Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Wanted: Cheap, Easy, Fantastic, Party Ideas

I used to be the queen of birthday parties. I mean seriously. I once turned my garage into an under the sea spectacular that would have included a sand floor if Rob would have let me.
Sadly we did not capture this party in pictures too well but these two give you an idea. And yes I made that cake... Still don't know how/why I did all this!

But now... five years, two more kids, and the discovery of my financial conscience later, I just can't do it anymore.

SO Kolby wants a s-l-u-m-b-e-r party and I guess I'm game...after all I don't have to rent my own living room. BUT what to do with 12 8-9 year olds for fourteen hours with out spending a ton of time, or a ton of money (which I don't have)???

I feel I need help with this one. I have the basics, pizza, movie, popcorn, PJs, sleeping bags, and donuts the next morning... But I just wanted something a little more. Something not so "typical s-l-u-m-b-e-r party". Something that is lots of fun and preferably not so messy. We are working with a minimal of outside adult help and a confined space.... And did I mention I haven't even invited anyone yet and it is supposed to be a week from Friday???

You guys are all so creative! Help me think.... Or if you are in the area, bring your PJs and sleeping bag and come help me with the party! :) Comments are REQUIRED TODAY!:)

REVISED: And yes I realize I do seem to have this quandry every year for the past two years before my kids birthday parties. What is it in me that stresses over these things? OH and I had to take the word s-l-u-m-b-e-r out of the title to keep from being googled by p-e-r-v-s... (Feel like I'm spelling things out loud so the kids won't know what I'm saying Tee-hee!)

Monday, January 29, 2007

Weekend highlights

~ Three words... Cinnamon Dolce Latte So I had all my carbs for the weekend in one cup...It was so worth it!

~ Daddy/Daughter and Mommy/Son date night Friday. Kolby picked On the Border with her Daddy. Rhett picked Mr Gatti's with me. Our Mr Gattis was closed. On a Friday night. At 6:30 PM. With no sign/explanation/ warning! VERY DISAPPOINTING! So Rhett opted for Jason's Deli. I think it was Baylor sorority night at Jason's but Rhett insisted we stand in the 30 minute line and fight the dozens of salad eating Baylor Princesses for a table. Talk about feeling old. Midway through our meal Rhett asked if all girls eat salad and talk loud. :)

~ Things I heard myself say that I never thought I would...
"Your sister's head is not a bongo drum."
"But honey, it was all an additional 30%off of 75% off!" (So did they pay me 5% to buy it?)
"We are not renting a stage and spotlight for your birthday party."
"Do not build sand castles in the living room!"
"We do not crawl under the pews during the prayer" As if there is a good time to crawl under the pew?
"Please do not use my rose bowl as a basketball goal."
"No dessert until you eat that pizza." ???????????
"Please take that head off and help me wipe up this poop."

Just a typical weekend in our house. :)

Saturday, January 27, 2007


I bet you're thinking, didn't she just post a black eyed picture of Rhett a week or so ago? Yep. I did. This is the other eye. Tuesday night Rhett accidentally fell off a chair in my parents kitchen and landed eye-brow bone first on the tile floor. He immediately had an egg just over his left eye. I just knew he had a concussion.
Luckily he just had a huge purple lump that eventually spread to the eye below. I kept him home from school the next day but he really is fine...just looks pathetic. Didn't I tell you he is rough and tumble! Pure B-O-Y with the bruises and black eyes to prove it.

On a completely different and unrelated note... I think thumb-sucking is the greatest thing since sliced bread! Seriously. I have never had a "thumb sucker" before now. I love that Ella Kate can quickly and easily sooth herself just by sucking her thumb. She puts herself to sleep effortlessly in minutes! And the greatest thing about her thumb is she always has it handy (tee-hee) and can find it on her own. We never worry about loosing it and it can not fall out of the diaper bag in the church parking lot. There is the "teeth straightening" issue but, knowing her genes as I do , there isn't a chance she will avoid the orthodontist anyway. Thumb sucking can't make it too much worse. I know I may be singing a different tune in a few years, but for now it is so nice... and it's really cute to boot!
Now don't you wish your thumb gave you that much comfort? :) Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

New Skin

As much as I love pink, I thought I would experiment with a new skin. Not sure I like this one. I am having problems with some basic blog things like editing and such ...but all in all it's OK. I needed a change! Anyone have any good, EASY TO INSTALL free blogger template sites they would like to share???

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


I can not look at these pictures without smiling! Just wanted to send a smile or two your way! :)

Monday, January 22, 2007


My baby boy is growing up so fast. How is it that he is five (almost five and a half he will tell you ) and acting like such a little man? Here are a few stories and Rhett-isms written to help me remember my five year old boy for prosperity...

~ Last Friday was Snowman day at Rhett's school, which was so appropriate considering it was his first day of school last week due to icy weather! Anyway, knowing Rhett is way too cool to wear a sappy old snowman sweater or anything "cute" like that, I decided to go for the cool snowman look and take a minimalist approach. I cut black "coal" shaped buttons out of peel and stick fun foam and then cut a little tiny white Snowman out of white for his black skull cap. Thinking I was the coolest Mom around, I assembled Rhett's monochromatic snowman ensemble and called him in to see. The clothes were cool enough but upon seeing the buttons and the snowman, Rhett announced he would not wear those because he would "look like a jerk." WHERE DID HE LEARN THE WORD JERK AND HOW DOES HE KNOW WHAT ONE WOULD LOOK LIKE?

I didn't push the issue but the next morning I insisted that he put the buttons on ...just for a picture. He got dressed adding sunglasses to his attire and posed for the picture, then started to rip the extras off. I convinced him to wear them to school just to show his teacher, then he could take them off and do whatever he wanted. He agreed, sighing " The things I do for you..." I had to bite my tongue not to laugh but again ...WHERE DID HE GET THAT? I really love that little man!

~ Last Sunday a friend of ours subbed in Rhett's Sunday School class. He asked all the kids at the beginning "Are you excited to be here and learn about God today?" Rhett flatly replied "No, I already know all about God." That is just so Rhett.

~ For about two years, one of Rhett's favorite things to say is "That's disgusting!" He knows what it means and uses it in context, however when he says it it sounds more like "that's' igggssscusting!" I know I should correct him and I'm sure his sister will soon if I don't, but I am kind of attached to that word igggsscusting and will be a bit sad when he gets it right.

~ Rhett loves his Daddy! Now that they are out numbered, the guys have really bonded and stick together. Rhett wants to do eveything his dad does, even dress like him. Every other Friday is a flex-day for Rob at work which means he could have every other Friday off. Every week Rhett asks if Daddy is going to have a "stay home day." He loves the days when he can hang out with his Dad no matter what they end up doing. His Dad is one of his "dudes" and we all think that is pretty neat.

~ Rhett would be a video game junkie if we let him! He has an Nintendo DS (thanks to aunt Sari) and could literally play all day long if I didn't insist on limiting his play with the kitchen timer. His favorite game , bar none, is Star Wars Legos. He shares this passion with his cousin Justin (aka J-dog) who has Star Wars Legos I for Playstation...Which means they can both play at the same time. Justin's Mom and Dad have even videoed them playing because they get so excited. It is a sight to see! When they are doing really well or have conquered a level, Rhett will jump up and say "SWWeet! Justin we rock!" High fives and body slams ensue. The other day while eating out with Justin's family anticipating the games they would play when they went home, in the middle of lunch Rhett asked "Justin are you ready to kick some Star Wars Lego Boodie?" Those boys! The thing is they really can kick boodie! Their Dads are amazed and proud that their son's have inherited their video game prowess!

~Rhett loves numbers. He has been able to count to 100 for over a year now and can also count to twenty by 2s, to fifty by 5s. and two hundred+ by 10s. He is very aware of the time and the temperature display in the van. Though I try not to worry, since Kolby has had a time dealing with and overcoming some dyslexia, it has come to my attention that Rhett often reverses the order of numbers. For example he sees the temperature is 43 and saying "It's thirty four degrees outside." To some extent I know this is normal for this age..but still.

~ Rhett knows all our phone numbers, my Mom's home and cell phone number, our address and all our family's full names. He gets a bit confused on why my parents don't have the same last name we do, but he knows all his cousins have different last names. He gets that we are all one big family with lots of different last names. He is just beginning to understand all the states, cities and their relation to our country. He will ask me what all the states of Russia or Africa are...and I have a hard time explaining that. Rhett knows that Disney World is in Florida, Disney Land is in California. He knows that Uncle Eddy lives in New York the state, while the planes crashed in New York City where mommy loves to go to see plays. Sari traveling the country and sending postcards from all over has peaked his interest in geography and I am scrambling to keep up. He also knows his daddy was born in Japan, and grew up in Spain...but he doesn't get how far away those places are.

~ Rhett can write his first name and is working on his last name. He hasn't learned to spell Thomas yet, but recognizes it by sight. Rhett knows some sight words and likes to tell what letter words start with, but he hasn't wanted to read. I think much of that comes from watching his sister struggle with reading. I'm not going to push it, but hope to work with him more and more before Kindergarten next fall. Rhett likes letters and likes identifying them, but he hasn't shown much interest in writing, drawing or coloring. He does not like to do crafts but he does like to paint. He also does not like stickers and will tell anyone who tries to give him some so...we are working on that.

~ Rhett loves his sisters. Kolby is his best friend and play mate and he will do about anything she suggests. He gets very upset if Kolby gets in trouble and will try to talk me out of punishing her. He also loves his baby sister and wants to hold and play with her...for a minute or two anyway. He is really sweet to Ella Kate and will get on to me if the he thinks I am letting her cry or struggle. If she ever learns to crawl it will be amazing as Rhett will pick her up if she even squirms!

~ All in all Rhett is a great little boy. When I think of that baby in the neo-natal ICU who just couldn't seem to breathe right, I can't believe that he grew into my rough and tumble, always sliding, always falling, always wrestling Rhett! And I thank God for him everyday! We love our Rhetter-roo!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

It's Melting!

I love winter. I love snow. I love snow days. I love school starting at 10:00am. I love staying home. I love cooking warm comfort foods and soups. HOWEVER, after being basically at home since last Thursday with sickness and/or icy weather... Today I loved watching the sun come out and the ice start to melt away!

Even our "ice injuries" are starting to melt away. Kolby can sit down with out wincing and the Rhett's eye is more of a rainbow color than black.

It was fun. We had lots of together time. Lots of PJ time. Lots of fires in the fire place. Lots of good food and hot chocolate. Lots of board games, card games and video games. And did I mention I have cooked. Lots of cooking!

I cooked more in the last week than I have in a very,very long time. Breakfast, lunch, and supper.. cause we all know that you just can't eat cold cereal, poptarts or sandwiches when it is that cold outside! Eggs, bacon, pancakes, soup, Mexican food and hearty home-made meals are all that sound good when sleet is hitting the window and a warm fire crackles in the fireplace! :)

But after 7 days...The dish washer is in shock. The pantry is in dire need of replenishment, and there are so many left overs in the frig you can barely get the milk in and out with major re-organizing.

Not to mention being cooped up in the house with three kids for several days in a row. I love them dearly and my kids are pretty great, but I think we all could use a little exercise, a little space, and a little"me" time! My ears are soar from of hearing "MMMoooommmm!" over and over and over....

I would not make it up North. After one week of winter weather, I am happy to see the sun. AND I am thrilled that it is going to get into the 40s today! I'm ready for the kids to go to school, Rob to go to work, me to go to Target! :)

Yes. The ice is melting. It is time.

PS Two prayer request for those who feel so inclined.

~Our beloved pediatrician, Dr.Kemper lost her mother to cancer Monday. The funeral was delayed because of the weather and will be tomorrow. It's been a very hard couple of months. I pray for peace and comfort for her as I know how close she was to her mother.

~A family at church has a new baby in Cooks children's hospital in Fort Worth. He has been there all but 24 hours of his two weeks of life. Please pray that God will comfort and heal this baby and family.
Here is a link to their MSN updates for those of you who want to keep up with their progress.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Winter is here... time to spring clean!

Today Kolby's school started at 10am and Rhett's was canceled. At first I was bummed about Rhett's school because I had an extra long list of to-dos after being cooped up in the house more or less since last Friday. But as I drove Kolby to school it started sleeting and I (being a total weenie when it comes to driving in ice, sleet or snow etc ) was only too happy to pull back into the safe confines of our little garage.

I don't see myself leaving until I go get Kolby at 3. Pondering the importance of Dance at 4:30? AND then I noticed we are supposed to turn in the Girl Scout Cookie Sales totals today....Oops! Were we selling cookies? I think we all kinda forgot that. No door to door sales today, so I'm afraid Kolby is going to be far short of her goal of 240 boxes... like 190 boxes short at best! Anyone want to order Girl Scout Cookies????

In other news I am on the verge of a clutter/disorganization breakdown! My house just doesn't look or feel like my house with all this stuff around. The next few weeks are going to be dedicated to re-organizing a cleaning out. Pre- kids this would have taken me two days tops. Now, I am hoping to be at least half way there by March! And in the process of this I want to re-paint the living room, dining room , kitchen, laundry room, the halls and totally re-do my bathroom. I would also like to build a desk and filing cabinet area in the nook attached to our bedroom and clean out my closet...which has not been cleaned out since we moved in almost five years ago. In addition to all this I have six years of scrapbooking to catch up on and the PTA scrapbook for this year to put together.

Seriously, does anyone know if that clean sweep show comes to Texas??? Seriously!

So why am I sitting here blogging during precious nap time???? If you don't see me around blog world you know where I am...If you do see me around, you'll know what I am avoiding! :) Everyone bundle up and keep warm because it is cold out there! :)

Monday, January 15, 2007

BRRRR Chilly!

We are all snug as a bug in a rug today! Rob planned weeks ago to take a vacation day today to be home with the kids. With ice all over the trees, sidewalks and maybe the occasional bridge, we are not going to leave our snug little home. It's been a weekend for snuggling up and staying inside.

This morning the kids were just giddy about the ice and insisted on bundling up to venture out and investigate. I thought it might be a cute photo op and after I got them bundled up and out I started getting Ella Kate ready for her winter ice debut. I almost had her ready and Rob ran to the nursery for a blanket. Suddenly there was a crashing sound immediately followed by wailing. Before I could figure out what was going on, Rob ran from the hall and sprinted out the back door. The crying was really loud. I was trying to figure out who it was coming from when Rhett emerged from the back door saying he didn't do anything...He had a big purple spot welling up under his eye. Then Rob raced in carrying Kolby who was sobbing but a little more quietly...

Seems the kids decided to try to get some ice-cycles off the roof by climbing some garden chairs onto a little shingled lean-to on the side of the house (that was used for firewood before the gas logs). Since the roof was covered in ice, Kolby of course fell off the lean-to roof hitting her brother and the chairs before landing on her bottom on the hard cold concrete! OUCH! Rhett's eye was hit by a flying chair but his face was so cold he didn't feel it right away. Needless to say we decided to come in and not venture out again.

I spent the next half hour making sure nothing was broken and warming up my frozen wounded kids. Ella Kate's ice debut will have to wait. Our pictures from the morning are not at al what I envisioned! Take a look.

Black eyed boy!

Yes those are frozen peas on her bum! We were trying to ice it.

Our frozen yard!
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Anyway we are just hanging out inside with a fire. I have enjoyed cooking some of our favorite winter foods... Chicken-n-dumplings, Santa Fe Soup, Frito pie, `Beaner weaners and plenty of snowman soup aka hot chocolate! Hope you all stay warm, safe and cozy today!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

My two front teeth...

Guess who has two front teeth!!!

On January 5th EK turned 6 months old. For two weeks she had been quite the little slobber monster. Then two days later on January 7th I thought I felt something one her gums.....Low and behold...She had two little teeth poking through!

I tried to get a good picture of the teeth but between the slobber and her tongue...This is as good as it gets.
Look carefully and on her bottom gum you can see two tiny little teeth tops sticking through! WOW! I think she is the earliest one to actually have little white nubs, though Kolby and Rhett also got their bottom two front teeth two at a time during month six...Just not two days into month six!

My baby is growing, growing, growing! At her six month check yesterday she weighed 17 pounds and 3 ounces. She is 26 3/4 inches long and her head circumference was...Well I don't remember that one but, in all three categories she is in the 75th percentile making her my smallest 6 month old thus far. (Kolby was in the 85th percentile and Rhett was off the charts.)

Since I am not dong great at scrapbooking or journaling these days, I'll use this blog to write about what our little Miss is up to. Feel free to skip the sappy mommy details if you wish! :)

At six months Ella Kate can roll over both ways at will and has excellent control of her head and neck. She can sit with help for long periods and without help for a minute or so. She is trying to pull her self up from laying on her back, but has not figured that out so it looks like she is trying to do crunches or sit ups!

She has a very strong grasp and can grab anything within her growing reach. She loves to pull hair as Kolby and I have learned the hard way! She loves to play with her toys that rattle and crinkle. SHE LOVES HER TAGGY BLANKET! She will sit and play with the tags in her fingers and mouth for long periods of time. She is also most recently fascinated with remotes and cell phones...Though for now she just wants to eat them!

Speaking of eating... I started weaning Ella Kate at 5 months by adding one bottle to her day every week for five weeks. At six months we are down to a night feeding, but that seems to be fading fast. She has only acted like she wanted to nurse twice over the bottle and of course it both warmed and broke my heart. I need to wean this baby for many reasons, but I am a little sad to see this stage end. I'm pretty sure it is harder on me than the baby, as most transitions are so far! Ella Kate loves her rice cereal and the few foods she has tried...Though she is a pretty impatient and messy little eater! Now that she is on formula and getting teeth, I'm sure we will work more foods into her routine.

Ella Kate loves people and gives big smiles freely to all she meets. She looks for her brother and sister and squeals with glee at the sight of her Mommy and Daddy! She also has a big soft spot for her Mama K and cried when she left the other night...Which was sweet and heart breaking all at the same time! She also has a great time talking to her Papa and will just rattle on and on We don't know where she gets that! :)

EKG has always been vocal, though she rarely cries. In the last few weeks she has found her squeal!!!! Like her brother Rhett, we are pretty sure she can communicate with marine animals with this high pitched squeal. Unlike Rhett, Ella Kate's squeal is reserved for happy times and conversation.... though she has used it in anger/boredom/frustration once or twice. She has fussed a bit more since teething began but still is quite content.

Ella Kate is such a happy baby! When it is time for a nap or bedtime we just lay her down in her bed and turn on her birds and she coos herself to sleep. She never cries when she wakes up, but will talk loudly if she wants up before we get her. She laughs and laughs when we play pee-pie or make funny noises. She is ultra ticklish on her feet, sides and under her chin! Few sounds are as precious as her sweet little laugh and baby cackles! She is such a joy and we are all just crazy our sweet Ella Bella Katie Baby! I wish I could freeze dry these moments and remember them forever! We thank God constantly for this precious happy, healthy girl!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Happy New Year!

So I am a bit tardy in my New Years greetings! 2007 WOW! Can you believe it? 2007!

I wanted to post a picture of my cute little New Year's the last time I will have a baby baby at New Years, but blogger just won't cooperate. Speaking of the baby...she turned six months old this week! SIX MONTHS OLD!!! What a blessing she has been and continues to be.

Not much to blog about these days, but I wanted to check in. Will try to upload that picture soon. Hope the first week of 2007 was good to youand will continue to be good! :)

REVISED OK if you just want the sterile "happy" blog stop reading here.

At few days ago I got this youtube video in an e-mail.

Besides making me totally crazy over what type car seat my children are in, it was just so hauntingly sad. These kids look so familiar. So I followed the link mentioned in the video to find out a little more and spent the next hour reading through this little boy's mom's account of his life and death...and the many many comments that people have left them...all the while tears were streaming down my face.

What touched me more than anything was reading what happened in the words of this little boys mommy. But it was these words that brought me to my knees in tears and prayer...

We truly made the most out of the short time we had with Kyle and I will forever be grateful for that. If I had known in advance that we would only have 3 years with our son, I would change absolutely nothing about the way we lived them. I am eternally grateful for that.

If something happened to Rhett today, I'm not sure I could say that. I feel like Rhett gets the short end of the stick sometimes.

For the last year and a half, with the pregnancy and the new baby, I just haven't been the Mom I want to be for Rhett. Kolby sort of demands attention just because of her age, birth order, and all the school and dyslexia related special time we spend together. Ella Kate is a baby which also demands and gets my full attention most of the time. But then there is Rhett. Rhett is happy, independent and often so content and capable that I have accidentally taken advantage of his good nature and missed out on a lot of time with him. Rhett goes to Kindergarten next fall. I just haven't done all the things I wanted to do with him before he starts school... So for the next eight months until Rhett starts school I am going to really work at being a better Rhett mommy. I guess that is one of my New Years resolutions, though I'm not big on resolutions.

I share this with you because so often it is the words of you, my fellow bloggers, that make me want to be a better person, a stronger Christian, a more loving wife and mommy. You (and I think you know who you are) generously share your life in the words of your blog and by doing so, you inspire me. I don't blog very deeply...and I'm not sure I will ever be the blogger some of you are... But know that I am so blessed by you guys. When inspiration hits or God gets through to me...I want to share it with you.

So again happy New Years... I hope we all accomplish what God reveals for each of us to do in 2007!

PS I'm not at liberty to give any details beyond these, but there is a newborn baby boy named David in Cooks Hospital in Fort Worth who needs prayers for his liver to function properly. Please take a minute to pray for him and his sweet family. Thank you!

Monday, January 01, 2007