Friday, June 27, 2008

My little sister

My younger sister turned 30 today. (Whoa! Nothing like that and the invitation to my 20th High School Reunion taped to the frig to make me feel like I have earned the little gray hairs creeping into my hairline. Seriously!!! Does this mean I am a grown-up?? How did that happen?)
Anyway...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SARI!
I still vividly remember the day you were born. I remember that it took ALL STINKING day for you to arrive and you broke Mom's tailbone on the way out. I remember that as thrilled as I was to have a sister, I was worried that the nursery workers switched you. I was so sure you were going to be a boy (although I wanted a sister) and with your dark skin and thick black hair you looked nothing like any baby who had been born in our family! In fact you looked like you belonged to the Hispanic family who was waiting all day for their baby who just happened to be a blond haired and blue eyed boy! But Mom assured me that she saw you the minute you were born and you really were my sister! :) I'm so glad you are my sister!

I can't wait to see what the next thirty years will bring! Love you!


The birthday girl!

We celebrated Jim's birthday too. (just 20 days late) He's got skillz!

Opening gifts... Jim has a handful doesn't he? :)

Ella Kate learned to sing "Happy Birthday!" Sari got it on her camera. I'll have to see if I can upload it. EK was really wound up and so cute singing for us. Just 8 days until her own big 2 year old birthday celebration!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Yubo Flubo Fake-o!


When I was prego with EK I ran across this picture of the 5 foot,4 inch Mrs. Yubo with her 5 foot, 7 inch prego belly carrying multiple multiples. At the time I was amazed, repulsed and in general awe of this woman. I even blogged about it. The picture made me feel better because at least I was not that big! After seeing this poor pregnant woman, I decided to grin and bare my aching back and missing ankles. Fast forward two years. The other night I was reading my old blog entries around the time of EK's birth (as is my custom on anniversaries and birthdays) and came across this picture again. Still feeling sorry for the woman, I Googled her to see how she faired in her pregnancy. I found this article...

Turns out Mrs. Yubo wasn't so prego after all!

This was her true size at the time of that picture. She was pregnant, but with only one baby.

These are all the things she used to stuff her belly. That is so wrong!

Well, at least 2 years later I can stop having nightmares about her! And now you can too :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Blog?

What blog? Oh yeah, I have a blog! Sorry I have not been a very good blogger lately.

If you could see my house right now you would understand why I am not blogging. Our living room looks like a construction zone...again! Actually, some area of our house has been in "construction mode" off and on since October. I'm starting to get used to it. I barely remember what it is like to have a "finished" house. (Is there ever really such a thing???) I am not griping because I am the one who keeps thinking up more to do. I'm almost afraid our "normal" has become this weird chaotic limbo of half finished projects and temporary "construction zones" scattered across the house. Not my ideal "home" at all! So I have tried to buckle down and get something knocked out around here.

The good news I think I have successfully re-built the entertainment center into two separate functioning pieces of (massive) furniture. The bad news is that the paint isn't sticking to either of them the way I had hoped. But maybe I can put the saws and nail gun away and just trip over the sander and other paint paraphernalia for a while! :)

This week I sanded the lockers for Rhett's room. I finally have a great plan to finish that big kid sports room we have talked about for so long. Truth be told, Rhett's room has never been "finished' since he made the jump to his big boy bed years ago. I just couldn't get inspired. Besides he is a boy and seemed OK with it "just sorta done." But Rheyy also likes to have things just so and does not like the boxes that have been in the corner of his room since the floors started back in March. Can you blame him? Rhett also likes little talk and lots of action. This morning I was asking him what color he wanted something and he said "Mom please no more plans, just do it!" He is so his father's son! (And that is a good thing!) Anyway I hope to get a lot done in Rhett's room next week while Kolby is at camp. We will see.

Oh... and we have a 2 year birthday coming up in a week or so! Can you believe that? I am so in denial that I haven't done much for this b-day. I have to get that girl to a photographer and get into a "2 year old Elmo birthday party" frame of mind.

The days are getting away from me. Where has June gone? This was supposed to be the easy month. I'm not sure it has been. :)
More later!
Need to run to Home Depot for the 5th time this week!
The lumber and paint guys know me by name.
Go figure!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wii had a great Father's Day/ Teeth and Bird Update

Revised with pictures and a bird update!
Yes! We have joined the rest of the Wii crazed nation. Even though I was sure Santa was going to bring a Wii next Christmas, Rob beat him to it. Last Sunday (week before Father's Day) Rob found a Wii at the regular price in stock at our Toys-R-Us and couldn't pass it up! He said to consider it an early Father's Day present. So we did. The kids are pleased as punch! I have to admit it was probably much better to get the Wii now instead of at Christmas. It gives the kids something fun to do indoors when it is 102 outside with 80% humidity as it was this week. And it really is fun!

Our actual Father's Day was pretty uneventful. Last Saturday I woke up bright ans early to take Kolby into the doctor... our first Saturday doctor's visit ever for the kids. She had a horrible night Friday. Her left ear was throbbing and she was so dizzy she could barely walk. Every time she stood up she thought she would puke...luckily she never did. None of us were surprised to find out she had a really bad middle to inner ear infection. She has been on antibiotics ever since and is still not 100%. Kolby has never had an ear infection before (that I remember).

Actually my kids are not prone to ear infections. Rhett has never had one (that I remember). However, Ella Kate had her first at Easter and has had two since then. She is just now finishing up antibiotics for the last one. What is it with ears around here?

After getting Kolby settled with her medicine I took myself to the doctor. They thought it was strep but it wasn't. The doctor said it was some sort of throat infection, loaded me up with samples and sent me on my way. That's my kind of doctor!

So we didn't do much the rest of the weekend. Applebees take out catered our Father's Day meal with my parents. Rob got a shirt and an Indiana Jones Lego Game for the Wii ( He's not the only parent who can buy fun stuff!: ) We gave my Dad a shredder. It's what he wanted. My Dad is by far the hardest person to buy for... But he loved his shredder!:)

Sari came home Monday and I took the big kids to the dentist. Poor Rhett was fine EXCEPT that his 6 year molars that are not even all the way in yet did not calcify properly. He has no enamel on 40% of those 4 teeth. So through no fault of his, he had four "cavities" that will all need to be filled and sealed. It's just not fair for teeth to come n with cavities! The Dentist explained that it was nothing we did wrong. It's a developmental delay. And while no one can be sure what caused it, it might be linked to the trouble Rhett had at birth or the RSV like virus that put him in the hospital at three months. We are just praying these are the only permanent teeth that will come in this way! $700 will fix the problem for now. (OUCH!) Rhett will have to have these teeth sealed from time to time through out his life. Kolby didn't have any cavities (yay!) but we do need to get her to an orthodontist soon. (booo!) The reason I dread dentist appointments has nothing to do with pain in the mouth, and everything to do with pain in the pocketbook!

Except for MDO, baseball practice, a long over-do trip to the grocery store, and a few meetings, we have stayed close to home this week. I have loved it! But it won't last long as my kids have some big plans. I'm taking advantage of this "down" week and preparing to launch into all the activities ahead!

I'll leave you with some summer shots of the kids enjoying the water slide... Yes! It lived to see another summer!




Oh and I almost forgot... I have a baby bird update.
I took this picture on June 2nd.

This last picture was taken on June 13th.

Seconds after this picture was taken, one of the baby birds flew across the yard and perched on the roof of the fort. I feared it was my fault for getting too close. I worried all night about the baby bird when he didn't come back to the nest. The next day I thought I found him in the grass next to the fort. After quite an ordeal I safely had him and put him in the nest with his sister. But, they didn't act to happy too see each other and the one I found looked smaller than the one in the nest. I thought that was odd. A few hours later another baby bird flew up to the tree but couldn't fit in the nest! It sat in the base of the fake ficus tree. After looking around I soon saw another mother bird watching over one baby bird in a nest in a near by tree. These birds usually have two eggs/babies at a time. Evidently I had found the wrong baby bird and put it in the wrong nest! Oh the guilt I felt!!! Who knew there were two sets of Mourning dove babies in our yard!?!?!

Well that afternoon all three babies flew away. This time only one came back. Another baby bird stayed close by but didn't try to enter the nest. Two days later the lone nesting baby bird flew away. I never checked to see what happened to that third baby bird (the one I found and put in the wrong nest) because I could not let myself get attached to another set of baby birds. I have experienced enough baby bird guilt and worry to last all summer!

However, both of our original baby birds still come and sit on the porch from time to time. Neither have flown back into the nest, except for for a few minutes during a rain storm. I don't know if it was our increased backyard activities or the trauma of having a strange bird put in their nest that scared them off. Or maybe it was just time. No matter what the reason, I am pretty sure that our baby birds have officially flown the coop! We still see them on the roof or in the back yard every day. They are getting so big that soon we won't be able to tell if they are our baby birds or not. They grow up so fast!

Now I can finally get rid of that fake ficus tree! :) Happy summer!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

So much to say

So little time. Update coming soon, I promise.
BUT I had to give a cyber shout-out to my blog friend Kelly! I have mentioned her before. She adopted two little boys from Ukraine in February and then today got the best news!!!! Viktor is coming home!!!!! I can't stop smiling I'm so happy for them!
If you have the time, go read back entries of Kelly's blog or hit the link on the top right of her blog for the "Reader's Digest" version of Viktor's story. It is so inspirational! I'm not one to gush on and on about all that God has done, but God has been all over this story from the get go! What an awesome God we serve!
Yay Viktor! Yay Kelly! Yay GOD!!!! There is going to be a big party in Omaha very soon! :)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Get on the bus!

This week our church hosted a children's Music Camp. Rhett was a "Son Seeker" and Kolby was part of the Nation Vacation Musical.

They both had a blast all 5 days and really enjoyed performing last night. My pictures are not that great. Someday I need to learn how to use my camera! I'll up-load some videos to Youtube and post the links here later.

Here is a blurry picture of Rhett with the Son Seekers.

This is Kolby doing her "Do Unto" dance.

Kolby loves this type of thing and really loved singing her solo in "Oh Happy Day!"


My contribution to Music Camp was making the bus set in the background. When the Children's Ministers asked me to make the bus and I agreed, none of us had any clue how much it would involve. The bus became known as "the beast" in our house. The beast ate 20 hours out of last weekend and more hours out of the last four weeknights than I care to remember. Here is an abbreviated evolution of THE BUS!
It all started with 5 8x4 sheets of cardboard.


Four trips to Wal-mart and two different kinds of primer later...



After 12 hours of drawing, tracing, erasing, re-priming, sweating, and doing it all again, all these bus patterns combined to make up the outline of the "beast."


Many hours of painting, outlining, re-painting and re-outlining later...


Some tense moments with a box cutter, a few hours in Lowe's and a gallon of midnight oil later...the beast stands!



And finally after a few hours of touch-ups and grooming, we had a standing bus that was able to endure the rigors of sharing a stage with 40 or so kids through many rehearsals and a performance ...

not to mention a few dozen photo ops, including this one with 8 kids from my family!

Thanks to my husband who was willing to put the kids to bed by himself every night for 6 nights in a row, my mother who was willing to watch kids during her first three days of summer break, and many others from church who were willing to pitch in... the beast was tamed, mounted and hung and was able to function just as we hoped it would! I love creating. I love painting. I love seeing the end product. I'm not so fond of that long process in the middle. But, I learned a lot and am glad to have contributed to a great Camp!

"The Bus" project also made me really appreciate our two children's ministers who regularly work crazy hours and dedicate many non-office hour hours to do great things for our kids all year long. We are really blessed to have Dana and Renee!

Kolby will have graduated out of the Children's Ministry the next time Music Camp rolls around as we only do this every other year rotating with VBS. She was a little sad that this was her last Music Camp. Kolby would really like to try her hand at children's theater. I guess I need to look into that...

Now I feel like we can finally start to have SUMMER! We all slept late and had a big pancake brunch. Swimming and movies are on the agenda for today. I love summer!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Craigslist comes to town

OK. I was told today that craigslist has been here for a while. But I just discovered it this week... And I found a doozey of a deal!

I have been talking about re-doing Rhett's room for over 2 years now. We have the bunk beds and I bought the bedding off of e-bay long ago.(It's still in the box) I have known Rhett wants a "sports" room from the start. But, I just couldn't think of anything that would give his room that certain "oomph!" I want it to have. You know, that thing that inspires you to do something really fun and creative? Something that not every other boy's sports room would have? I searched high and low but I just could not find anything to inspire me... until today.

Today I found the "oomph" for Rhett's room for the bargain price of $50.00 and two van trips. Take a look...







Yes. You are seeing three sets of green lockers straight out of an old school building. I bought the two shorter ones for Rhett's room. The tall one only cost $20.00 and is for our garage. Can you believe that????:) All of these lockers for $70.00! THANK YOU CRAIG!

I have so many great ideas of how we are going to incorporate these lockers into something unique and fun for Rhett. And yes. As with every other project I have going right now, it will take time, and hours of sanding, priming and painting. But I can't to wait to get started on this!

Problem is I already had three or four other big projects in the works before I got these lockers. Seems that my "projects list" is too long for my "no time for projects" life so things get done slowly, too slowly. Since we can barely walk in our garage right now, Rhett's room re-do may get bumped up to the top of the list!

Actually I am chin deep in another huge project this week which I will blog about later. But, if you are in the area and would like the locker info, leave a comment or just check out Craigs list for yourself. Look under furniture & search for "lockers." If there are any still available, the listing will come up.

I'm so excited to find Craigslist locally. I much prefer to get big things locally instead of on E-bay or by mail order. But, after having to move these three huge, heavy lockers in an out of the van today, (never underestimate the cargo space of a mini-van!), Rob threatened to block access to Craigslist on my computer. Now why would he want to do a thing like that??? :)

Sunday, June 08, 2008

A sad day for Texas

A lot has changed in Texas in the last 152 years. However, since 1856, the Governor of Texas has always lived in the same white house in Austin right across the street from the Capital Building. The Texas Governor’s Mansion is both a State and National Historical Monument.


I was very sad to hear this morning that "a catastrophic blaze ravaged the elegant white mansion, cratered its roof and covered its signature columns with thick soot."








Luckily no one was in the mansion when the fire broke out as it was undergoing renovations. Gov. Rick Perry (aka Gov. Good Hair) and his family moved out last fall before renovations began. The Governor has since been blasted for the $10,000 a month rent the state is paying for his temporary housing. Looks like the State might need to renegotiate that lease for an additional year or more! Thank goodness all the priceless antique furniture as well as the mansion's extensive Texas historical art collection also moved out last Fall and are safe in storage. Since Sam Houston, it is tradition for each first family to leave some special piece of furniture in the mansion when they leave office. All of those special pieces are also safely stored away. Had the fire happened when the house was full, the loss would have been even more tragic.

Sari is in Atlanta today. She called me when she heard about the Governors Mansion so we could be sad about it together. That may seem a little weird to some. But you see, as far back as I can remember, my Dad worked for the Texas Highway Department. I think we got a discount rate at many state parks and museums. So 95% of our family vacations were to historic sites in Texas. Sari and I may have been bored at times, but we grew up appreciating our State!

As a young girl I remember visiting the Capital then going across the street to tour of the public portion of the Governor's Mansion. I remember hearing how after one of his children was hurt, a Governor hammered nails into the mansions long tall banister to keep his kids from sliding down it. The guide let me put my finger on one of those nail holes. Since you can't touch ANYTHING in most historic places, I thought it was cool that I got to touch the hole made by a Governor so very long ago.

When I was in college, my parents went to dinner at the Governors Mansion when Bill Clements was in his last term. My mother 's school won an award from the Governor and he and the first lady hosted a dinner for 12 at "their house" that night. Mom said it was one of the most exciting dinners of her life. So when Sari and I heard about the fire we felt like a little piece of our own personal history had been destroyed.

Before the fire.


We Texans are quite proud of our Governor's Mansion and it will certainly be rebuilt. But even so, Texas lost precious history today. Yes they can renovate, restore and rebuild, but some things are just irreplaceable. You can not replicate the mill work made 152 years ago. Some of the hardwoods used to build the Governor's Mansion don't even exist today. The floors and walls can be rebuilt. But when you walk on new floors, you can't say that Sam Houston walked on them. You can't look at new walls and know they stood beside a Governor who upon hearing the news that a hurricane had practically flattened Galveston and killed over 6000 people was reduced to tears and yelled out to God asking why so many innocents had to die. (102 years later, no natural disaster has ever killed more Americans.) Yes, when that big white house burned today, Texas lost many connections to her past.

This afternoon, midst the talk of arson and the delicate balance being struck between crime scene investigation and historical preservation, there were reports that not everything inside Mansion was lost... I'm hoping that the banister with the nail holes survived!

Friday, June 06, 2008

23 months

YES! My favorite toddler is 23 months old!
Can you believe she will be 2 this time next month? I 'm having a hard time thinking of her as 2. Let me tell you 23 (or so) things about this little chica...

In ways she seems older than just two (probably because she thinks she is the same age as her bother and sister) yet, she is still my cuddly baby who loves to rock and sing before bedtime and naps. She is the most verbal and expressive little thing I have ever seen. She says "Hi" and "Bye" to everyone when they come or go.
Leaving the grocery store the other day we were about to walk out when she said "Wait!" So I stopped. She proceeded to yell at the top of her lungs "Bye bye eva-body! " and waved like she was in a parade. I was laughing when she said "Go Mama" and continued to wave and say bye to every person we passed the whole way to the car. Everyone within earshot waved back and smiled. That girl!
She is a precious little spit-fire. I don't think she ever stops moving, talking, or getting into things! She can make messes faster than I can clean them up, and does so daily.


Her favorite foods are Frosted Mini wheats cereal in "'mulk", cheese, mac and cheese, spaghetti, ice cream, broccoli, green beans, bananas, strawberries, peaches, apple sauce, chocolate milk and root beer. She eats a ton some days and hardly anything others. But I feel she must get what she needs because she seems to have limitless energy! I wish I had a tenth of her energy... and cuteness!

She completely loves life. She loves her Mama and Dada (who she sometimes calls "Wob"= hasn't found that R sound yet) and runs across the room to give us big hugs when she first sees us. It's so fun to be some one's favorite person! And anyone she knows is her favorite person.

She adores her "sissy and bubba" ( who she sometimes calls "Wet") She is so happy when it is time to go get them from school or when she wakes up to find that they are home. She loves to play in their rooms and snuggle with them in their beds. And they adore her... except when she messes up their rooms by dumping things out. She loves to go visit Papa, Kay-Kaaaay! and Say-wee across the street. She loves her cousins Mit-nee (Whitney), Scahlet and her Sue Sue and says their names over, and over, and over when she sees them. She is a little awe-struck by Kelton and Nunana and acts a bit shy with them. She can't say everyone's name in the family but she knows them. She loves We-ah (Maria) and Ashey (Ashley). She seeks out James, Robby or David in a crowd. She is pretty good at wrapping people around her sweet chunky little finger!

She would live outside all day long if we let her. She loves to jump on the trampoline and play in the fort. She recently discovered the "wadoo" hose outside and is quite fond of getting wet. She is going to love playing in the pool and the sprinklers this summer!

She is fascinated by " the buhds (birds) outside", blowing "boobles", and digging with her little green shovel. She can climb on and off the trampoline by herself. But she is not a tom-boy. No sir! She is a girly girl to be sure. She is still obsessed with my lipstick. I don't have a necklace she hasn't tried on a dozen times. She usually says "Oh, how pitty!" after I fix her hair and wants to go "model" for whoever is here. She loves to dress up and put bows in her hair. She loves her boots, purses and hats.

She loves shoes more than any person I have ever known. She rarely wants a toy when we go shopping, but if she sees them, she always wants a new pair of shoes. This could be dangerous someday! She is not a quiet child. She has yet to find her "inside" voice. She loves to run and hide. She loves to make everything a game. She makes us laugh many, many times a day.

She also loves her school, Bible class, and all her friends. She hardly ever cries when we drop her off. She is such a blessing! She is my sweet Ella Kate and I thank God for her everyday. It is a joy to be her Mama.


So I guess I better start planning my last two year old's birthday party!
Have I mentioned this is all going way too fast?
Yeah. Thought so.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Bird's not the word

Yesterday was our first official morning of summer. Kolby spent the night away so it was just Rhett, EK and me. Rhett asked if we could get donuts for breakfast with a coupon he got from school to mark the first sleep late morning of summer. So we did.

EK loves NO-Nuts! She was covered in sticky so I decided to put her in the tub. I noticed that she had little red spots all over the right side of her back that seemed to be spreading. Since they didn't look like bug bites and since one or two looked like they were blistering, I called our pediatrician's office immediately. They said they could work us in if we could be there in 30 minutes.... and since it could be CHICKEN POX please come in the back door. CHICKEN POX?

Since the office is a good 20 minutes from our house I had to run! I yanked EK out of the tub, put clothes on her, put her wet hair in a ponytail, sent Rhett across the street with Sari, put on a clean shirt and ran out the door. Mid-way to the doctor I realized I had no make-up on and had barely brushed my hair! Motherhood has taken away most of my pride, but even I sometimes get embarrassed when I realize what I have gone out in public looking like. OH WELL!

The good news is EK does not have chicken pox. She just has very sensitive skin and a weird unknown viral rash. We also learned that she has an ear infection and possibly a sinus infection. But, thank goodness it's not a virus! And we did get an RX! I'm so glad we went in. Poor EK! She can not stay well for long, can she? Thankfully she doesn't seem to bothered by this ear infection and she doesn't have "chicken pops" as Rhett calls them.

We were all relieved that our summer didn't get off to a fowl start(he-he)... Aside from watching baby birds Junie and Bee yesterday. By the way, we named the other bird "Bee" for three reasons: 1. It was the second born (a,b) 2. EK calls the baby birds "bee-bee birds ow-side" 3. Junie B (Jones) is one of our favorite characters! :)

Today is the first day of summer mothers-day-out. The kids are so excited. Rhett is old enough to go with the "swimmers" every afternoon so he is pumped! Kolby is happy to hang with friends and get to swim too. Ek is just happy to go period. Poor EK lost a toe nail though right as we walked in the door this morning. He little sandals offered no protection when mommy accidentally hit her big toe with the church door! She cried a little but was such a trooper! I on the other hand almost lost it while cleaning the blood off her barely hanging on little to nail! I'm a toe murderer don't you know, but usually just my own toes! I feel so bad! However, after two hello kitty band-aids, some peroxide and antibiotic cream, and lots of Mommy hugs, EK was good to go! She was so proud of her bandaged toe. (Love that our church has a well stocked first aid box and sweet Emily to help make it better!) Never a dull moment!

Now for four precious hours I have the house to myself. PRAY that I can get everything I need to get done done before the floor guys come at 1pm and the bug guy comes at 3pm! Our house has been out of control since the flooring started Easter, or maybe even before. One of my main goals is to get it back under control ASAP so I can get organized, have things run a little smoother, be able to find everything, and maybe even be able relax a little bit this summer!
So off I go!

Happy Tuesday Bloggies!

Monday, June 02, 2008

And then there were two...

I went outside after lunch today and saw Papa bird looking for seeds.

I checked to see if someone was watching the nest and saw this!

I took one more picture holding my camera way up in the air then went inside to get a better view.


I took the rest from inside.







I don't know what happened to the egg. One minute it was there and the next it was gone!


If you read this blog in the next two weeks, be prepared for lots of bird pictures! I am so fascinated with our incredible view into the lives of these Mourning Doves! My kids are excited too, but they have nothing on their Mama when it comes to loving to watch our little feathered friends. Here is a little video in case you wanted to actually see them move! :)
video

Another bird video

video

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Look who hatched today!

One of our little mourning dove's eggs hatched today! Yay baby bird!


These next two pictures were taken through the window and are kind of blurry!




Since today is June 1st we will call her Junie.

Welcome to the world Junie! We should see the second baby bird hatch sometime tomorrow. We are so excited!
Off to go buy sunflower seeds for the proud parents! :)