Tuesday, December 30, 2008

On the road again...I just cain't wait to get on the road again...

No I did not misspell can't. It's cain't when you sing like Willie. Speaking of Willie...Did I mention I went to Luckenbach on Saturday? It's just a stone's throw from here. Pics to come! But come tomorrow morning we'll be on the road again. We're leaving my mom's around 6 a.m. to head to Mobile, AL to see Cary's folks and have our Christmas with them. Then it will be back to the swamp on Friday! I mean, the tropical paradise called Florida! Swamp, tropical paradise...same thing really. Actually I should just call it "family vacation mecca" where many families make their annual pilgrimage to worship the almighty mouse. I'm not sure what I'm going to miss the most from this vacation. The sleep and rest and relaxation. The great food. Oh and how could I forget visiting with family! Free babysitters! Shopping shopping and more shopping! Free babysitters! Heeheee! Our car is already packed. The dog, I mean the spotted girl is sitting up front in the passenger seat because we needed every ounce of space in the back to bring home an entire Santa's sleigh worth of goodies. One of us will have to sit in the back with the girls since Candice will be riding shotgun, which means I'll be driving the WHOLE WAY! I'm way too claustrophobic to sit in the back. How on earth will I get my nails painted??? That's what I did on the way here. A road trip is the PERFECT time and place to paint your nails. It's not like you can do anything else but sit still for 20 hours and hold your nails in the A/C to dry! See? Perfect!

I must get rested! Cary is giving me the evil eye because the bedroom light is still on and my clickity fingernails on the keyboard are keeping him awake. I cain't wait to get on the road again.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Please God don't let it end...

Can I just stay here forever? In Texas? At my mom's house? The plethora of FOOD, very yummy food, the huge fenced in backyard that does not require me to take my dog out on a leash, Granny's big long driveway which is just perfect for riding bikes...and speaking of...LEXI CAN RIDE A BIKE...NO TRAINING WHEELS! YEA!!!! She was so determined to learn all on her own so when we all get tired of running behind her holding her up, she just went out there and did it all on her own. Unbelievable! She's like a master at it...already...after only one day! I'm so proud of her!

My mom is cooking my favorite feast of the year today. There's just nothing like Mama's cookin! We're having turkey and dressing and all the fixins. I can't wait!

Cary and I went on our "romantic" getaway which wasn't very romantic unfortunately because how can you snuggle up next to a man who is hacking his lungs up while wrapped up in a blanket with fever? But it was still fun. I have LOTS to tell about that and many pictures to come. It was memorable. I'll just leave it at that. And we, I mean, I shopped all day in Fredricksburg which was WONDERFUL. Cary slept in the car. He was still sick. And on the way home, we stopped by Luckenbach, TX. That was a hoot. It was memorable. I'll just leave it at that.

Many pictures to come! I'm going to go indulge in the feast! Mmmmmmmm...... and then sleep, watch the Cowboys game, and maybe shop some more! This trip has been EXACTLY what this momma needed! Please God don't let it end!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

So far...

I've wet my pants about 32 times on this trip with all the coughing. You gotta love a post pregnancy bladder. Just don't work like it used to!

We visited a town called "big tits". Okay, not really, but it's called Grosse Tete which is French for big tit! Only in Louisiana.

We've discovered that the Barbie Dream House should have actually been called The Barbie Playboy Mansion. Everyone is NAKED! And they're all in the tub together. Two girls and a guy. I think there's a name for that...

Ashton has given me a new nickname: Shamu! There's two things you never want to be called: "killer" and "whale". But being the good sport that I am, my response to her was, "Oh well, I guess that makes me the top predator in the ocean and you know what that means little Ashy-poo? I can gobble you up!"

Since when did Barbie clothes come with a cocktail? Okay, I already threw it away or else I would post a picture, but REALLY. It was a martini glass!

You know you're old when you get REALLY REALLY REALLY excited about opening a new iron on Christmas morning. Really excited!

You know you're getting old when you really don't care if there's anything for you at all under the tree but instead are just as excited about watching your children enjoy the experience.

It's been a great trip so far. We arrived in the Lone Star State yesterday evening. The girls were FABULOUS in the car. We had a lot of fun singing Christmas carols. We even changed our voices and sang like dogs, cats, donkeys, I sang like an old man, you get really creative when you're trying to occupy small children for 23 hours. Creative or crazy, not sure which. Cary has been sick the whole time, running fever that no drug seems to cure. So he's been kind of a grump o' rump (that's my new word) but other than that, things couldn't be going more smoothly. We stopped in Houston at 2nd Baptist Church for Christmas Eve services and played in the "snow" after the service. It's such a neat place. 45,000 members. Crazy huge! The pastor is the father of our pastor in Dallas. Ed Young Sr and Ed Young Jr, both remarkable in their own right and yet with totally different styles all their own. Their service was called "Christmas for all Ages" and afterwards they had snow machines outside and the kids got to play in the snow. It was a nice break from the car ride. Today has been very relaxing and wonderful. We're about to eat lasagna and SLEEP. Tomorrow, Cary and I leave for our getaway to the Texas Hill Country. Let's pray that we are both healthy by then. I normally like to stay home for Christmas, but this trip was exactly what I needed. I needed to get away from everything and be nurtured a little like only your mother can do!

Merry Christmas everyone! And remember the birth of our savior! Thank you Lord for coming down the stairsteps of Heaven to Earth with a baby in your arms...such a beautiful image of divinity becoming humanity.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Teacher Gifts

Today was the last day of school for two whole weeks! YEA!!! I don't know who is more excited, me or Lexi! No homework, no packing lunch or ironing ugly uniform clothes or racking my brain to figure out how many different combinations of outfits I can make with 2 pairs of khaki bottoms, 2 pairs of navy bottoms, 2 pairs of jeans, 2 white shirts, 2 pink shirts, and 2 navy shirts. Yawn yawn, boring boring. (Have I mentioned how much I HATE uniforms???) No more natzi mom in the mornings trying to herd everyone out the door by 8:15 and sounding like a broken record: "YOU DON'T HAVE TIME TO PLAY!" Well, at least for 2 weeks. Then it's back to reality for 5 months! The school life is hard work for parents. But it's been worth it.

I bought the girls' teachers Brighton key chains. They were so beautiful, I almost didn't want to give them away! But they were very affordable, yet classy gifts. The best kind! None of my students gave me a Brighton key chain. Ever. I got a used library book one year with the barcode marked through. Lots of used stuffed animals and roses with plastic dew on them. It's the thought I guess.

The girls both got ADORABLE gifts from their teachers. Lexi's teacher gave her a Christmas book called "If You Take a Mouse To the Movies" and she wrapped up a bag of microwave popcorn with it and the Christmas card was in the shape of a movie ticket. SO clever and thoughtful! The book is too cute and a very easy read that Lexi can actually sort of get through on her own. Ashton's teacher gave her a snowman cup with hot cocoa, marshmallows, a candy cane, and some chocolates in it and it had a little poem attached about "This is snowman soup...complete with a stirring stick..." it was such a cute poem that went with the contents of the cup. Both teachers have sent home the cutest, most clever little Christmas crafts the last few weeks but the one Ashton got today just about made me cry. The teacher made this cute bag and decorated it so neat and in it was an angel made out of doilies and it had Ashton's picture as the head. And there was also a Santa ornament that was made out of her handprint. Too cute! Lexi's teacher made the cutest little scrapbooks of all the kids and sent them home a few weeks ago of all their fun Fall crafts and activities and special events they have had. And today she sent home pictures of Lexi from pajama day. She set up this really cute winter scene in her classroom and took everyone's picture there. She also took pictures with each student so I have a picture of her and her teacher from pajama day. So fun! So many memories being made.

Ashton is STILL sick! She didn't go to school again today. But I took her up there this morning to deliver sandwhiches for her class party. They had their birthday party for Jesus today and it was also their pajama day. I'm so sad she missed out! Christmas vacation has OFFICIALLY begun!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Letters From Santa

I believe Santa to be a perfectly harmless and wonderfully exciting part of childhood. Today my girls got letters from "Santa"...a.k.a. "Aunt Lynda". Heeheee. She did this last year too. She asks me what types of things "Santa" should address in his letters so that it's very personalized. So for example, Ashton's letter says, "Santa is sad when you don't use the potty like a big girl" and "on Christmas Eve Night I want you to put your pacifier in the little bag that Rudolph is sending you because I'm going to take it back to the North Pold and give it to one of the new babies that will be born soon." Ashton very quickly replied, "I don't want to" to both of those requests by Santa. And Lexi's letter says, "There is one thing that makes Santa sad and that is when you roll your eyes when Mommy tells you something and you don't listen to her. You must obey your parents and always respect them." And Lexi quickly said, "Okay, mommy, can you call Santa right now and tell him I promise not to roll my eyes any more?" And then she said, "How about I just say it out loud becasue Santa can hear me and he's watching me in that snowglobe (like in the Santa Claus movie)." So she said out loud, "Santa, I promise I won't do it any more!!!" And at the end of the letters it says, "We must celebrate Jesus's birthday more than anything else. All the presents are fun to get but we have to remember that Jesus was born on this day." And Santa included two packets of reindeer food too. We had fun reading our letters from Santa tonight while watching the Charlie Brown Christmas movie. Thank you Aunt Lynda for bringing some excitement into our house!!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Raise your hand if...

you haven't bought one single Christmas present yet? Oh, just me? Wow, you people are really on the ball. I truly have not had one spare second for shopping, be it online or in a store! What have I been doing that is keeping me so busy, you ask? Well, how bout I tell you what I HAVEN'T been doing? I haven't been sending out Christmas cards or decorating my house for Christmas or taking the girls in for their annual Christmas pictures or baking holiday yummies, oh wait, I wouldn't be doing that anyways because I DON'T BAKE, I haven't been making reindeer food for the girls' classmates, I haven't been taking poinsettias to the neighbors, I haven't been watching holiday movies with the kids. SO WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING HEATHER? I've been working, non stop working! Around the clock. Till 2 in the morning. I have SO MUCH work to do. I'm not complaining. I have a job! Therefore I have income! Therefore we are blessed. But my work has been consuming me lately and I'm rarely even in the office. I work from home mostly. Other than work, not much has been happening around here. I have the holiday blues. Found out yesterday that a guy I went to school with passed away this week. Seems like someone I know always kicks the bucket around Christmas!

Ashton went to the dr today. After 5 weeks, she still has "the crud". I went to a new doctor today. I really liked her a lot. And she's MUCH closer to home. She didn't even prescribe antibiotics. I REALLY like her! Even though Ashton has dark green snot all day long and had gunk oozing out of her eyes this morning and her cough sounds awful, she still didn't give me antibiotics. I REALLY like her! I really don't like antibiotics. She did give her a steroid for the cough, but said she just has a lingering virus. Her lungs were clear. Her ears were infection free. She called everyone on staff in the examining room to see Ashton b/c she couldn't get over the fact that she had congenital CMV. She was so amazed at how perfectly normal she is. She kept saying, "Do you have any idea what a miracle this child is?" Yes, I know! She is certainly a miracle! She did her residency in the NICU at Arnold Palmer and said she saw many a CMV case and she couldn't get over how tragic they were. So I guess that's why she was so fascinated with Ashton. Just another opportunity for me to testify to the power of our amazing God, the Great Physician!

Sunday, December 14, 2008


is my new best friend! I went to Toys R Us today with the kids just to see what kinds of things they gravitated towards, what caught their eye, with the plan to come back this week without them to do some shopping. When I got home, I got on Amazon.com to order an Abbey (Sesame Street) doll b/c Toys R Us didn't carry them and WOW, I couldn't believe the price differences on the same toys we saw at Toys R Us. That Fisher Price Smart Cycle, the girls had a ball on that thing! It was $79.99 at Toys R Us and $59.99 on Amazon.com. The Inch Worm ride on toy was $69.99 at Toys R Us and $49.99 on Amazon. Those are HUGE savings and anything over $50 is free shipping on Amazon. You do have to make sure the price you're seeing on Amazon is for a "new" item rather than a "used" item, but I couldn't get over the price differences. Even some of the cheaper toys that were $11 and $12 at Toys R Us were like $8-9 on Amazon. Incredible savings!!! I don't think I'll be going back to Toys R Us this week after all!

That's my public service announcement y'all!

The Pink Eyed Monster

Well, pink eye strikes again. I had NEVER EVER EVER had pink eye in my whole life until I had kids. What's up with that? It goes through our household at least once a year. I think this is our 2nd or 3rd bout this year. Lexi went to the disco party Friday night. When I picked her up, the mom told me that she and another little girl had bumped heads and Lexi got hit right in the eye so she had given her an ice pack. When we got home, the eye looked fine so I really didn't think much of it. In the middle of the night, Lexi came running to our room screaming b/c she couldn't open her eye. I turned on the bathroom light to look at it and it had all that crusty ooze coming out and it was matted shut. It was the same eye she had gotten hit in. I don't know if that was just coincidence or if during the irritation of getting hit she kept rubbing it and maybe spread something from her hands to her eye??? Help me out here, I'm not a dr! I just know that before she went to the party, her eye was fine. But then again pink eye comes up quickly and with no warnings. Fortunately, I had a whole bottle of drops from our last pink eye bout which was just about 3 months ago. So we've been doctoring her and germ exing our hands like crazy around here so it won't spread throughout the house. Pink eye is like the most contagious thing on the face of the earth! This morning, Cary is going to go do kidzchurch while I keep the girls at home. Then I'm going to hand them off to him while I go teach Sunday School to keep them out of the nursery. Ashton started coughing again. She just got rid of that cough about a week and a half ago and now it's starting all over again. I just LOVE this time of year!!! I think we're going to have to double up on the Flinstone's for the next few weeks!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I've Never...

I've never...

- asked my kids what they want to eat (at home, at a drive-thru, or at a restaurant.) I just put the food in front of them and they eat it or they don't. But they always do. Sometimes they tell me what they want at a restaurant, but I never ask. Even Lexi will tell you my motto: "You get what you get and you don't throw a fit!"

- watched an entire episode of anything on the history channel or discovery without feeling creepy or bored out of my mind!

- listened to a Michael W Smith song all the way through. His voice is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me.

- Cut someone else's fingernails. That's so groady. Daddy is the fingernail person around here. I don't even cut my own fingernails come to think of it!

- Made a pot of coffee. I really don't know how! Honestly!

- Smoked

- Traveled to any other foreign country other than Mexico and that was just right at the Texas border. I have no desire to leave the good ol' USofA!

- liked Christmas

- liked pork

- gotten more than one speeding ticket. I got one about 12 years ago for going 42 in a 35.

- taken illegal drugs

- been really comfortable in large group settings. I'm outgoing, but not sociable, if that makes any sense.

Now it's your turn. Finish that statement...I've never...give me one "I've never" statement!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Fa La La La La

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper. And I like all my wrapping paper to be brown butcher paper with red or green raffia bows so it looks very westerny under my Texas themed tree. Cause I'm OCD like that!
2. Real tree or Artificial? Real
3. When do you put up the tree? Usually a couple of weeks before Christmas but every year I vow to put it up the week of Thanksgiving so the kids can enjoy it longer.
4. When do you take the tree down? Right after Christmas FOR SURE!
5. Do you like eggnog? Yes, with a little added ingredient...and I'm not talking about nutmeg!
6. Favorite gift received as a child? My gucci purse. I think I was 12. No kidding.
7. Hardest person to buy for? Cary's family, only b/c I'm just not around them enough to really know what they like or what they need or what they already have.
8. Easiest person to buy for? My girls!!
9. What is your favorite Christmas television classic? A Christmas Story
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? a used library book..the library barcode had been scratched off. Seriously. It was from a student named Ava Hunter. Will never forget her!
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Jingle all the way
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? December 22nd ish
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? no
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? I'm about to eat a 3 yr old, does that count?
16. Lights on the tree? duh, do some people not have lights???
17. Favorite Christmas song? HATE Christmas music....GAG!
18. Travel at Christmas or stay at home? Totally stay home for the kids but this year we're going to Texas b/c I need me some "home".
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? YES! And I put reindeer food on my lawn Christmas Eve to feed them all.
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Cowboy hat
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas morning
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? People who say "Happy Holidays" and children who tell my children there is no santa. Then I have to do damage control. THERE IS A SANTA people!!!! If you quit believing, he quits coming. I BELIEVE!
23. What theme or color are you using? Texas themed
24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? We usually have fajitas or lasagna
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? The dreamer in me would say a car, the realist in me would say some new clothes. But I did already get a washer and dryer, which is FABULOUS!

You're turn!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wanna Get Away

I've been in dire need of a vacation for quite some time now. And I think it's finally gonna happen! Cary and I are going to Texas for Christmas and while we're there, I have booked us a little getaway in the town we honeymooned in almost 8 yrs ago, Fredricksburg, in the Texas Hill Country. It's just a few hours from my mom's house and she's going to keep the girls. You have NO IDEA how badly we need this! You can check out our incredible accommodations here. We're staying in the Pioneer Log Cabin, but don't worry, it does have a/c and heat! Heeheee. I'm not really much of a pioneer woman but this is my kind of place! Two more weeks!!!! And who knows...it could snow while we're there! A white Christmas perhaps!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

spilled pee, Jesus, and disco parties

I realize putting the name of Jesus in that subject line next to the words "pee" and "disco" seems a bit irreverant. But really, let me explain.

We have a potty in our car. Genius! Or so I thought. Until the potty spilled. And it was FULL. Of pee. I'm a bit of a germaphobe. Actually I don't know if I'm a germaphobe or just plain ol grossed out by public potties. And you know how little girls go potty. They touch everything. Their pants fall to the nasty floor when they sit down on the potty. Or their pants rest up against the side of the potty. It's just so EW! So about 3 years ago, I put a potty in the car. When my kids need to potty in public, we take a trip to the car. So far, it's been a genius idea. Until Saturday. When it got spilled all inside the back of my car. I dried it up, used all sorts of carpet cleaners and deodorizers. I went to the carwash and shampooed the carpet back there. But 80 degree heat and spilled pee in the carpet doesn't really mix. Will the smell ever go away? What else takes urine smells out of carpet?

And on a totally unrelated note, today, Daddy and Lexi had a nice long, sweet talk about Jesus. It was special. Lexi has been asking tons of questions about Heaven, baptism, and what it means to have Jesus in her heart. So Daddy picked her up from school today and they went on a date and he explained everything to her in 5 yr old terms and showed her a kids video that he shows at his Kidfaith Class which he teaches at church. It's a class designed to answer questions for kids about salvation and baptism. Today, Lexi trusted in Christ for her salvation. Only God knows how much she truly understands and grasps, but she definitely has all the head knowledge and knows the right answers. I'm sure this topic will come up over and over again during the next few years with her. But no matter the case, God's word does not return void. These seeds have been planted in her heart and she is truly a child of God. Praise the Lord!

And from Jesus to disco! Lexi was invited to a birthday party by one of her classmates, whom I do not know, but she is her best buddy at school. She loves this little girl and talks about her NONSTOP! But the party, 6-9 pm on FRIDAY NIGHT! It's a dico dance party. I was like, Uh, when did princess parties and Build a Bear parties on Saturday afternoons go out of style??? I resolved to let her go, but I'm going with her. I spoke with the mom and she said I was more than welcome to stay as long as I'd like. Whew! I'm very excited to meet the mom and learn more about this family since it appears as though our children are inseperable at school. But it's definitely a new chapter in our lives. Up till now, Lexi's friends have been children of my friends and now she's making her own friends. Kind of exciting!

Saturday, December 6, 2008


We bought a Christmas tree yesterday. A beautiful tree! $80 bucks. The snake was free! The funny thing, I just warned Cary before he brought the tree inside, "Make sure to shake it really good and look for snakes." I remember a news story from last year about a family who found a HUGE snake in their Christmas tree. Cary just laughed at me..."Oh honey, I'm sure the ride home would have been enough to scare away any snakes." He cut some branches off the bottom in order to put the tree in the tree stand. Guess what? Snake!!! We caught it and put it in an ice tea pitcher. It flattened its head and struck at me. I put the lid back on the pitcher! We took it up to Reptile World, because what Florida town would be complete without a place called Reptile World. The "snake man" quickly identified it as a Florida brown snake. He said it was full grown. Are you impressed that we caught a full grown snake? Well, don't be. It was like a total of a foot long and about the thickness of my pinky finger, if that. We live about a block from a big lake and swampy area. I guess snakes are bound to appear at some point. Just didn't think I'd find one in my Christmas tree.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sick and Tired

You know you're sick when you have a dream about dying! I started coming down with something on Thanksgiving Day. And let me preface that by saying I NEVER GET SICK. I'm too mean to get sick! My kids can have sniffles and I purposefully will eat and drink after them just to test my immune system and I never get sick! I have my momma's genes! I can count on one hand the number of times my mom got sick during the 21 years I lived with her. But...I'm SICK! I took Tylenol PM last night which I had vowed to never take again unless I wanted to sleep through like a whole week or something. But my thought was it will help me fall asleep and I'll just sleep through the coughing right? Wrong! I coughed so hard I wet my pants 3 times! (The joys of a post pregancy bladder.) This morning after getting Lexi off to school, I went back to bed and woke up 2 hours later in a puddle of drool. I think I could go back to bed right now and sleep till tomorrow. But then who would pick up Lexi from school, keep Ashton from destroying the house today, do the 5 loads of laundry so that Daddy can once again wear undies under his dress slacks (ew), go grocery shopping because the pantry is literally bare, unload and load the dishwasher, do homework duty, and go buy slippers for Lexi's pajama day and a present for her student teacher whose last day is tomorrow??? WHO would do all of that??? Like TODAY. I need a wife. I'm going to go take some "sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy head, fever, how did I wake up naked in the bathtub" medicine. Tis the season. Hachoo!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Lexi & Ashton...Dec '08

I had this brainstorm tonight at dinner while I was watching the girls be their usual cute little selves. Ashton, in her big fluffy Sleeping Beauty pink princess dress, half way through dinner, got up and went over to Daddy and nuzzled her way into his arms. Lexi proudly showed off her day's worth of food accomplishments right there on her white shirt. "Look Mommy, I'm a mess. Chocolate ice cream and beans all over my shirt!" As she licked the macaroni off of her fingers. Listening to both girls snicker at me when I announced to Candice and the kitty cat that YES, mommy had made them a tuna patty tonight too. (I didn't want them to feel left out.) It occurred to me, as it does so often these days, that my children are growing like weeds and I have to treasure, absolutely treasure, each and every adorable little thing they do and say NOW, because in the blink of an eye the clock will strike twelve, and our little cinderellas will be gone. So, every few months, I want to take the time to record some things about them that I want to remember 20 years from now. Starting now!

Lexi, 5 yrs and 9 months old, Kindergarten:
Pets: Candice the dalmatian, Mr. Baloo the kitty cat, and a beta fish named Camryn
Favorite thing to play: Anything outdoors, loves to do cartwheels in the backyard and jump on the trampoline, indoors loves to play with odds and ends kind of toys (a paper bowl full of a ball of foil, a rock, a rubber band, and a colored piece of paper taped up like a kite). See...odds and ends I tell you! Loves to color and shows great artistic ability.
Other Notable Characteristics: Very physically gifted (does great at gymnastics and is starting basketball in Jan), a little short fused at times, okay all the time, has great compassion for people and animals, LOVES JESUS AND TEXAS A&M...WHOOP! I've trained her well. Always has a song in her heart, loves to make up songs and they're usually about Jesus, would rather be outdoors getting dirty than indoors playing dress up any day, wears anything I lay out for her and eats everything I put in front of her! Would drink milk all day long if I'd let her. Hates yogurt and cheese.

Ashton, 3 yrs and 9 months old, PreK3:
Favorite thing to play: Dress up!!! This child isn't in the house for more than 10 minutes before she's stripping down and putting on either her princess dresses or her swimsuit or ballet leotard. And her outfit is not complete without the high heal dress up shoes! Lately, she's had an affection for cars too.
Other Notable Characteristics: Very opinionated! Cries EVERY TIME I leave her at school or at church...EVERY TIME! Without fail. Would rather sit in my lap and watch t.v. than to play. Says, "Yap" instead of "Yes". Takes off her shoes every time she sits down at a restaurant or in the car...she hates real shoes....prefers the dress up kind I guess! Calls flip flops "pop pops" and they are the only shoes she will willingly put on when it's time to leave the house. Will not drink milk to save her life (unless it has chocolate or coffee mixed with it) but eats her weight in cheese. We call her our little rat. LOVES Abbey on Sesame Street! Says at least 100 times a day "I a pincess". Loves to sit in the front seat of the car with me in the carpool line and play, "I the mommy, you the daddy" (she's the mommy, I'm the daddy). Every time I get off the phone she asks, "What they say?" Cute as a button!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Bring on the man in the red suit!

So Thanksgiving is over and the Christmas season has officially begun! Officially. I don't care what Walmart thinks. CHRISTMAS comes AFTER Thanksgiving, not before Halloween! Good grief! I'm so tired of seeing Christmas merchandise in the stores at the beginning of October!

We had a very nice Thanksgiving. We drove 9 hours to Mobile, AL and spent the day with all of Cary's family: parents, siblings, nieces and nephews, grandad, aunts, uncles, cousins. Everyone was there. We had a wonderful feast, but you know how it's just not the same when it's not your mama's cookin and you don't get to eat the leftovers for a week until you feel l ike your gonna turn into a turkey? Well, that's where I'm at! I want to cook our own Thanksgiving feast here at home this week, like mama would make, except that it won't be nearly as good b/c I'm culinary challenged, unlike mama! And then we're gonna eat the leftovers till the next pay day! Because the cost of a GOOD Thanksgiving feast is like my WHOLE WEEK'S grocery budget! (But it's worth it!)

Cute story! Last week, as we were saying our prayers, I said "Let's ask God to help Mommy and Daddy find a new car." And Lexi chimed in, "Yes, a car just like Dora (that's the name of our Explorer, Dora the Explorer) but maybe in Aggie colors." A girl after my own heart! Ironically I had just been coveting, I mean looking at a maroon Explorer on Ebay. I don't want my kids to think that God is our geenie in a bottle. But I do think it's important for them to join us in prayer for our NEEDS and trust me, a new family vehicle is a big NEED right now! Because then they can witness God blessing their family and supplying for our needs when he answers those prayers. So the next day, Cary brought home the rental SUV that we used to for our trip to Alabama. And when he pulled up in the driveway, Lexi started screaming, "MOMMY, MOMMY, come quick, you gotta see this. God already gave you a new car! Look outside!!!" It was so sweet. I explained to her that yes, God had supplied our need for a safe vehicle to drive to Alabama in, but that we couldn't keep it. It was a rental car. But yes, that blessing was from God! So keep prayin honey!

And God also blessed us with another AMAZING blessing! My mom informed me that rather than giving me Christmas money that I could use towards a new washer and dryer (another big need in this household) that she bought us a washer and dryer instead! And it's HUGE, the biggest ones they make! 7.5 cubic feet! You can wash 23 towels at one time. YEEHAW! Not that I would ever be washing 23 towels at one time. And the dryer has that steam setting that gets the wrinkles out so you don't have to iron as much! I can't wait for them to be delivered. You know you're such a mom if you get excited about top of the line household appliances. Maybe we can have a laundry party! Okay, not really. I'm not sharing! I've served my time at the laundrymat!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

New Family Photos

Today we went to the local lakefront area to make an attempt at some Christmas card photos. We had a friend, Matt, who just got a killer camera and he offered to come with us and take pictures. Everyone should have a friend like that! He's 21 and single and reminded me today that I'm old enough to be his mother. In a nice way. Thanks! If I were 13 and pregnant maybe! COME ON! I'm not THAT old! But I definitely could have been his teacher! I have students older than him. Scary. Anyhoo, for those of you not of facebook, thought you may enjoy these. No password needed. Happy Thanksgiving! http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=183596&l=00b56&id=834995365

Monday, November 24, 2008

Look Who Came Out To Play

Today while the girls were outside enjoying this beautiful weather, the Sandhill Cranes flew in for a landing and hung out for a while. They're so beautiful! And yes, that's Ashton in her ballerina clothes with bedhead, and Lexi in her pajamas. At 2:30 p.m. A few months ago, the Sandhills came by for breakfast, remember? Click here for those shots.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Bye Bye Pathifers

That's what Ashton calls her pacifier, a pathifer! But you have to say it really fast and put a country twang on the "fer" part. What's funny is that she named it that herself. We've always called it a paci. But tonight, may God have mercy on us, Ashton will sleep without her beloved pathifer. Oh, it's certainly PAST time for this blessed event. She'll be four in four short months! But it appears as though some time between nap time and bed time, we lost her last pathifer that did not have a hole in it. She likes to chew on them, thus the holes. So, here we go! "Baby crack" withdrawals. Pray for us! We will do our best to remain strong. (Or maybe I'll be haulin' butt to the closest store in the midnight hours!)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I need a weekend!

Today was Saturday, but it seemed like a normal work day to me! Cary was out the door by 7 a.m. and headed to the church work day. I got the girls up and fed them, bathed them, dressed them, straightened up the house, and we all headed up to the church as well. I worked in my Sunday School room for a while organizing things while the girls unorganized them for me. It was fun. Lots and lots of fun! Then I worked for a while preparing for Sunday's lesson. I teach kindergarten on Sunday mornings. That's a hoot and a half! Then I took Ashton to a birthday party while Cary stayed at the church and worked until about 3 p.m. Then we met at the house and headed out the door again to take the girls to see Miss Patty Cake Christmas at FB Orlando. When we finished up there, we treated ourselves to a good dinner out after our hard day. Cary and I have so much work to get done before we leave town next week that after church tomorrow, I'll probably go to the office for the rest of the day while he puts the girls down for a nap and works at home on his big 25 page paper that's due next Monday. Oh my goodness, we need a weekend! My car is FILTHY and in big need of a good cleaning. My house needs a deep cleaning. My Fall decorations need to be taken down so I can get out the Christmas stuff. My carpets need to be steam cleaned. Oh and some sleep and relaxation would be nice!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Talking Walls and other crazy mommy tricks

So as promised...the tale of talking walls.

Ashton. God love her. She is my warrior child. Spankings...she scoffs at spankings. (Actually she spits at me when I spank her. Seriously.) Strong willed is an understatement. I really should blog about her more often so that one day when she's all grown up and a wonderful, productive member of society, I can write a book about raising a warrior child. My challenge, of course is to channel her warrior mentality into (eventually one day) fighting for what's good, fighting for the Lord, fighting for truth in this world. But for now, I'd settle for not fighting with her sister, not fighting with me every time I ask her to pick up her toys, or brush her teeth, or leave her shoes on in the car, or not unbuckle her seatbelt until the engine has cut off. I could go on and on. Everything is a battle. I know she's three. BUT...I've raised a 3 yr old already. I'm telling you. She's different. Even my grandmother, mother of 6, shakes her head at Ashton and just says over and over,"You've got a mind of your own girl." To say the least! Fortunately, she saves all of her fights for me and daddy. She's an absolute angel at school and at church.

I've had to get really creative in disciplining Ashton. The goal is first time obedience, but when you're dealing with a 3 yr old warrior, you can't just simply be a dictator and expect immediate perfection. It ain't gonna happen. Threats don't work. The rod of correction (Rodney) doesn't work. Time outs don't work. I've had to get really creative, or crazy, one of the two. Probably more crazy than anything. I remembered when I was a teacher that the crazier you act, the more the children are intriqued by you and thus the quieter they get and then they simply obey b/c they realize you've gone over the deep end and they're afraid not to obey. So when I was teaching, I would do things like talk to the walls or the clock or the locker or the desk when I was trying to get the class's attention. For example, "Hey there Mr. Clock, are your arms tired yet? Mine sure are! You know what else is tired? Me! I'm tired of waiting for these kids to close their mouths so we can line up for lunch. What's that? You'll freeze time for me? Great. Let's try that..." You get the idea. At first, the kids would all be talking to one another and then they'd see their crazy teacher talking to a clock, so they'd stop long enough to listen and then voila, obedience. I thought, hey if it works on 4th-7th graders, it's BOUND to work on a 3 yr old.

So picture this. 45 Minutes of me hovering over my child who is on the floor asking her to please clean up the mess she's made of paper cuttings on the floor. She's whining, "I can't do it." And I'm saying, "You made the mess, you can clean it up!" Sound familiar? 45 minutes and a few swats from Rodney later....NOTHING. I left the room to re-gain my composure. I cheered myself on from the potty. You can do it Heather! You ARE stronger than a 3 yr old! You CAN win this battle. So I marched myself back into that kitchen and I said turned to look at the wall that Ashton had been leaning up against for 45 minutes and I said, "What's that wall? Ashton did you hear that? That wall is talking?" She slowly started to peak her head out of the ball she was curled up into. "What's that wall? You love holding Ashton up? I love to hold Ashton too. I wish she would let me hold her." Now granted, this was the love of Christ coming out b/c I certainly DID NOT FEEL like being sweet and nice and loving at this point. And I continued to talk to the wall and pretended as though the wall were talking back. I said things like, "I don't think she can pick up those papers either. What, you want to SEE her pick up the papers? Oh I don't know if she can. I sure wish she could though because I would hate for us to all go watch that Christmas movie and drink hot cocoa without her. What wall, you like hot cocoa too? Me too, it's soooooo yummy and with marshmallows and sprinkles on top? YES! Me too!" And then it happened, she started to laugh a little, she even smiled at me, and then she started to clean up her papers. One by one, she picked them up and put them in my hand. I was on the floor with her. Not compromising my expections, she had to do all the work, but I met her half way in that I was on her level, talking in a calm, loving, silly crazy mom way, and it totally worked! It did what 6 spankings and 45 minutes of time out couldn't do! After the papers were all picked up, I scooped her up and loved on her and explained why it was so important to obey mommy and daddy and how we love her too much to let her be disobedient. And then I prayed with her and we asked Jesus to forgive both of us...her for being disobedient and Mommy for losing her patience! I think it's so important that we admit our short comings to our children and that they witness us asking God for forgiveness. And then there was that time of sweet and tender love and affection afterwards to mend both of our broken hearts.

And since that incident, rather than resorting to what doesn't work with her (spankings and time outs) I've challenged myself to get more creative and loony tuny with her and do things like tickle her into submission or sing a crazy song that makes her WANT to do what I've asked her to do. And it has worked.

Last night, I was thinking back to when a guy in our church gave me a card with Ashton's name on it and he said while he was mowing the grass, God gave him this word on Ashton. It said, "God's mighty warrior". You can read about that blog post here. I cling to that promise during these toddler years that one day, all of this will and fight will be channeled the right way. But getting there, LORD help me!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What is the world coming to, part 2

Today I had to...

1. Sign a consent form for Ashton's preschool to use germ-ex on her hands!

2. Sign a permission slip to allow Lexi to purchase whatever she wanted at her school's Book Fair.

Now obviously, there had to be complaints or else there would be no need for consent forms right?

Are you kidding me??? Germ ex? Who complains about Germ ex? It's a staple item in my house. I have it in the house, in the car, in the purse, in the diaper bag. I asked her teacher, "Okay, so did someone complain and that's why y'all had to send these consent forms out?" And she said that they had their annual inspection from DCF (same thing as CPS in Texas) and this was one thing they got busted on...using Germ ex!

And as for the Book Fair, I understand when you give a child $20 bucks to go to the Boof Fair, that they may not always make the wisest choices and they may come home with something you wished they hadn't purchased, but that's the fun of the Book Fair...getting to shop without your mom hovering over you! I LOVED THE BOOK FAIR when I was a kid. That's one of my favorite school memories. I was so excited for Lexi when she told me her class was going to the Book Fair today. I wanted to send her with plenty of money so she could buy whatever she wanted, knowing good and well that she would probably come home with something I would have never chosen for her. But when your kid comes home with an unwise purchase, make it a teachable moment and move on. You don't complain to the school! For Heaven's sake!

Whatever the world is coming to, I'm sure it's not good!

Monday, November 17, 2008

The "Gourd"ans, dr visit, chipmunks, and talking walls

Ashton had a cold all week last week. I had to take her to the dr. last week while we were in Texas because of an awful cough. Turned out, she had a double ear infection...the day before our flight home. That made for a thrill a minute at 30,000ft. So, for only the 2nd time in her life, she took antibiotics. That child is rarely sick, but when she gets sick, SHE GETS SICK! Here we are a week later and SHE STILL HAS THAT COLD! The cold that never ends. But this weekend, Lexi started coughing. She has asthma, so a cold is never just a cold. It usually results in pneumonia rather quickly. So I took no chances and kept her home from school today to visit the dr. She's gonna live! But she is on mega steroids, 2 different types. And the doctor said she should stay home for a few days to have her breathing monitored. Great! The doctor said, "Oh it's just kindergarten!" She obviously does not have a kindergartener. I don't even want to think about how far behind she'll be!

So this morning while I was cleaning house, the girls were playing with our plethora of pumpkins. We have like 20,000 pumpkins in this house! Don't ask. You know your children have good imaginations when pumpkins suddenly become life-like and take on a personality of their own. I told them they should name their pumpkin family The Gourdans. Heeheee. They didn't get it. But Cary and I thought it was a knee slapper.

When we got home from the dr's office, I thought the girls may enjoy just cozyin up with mommy and daddy and watching a fun movie. We don't own a DVD player. Don't laugh. I know they're like $30 bucks these days but for some reason I can't bring myself to spend $30 bucks on entertainment. We've had like, I don't know, 4 or 5 portable DVD players for the car and they usually break after just one road trip, no matter how expensive they are. So in order to watch DVD's, we have to all huddle around my computer. I set us up in Granny's guest room. The girls love that bed! I guess it reminds them of Granny and how "cozy" she is. That's what Lexi says. I made homemade from scratch, on-the-stove-top hot cocoa...Mmmmmm, and popped some popcorn and we all watched Alvin & The Chipmunks together. It was sweet fun! You have no idea what a sacrifice this was for me! I HATE MOVIES. I can't sit still that long. There were about 10 loads of laundry calling my name. And how much more annoying does it get than chipmunks? I'll be singing that walla walla bing bang song for DAYS! But it was so worth it, just having some sweet family time together.

This post has already become so long, I think I'll save the "talking walls" for tomorrow. Cary FINALLY joined facebook today so I must go take some crazy hot and sexy pictures of my husband, the pastor, for his facebook profile. I'M KIDDING!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

silk wraps are not my friend

I have always had great nails. My whole life. Everyone has always complemented me on my nails. Well, except my piano teacher when I was a kid. She was always on me to cut them. I took piano lessons for 10 years. After my mom FINALLY let me quit my senior year in high school, the first thing I did was to grow my nails out as long as I wanted them. And I can grow me some nails. And they are hard as rocks. But with all of the motherly duties came ugly nails. I use my hands so much I guess. I can no longer keep polish on them for more than a couple of hours. If that! I used to go every Saturday and get my nails painted before I was married and had children. You know...back when I had time and money! Now, my left hand thumb and pointer break constantly as do my right hand thumb and middle finger. Go figure. I can't keep them even. I end up with ring finger and pinky nails so long I eventually have to cut them b/c they start curling under. Okay, maybe not that long. But it drives me crazy. I just want pretty hands. I've never had fake nails...EVER. Until last night! I did it! I finally talked my husband into letting me do this one thing for myself. I've been obsessed with it for months now. I did not want acrylic. So I settled on the silk wrap. Interesting concept. Costly and not many places will do it any more. They put on a tip with nail glue. Then they put a silk fingernail shaped fabric over your entire nail and then start layering the glue and some kind of powder, not acrylic though. So the only thing touching your actual fingernail is silk and nail glue. It's supposed to be better for you nails than acrylic. Okay...2 hours later...and beautifully painted french manicured nails...I HATE THEM! I can't wait for them to fall off. I can't do ANYTHING. I can't zip my pants. I can't unlock the sliding back door. I can't open a coke can. And wiping my bottom poses all sorts of new challenges. And my poor nails feel so clostherphobic under there. Seriously, I can't do this. What was I thinking???? But they're so pretty, they are! I think I've decided though that it's just better to live with my real nails, as uneven and unpainted as they are. Any suggestions for how to keep real nails polished without the polish chipping every time I bathe or wash dishes, which unfortantely for my nails is like...several times per day??? I've used that Sally Hansen no chip stuff. Doesn't work for me!

I'm about to clean house and do laundry. Maybe that will make them fall off faster!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

They say everything's bigger in Texas...

Check out this acorn we found on the ground right outside of Kyle Field at A&M. You think this is big, you should have seen the squirrel we had to fight for it. No, I'm kidding! A&M is known for their School of Agriculture. I'm thinkin that oak tree was genetically altered! Only in Texas.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Greetings From Texas

We arrived in satan's city (Austin) on Friday afternoon. If you're not from Texas and know NOTHING about Austin, let me just tell you, it is home of that "other" university, the one we refer to as satan's children. Plus Austin is just a wierd place even without the university. So wierd in fact, that thier slogan is "keep Austin wierd". See? I didn't make it up! It's wierd. And the traffic! Lord! You don't know traffic until you've traveled down I35 in Austin during rush hour. Makes Houston and Dallas look like a ride at Disney World! So far we have eaten at Pappasito's, we atteneded HALF of the Aggie game (long story and I'm not just talking about the awful score), and we've eaten at my all time favorite place, "Wings N More" in College Station. After the first half of the game, Lexi walked around campus picking up rocks and a Texas-sized acorn. That sucker is HUGE! Like bigger than a squirrels head! Only in Texas. I told her we could put her rocks in a jar and label the jar, "Aggieland Rocks"...ba da bing! Today we are sort of relaxing. I "helped" mom fix her bed and I use the word "helped" lightly. Hammering and nailing is not my gift. Friday night when she and Lexi and Ashton all climbed into bed together, the bed collapsed. I don't know why that makes me laugh. Fortunately there were three other beds in the house to choose from. We have no official plans for the rest of our trip. The girls just love playing in Granny's huge backyard, which is fenced, like a backyard should be (Floridians don't fence their yards, isn't that strange???) And they love to ride their bikes on Granny's long long driveway. The weather is just perfect! Lows in the 40's, highs near 80. Beautiful! I might venture into town today to see if I can find me a few more Texas ornaments for our Texas Christmas tree. We've added to it every year for the past 7 years. It means even more to me now that I don't live in Texas. It's like a piece of home in my living room during the holiday season. This year we're adding a Florida tree. It's a lit palm tree with flamingo ornaments. Stop laughing. We bought it last year at an after Christmas sale. Now I just need me some lawn art...I'm picturing a cowboy santa on horseback being pulled by some pink flamingos!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Gonna Make Like a Baby and Head Out!

I'm leaving tomorrow afternoon for a long weekend trip to Texas, just me and the girls. Lexi is out of school on Tuesday, so we're going to play hookie on Monday and just make a long weekend out of it. We're going to the A&M/OU game on Saturday. I can't wait! Lots of good food and some Aggie football, doesn't get much better than that! I'll take lots of pictures so you can all feel like you were there with me. HA!

Tonight, I got to go on a shopping spree. A FREE shopping spree. Love those kind! My mom had given me a little somethin' somethin' to get the girls some warmer clothes so I headed out to the Gymboree Oulet, my favorite place to shop for children's clothing! I got like 9 complete outfits, I'm talking accessories and all, for $200! Why can Gymboree not carry adult sizes too??? And then Cary and I had been given a gift card to Olive Garden during Pastor Appreciation week (my favorite week of the year by the way) so after a long hard shopping trip, we had a feast at Olive Garden. And then Cary treated me to an early Christmas present. I have been wanting this certain pair of RayBan sunglasses for MONTHS. I've shopped around and I just knew I would not be happy until I had those sunglasses. They were actually one of the least expensive pairs of RayBan, but they are BEAUTIFUL and I just want to sleep in them. Like that song from the 80's...I wear my sunglasses at night! So I guess that part of my shopping spree wasn't free. But I deserved them. I haven't spent money on myself in AGES! Besides, it's been a hard week with this whole Obama thing and all.

Have a great weekend everyone! Watch for me Saturday on the T.V. at 2:30 CT on ABC. I'll be the screaming fan wearing maroon. KIDDING! Actually don't watch the game please. In case we get CREAMED! Which is highly likely.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

What I Know

America has just elected an African American President. What an AMAZINGLY historical event. And so wonderful (from a historical perspective).

I want desperately to like Obama. I'm sure he's a wonderful person. But when it comes to the moral and economic issues, I'm just not with him. I could not vote for him.

Black people can no longer claim the "race card". Cause we elected a freakin BLACK PRESIDENT people! (And I would bet that more white voters voted for him than black voters.)

Our country has always gone through cycles of conservatism and cycles of liberalism. I thought the world would end when Bill Clinton was elected. And then I was SURE it would end when he was elected AGAIN. But here we sit. 12 years later.

The liberal media never ceases to anger and frustrate me. But maybe our new president can get that under control since it appears as though we're headed towards socialism.

I LOVE GLENN BECK! The only voice of reason within the liberal media.

I'm sorry, but the story about Obama's grandmother dying yesterday, I'm not buying it. When I saw that on the news yesterday, I said, "PUH-LEASE!" I think they purposefully waited until the day before the election to release that statement or they pulled the plug yesterday strategically on that day to play on the sympathy vote. Call me crazy. Or a sicko!

I live in a blue state. For the first time in my life. Dark Blue, very very blue. Blue president. Blue house. Blue senate.

The sun will rise tomorrow and America will still be the most wonderful country in the world and there's no place I'd rather be.

God is in control.

Palin 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008


Is anyone else as OVER this election as I am? Is it just me or has this election been exceptionally annoying on both sides and I'm not just talking about the presidential candidates. Everything from senate races, and even local races have become nothing more than a big giant mud slinging campaign. I'm so ready for this to be OVER! And in the words of my friend, Ryan Cox, I hope McCain does to Obama what Texas Tech did to Texas...beats him in the last few seconds of the game! Amen Ryan! I'm praying that the polls are off and that McCain has this one in the bag. I say we have a party tomorrow night no matter who wins just to celebrate the end of this craziness!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

My Baby is 11 Years Old

Happy Birthday sweet Candice girl! You'll always be my first baby! I hope I have brought you as much love and joy as you've brought me. I can't imagine my life without you. You are truly a girl's best friend!

Today for Candice's birthday, we made her an egg sandwhich for breakfast. She's a vegetarian, so an egg sandwhich was on her diet and still a tasty treat. I don't know if vegetarians eat eggs, or does that make her a vegan? Hmmm... Oh well, she just can't eat meat. After breakfast, Cary put her up on the bed for some good ol' Mommy/Candice lovin! I had already planned to wash sheets today, so we rolled around under the covers and had some sweet birthday love. Right now, Daddy is making Candice a birthday cake...pumpkin bread! Mmmmmmm. And he's also playing her favorite game, Hide and Seek. I hope it was a fun day for my special girl.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Fall Fotos

About half way through starts the pictures from today. Ashton had a costume parade at her school. Lexi had "On the Farm" day. And we also carved our pumpkin (in swimsuits and shorts...only in Florida!) Tonight we went Trick or Treating. Here are some Fall Fotos of the girls!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Trip to the Dentist & Fall Festival

Yesterday was a very busy day. After the girls were both off to school, I helped Cary by running some last minute Fall Festival errands for him. Then after picking the girls up from school, they both had their 2nd dentist appointment. It went MUCH better than the first trip! They both practically RAN in the door and were fighting over who was going to go first. WOW! What a difference 6 months makes! We went to our family dentist in town, Dr. Colbern (if anyone is looking for a new dentist...he's wonderful!) Lexi does have her first cavity unfortunately. Daddy has a mouth full of lead. I hope she's not going to follow in his footsteps. I didn't have my first cavity until a year ago! But I was part of that "coat your teeth in flouride gell every night before going to bed" generation, before they knew that too much flouride was bad for you! But both girls did great. No one was the least bit frightened. Such big girls these days! After our dentist appt, we came home and transformed ourselves into some dern cute lil Texas cowgirls for the Fall Festival. The turnout was wonderful and it was such a fun event. The food was DEEEEELISH!

Here are some pics from our busy day!
Pumpkin painting!
Daddy was Indiana Jones. And my costume...I went as Mother of Cowgirls and Wife of Indian Jones!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fall Festival Tonight

So if you live locally, PLEASE come! Our church is hosting its 2nd annual Treasure Quest Fest. It's going to ROCK! Hayrides with hot cocoa and our crazy youth worship leader playing kidz songs on the guitar on the hayride, lots of games and crafts for the kids to enjoy, lots of candy and prizes. I just went and picked up FOUR Toys R Us gift cards which will be door prizes! And Cary is going to perform an episode of Kidzchurch, which will kind of showcase what we do on Sunday mornings for visitors to see. It also goes along with the Treasure Quest theme. Everything is FREE! Even the yummy food...hot dogs, hamburgers, pulled pork BBQ sandwhiches, popcorn, cotton candy! It's gonna rock! The weather is AWESOME...sunny, clear, breezy, lows in the 40's tonight, a perfect night for an event like this. If you don't live locally, please pray for this even to be a total success from beginning to end. We only have a small handful of opportunities throughout the year to really reach out to our community in such a big way like this. For some folks, this is a chance to maybe find a church home. But for others, it's a chance for them to just see, "Hey, this place is not so bad after all." And maybe they'll come back and maybe they won't. And for some who already have a church home, this is just a fun family night to be blessed by a church that has been so richly blessed by the God we serve. So just pray that all goes well and if you're in my neck of the woods, the fun starts at 6!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I Heart Lasagna & Target

I've been craving homemade lasagna for WEEKS but I really hate to cook. I figured out why I don't like to cook. It involves sweating and standing. Two of my least favorite things. But yesterday I finally made that special trip to the store just to buy homemade lasagna ingredients. I think a trip to the Olive Garden would have been cheaper. But not nearly as yummy! And last night, I made the mother of all lasagnas! It was NINE heavenly layers! Yes, NINE! It was absolutely divine. So good in fact that I had to have it for breakfast because the thought of waiting till dinner to eat leftovers was just not gonna do it. And guess what Lexi and I just had for an afternoon snack....lasagna! Once again, the thought of waiting till dinner to eat leftovers was just not gonna do it. I'll be glad when the pan is gone so I can stop eating. This is why I don't make homemade lasagna very often. Can anyone say "weight watchers"? On a side note, Lexi ate all of her broccoli but left some lasagna on her plate. Not sure which planet she's from.

And another love of mine...Target. Oh Target! Red dot bliss! I love that place. Walmart who? Today after Ashton's 6 month neurologist appt, since I was in Orlando, I decided why waste all that gasoline on just a trip to the doctor, let's make the most of it and do Target while we're here! Okay, back up, it's like a high of 63 here today???!!!! A windy, sunny, beautiful high of 63! BUT I'M FREEZING! And my Floridaized body owns nothing but flip flops and shorts and t-shirst. So we were in desperate need of some closed toe shoes, although I hate closed toe shoes. My feet feel all claustrophobic and whatnot. My toes are gasping in there, "Must have fresh air!!!! Top of shoe messing up beautifully pedicured toenails!!! LET ME OUT!!!!!" But anyways, I got stride rite caliber shoes, little mary jane's for Ashton in both brown and navy blue for...are you sitting down...$6.98! I ended up buying 5 pairs of children shoes and what deals I got! Of course I didn't buy myself any closed toe shoes because once again I hate closed toe shoes and this is Florida where you can wear flip flops every day of the year and no one will look at you strangely like you're breaking a cardinal rule of fashion. (This DOES happen in Dallas. I promise!)

Well, we're off to gymnastics in our new Target gymnastics outfit that I got for $9.98! And then back home for another plate of lasagna for dinner!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Finally, Some Fall and a Date Night

This was a busy busy weekend with Granny in town. And thankfully some Fall weather has finally arrived! (Although after only 2 nights in the upper 50's, I'm ready for Summer again!) On Friday evening, we attended Ashton's Fall Festival at her school. On Saturday, we started out the day with breakfast at Cracker Barrell. More on that later. Then we went to the pumpkin patch in Celebration and to Seaworld for their "spooktacular" or whatever halloweeny name it had. It wasn't spooky. Very kid friendly. Then on Sunday after church we took the girls to the new indoor bounce house place that just opened in town. Cary picked me up from there and we went on a dinner date while my mom stayed the girls and got them fed, bathed, and put them in bed. YEA Granny! Cary and I had a nice dinner at Benihana's. We wanted to go some place nice that we wouldn't normally get to go for dinner and passing by the hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurant on the way to Orlando made me hungry for some Asian cuisine. Cary calls it Benihaha's. Don't ask why. It was yummy. But here we are some 12+ hours later and I can't get that dipping sauce taste out of my mouth. I've brushed twice, used listerine twice, chewed gum...it's still there! One more reason I could never be Asian. But back to the Cracker Barrell story. My mom had bought these beautiful red suade western outfits for the girls for their halloween costumes at a western store near her house. They were SO cute, and about $60 a piece! She had also bought them matching red cowgirl hats. But when they tried them on, they were way too small. Even Lexi's size was too small for Ashton. My mom was just sick. So, we thought we would go to Sheppler's after breakfast on Saturday and see if we could find the girls something cute and westerny. BUT...low and behold...we walked in to Cracker Barrell and there were the two most darling little cowgirl outfits RIGHT THERE at Cracker Barrell, $23! So we snatched them up! But Ashton, who has a mind of her own, says, "I don't wanna be a cowgirl, I A PRINCESS!" So Granny bought her a pink princess costume too! In addition to her cowgirl outfit. I tried to convince her to be a cowgirl princess. I said, "Mommy can put make up on you and fix your hair real pretty and you can wear some big blingy jewelry. You'll look just like a Texas cowgirl!" But she was having no part of it. So it will be interesting to see which costume she ends up in this week. (My money is on the princess dress!) Every morning I have to fight with her about her clothing. I always lay out her school clothes and she wads them up (after all my ironing efforts) and puts them back in her drawer saying, "I don't wanna wear this..." and puts on a dress up dress and says, "I A PRINCESS!" Lord, help me!
It's a good thing she's so cute!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Pumpkin Prayer

As I was reading a friend's blog today about the Christian origins of Halloween, it caused me to think about my own feelings for the day. Though it may have had Christian origins, Satan has certainly distorted this day into a day that glorifies evil. The images are all around us. If I see another commercial during prime time television for Universal's Night of Horror, I'm going to lose my mind! But in our home, we have refused to allow Satan to steal the joy away from our children over something they don't even understand. And if I didn't let them participate, I may be just fueling the fire to rebellion later. To them, it's all about wearing a cool costume and getting candy. That's innocent enough. However we don't live under a rock, so I know they will be exposed to the evil images and the witches, ghosts, goblins, spiders, and the other eerie creepy visual reminders of how Satan has yet again taken away the glory from God on this holiday.

Because we can't escape the season, why not embrace it in your own way? You CAN focus on the God who has given you much to be thankful for during this season of thanksgiving and harvest. You may have seen this pumpkin carving illustration before, but I think my children are finally old enough to incorporate this tradition into our halloween plans, a little modified of course.

Being a Christian is just like a pumpkin! Let me try to explain, I brought this pumpkin here to help me illustrate what I mean. (Proceed to carve the pumpkin.)

First, God picks you from the pumpkin patch and brings you in from the field. The Bible says He selects us out of the world. We are in the world, but no longer of the world.

He then washes all the "dirt" off the outside that we received from being around all the other pumpkins. All the outside influences of our former life must be cleaned up. Old things are passed away and all things are become new.

Then, He carefully removes all the "yucky stuff" called "sin" out from the inside. Look at this! Yuk! Sin will not have such internal power.

He then changes us from the inside out by the Power of His Word. That's why it is important to go the church and learn about God's Word.He carefully removes all those seeds of doubt, hate, greed, and fear. He replaces them with the seeds of faith, hope and love.

After Jesus is invited inside, you begin to experience the changing power of God's love in your life.Then He carves a new smiling face. Our countenance is changed by the power of His presence in our life. We then become so grateful. It can even show on our face!

Now we are going to light this candle inside. Look! This pumpkin now reflects the light from inside out. So too, when Jesus, who is called the Son of Light, lives inside of us, He shines through our life for all to see. We can let His light reflect through us to reveal His presence. "Let your light so shine before men that they may be able to see your good works and glorify your Father, who is in heaven."

So you see, we Christians are really like this pumpkin! We will never be the same with Jesus inside of us. We can say like this jack-o-lantern, "Thy presence, my light!"

You can also use this prayer in conjunction with it. You can also have them draw pictures of their pumpkin and share the gospel with their friends. We love to do this each year after the pumpkins have outlived their outdoor decorating potential.

The Pumpkin Prayer
{cut off top of pumpkin}Lord, open my mind so I can learn new things about you.

{remove innards}Remove the things in my life that don’t please you.Forgive the wrong things I do and help me to forgive others.

{cut open eyes}Open my eyes to see the beauty you’ve made in the world around me.

{cut out nose}I’m sorry for the times I’ve turned my nose at the good food you provide.

{cut out mouth}Let everything I say please You.

{light the candle}Lord, help me show your light to others through the things I do.

By: Liz Curtis Higgs

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Queen Mum is Coming

TOMORROW! That would be my mom...a.k.a. the Queen Mum, Irm the worm, Santa Claus....but most importantly....Granny! The girls are on fall break tomorrow and Friday so Granny is coming to spend the long weekend with them. And to cut their hair! My mom is a great hair cutter. She's never been to beauty school. She's not a professional hair cutter. In fact, I think her job title is something like Software Engineer Consultant or something of that nature. But she can cut a mean head of hair! So we've decided that Granny must see the girls once a month, if for no other reason than to cut their hair. It's a good excuse, don't you think? The girls are so excited. We're going to Ashton's fall festival at her school on Friday night. We're going to take the girls trick or treating at Seaworld some time this weekend. Granny has a season pass too! We might even see if we can talk Granny into the Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom while Cary and I go on a date night to Blizzard Beach. Heeeheeee.

Off the subject, Lexi got a 100 on her first spelling test last week and she has another one today. Although, her teacher is far more gracious than I would be. She spelled the words correctly, but she wrote them in the wrong order. I don't get it. How does that happen? The teacher calls out the word, they write it down. How did she do that? Who knows. All that matters is that she got ice cream on Friday! Since this was a short week of studying, I hope she can do as well today.

This morning when Daddy was getting the girls in the car, Lexi said, "I eat breakfast at school EVERY morning. (this is news to me) It's my favorite...cereal and bananas and milk!" She said that her friends invited her so she started going. Uh....hello....HOW is this possible? She gets there like RIGHT on time, how does she have time to eat? And why am I just now hearing about it? So she's eating TWO breakfasts every day! Okay, this kind of explains why we've noticed she's been kind of beefin' up a little since school started. I've been making sure to pack really healthy lunches and snacks and Daddy has been taking them on bikerides and jogging and to the park to play soccer because we thought maybe being in school all day has made her more sedentary and she just needs more activitiy because God help her, she has my genes. Poor thing. Now please don't think I'm just being shallow for noticing when my child packs on a few pounds. There are things I am shallow about, but this is not one of them. It's just that I've had a weight issue my ENTIRE life so I'm very sensitive to the fact that I don't ever want my children to endure what I went through as an overweight child. I just want them to be healthy and fit!

Okay, so I'd better quit wasting time and get busy cleaning this house, which is what I was supposed to start doing an hour ago and it's still not happening. When will they invent a self cleaning house? I wish I had a magic wand.

Monday, October 20, 2008

So in case you missed it on facebook...

I kind of sort of maybe just a little teeny tiny itty bitty bit perhaps maybe might be thinking that I want another baby. It all started about a month ago. Up till then, it was NO WAY, NO HOW, NO CHANCE, AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN! And then I don't know what happened, but all the sudden my heart began to change and there would just be these little longings here and there. It took me about 3 weeks to get up the guts to tell my husband. And he responded exactly like I knew he would...."WHAT are YOU smokin?" I guess I should explain that we always wanted three kids but somewhere during the midnight hours of sleeplessness and poop and wet sheets that needed to be changed at 3 a.m. and the thought that our bank account could nearly double if I went back to work full time we finally settled on the fact that maybe just 2 lil darlins wasn't such a bad plan after all. And that was that. It was settled. No more kids! In less than 2 years, I could go back to work and all would be well in the universe. But I can't help these feelings that have overcome me lately. And I will be 35 soon. "I ain't no spring chicken," as my grandmother would say. But my husband is still in denial that I ever even mentioned the hint of a possibility of another. Which means, God would have to do a heavy duty overhaulin of a work on his heart if this is meant to be. We do serve a God who is in the miracle business thankfully. And I am on the pill. I call it my happy pill. For a reason. If I stop taking it....um....I won't be happy if you catch my drift. It keeps me hormonally sane. Whew...those 4 days of placebo pills at the end of the month are just about enough to put me over the edge. And then when I think about the finances and how we are SO stinkin close to financial bliss, it just makes my head spin to think of starting over with a newborn and FIVE MORE YEARS of being at home! I do work part time. But my teaching salary in Texas was more than three times what I currently make.

However, I once heard a very wise woman whom I adore (Lisa Welchel) say, "When making a difficult decision, take finances and fear out of the equation." Because we do serve a mighty God who makes things happen in His way and if this is His will, He will continue to provide for us faithfully. And I guess this also means I should go back on Weight Watchers so I can LOSE weight BEFORE I gain it! Makes perfect sense doesn't it? Well, I mean, just in case. You know.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Today is the first day in my Aggie life that I'm going to try not to care about the Aggie game (the game I'm missing that my mom is at and I can't even watch on t.v....boohooo!) Today, if the Aggies can just keep the game within a 40 point loss and put at least one touchdown on the board, I'll consider it an (emotional) victory. God help em!

This morning, Cary was in the girls' room playing "house" and when he came out he said Lexi was the mommy and he was the daddy and Ashton was one of their children (named Amy) and they had 8 other children, some of which were human and some of which were not human. Hmmmm. I told him the non human ones must take after their daddy!

The other night at the dinner table, Ashton took off all her clothes and announced she had to POOP. Yes, we were at home, not at a restaurant. Thank goodness. A few seconds later, Lexi yelled from the bathroom, "CAN SOMEONE PLEASE COME WIPE ME?" I quickly said, "1-2-3-not it!" When Cary got back from that chore and continued with his dinner, I said, "Did you ever think that one day you would be sitting at the dinner table with a naked girl talking about poop and eating all at the same time?" He said, "Nope, but for some reason it seems completely normal." I agreed. Awkwardly.

I must have woken up a thousand times last night, feeling the need to snuggle up to my honey while that t.v. song, "You're my best friend" played over and over and over in my mind. I can't for the life of me remember what show or commercial that song is from and that's the one and only line from the song I know...You're my best friend. Poor guy.

Good news...it has been reported from Seguin, Texas that my children now have a halloween costume! Yes! Western outfits...Red Suade cowgirl outfits. I can't wait to see them all dressed up!

Well, I'm going to continue cleaning house and pretend not to care that my Aggies kick off in 25 minutes. And I'm also going to pretend not to care that ESPN's College Gameday show was in Austin today and the people in the crowd were wearing long sleeves and sweatshirts while my kids are playing outside in their swimsuits. Happy Fall huh?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Farm Livin Is the Life for Me...NOT

Ashton and I went on a school field trip today to Green Meadows Farms in Kissimmee. It was fun, dirty, but fun. Farms are dirty. I know. I don't really like dirt so much. Or salmonella bacteria. I caught a duck with my own 2 hands. Yup. I sure did. Took a picture of it too cause I knew no one would believe me! How does one catch a duck, you might ask? Very carefully. There were about 30 ducks in a pen. And there were about 15 children and parents lined up along the fence inside the pen. On the count of three, we all started walking very slowly towards the ducks. And all the ducks took off in the opposite direction until they were finally all cornered along the fence. And then I just scooped one up from behind. You have to put your hands over their wings and then you tuck it under your arms like a football. See, I'm a duck holdin' expert already!

She was awfully proud of her pumpkin and YES, that's a swimsuit she's wearing. Not a day goes by that Ashton doesn't put on her swimsuit! She would LIVE in her swimsuit if we would let her. This was on our way to pick up Lexi from school. She wanted to take her pumpkin with her everywhere.


Ashton's sweet little class and her teacher, Ms. Michele.

Okay, THIS is a REAL water buffalo! I didn't know there was such a thing. I just thought it was some make believe creature in a veggie tale's song! But what do ya know! His name is Elmer.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Got Gas?

This is not about gasoline, the kind you put in your car. Although praise the Lord, the prices are coming down! $3.09/gallon right now! My mom said it's $2.68/gallon in her neck of the woods. Thank you Jesus! Something good has come from this economic crisis! But this post is really about the other kind of gas. You know, CO2, or something like that. I failed Chemistry. No, really.

Today when Lexi got home from school, she announced, "NOW, I can finally POOT!" and she let one rip!

I don't know why that's blog worthy, but I thought it was hillarious! She will not like me for this when she is 16 and comes across this post in our bloggity coffee table book!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I'm back...

I've been MIA for a few days. I think 5 days between posts is a new record for me! We've been busy busy busy. Cary's family has been in town for the week, since last Saturday. They stayed in Orlando, so we spent our evenings and weekends over there visiting with them. Add to that school and work and homework and gymnastics and church and Seaworld and a visit to the after hours clinic and well, we just haven't spent much time at home this week. I've had a killer bladder infection this week...I know you will sleep better tonight now that you know that. So I was the one at the clinic yesterday. Thank God for antibiotics! I'm a new woman today. (A new woman developing a yeast infection from the miraculous antibiotics.) Was that too much info? You gotta love antibiotics. I've had 2 yogurts today and a gallon of water. Not helping. Okay, so moving on...we went to Seaworld on Thursday. I love Seaworld! My kids think Seaworld is better than Disney. Ashton went to a Build A Bear party yesterday and made a cute brown bear and named him "Little Bear". And Little Bear is wearing a Little Mermaid costume a red hair wig. Heeheee. We spent about 2 hours today working with Lexi on her school work, getting her ready for her 6 weeks tests this week. Oh the pressure these days in kindergarten! Still trying to figure out halloween, I mean, fall festival costumes. My Aggies are stinky this year. When does basketball season start??? Can we just forfeit the rest of the football season??? How does a school with the best facilities in the COUNTRY, and that's not comin from me, that's from a whole slew of sports writers, whose athletic's organization brings in more money than any other school in the conference, whose fans show up in 80,000+ masses week in and week out, who pays their coaching staff millions and millions of dollars, who is located in the football capitol of America...HOW DO THEY STINK SO BADLY? I don't get it. I still need a new car. Or two. Does McCain even have a prayer? Will Casey Anthony FINALLY go back to jail this week? Did Adriana on 90210 really die last week or was that just Hollywood trickery? The suspense is killing me. Does anyone else love Glenn Beck on CNN as much as me? He's the only person in the media with the slightest bit of common sense. Watch his show. Really. It's good stuff.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

We use POSITIVE reinforcement, really we do...

I'm not quite sure where to draw the line between positive reinforcement and just plain ol' bribery! This morning, Cary and I were so groggy, I guess we hit the snooze button one too many times, or maybe Ashton had been playing with my alarm clock again, I'm not sure which. Sometimes when she secretly gets ahold of it during the day, she turns the volume all the way down or all the way up. Lovely. I know. This morning we both popped out of bed like someone had lit a fire under our mattress as we seemed to simultaneously realize it was 7:20 and we had already gotten a 20 minute late start to our day. It generally takes about 20 minutes to coral the girls into the tub in the mornings. But not today. You can call it bribery. We like to call it "positive reinforcement". Daddy said, "Good morning girls, the first one to the tub gets candy!" And MAN, they were OFF to the races! Lickity split! Ashton couldn't get her clothes off fast enough. WOW! That worked. Now once they get in the tub, which is only half the battle, you have to get them OUT of the tub, which is a chore in and of itself. Once they get to playin, they just aren't eager to get out. SO...daddy was just full of tricks this morning. He said, "Watch this girls...and he hit the button which turns on the jacuzzi jets!" WOW they couldn't get out fast enough. They were terrified by the loud noise the jets make. Okay, so that really shouldn't be so funny. But it was. Kind of. Now we know. Candy and jets.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Kindergarten is Kickin My Booty!

Okay, be honest, show of hands if you thought kindergarten was for coloring, becoming proficient with scissors, learning your letters and numbers, and just learning how to "be in school". Well times have changed! Oh my stars. We are doing about AN HOUR of HOMEWORK every night and I still feel she's behind, or struggling I should say. And I know it's not because she's slow or lazy, it's because she's FIVE! I mean, like, they're past learning their letters and sounds. They've moved on to STORY WRITING, yes story writing, you didn't read that wrong, they're story writing. Can I say it again? Story writing. With a beginning, middle, and ending. Okay, at our house, we're still on "V says vuh". Forget about Heather, the mommy, for a minute. This is coming from Heather the teacher...UH HELLO...STATE LEGISLATURE or U.S. DEPT OF EDUCATION or whoever the h-e-double hockey sticks is coming up with this CRAP...WAKE UP AND SMELL THE FRENCH TOAST STICKS! I'm sorry, but 5 yr olds have no business writing stories. You cannot rush these first few years of reading and phonics instruction. It is the foundation for which the rest of their education will rely upon. Most 5 yr olds are not developmentally ready for the academic pressures that are being put on them in school these days. And you want to talk about pressure, Lexi is about to take her THIRD test! We're only 6 weeks into the school year. I recently read a book about Biblical Worldview that was bashing the public education system for "watering down the curriculum". Are you kidding? I wanted to ask that author, "What are you smokin?" I know her teacher is just as frustrated and annoyed as I am about the ridiculous pressures they put on these kids and when I say "they" I mean the government, not the schools. The schools are just doing what they have to do by government standards. I mean, if I wanted her to be face down in a book all day and not enjoy childhood, we would move to China!

But I do have to say, she is THE CUTEST girl in the class and the best dressed and she's THE BEST artist in the class, hands down, I know because I went to open house tonight and I saw everyone else's scarecrows and Johnny Appleseeds and granny apples and hers were WAY better than everyone else's. And that has to count for something. That's like way more important to me than what reading group she's in. Way.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Check These Out...

My friend, Kristi (Ian & Elise's mommy on my blog list), worked some magic on my pictures from the Aggie game and made them look almost like oil paintings or chalk scetches. You have to click on each picture to get the full effect of how gorgeous they are. I think I want to wallpaper a room in one of these!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Halloween Saga Continues

Okay, first, we do Halloween at my house. I mean, not "DO" Halloween, but you know, we dress up and go trick or treating. We don't do the scary stuff. We don't tell scary stories. We don't take our kids to scary places (although we did go to the Walmart parking lot yesterday, talk about SCARY, the only thing scarier than Walmart is the Walmart parking lot!) So I guess what I'm trying to say is that we don't embrace Halloween in a worldly, evil sense, but I would never deprive my children of the joy, and it is a childhood joy, to get dressed up in a fun costume, and trick or treat to get TONS of candy that they will never be able to eat (because Daddy will hide most of it and eat it himself). And for the record, Halloween night is a GREAT way to meet your neighbors!

SO...the Halloween saga...what to be, what to be! At first, the girls wanted to be Tigger and Pooh. Okay, great. We live 30 minutes from downtown Disney. I'll just go sell one of my kidneys and then go to Disney and purchase 2 costumes. Right? Because that's about what a Tigger and Pooh costume would cost! Well, this weekend Ashton said she wanted to be a ballerina. FABULOUS. We have that! Costume done. I don't have to trade in an organ. Lexi wanted to be a mermaid. Okay, back to Disney for an Ariel costume. Will only have to sell half a kidney. Today, the girls got out their cowgirl boots and cowgirl hats which gave me another idea...how bout cowgirls? Kids will ask, "What are you?" And Lexi can say, "I'm Alexis from Texas!" So that's where I'm at. Halloween is like 3 weeks away and I got nuthin!

And by the way, WHY does Universal Studios feel the need to put their awful "Halloween Horror Nights" ads EVERYWHERE that small children go? They even advertise on TV during family programing. Their ads are disgusting. And oh their billboards. Awful. I think they should be illegal. I'm really more into the Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party"myself.