Saturday, December 29, 2007


This will be my last post of 2007. I hope it has been a good year for you. I also hope that 2008 will bring you much joy and love and bring you closer to our Father.

When she was 16, Amy Grant wrote the words to the second song on my playlist. I believe she was inspired to write those words at such a tender age. I first heard this song before I was a teenager and it continues to speak to me all these many years later. In fact it means much more today than it did back then. As I pen my 2008 New Years Resolutions, it helps me to remember all I ever have to be is what HE makes in me.

God bless you as you and yours ring in the New Year!

WOO HOO! 2008!

Oh, and just listen to the chorus of ABBA's "Happy New Year..."
I love ABBA and this song, but the lyrics are a bit bleak in places! (1989. I was a freshman at ACU! WOW! )

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Holiday Slide Show/The After Tour

Though it is really too late in the game for Boo Mama's Holiday tour, I thought I would post my own little holiday after tour.

SO... For your viewing pleasure, here is a little glimpse inside our house decorated for the holidays. I did not get to put out my Christmas Village this year because it is too breakable for little EK. We also had to move some of the more breakable/precious decorations up and out of EK's reach. I made everything as unbreakable as possible! All the ornaments hanging from the chandeliers are plastic.

Hope you had a great Christmas!

P.S. I refuse to get out of my pajamas today... Anyone else up for declaring the day after Christmas "National PJ Day"?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas

I am still trying to post the slide show of my Christmas decorations but having some issues with Slide and don't want to upload them all to blogger because it takes too long. So... sometime in the next few days I will get those pictures up. BUT in the mean time, I wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas one last time. I will be out a lot this week. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas with your families!

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Coming (Not So) Soon...

Revised. We interrupt the regularly scheduled "solo tour de holiday home" to bring you a sick baby, two school Christmas parties and various other small crises. Stay tuned as we should be back to our regular scheduled program by Saturday... Lord willing and the creek don't rise!

Ok. I could not get it together to participate in Boo Mama's tour of homes (like the almost 400 people who did get it together participate... Did you know there were so many Mommy bloggers?) But in the spirit of keeping up with the latest blog trends (ha!) and all things Christmas, I decided to have my own little tour. Tomorrow. If you want to join along on your blog, just post pictures of your decked halls on Thursday...or Friday...or even Saturday. We'll be here all week! (Tracy and Jenni~ You can just leave yours up a bit longer.)
No need to link or post a code. Just leave a comment here and I will be sure to drop by. Oh, and if you want to include a favorite recipe, that would be fun, but not necessary. And... there is still time to join Boo Mamas merry band. I assure you her tour will get you far more blog traffic than my little knock-off low tech tour! So check back later and hopefully I will have posted my own little holiday tour of home.
Now go deck those halls and take lots of pictures!
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Another birthday... all ready?


Birthdays stopped being something I looked forward to about 7 years ago. I feel like a birthday scrooge . I'm sort of wishing I could forget this day... But don't tell my kids. I would hate to ruin their fun. Rhett was so excited last night about the surprise he helped pick out for me. Kolby has been dieing to tell me what my present is, but she hasn't. Even Rob has had a hard time not letting the cat out of the bag... I hope it is not a cat! :)
It's not easy having a child/sibling/spouse/parent born a week before Christmas, but my family always manages to make me feel very loved and special. I am grateful for all the days God has blessed me with. I pray I put them to good use and make the most of this coming year!
AND To answer Angela... I got this. There is a story behind it, but that's another blog.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas Card Picture Attempts


I tried to use this Halloween picture for our Christmas Cards. I had a whole "Holiday Howdy" thing worked out (remember we are from Texas)  and they were so cute.  
  But Wal-Mart had issues and would not let me have my cute Holiday Howdy cards. I got to see one just before they threw all 100 of them into the shredder. Dadgum copyright laws! I should have known better.
So we had to start all over. 
Since it was too cold to do outside pictures today, and we have already seen Santa once this year, Rob and I were forced to dress the kids up and get a classic "in front of the tree picture"  for our Christmas cards (which may not make it by Christmas!)  I am happy with the picture we decided to use, but getting it was quite an ordeal!
Here are pics that did not make the card this year....

There is a common denominator in all of these failed attempts and her name is Ella Kate! At one point Rhett, who really does not like picture taking sessions, asked if we could just send a picture without EK.  After all these years he and Kolby have this picture thing down. Of course I said absolutely not! We have to have all three kids! 
But getting a great picture of three? Unheard of!  People ask why Rob and I are never in our Christmas card pictures. We can not get a good picture of three people, five would be impossible! So for now I hope people will be happy just to see the smiling faces of my babies. 
Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Christmas Music

I love it. 

Can you tell? 
What are your favorite Christmas albums? songs? 
Happy Friday! 

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I Christmas 13?

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another decorator.  

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another cook. 
If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my neighbors, it profits me nothing. 
If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir’s cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point. 
Love stops the cooking to hug the child. Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband and pet the dog (and cat). Love is kind, though harried and tired. Love doesn’t envy another’s home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens. 
Love doesn’t yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way. Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who can’t. 
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust, but giving the gift of love will endure.
I Corinthians 13 – a Christmas Version (Source unknown)

My Mom often forwards me inspirational e-mail.  This is what she sent today. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The List (& Photo Update)

Updated with photos at noon.
This is the list going to the North Pole this year...

Kolby (always our big ticket girl) said she didn't really want all this but wanted to give "Santa" lots of ideas, wink, wink!
A real lap top (ha!)
A real working cell phone (not!)
A video camera
High School Musical Barbies (still my little girl)
A Be-Dazzler (really!)
The Webkinz Reindeer
Gift card to Justice or Limited Too
Video rocker chair like the one Rhett wants
Cool brown boots
I-pod gift card for some more music
Dogz DS game book
Books that are not for little kids

Rhett said since he has to take toys to everyone, Santa can just pick one thing and "Mom can get the rest..."
Video Rocker Chair
Ratatouille PS game
Black or Chocolate Lab Wedkinz
Cars race set from Target
Blue Razor
Mario Party DS game
Transformer Optimus Prime that shoots
New markers
More brainteaser cards
Some boy books ( I guess he thinks we only have girl books?)
Basketball shoes and a new blue (?) basketball
Tony Romo Jersey
A gift card to Target or Sports Authority(my kids love gift cards)
A new room (Yes, I still have not finished that...)

Ella Kate (as supposedly dictated to her brother and sister)
Moe moe (Elmo)
shewz (shoes)
oh bay (baby)
baw (ball)
Foon (phone)
a car (EK loves the Barbie convertable bug ride-on at they have out at Wal-Mart, so her sibs added this one for her)
a kitchen (she loves to open and shut the doors, but can not say this one)

We'll see what Santa delivers!

Even though she gets the whole Santa thing, Kolby asked if I wanted her to ask for a bench for the front yard. ( I have been saying I want to add a park bench to the front landscape.) I thought it was sweet that both kids wanted to add a "new truck for Dad" to their list. I told them that we didn't need to add Mom and Dad stuff to Santa's list. Both Kolby and Rhett also wanted to add about a dozen things to Ella Kate's list. They have been very alarmed that so far EK doesn't have as many presents under the tree as they do.

When we put a Santa letter in our mail box (with or without postage) our mail carrier leaves a note for the kids telling them that their letter was sent on a special North Pole express and it should get there overnight! That is so fun!

So, what's on your list?

Oh and here are some pictures of our season so far.
The Striped Christmas Tree. Every few days another strand of lights goes out. Hopefully we will still have lights on the 25th!
Kolby and Rhett were in a little program at church last week. Rhett sang with the little deers. (For ACU people : The little dear laughing hysterically in the front is the daughter of MK & K Gunn. She looks just like her daddy, but as exhibited here, has a lot of MK in her too!)
Kolby sang with the chorus and shared a few speaking lines with her cousin Sam. (and the daughter of blog lurker cp)

All the Cousins. If my grandparents were alive today they would have such fun with their nine great grandchildren.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Gift

I love buying gifts. I love giving presents to my kids. It thrills me to see them thrilled, delights me to see them delighted, and tickles my soul to hear them laugh. And our kids will have a great Christmas. Not as great as some, but still a great Christmas. I think it is one of the sweetest privileges of parenthood to get to experience Christmas with kids. I love it.

But I was thinking the other day about the best "gifts" I can give my kids and honestly, none of them can be wrapped. I'm not writing this post to sound like a know it all, got it all figured out parent. Anyone who knows me knows I'm not that! But I have found when I write my intentions down, think them through and discuss them with others, I do better at carrying them out. So in no exact order, these are some of the gifts I want to give my children...

A mother who prays for them everyday.
A mother who prays with them everyday.
Hugs. Every morning. Every night. And as many as I can squeeze in between.
The memory of my face lighting up when they enter a room. (not easy some days!)
I want them to see that I love God.
I want them to see how much I love their Daddy.
The knowledge that I will love them no matter what.
A happy childhood.
A healthy work ethic.
A compassionate heart.
The belief that God loves them more than any human ever could and will never abandon them.
An example of faith that chooses to believe even when it does not understand.
A view of the world that encompasses poverty, illness, and tragedy, yet still inspires hope.

Pretty tall order?
I admit the wish list I hold in my heart for my kids overwhelms me at times. There are days when it is painfully obvious that I am not worthy of the trust God showed in me when he made me their mother. I am not all that wise, or strong, or disciplined, or patient, or even caring.
Sometimes I think I work harder to give my kids material things because I am not sure how I am doing with the deeper gifts. As hard as it is to afford the latest gadget, it's much easier to buy a Wii than to breed a compassionate heart. I mean really, how do you do that?

Where am I going with this? (Not where I thought when I started!) I guess I am going to the same place every Christ loving parent or child of God goes when the questions get too deep and the tasks at hand seem too big. To the Father. The giver of life. The author of Love and Grace. And I pray that when I fall short, because that is just inevitable, that HE will be there to give my children just what they need. And I believe that HE will. Faith that HE will love and parent my children. That is one of the greatest gifts I have ever received.
As I said, I love gifts!

So I have a gift challenge for you... In this busy "season of giving" I would be most honored if you would give me the gift of your advice or experience in giving or getting some of the unwrapable (is that a word?) gifts I mentioned above in comments. What is one of the best unwrapable gifts you were given growing up?

he greatest gifts are the ones we share... So share already!

Happy gift giving!

Monday, December 10, 2007


It was 80 degrees here on Saturday, then suddenly it was 40, cold and windy on Sunday. I bought a fleece pullover from Old Navy last week. Yesterday I pulled it out of the bag, cut the tags and pulled it on before heading out the door to take the two older kids shopping and to a birthday party.

We went in Toys-R-Us and the alarm at the front door went off. The Toys-R-Us lady decided it was my cell phone(doesn't everyone have a cell phone?) and let us enter. The alarm went off again as we left. We stopped. The workers went through my bag and purse, decided it was the digital camera I had in my purse, and let us leave. The same thing happened at Target and then again at Barnes and Noble. After we set off the alarm for the sixth time in a day on the way out, the B&N sales guy asked me if I was wearing anything from Old Navy. When I said I was he told me that sometimes there is a tag in Old Navy clothes that sets off store alarms.

Sure enough. After leaving the store, I felt the inside of my fleece pullover and found a white tag with navy blue (how appropriate) capital letters that read "REMOVE BEFORE WASHING OR WEARING." And now, four hand bag checks later, I know why!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Two for Tuesday

Revised a 100 times in ten minutes just because...
One of the main reasons I blog is to record the happenings of our little family, as I know someday I will want to remember this special time in our lives. So to that end here are two of my most recent funny mommy memories...

Last Tuesday was one of those busy errand running days when Ella Kate was in her car seat or the front of a shopping basket almost all day. So after hours of being confined, I decided to let Ella Kate walk when we went in Mardel to buy the Fisher Price Little People Nativity set. There is a little kid section in the front of the store where there are some toys, a reading stage and benches, and a Thomas the Train train table with cars. EK was so excited to see the toys, that I decided to take a few minutes to let her play.
There were two other Moms there with two kids who were about EKs age or younger. These Moms were engrossed in a deep and sorta personal conversation. There was no place for me to sit without hearing everything and unwillingly inserting myself into their conversation. I walked the edge of the play area for a few minutes before trying to sit the furthest away from them that I could. I got a polite but firm "we're talking here" look, so I got up and re-circled the play area.
In the mean time, EK was trying desperately to make friends with one of these women's daughters who looked to be about four to six months younger. EK acted as if she knew this little blond haired girl who was wearing red Squeakers (shoes that squeak with each step) and was trying desperately to "talk" to her. At first this amused both me and the other mothers.
Now if you do not know EK personally, you may not know of her incredible infatuation/preoccupation with shoes. The girl has loved shoes since birth. She watches peoples feet and studies their shoes. She will even walk up to total strangers and touch their shoes. Really, I have never seen anything like it.
So there we were in the kiddie section of Mardel with strangers who are amused but not exactly welcoming, and EK has moved from attempting conversation to trying to "love" the little Squeaker wearing girl by giving her hugs and kisses. However, the Squeaker girl has no idea who EK is and is trying to run away from her, shoes squeaking the whole way. This tickled EK to no end. Laughing with glee EK set out to catch the girl. Being that Squeaker girl was younger and not as fleet of foot as our EK, she was no match. In a flash EK tackled Squeaker girl in a huge bear hug landing on top of her saying "ooohhh lub" (oh love) the whole time.
Of course this terrified the girl and her mother. But before I could jump the pint-sized reading benches to save Squeaker girl from EK's affection, EK pulled the girl's Squeakers off! It appeared that EK did not want to love Squeaker girl, just her shoes! The second she got them off the girl, EK started running. For a 16 month old, EK is pretty fast. For a mom in her late 30's, I'm not. So I found myself running through Mardel chasing my laughing, Squeaker stealing, daughter as her victim lay tackled, shoeless, and screaming bloody murder in kiddie section. It was one of those sit-com like, horrifyingly hilarious and yet, highly embarrassing moments of mommy-hood that I never saw coming.
I caught EK, pried the shoes out of her hands, and carried her kicking and screaming back to the kiddie section to return the Squeakers to her traumatized victim. After an awkward apology and quick "shoe fascination" explanation, I carried my still kicking and screaming EK to the front of the store and put her in a shopping basket. Heart broken and defeated, crying "Peez mama. Mama peeeeeeez!" (please, please!) EK thrust out her hands and wrenched her body towards Squeaker girl almost toppling the whole shopping cart! EK's pathetic pleas fell on deaf, or at least too dumbfounded and embarrassed to hear, ears. I quickly picked up a nativity set and with both hands on the buggy to keep it from toppling, checked out. We may never show our faces in Mardel again.
Walking to the car I was very worked up when I called Rob. Humiliated and almost teary I blurted out "Our baby girl just tackled a toddler in Mardel and tried to steal her shoes!"
Loud laughter ensued.
And we are still laughing about it.
Maybe Santa should bring EK some Squeakers?

The second story, not quite so long, is about Rhett. But a little background first. In our house the hand held Nintendo DS gaming system is king of all toys. Rhett and Kolby each have a DS. If you are not familiar with DSs, you can play the same game on two or three separate DS's simultaneously. You can also "text" messages or pictures drawn with DS pens from one DS to another. It's called pict-o-chatting.
Sari has a friend named Jim who Rhett loves to play DS with. Jim uses Kolby's DS. Last week Jim was at a conference for work and won a Nintendo DS of his very own. I told Rhett about it knowing he would be fired up. He was.
"We can play three players on Mario Carts! AND (excitement building in his voice) I can pict-o-chat with Jim!" Rhett said, pausing excitedly, "Well, I have to learn to write first!"
Minor detail.
That boy cracks me up.
Happy Tuesday!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Just the 3rd?

It feels like it has been December for a while now. Not just three days. Anyone with me on that?

Not much news here. I ended up staying in town this weekend instead of going on my families Fredricksburg girl weekend for many reasons. EK was sick, Rob had papers due, and I was so tired from being up with a croupy(sp?) baby that I just didn't have it in me to go. So I stayed home and took the kids to the movies so Rob could study and get stuff done. We saw Bee Movie and Enchanted and enjoyed both. It was a good low key weekend.

Lots going on this week... We (Kolby and Rhett) start basketball. Rob has a business trip and two finals for school. Kolby and Rhett are in the church Christmas program this Friday. My sister comes back from a three week show and has a visitor this weekend... The calendar is pretty full from here until Rob has his big shoulder surgery on the 20th.

Ho, ho, how in the heck and I going to do Christmas without Rob and his shoulder? He needs to have this done but the selfish side of me is asking "During CHRISTMAS? Really?"

So I am trying to get it all done before the 20th. And by "all done" I mean everything bought, put together,wrapped, out of the attic, decorated, planned, cooked. EVERYTHING DONE by the 20th. Seriously.

Gotta run!