jackson. Kolby used to say she would marry Jonathan but now that she is older and gets more of what that means she just says they will good friends and go to movies together! : ) And Mark and Rob...Well they are always so busy working we don't see them much!
My life is much richer because of my sweet friend Susan. I for one am very glad she was born ALL those years ago! Happy Birthday Susan! : )
PS I have not left my house since last Friday so your card in the mail will be a bit late!
Sunday, December 18, 2005
I just keep saying it over and over in my mind thinking if I keep saying it, it will eventually seem real.
I don't feel 36. But as of today, I am.
Not that 36 is bad. I've always liked the number 6. Ages 6, 16, and 26 were good to me, so I am sure 36 will be great too! I have that cold/flu/sinus funk again so this is a pretty quiet birthday. Rob and I had planned to go to Austin and eat at The Cheesecake Factory but I was just as happy to stay here and order in Chinese food.
And for those wondering... The cake this year was not Red Velvet! ; ) Mom took the kids to by TCBY and picked up a White Chocolate Mouse Cake for last nights early birthday dinner. Today I slept late, crawled out of bed to eat a bowl of soup and am currently contemplating getting dressed in something other than Pajamas so we can go out to eat tonight. Pretty easy day. Even sick, birthdays are good days!
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
That is the question of the day.
Baby number three and we still can't agree on whether we should find out if it is a girl or boy or wait for the surprise. With Kolby we did not want to find out. With Rhett I alone found out at about 32 weeks and kept the secret. (I was having some post miscarriage bonding jitters and the doctor thought knowing the sex might help me think of the baby as real and viable...Which it did!)
So here we are at number three. I want to know. I feel like I need to know. I don't care boy or girl, but I want to know.
Rob doesn't want to know. Not sure of all of his reasons, he just wants it to be a surprise like the others.
What to do?
I do not want to have to keep the secret again. I just couldn't. I really want to find out so I can plan, paint, get bedding, rearrange the house to fit the baby in etc. But, Rob is steadfast in his not wanting to know.
So I'm putting it out there for discussion. What do you guys think? Help me sway my husband or help him sway me....
Monday, December 12, 2005
This weekend was our church Christmas Program. Rhett was in the Reindeer review.
Kolby was part of the chorus for "A Shepherd's Story" and was part of a little trio for part of one song.
It was so good! We had so much fun watching them. I am very grateful to the volunteers who worked so hard to put this show together. It is such a great thing for our kids. Thanks Jan, Dana, Martha Kate, Amy, Kim, Robin, and Stephanie P. for all your hard work! You ladies are wonderful!!
Not much to blog about these days. We are a bit sick in our house. Kolby has had a virus and missed school yesterday and I have a cold/flu something or other. Of course this is the week of another big teacher event at school. Why is it that I get sick the week of a big event? It is only by the grace of God and the power of Sudafed that I am able to get out of bed every morning! I'm really ready to feel better.
Only 12 more days until Christmas! Can you believe it? Who ever made up the term "slow as Christmas" must not have been a Mom. Every year the holidays seem to go by faster than the year before. Does it ever slow down? Would I know what to do if it did? The house is finally decorated and the Christmas Cards sent out. Now as for the shopping, baking etc. .... Well that is a whole different story!
Must go blow my nose and make the next "to do" list!
Friday, December 09, 2005
(Soap Box Warning)
There. I said it. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
HA! Does saying it make me less Christian?
Does it mean I am trying to take the Christ out of Christmas? Does it mean I think Christians shouldn't celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday? Do those two words mean I have turned by back on my heritage and taken a dive into the great cultural melting pot where nothing is sacred and individualism is lost? NO, I think not. It means I am ever so nicely wishing you a happy holiday season.
I have heard so much hype these days about President Bush sending out a Christmas Card that said "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas." I'm tired of the protestors trying to sue and boycott Target for asking their employees to use a greeting that would be appropriate for all their customers instead of just the Christians. I'm aggitated by parents calling and threatening my child's public elementary school with legal action if the Winter Break notice isn't reissued because it said "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas!"
When I say Happy Holidays I mean Merry Christmas and Happy New Years at the same time! If you are Jewish, I wish you a Happy Hanukah. If you do the Kwanza thing...Well Happy Kwanza!. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
If "Happy Holidays" is on my Christmas cards it means that is the wording that came with the background from the Wal-mart photo center that best went with my kids cute picture. It could also mean that I may not be able to pull my head away from the toilet long enough to get my Christmas cards mailed before Christmas, so I'm saying "Happy Holidays" just in case you don't get it until New Years, or at this rate maybe even Valentine's Day! With Happy Holidays, all my bases are covered.
Last I checked, America is a place where no one can stop me from saying "Merry Christmas" as my own personal greeting. America is also a place where I should not be made to say "Merry Christmas" and branded as being "at war with Christmas" if I say "Happy Holidays." Seriously people!
There is a Sunday school song that almost sarcastically plays in my mind when I see Christians making such a major deal over such a minor thing..."And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love, yes they'll know we are Christians by our love."
If we want to keep the Christ in Christmas we need to worry more what our actions say and less what our greeting cards say. We need to show the love and compassion of Christ to those who truly need it. We need to give sacrificially and love our neighbors. We need to establish good and honest characters in our communities, as well as reputations as people who care about people, not the ones suing each other over greeting cards.
Sorry to be so edgy and opinionated today guys. Maybe it is the hormones talking, but this whole subject just really irks me! SO HAPPY HOLIDAYS! And have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS while you're at it! :)!
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
I have been writing this entry in my head for several weeks and am thrilled to share our news with you... We are having a baby! Shocked and surprised? Well we definitely were! But we are thrilled beyond words.
I found out almost a month ago but waited to tell you guys because my first doctor's appointment two weeks ago showed that I was three weeks behind where I thought I should be. ( I really had no idea of my dates and was just guessing.) After having a few miscarriages, any thing developmentally behind worries me. But we went today and saw a little peanut with a heart beat! Everything looks great and the doctor said I should expect a normal "boring" pregnancy! YEAH!
The kids have known for two weeks also and are so excited. Kolby talks about it all the time and quizzes me on eating healthy for baby. She has even told me to go to bed a few nights "because the baby needs lots of rest." She is so sweet! Of course Rhett wants it to be a boy (named "Brett" by the way :) and Kolby wants a girl. But Kolby said the other day she wouldn't mind another brother as long as it is a healthy baby.
Rob and I really don't care if it's a boy or girl. At first I was leaning towards wanting a girl, but I think a boy would be fun too because I have never been around brothers and my boy stuff is the newer stuff... Of course I still have a few cartons of baby girl clothes saved from Kolby that are stinking cute... So as long as it is a healthy baby I truly don't care girl or boy.
One of the most fun and exciting things about being pregnant this time around is sharing it with Kolby and Rhett. Kolby was only 3 1/2 when Rhett was born so I don't think she really got it. But she will be 8 1/2 (the age I was when my sister was born) when this baby is born and she is so into babies!
As I said, Rob and I are thrilled but I'm not sure it has sunk in yet. I am going to be 40 with a 3 1/2 year old!!!! WOW! We have also joked about this being financial suicide, loosing the guest room, and not having any baby stuff left over because I got rid of most of it when we decided we were done... But really, all that talk pales in comparison to the excitement and gratitude we feel. I always wanted more than two children even though we said we were done, so this is just the biggest blessing! I am so happy to know that I get to feel a little baby growing inside me one last time.
We all plan to enjoy every second of this pregnancy! Even the sickness, which I have been battling! But it is different this time because each time I puke I think that that is just a sign that my hormones are doing exactly what they need to do for the baby and I am actually grateful. Happy to be puking... CRAZY!!! I know!
Today we got a due date of July 22, 2006. So even though it is way early in the game, I wanted to go ahead and share this good news with all of you. I would appreciate your prayers for this baby and this pregnancy. I am just so excited and happy about this all! I'm sure I will be gushing about it for months, so I will stop now.
We're having a baby!
Monday, December 05, 2005
If you are my friend and I do not have your address and you want a Christmas Card from me...please e-mail me your address. If you have moved in the last year and e-mailed your new address to me already...do it again please. ;) Thank you ever so much! Still working on that list of things I have to do before I blog!
Sunday, December 04, 2005
No, I still am not done with the list of things I said I would do before I blogged again, but I'm getting closer! We had a busy and fun weekend.
My Mom and I took the kids to Breakfast with Santa sponsored by the Waco Historic Foundation.
It was much more than just breakfast. (Kolby is in a pink stage and refused to wear the traditional red! What a diva!)
We saw many friends there and my Mom and I even got to shop a little bit.
There were lots and lots of fun things for the kids to do. Rhett loved the sports, the construstion site, and the SLIDE!!! That's Rhett coming down behind Kolby...he wouldn't pause long enough for a picture. I bet they went down this thing for thirty minutes solid!
Kolby loved having her hair braided and her face painted. She also liked making candy cane reindeer and listening to the singers.
We were there for 5 hours!
The one down note came as we were leaving and a "reindeer" (really a donkey in disguise) bit Rhett on the arm. It bled and bruised and Rhett screamed for an hour. I was so glad to be able to tell him that it was a donkey so that he would not be afraid of Santa bringing reindeer on the house come Christmas Eve! Little did I consider what this might make him think of live nativity scenes!