Monday, December 31, 2007

Good-bye 2007

As I sit on the couch watching the "highlights" of 2007, I decided I need to journal our families "highlights" for 2007. After all, that is why I started this jog my horrible long-term memory. (It is pretty sad when my mom is reminding me of things that happened in my children's lives and I don't remember them!!) So here it goes...

January: The first weekend of 2007 was a sure sign of the year's events...Connor had a baseball tournament! My in-laws celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. My grandma turned 80!

February: Baseball tournaments in Beaumont and League City. Both boys began practicing for Spring League baseball.

March: We spent Spring Break at The Happiest Place on Earth! Disney World was everything we hoped it would be and more!! We spent four days at different parks and one day at the Astro's Spring Training. Once again, tournaments in Beaumont and Cy-Fair. Chris traveled to Canada and Europe.

April: Baseball tournaments at Spring/Klein, La Porte, and La Marque and both boys' league games. Chris traveled to Europe, Seattle and Singapore.

May: Chris stayed in Singapore through the first week of May. Connor's major project of 5th grade was finally finished. He chose Bill Gates to research and portray in the 5th grade Wax Museum. The month was full of Park Days for both boys and end of year parties. Colby said "goodbye" to kindergarten and Mrs. Reynolds. A kindergarten program was held the last day of school. Each student had to dress like a bug. Colby was the cutest spider I've ever seen! Connor said "See you next year" to LC 12 and Mrs. Wauters, Mrs. Bentle, Mrs. Rigby and Mrs. Kouns. Chris turned 37 and Connor turned 11. AND, more baseball tournaments at Spring/Klein and Katy as well as both boys' league games. My mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkin's/Lymphoma.

June: This summer brought lots of activities! Yes, baseball tournaments...Humble and Cy-Fair. Also, Connor had Preteen Camp in Sherman, TX; band camp; and, both boys had VBS. I got to see Kenny Chesney in concert!! Colby and I spent a week in Albuquerque with my mom. I tried on wigs for her and we had lots of laughs at how much I looked like her!! I went with her to chemo treatments and learned a little about what she was going through. She turned 60! Chris spent some time in Canada. Connor accepted Jesus as his Savior!

July: All of Connor's prior baseball tournaments had a point -- to prepare for World Series. We spent a week in Lake Charles, LA with our "second family". The Hooks came in 10th out of 28...not bad! Chris and I celebrated our 16 Anniversary! Colby had FROG (Fully Rely On God) Camp at church.

August: The boys spent a week with my in-laws at "Cousin's Week". A week when the younger cousins (you have to be between 4 and 16) spend with my in-laws doing fun things! I spent that week at my parents house -- just the three of us! Chris was in England. My mom and I spent that week deep cleaning her house, going through my old high school momentos and a little shopping. The boys and I stayed another week and a half with my parents and then drove to my sister's family's new house in Wylie, TX. Got home in time to watch the excavators begin digging a BIG hole in my backyard!! Baseball once again picked up for both boys and the school bus began its route as well! Chris was in Dubai and couldn't help me celebrate the first day of having both boys in all-day school!!! I began my "job" as Yearbook Chair at Mitchell Intermediate School -- which also brought many hours of volunteering for other projects!

September: I spent many hours at Mitchell -- found out why I have stayed away from PTA for so many years! League baseball for both boys and tournaments in Humble and at Spring/Klein. I turned 36...but my best friend turned 40! :)

October: Connor plays the baritone for Mitchell's Band -- they were asked to play at a Middle School's football game. (I do not understand football at all!) Lots more baseball - Colby began Coach Pitch! My nephew, Judson, turned 1. Chris traveled to England.

November: My in-laws came to visit and came with us to Austin for Connor's State Baseball tournament -- they took 2nd! Our pool was completed!! We spent Thanksgiving in Abilene with my parents and sister and her family and watched it snow 4 inches on Thanksgiving Day! Connor had Park Day and learned to hula!!

December: I met my first yearbook deadline! Hip hip hooray!! The whole family got in the holiday spirit with a Jars of Clay /Third Day concert -- truly awesome! My mom was given the even more awesome news that her cancer cannot be found!! We spent Christmas at home - just the four of us. Cooked a turkey meal with all the trimmings! My parents came on the 26th and we had Christmas #2! They were here to help Colby celebrate his 7th birthday!

We have had a roller coaster of a year; but, have learned to trust God even more than ever. He has shown me to not take for granted what I have and not to hurry life along. We have had a busy year, and as I read back over this, alot of baseball! I wouldn't change any of it! We have had so much fun together! We are truly blessed! I pray 2008 will allow us to grow closer to each other and closer to Him!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Decking the Halls

Christmas Tour of Homes

Okay. So in much anticipation of BooMama's Christmas Tour of Homes I had nightmares ALL night last night!! Those who know me know that I fret over the silliest things!! I had already gone around my house with my camera to take shots of different Christmasy things last week. However, it hit me yesterday evening that I hadn't taken any of our front yard. The lighting was perfect and if I stood just-so, no one would be able to see the 11 bags of leaves piled at the end of the driveway!! Chris and Colby were in the garage doing "manly things" and I asked Colby to please close the garage doors until I was done taking pictures. That brought on a variety of questions and finally Chris calmly said, "Colby, just do it." He has also learned that I fret over silly things!!

Welcome to our home! Please enjoy and may love, laughter, and contentment decorate your home and fill your year! Merry Christmas!

My front door is the first clue that I LOVE snowmen! I made this years ago out of three grapevine wreaths, a scarf, and mittens. Crafty, huh?!?

This may be hard to see but I hung white, red, and green jingle bells and white, glittery snowflakes from our Crepe Myrtle. It's the only way we will see snowflakes in Houston!!

My snowman collection spills over on my sofa table.

I have a few Santa's in my Christmas collection -- two of which I made. He is one of them and the other is propped on the hearth by the fireplace.

I also made the stockings. Wow! I used to be crafty. Not so much any more!!!

Our tree is heavily laden with snowman ornaments!! I (well, actually, Chris!) cuts grapevine wreaths and I use that for garland. It is also kind of hard to see in the picture.

Isn't that the sweetest tree topper ever?!?

I'm ending my tour with my dining room centerpiece. This wooden Santa Claus was sitting in a window looking out at Shakespeare's boyhood home in Stratford-Upon-Avon. Chris and I were there a year and a half ago. I turned around and had to have him! His view is much less interesting now; but, I LOVE looking at him and remembering our amazing trip.

Wherever you may spend the holidays this year, my prayer for you and your family is that you enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells; but, always remember Jesus is the reason we are celebrating!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Colby's Turn

Since I agreed to take on Connor's school yearbook, I have spent LOTS of time at Mitchell Intermediate School. I do help at Colby's school; but, I have not become the daily fixture as I am at Mitchell. Well, today I had lunch duty at Buckalew. Now, I NEVER signed up for lunch duty while Connor was at Buckalew. Feeling guilty about not having equal volunteer time, I find myself volunteering for things for Colby I never would have before.

The first time I had lunch duty was about 8 weeks ago. Keep in mind this is only a 30 minute lunch, it just feels much longer... As the other mothers and I were leaving, one proclaimed she was sure she had contracted strep throat or pink eye for sure!

You know how when you feed your children at home and you look down under their chairs and see what a mess that one child made?? Multiply that by 150!!! The first time at lunch duty, I had never seen so much spilt milk, crushed crackers, food-crusted faces. Yuck!

Well, today I went in thinking that I really needed plastic gloves and wipes! However, I was pleasantly surprised that these first graders are maturing. Now don't get me wrong, with 150 little boys and girls, there was still spilt milk and a few crushed crackers; but, not as many!

The one thing that is very hard to control as a mom is when a child asks for something to be opened from their lunch -- DON'T use your own teeth! I can't tell you how many times I wanted to open a ketchup packet with my teeth. It would have made things go so much faster!

Colby was so excited that I was there to help and even learned how to buy lunch by himself. He has been afraid to do it alone. When he found out I was going to be on lunch duty, he asked if I would help him. He ate that whole chicken sandwich in no time and then informed me that he was going to buy twice a week just like Connor!

He also informed me of something that I probably could have lived without as a mom. It does prove why I did not get an Education Degree in College like my mom wanted. She said it is the best career for mothers who would have the same time off as their kids. Yes, that is true... But Colby informed me that another little boy peed (is that how you spell the past tense of pee???) on his shoe! OK. Why would I want to deal with daily problems like these from other people's children?!?

I guess I'm going to need those plastic gloves today after all!!

Monday, December 3, 2007

May Time Stand Still

As I look over my previous blogs, it seems I refer to "time" alot! My mom was right when she said that I need to enjoy this time in my life because it goes way too fast. There are a few days I wish time would race by; but, I look back and review my weeks and it is amazing what we get done and what we experience. I hope, as I said in my last blog, that the memories stick.

The boys went to church Friday night for an evening of games and fun so that the parents could have an evening to themselves. Chris and I got most of our shopping done! Yippee!! The pictures of the boys are from Friday night.

As December falls upon us once again, my main wish for me and my family is that time will stand still. There are always 101 things to get done -- decorate, shop, cook (yes, Chris, this does happen in other households!!:)) -- and I really am trying to be organized so that I can enjoy my family and not get so wrapped up in all the "need to do's".

That is my wish for everyone this holiday season. May you take the time to remember the real reason we are celebrating and enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells from the eyes of your children!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Time Flies

I have been so busy with my first yearbook deadline (it is December 10!) that I never blogged about our Thanksgiving... We met my parents, sister, brother-in-law and their brood in Abilene. We have been doing this for about 4 or 5 years now. Why Abilene when none of us live there or are from there?? Well, it is kind of a central location between all of us. We actually found an awesome all-suites hotel that has an amazing breakfast, "happy hour" (which my mom loves! -- although this year they got rid of the free popcorn!!), and a Thanksgiving buffet that tastes great without having to cook it or clean up after it! My dad especially loves this part since he is a very hands-on helper. This gives all of us a day off.

Usually we find some "hidden treasure" of Abilene to experience on the Friday after so we don't have to face the crowds of the stores! We have found a great kids museum, a quaint zoo where the giraffes and bears are RIGHT THERE!!, a fun park, the smoky bowling alley, and a drive-through Christmas light display that burned down last year(!).

Well, this year, as we were planning where to take an outside family photo for my mom's Christmas gift, we watched snow flurries fall from Abilene's sky. As the day progressed, the snow continued to fall AND stick! The weatherman said we received 4 inches! I, of course, did not pack for snow; but, the kids had lots of fun for the 5minutes that I let them play outside! We did manage to get a pretty descent family photo on Friday after most of the snow melted considering it was about 40 degrees and there were 5 kids under 6! We did have a wonderful weekend and were especially thankful because mom's year of chemo treatment is over, we hope!

Today, we were once again working on the backyard and sweating -- because, you know, why would December in Houston be colder than 79 degrees?!? -- I realized how fast a week goes by and the changes that happen and I hope that the memories our family creates will stick in our minds always!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Living in a Boy's World

Last night, Chris and I were watching T.V. "Ultimate Factories" had a documentary on the Corvette Factory! And, yes, I was happily sitting there watching it with my Corvette-loving husband. I was watching so intently that at one point I leaned up and said, "Huh, red calipers come standard on ZO6's?" Chris answered me like that was the most normal question a wife could ask her husband. And then, when I thought about it, I started giggling. What have I become?? I have learned more about tractors, car parts, bugs, and sports in the last 16 years than I ever thought I would. So, I hope that no one asks me about the newest baby doll; but, I can tell you that red calipers did not come standard on Chris's corvette!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Growing Up

Forget about the fact that my 6-year-old is sitting next to me on the couch explaining about solids, liquids, and gases. And telling me that we breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide...I just came from hanging up the boys clothes that I washed today and I was hit with the reality that I no longer have a small child in my house! Those bulky, brightly-colored plastic hangers that have lined at least one closet in my house for the past 11 years are too small for anyone's clothes! It is time to use "adult-sized" hangers in EVERY closet!! I guess my baby is not a genius like I was thinking...he is just growing up!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Today We're a Household of Men

I somehow thought that putting a pool in the backyard would be quick and easy...we have a pool company doing all the work. We should just be able to jump in and enjoy! But, no. I forgot the ripple effect it would have on the rest of the yard. So, each weekend we spend all day top dressing the yard, planting plants, rearranging flowerbeds, etc., etc. This weekend was sod. Three pallets of sod. Saturday was a very productive day! We even had time to rototille a big section in the back of the pool to be ready for us to lay the remainder of the sod on Sunday. We went to bed, and the heavens opened! This morning our rain gauge told us that five inches of rain had fallen while we rested our weary, sore muscles! (There was only a 20% chance of rain last night HA!) We knew the sod had to be laid today -- so we have dealt with the mud and the muck all day! Yuck!! At one point this morning I looked at Colby and said, "Bud, why don't you let mom do that. You are going to get so dirty." He looked up at me with those sweet green eyes and said so seriously, "Mom, men were made to be dirty."

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It's that time of year again where my mom calls and wants Christmas ideas for me, Chris and the boys. Last night I took the boys to Target and they quickly and efficiently filled up two pages each of things they "have to have!" Even Chris has ideas for my parents this year! Me...nothing! I don't need anything and there is really not much I want. Maybe a housecleaner...someone to come iron for me for a year...NO! a personal chef! That would be awesome! Somehow I don't think that is in my parents budget! But, then, I went and got the mail and a Frontgate catalogue was in with all the junk mail and I actually found two things I would LOVE! Now, they are silly; but, I would totally use them both! First, I love for my jewelry to be clean and sparkly! The best cleaning job is done at Bailey Banks and Biddle where they use a steamer so...look at this!

And, then, everyone knows how I sit hours on end at baseball games -- rain or shine, hot or cold! This would be perfect!

Merry Christmas to All!

Friday, November 2, 2007

A Reason to be Thankful!

Last Thanksgiving, my sister and her family and my parents and me and my family met in Abilene for Thanksgiving. Mom was not feeling well. In fact, she was not herself at all. She had been feeling bad for a few months and had visited several doctors who weren't sure what was wrong. Our family didn't need tests run to know that mom was not herself...she didn't want to shop(!), eat, leave the house. She just wanted to sleep and stay home! From November until May, many tests were run and everything from Colon Cancer to a wheat allergy were considered and ruled out. She had had a lymph node that was pretty swollen for over a year and had asked her doctor twice to just remove it and he told her that it was fine and let's wait. Well, finally, they removed it because there was nothing else to test. Lo, and behold, that lymph node was loaded with cancer and had been ignored so long that the cancer was now Stage 4 and in her bone marrow! She began Chemo the next week.

Throughout the last five months, mom AND dad have been an example of what I hope my marriage will be in 22 years. They were on this "adventure" together and never lost sight of God and His greatness. They were ready for anything and never asked anyone for help. God was gracious and although mom did loose her hair; she never got too sick or tired after chemo treatments. In fact, she actually felt better once they removed the infected lymph node and started chemo. She started shopping and leaving the house!

On Wednesday, we got the amazing news that EVERY bit of cancer is gone from her body -- not even in her bone marrow! As mom says, "God IS Good!" Mom started this out knowing that God must have needed her to be a witness for Him to someone who was being treated at the same time. Although she may never know who that was, I am sure her light shone each time she went to treatments. And, I am so thankful that God isn't finished with using her on this earth!! I love you mom!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

My Boys on Halloween Night

Halloween is one of those "holidays" that I do have a little guilt over. Do I allow my kids to go trick-or-treating, get loads of candy and call it a night? Do I explain to them that there are some people in the world who make Halloween their spiritual celebration? How far do I let them go with their costumes? In years past, costumes have been tame -- superheroes, doctors, scarecrows, cowboys, etc. This year, the boys both wanted to be something scary! We "settled" on them both being Dracula. Neither one of them knows anything about Dracula; but, they both had fun and looked cute in their own getting-older kind-of way! I hope everyone had a safe and fun Halloween!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A Prayer Request

Our life tends to get in a routine and I take for granted how blessed my boys and I are. We are able to put in a pool, play baseball ALL weekend long, get over a sniffle or two quickly, enjoy Halloween night as a family...

Our pastor sent a prayer request this morning that made me realize that not every family has a routine that they can take for granted. God throws in surprises from time to time and it is then that people can either exercise their faith or not. This particular family is so close to God and has so much faith in Him and is seeing His hand work every hour! Chris and I do not personally know the Sherrill's. When we first joined Crossroads, John would sometimes fill in for our Music Director. He is amazing! He is so talented musically -- plays the piano, sings, writes his own music! He and his wife decided to start a music ministry and have been traveling and serving God in the music field. They have two little boys under 4 years old and have now been blessed with a third. However, that third little boy, named Kyle, is in need of LOTS of prayer. Go to for their story and please pray too!

Monday, October 22, 2007

If I Could Turn Back Time

Yesterday, I sat at two of Connor's baseball games sweating -- and, yes, complaining about the fact that it will never cool off! OK. So, I just have to document what the weatherman just said on the news. We dropped from the 80's to the 50's in 11 minutes this morning! I sent Colby and Connor to school today in shorts and t-shirts and both of them ran into the house for warmth this afternoon after the bus dropped them off! It is supposed to be in the low 60's for the next few days. That is COLD for this girl, folks!!

I will have to say that our dinner of tomato soup and grilled cheese sure did taste better on a cold night. And I did enjoy wrapping up with my big, soft, warm blanket on the couch to watch the high drama of "The Bachelor"! And, for the next three days anyway, I can wear some of my new winter things without sweating!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Difference Between 11 and 6

In the past 24 hours, I have been "treated" to the difference four and a half years make in a child's life...

Connor, who is 11 and in 6th grade, came to me night before last and said excitedly, "Mom, I know what I want for Christmas!" I half-heartedly said, "Yeah? What?" Now, Connor is a Lego fiend and every year for the past five or six years, Connor has wanted some huge, new Star Wars ship. Last year's ship I think contained over 1,500 pieces. After opening it, he sat down and did not move for at least five hours until the whole thing was done! Man, I love Legos!!! Anyway, his reply hit me like a TON of bricks... "I want Abercrombie cologne." AHH! What happened to my little boy who used to want every tractor and truck... and video games... and bikes... and baseball mitts?? He is growing up!!

For Colby, who is 6 and in 1st grade, his pet fish are his love. Both Connor and Colby have a tank each in their rooms with one fish a piece. Colby's was a $0.28 goldfish from Wal-mart that we bought in March. We have tried to put new fish in with it and for some reason they do not survive -- causing MAJOR heartache in a 6 year old! Last Monday, the boys went grocery shopping with me. They decided it was time to get more fish. Connor picked out 2 sharks and Colby got another goldfish. Within hours, Colby's goldfish died. I ran out the next day and got a new one. The lady at Wal-mart told me I probably killed it because I didn't acclimate it to the water temperature first! Thanks, lady!! So, I made sure it was adjusted to the water temperature before putting it in. Whew! Colby gets home from school and runs upstairs to see it and comes down screaming that "Whitey" (his old goldfish) was eating the new one!! Yep. That's how all the others had died evidently! So, we moved new goldfish, "Goldie", to Connor's tank. Goldie is not a tropical fish as Connor's are; but, I didn't care. Within a few more hours, one of Connor's sharks was dead! Back to Wal-mart I go to get my $6 back. A week later, the second shark is dead! Too bad! However, "Goldie" is still going strong...until two nights ago when he started getting scaly -- kind of molting and swimming into things. YUCK! Did I flush him yet or was he just growing and going through a stage?? Nope. The sobbing cries were heard throughout the house last night as Colby found yet another dead fish! I just wanted to tell him to get over it! It's just a fish! Colby was SO upset. I did what any mom would our nightly prayer, I thanked God that Goldie was in a better place and not hurting anymore! I was so stunned with what I was saying that I had to open my eyes! Come on, Davedda!! But when I saw Colby's little eyes closed and his hands clasped tightly under his chin fervently thanking God too, my heart melted. Oh to be six!!

This mothering thing is such a roller coaster and sometimes I want to say, "Let me off!" But, in reality, I wouldn't have it any other way. I love my boys -- each in their own worlds.

Monday, October 15, 2007

It's A Small World

One and a half years ago, Chris took me to England. One of his plants is located in a little town called Tewkesbury. He visits it a couple of times a year and has always said he wanted to take me. England was a place that I would have liked to visit one day; but, not LOVED to visit. I would LOVE to visit Australia, Africa, Greece, Italy... But, when he offered to take me away for 10 days, I was ready to go WHEREVER!!

Let me just say that I had to totally eat my words! England is the most amazing place! In ten days we drove over 800 miles, walked LOTS of miles (9 in one day around
London) and experienced 700 years worth of history. I love history, so it was so amazing. The United States is so young! Oxford, Cheltenham, Stratford-Upon-Avon, York, Scarborough, Whitby, and London -- WOW! Warwick Castle, Hailes Abbey, Shakespeare's home, Harrods(!), Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, Big Ben, Tower of London, Trafalgar Square, Picadilly Circus, the Tower Bridge, St. Paul's Cathedral, Westminster Abbey -- just amazing! If any of you can go to England, do it! Especially in May. The fields of yellow rapeseed look and smell so amazing!

Anyway, all that to say -- guess where my husband is right now?!? Yes! England! I took him to the airport yesterday. He already sent me a text message while eating at "our" restaurant!

I am glad he gets to experience the world and that one day he will take me somewhere else exotic! Going to England also made me realize how small our world is and that we all need to widen our "bubbles" so we don't miss any of God's amazing creation!

Have a great time honey and come back safely and quickly! Just know that I am sitting here with the big photo album I made and reliving our fun!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

If I Were A Rich Girl

So, what is the deal with all of these celebrities having personal trainers? If I ever become so rich I don't know what else to do with my money, I am getting a personal masseuse! I want a massage EVERYDAY!

I have just gotten back from a "Day at the Spa"!! My wonderful husband was aware that the last few weeks have been extremely challenging and stressful for me and came home one night with a card and certificate to a posh little spa in Market Street. I had a deep tissue/hot stone massage that was out of this world! Then I went for a pedicure and ended up buying the nail polish -- a yummy deep purple called "Have You Seen My Limo" by OPI. I ended my time with a manicure and even got polish on my nails!! (I haven't put polish on my nails since I had kids!) I was told that today I must refrain from cooking, getting hot clothes out of a dryer, or iron so as not to do damage to my manicure! I can do that! So, instead, I am gingerly pecking away at the keyboard!!

As I was getting my massage, I remembered that 1,000 miles away, at that same time, my mom had chemo medicine coursing through her veins. Life is just not fair! She is near the end of her treatments and has kept the most amazing attitude and been totally blessed with little sickness through the past 6 months; however, it still isn't fair. My sister and I are taking her on a Spa Weekend when she is done with chemo. We are looking forward to our "girl weekend" -- a celebration of her 60th birthday and being done with chemo treatments! I may even have to bring my "Have You Seen My Limo" polish to share!

I guess I really am a rich girl...I am blessed with a great, caring husband who can see when I need a break from real life, and I have a mom who has been a true role model to everyone during her illness. Our family has learned not to take things for granted and to enjoy the times we spend together even more. I guess I wouldn't trade my life for a daily massage after all!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

How Great Thou Art

It will be four years in March since my grandpa died. He was the Song Director at our church for many, many years and the reason that by the time I was 10, I was the church pianist! I would play and he would sing. Now, sometimes this was difficult because Grandpa did not read music -- so, he just sang it like he felt it, not necessarily how the music was written. It was challenging because I truly had to follow him!

The night he died, my heart truly broke. I have lost other grandparents, but they were in pain or there was not much quality to their lives. It was a blessing for them to finally be whole again. Grandpa did have ailments -- lots, in fact. But he rarely complained and was always willing and ready to serve God. Music was his gift and so music is sometimes hard to listen to since he died.

In the "new age" of Baptist churches, the old, great hymns do not get sung very often. When they do, I have a very hard time getting through them. I have been doing better -- it has been almost four years! But, Sunday, the song leader began singing "How Great Thou Art". I was doing pretty good until Chris put his arm around me. He knew what I was thinking. And, the special thing is that he was thinking about Grandpa too. Grandpa belted out songs. He was not shy! I could totally hear him singing and I knew when Chris touched me that he could hear him too. So, I lost it. Then Chris whispered, "Those are good memories." And I knew he was right. I shouldn't be sad or embarrassed to cry when I hear a song that Grandpa used to sing. Instead, I started thinking about how when he sang this song, I had to watch his lips to see how long he would hold the word "art"!

He instilled in me a heritage that I am proud of. He was a strong Christian man who would tell anyone who asked about Christ, but he didn't treat those differently who didn't agree with him. He was an example to me like no other.

I think on Sunday he was looking down and singing along!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

My Granddaughters Need Prayer Already

This afternoon we were driving to our ONE AND ONLY baseball game of the weekend!! (Connor's tournament was cancelled this weekend. Whatever will we do with our time?!?) Anyway, as we are driving to the fields, Colby jumps up and says, "Whoa! Did you see that cool tree house up in that tree? It was as big as a house with windows and everything!" "Cool!", we say. "When I grow up I am going to build a huge one in a big tree," he said. I say, "Yeah, you can build one for your sons." Then Chris says, "What if you have daughters?" Colby didn't miss a beat and stated matter-of-factly, "I will build it even higher in the tree." Then added, "That will really freak them out!"

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

This and That

As I click on all my blogging "buddy's" sites, I am comforted that they all seem to be in the same state of limbo that I am...between busyiness, sickness, and not having much to say, I have not been posting like I thought I could AND would!! So, today are random thoughts that I have on life the last few weeks.

1. Three weeks ago, one of my dearest friends turned 40! Her birthday is exactly two weeks before mine. I only turned 36! However, the realization that I am closer to 40 than to 30 was a little overwhelming!! But, Glenda's birthday got me thinking that I remember when I was little and my parents and their friends were in their 40's. I thought that was old! Wow!!

2. Turning 36 was not a difficult process for me because I was so sick with strep throat I really just wanted to die on the night of my birthday! I sat up long enough to open my gift from Chris and the boys, smile, and try to say a heartfelt "thanks" and then collapsed back onto the couch. Within 24 hours, I was feeling so much better and wondering what on earth did my grandparents do when they were sick and didn't have today's drugs?!?

3. For some insane reason, I agreed to co-chair the yearbook committee for Connor's school. One other lady and I have been working on this yearbook since May of 2007 -- it doesn't go out until June of 2008! Besides the pure hugeness of producing a book for 1200 students, I have been "inducted" into PTA politics. I have purposefully stayed away from PTO and PTA and just been a "helper" all these years. After this year is over, I will happily go back to my title of "helper". Way too many controlling women.

4. The moms coached the Hooks baseball game on Sunday night. We won 16-0. It turned out to be a lot of fun even though the head coach made us do it to stop our complaining concerning how he coaches. I fully realize that the boys did not win that game because I was on 1st base telling them to "Go!" or get "Back!" or because Cindy was in the dugout letting them sit on special buckets because they were sitting out that inning! I know it has to do with the umpteen hours of practices and games from REAL coaches that allowed those 10 boys to win Sunday night. But, they all had fun whether they want to admit it or not. And I realize why it is so hard to hold your temper when an ump makes a bad call!!

5. Last night, Connor's 6th grade band got to play at the Junior High School's football game. I don't understand football and couldn't tell you anything that was going on. At one point, Colby looked at me and said, "Mom, this is nothing like baseball." So, I sat and watched the cheerleaders who were cheering in front of us. Do you know that they are cheering the same cheers we did 20 years ago?? It was so fun. I wanted to learn the hand clapping on this one cheer, but didn't want to embarrass Chris! Anyway, it made me realize how naive we are when we are young..."our" football team was losing 28-8 (and I overheard a mom tell another mom that their record is 1 and 3) and those little cheerleaders were still yelling their hearts out about how "we're number 1!"

6. Today was "Walk to School Day" at Colby's school. Glenda and I got the boys' scooters and I made them stop to take their picture. It occurred to me as we are walking past all the cars stopped at the 4-way stop to get to school and I was taking pictures of Ethan and Colby up ahead that Chris would NEVER have let me do that if he was with me!! Hee!Hee!

7. After I got home, I steam cleaned the carpets upstairs. Twice a year I do a deep clean of the house. I start up high in one corner and work my way down and across each room. Cleaning the carpets was all that was left to do upstairs. I normally get the whole house done the first week of school; however, I have been working on this for about 2 weeks now. But, I can say that the upstairs is done!! And, maybe, if I'm lucky, I will finish the downstairs before Spring when it will be time to do it again!

That's all I have. Have a good day!!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Is Patience Really A Virtue?

A good friend of mine in Oklahoma, who has three small children, used to joke about how the days she prayed for patience her kids would be extra bad! She just knew God would test her patience more when she asked for some. So, we decided we would never ask for patience! And I still don't!

Well, God must have decided that I needed some whether I asked for it or not!! This week every aspect of life has tested me -- my volunteer projects, my children, and my neighbors. I am ready to run away to a deserted island where no one but my husband and I can go. Instead, I get to run to another meeting...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Our Project

For the five years we have lived in this house, the backyard has just been a BIG doghouse. The only time we really spend much time in our backyard is to do yard work! The dog is the only one who has destroyed, I mean, enjoyed it!

Neither Chris nor I had ever entertained the idea of having a swimming pool. The thought of my kids drowning -- or even more possible, ME drowning! -- made it an easy decision. But then we live in The Woodlands, and, EVERYONE in The Woodlands has a pool, you know?? Actually, I have spent 4 summers packing up the kids, swimming gear, and ice chests loaded with enough food and drinks for a long day in the sun. It became a chore. So, about a year ago, I began to work on Chris..."Wouldn't a pool be so nice to jump into right now?", I would ask my very sweaty sweetie after we finished yard work. We would hear our neighbors swimming in their pool (see EVERYONE does have one but us!) and he would say "Yep." Somehow, the planets all lined up and he agreed!! Yippee!!

After a few months of "interviewing" pool companies and getting permission with the association to cut down 20 of our 57 trees, as of today we have a hole!! With any luck -- and no rain -- we will be swimming in about 40 days!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sibling Rivalry

My sister began her blog about a year ago. I was and still am her biggest fan! I have checked it everyday, several times a day to see what new and fun things are happening with her. So, when she doesn't blog, I send her an e-mail and give her a hard time. When I began my blog, I thought, I am going to blog EVERY day! It can't be so hard. OK, so my last blog entry was Sept. 11! My husband has asked everyday: "Did you blog today?" or "Why didn't you blog today?" or "When are you going to blog?" (I guess HE is my biggest fan!) This week, life got back into a routine. It's the third week of school, baseball games have begun again, Chris is traveling again...all is normal! And, I don't feel like I have anything to say! So, this is a formal apology to my sister. It is hard to blog everyday! I guess I won't give you a hard time anymore!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Back To My Roots

I have to share my excitement for the day...maybe the week...maybe the month! I have been waiting for September 11 for a BIG reason...Kenny Chesney's new CD came out today!! Yipee! I threatened to go to Walmart at midnight last night when it went on sale. Instead I went this morning and had to help the clerk unpack the box! But I got it and it is good! And, guess what? Kenny and George Strait do a duet on one of the songs -- OK that is so great! Kenny and George are my two most favorite singers! Yeah!!

I was raised on country music. I "was country when country wasn't cool"! I grew up during the music of the 70's, 80's and 90's and I couldn't sing you a complete Duran Duran or Men at Work song! But, I can sing to you all the lyrics of country songs from the 60's, 70's , 80's and 90's! I "freak out" my oldest son. Although, this summer, my dad introduced him to Alan Jackson and he has now added some very "redneck" songs to his I Pod!

When Chris and I were dating, I knew I found my match because he would wear his boots and jeans and drive his dad's green Ford step side pickup with the windows rolled down and blaring Don Williams! Aah, the good old days! Now he wears Dockers, shoes and drives his yellow Corvette with the windows rolled down blaring the Top 20 hits of today! Country somehow got out of his blood. But, we do agree on Kenny (just not George -- I can't understand why!). Kenny has a Caribbean flair and Chris and I both could easily become beach bums; so, I guess that is why Chris likes him so much too. In fact, for Valentine's Day, Chris bought me tickets to see Kenny in concert in The Woodlands. He came in July and even though it poured rain (and we were in an amphitheater), it was THE best concert I have been to!

Let me just add that I have expanded my music library. I love KSBJ, the Christian radio station in Houston and I even know most of the words to the Top 20 hits also. But, I will always have country in my blood.

Now if you'll excuse me because I must go and blare my stereo!

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Fun of Parenthood

I am sure many of my blog entries will be about baseball -- because baseball takes up most waking moments that aren't spent at school! I swore, just a couple of years ago in fact, that I would NEVER be a tournament mom! A family down the street had their son in tournament ball and would be gone all weekend and not get home until late Sunday night. "No thank you," I said! Well, I now eat my words, and actually miss the weekend tournaments (when we are on our 3 week a year break!) The other parents have become some of my best friends and every boy on Connor's team is a treasure!

We had our first tournament of the Fall Season this past weekend. We packed up and headed to Beaumont, TX totally expecting to be rained out. Instead, we had a hot, sun-filled weekend of great ball games! It is fun and exciting to watch these boys who have been together as a team for a year finally gel. They are also maturing and making good plays by themselves! So much fun!!

This poem was sent to us last year and does sum up it all up. Thought I'd share:


I used to have a regular life. (Actually, many of my friends say that sentence should say, "I used to have a life", period.) It doesn't really seem that long ago. Then I became a Select Baseball Parent.
I used to think anything over $40 was an exorbitant price for a baseball bat or glove. Now the contents of my son's equipment bag are worth more than everything else in the house -- including clothes, jewelry, watches, and my laptop computer.
I used to think a double-header was a long day at the ball field. Now after two games we're just getting warmed up.
I used to look for little restaurants that served seafood fresh off the boat. Now I'm the connoisseur of nachos and hot dogs and my kids rate a city by the quality of a tournament's snack bar!
Sunflower seeds used to be something I would see at a store and wonder who would eat those things? Now I don't feel comfortable leaving the house without a bag in my pocket.
My lawn used to be like a carpet. It was green, mowed, trimmed, fertilized and watered. Now I have two bare spots the simulated distance from pitching rubber to the catcher and dents in my garage door from using it as the backstop for the pitching machine!
My truck used to draw admiring looks and comments. It was clean and waxed and shined and Armor-All'd. Now it only draws attention when boys write "wash me" on the back window in the tournament parking lot.
I used to have a garage, now I have an indoor batting area.
My friends and I used to spend Monday mornings talking about a round of golf or a movie we had just seen. Now I bore them to death with detailed play-by-play descriptions of five or six low-scoring ball games.
We used to sit and talk for hours. We still do -- however, now it's to keep the driver awake when we're headed home late Sunday evening after a tournament.
My summer casual wardrobe used to be made up of color-coordinated polo shirts, cool cottons in bright colors, and the occasional "aloha" shirt. Now I have a closet full of T-shirts that have tournament names on the front and competing teams on the back.
We used to spend our summer vacation relaxing on the beach or visiting family. Now we hit the road with 20 of our closest friends in a caravan that could rival some small town parades.
I used to be concerned that I would fall into the trap of living my life through my kid. Now I know I'm privileged to live my life WITH my kid !!!
Yes, I'm a Select Baseball Parent, what could be better !?!

By Author Unknown

Friday, September 7, 2007

My Job -- Taxi Driver

Because my main reason for this blog is a journal for me to look back on and remember the good and the bad, I HAD to blog again today to tell what my sweet boys said to me yesterday. Yesterday started out really good and until 3:30 or so was relaxing. AND THEN, school let out and all the activities began! Both boys had baseball practice at the same time but, of course, different places. Fifteen minutes before we were to leave, it starts pouring! What do I do? I keep checking e-mails knowing for sure both coaches would call off practice. Nope! So we rush around, getting dressed and gear packed and water bottles filled and get into my just washed car(!) and head out of the driveway. My cell phone rings and Chris says, "You might as well turn around, Connor's practice was cancelled." Surely Colby's was too. I pull back into the drive and take my purse and run inside to check e-mails again. No e-mail from Colby's coach! So, I call him and he says they are still having it, but if we wanted we could skip it. Colby says, "Mom, I really want to go." I am frazzled! Urgh!! Connor looks at me and says, "Mom, when you get old, I will take you wherever you need to go." It took me by surprise! He's never said something so sweet!

Well, I get in the car and speed off! It normally takes 40 minutes to get to Colby's practice field. I only had 35 minutes at this point; so, I decided to take the back roads. Wrong move!! I decide I need some gum to chew away my frustration. I reach for my purse -- no purse. Where is my purse? I suddenly remember leaving it on the back of the barstool while I checked e-mail for the 100th time that afternoon! No gum, no driver's license. I decided God must have made me go the backroads because there was no way I could get pulled over for speeding when I could only go 5 MPH because of traffic! (He knows how I drive on the freeway!) Colby's practice was from 6-7. After one hour of driving, we arrive at 6:20! I am not happy. The team was working on their batting and I sit there thinking, "Why in the heck did we waste our time, gas, and get my clean car dirty for this?!?" Practice ends and Colby runs straight to me and looks at me with a big smile and says, "Thank you, Mom, for bringing me tonight!" Talk about bursting my selfish bubble!!

In one night, within hours of each other, both of my boys showed genuine thanks and love to me! The frustration and aggravation floated away and I decided that I do love my "job".

I Should Be in Commercials

You know that commercial of the lady driving backwards around and around her cul-de-sac? Or the one of the boy waiting for the bus on a hot day wrapped up in a blanket?? Or the couple thinking that the opening and closing of curtains is a Morse Code signal??? That is me, just not for Febreeze.

Today is laundry day. I do laundry on Mondays and Fridays. I don't really mind doing laundry; but, I "enjoy" it more on Fridays because that is my only chore for the day. I haven't always liked doing laundry. In fact, I only started doing laundry when I went away to college. I had a great mom who did all that for me! And, I obviously didn't watch her do laundry because I had LOTS of pink clothes that first semester! In fact, my poor husband had lots of pink clothes early on in our marriage as well. Good thing he looks good in pink! Anyway, we got married when we were still in college, so money was very tight. My laundry detergent was the cheapest brand out there and my softener was a dryer sheet. Our clothes have never smelled fresh!

Through the years I have found little secrets fighting stains -- which is necessary with 2 boys whose sport of choice is baseball. The biggest clothes saver is Greased Lightning. It is not even in the laundry section. It is next to Fantastic, 409, etc. This is THE BEST dirt, grass, tea, ketchup...remover of all time. I learned about it through a fellow baseball mom who knew the rest of us moms were having a hard time keeping our son's WHITE baseball pants clean. WHITE BASEBALL PANTS?? Please! But it worked. So Shout went out the window. Another clothes saver is Goo Gone. If, for some reason, Greased Lightning doesn't get it out, or I don't see the stain until AFTER I have dried it and pressed a hot iron on it, I can be sure that Goo Gone will get it out. Just rub a little on the stain and wash as normal. Awesome!

Through the last 16 years, I have upgraded the laundry detergent. I went through a Cheer stage and a Tide stage and now Gain is the detergent of choice. Still after this "splurging" on detergent our laundry did not smell fresh. We spend many weekend nights in hotels across Texas with Connor's baseball team. On one such night one of the mom's knocked on our door and offered to wash Connor's uniform for the next day. "Absolutely!" It came back smelling SOOOO good. "What do you use?" "Downy." Who knew?? Why did it take me 16 years to find this wonder?

I ran to the store and bought my first bottle of Downy and one of those Downy Balls. Our clothes smell so fresh now! I love doing laundry. I, like those on the commercials, put the fabric to my nose and inhale so deeply. It makes me very happy! Weird, huh? And now at night, when I hug my husband, I hug a little longer. I think he's on to me though -- because my nose stays on his shoulder and I inhale deeply and say, "MMM, you smell good!" They haven't done that scene on a commercial yet!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Coffee and Reruns

I am not a coffee drinker. It doesn't really matter how much sugar or flavored creamers or if it is from the gas station or Starbucks...I don't like coffee. I LOVE the smell of coffee, just not the taste. This is strange, because my dad can't live without coffee. He likes his black, strong, and hot! Maybe that is why, one: I like the smell -- 'cuz it is a smell that reminds me of growing up; and two: I can't stand the taste. We didn't know coffee came any other way than strong and black! The hot part of dad's coffee cup came in handy many times, however. My sister and I would fight over who got to hold dad's cup so we could warm our hands. Thinking back, that was a selfless thing for dad to let us do because, as I said, he likes his HOT and our cold hands cooled it off fast!

I also do NOT like reruns! I watch a couple of talk shows and if I miss one and 6 months later it is on as a rerun, I won't watch it. It's old news!! (And, as my husband knows, if it wasn't on Regis or The View or Letterman, I probably do not know what is going on in the world!) *FYI: my weird idea on reruns also applies to movies and books. Why watch something over and over or read something again when there are so many other things to watch and read?!?*

So, I have always said that Regis and Kelly are my "morning cup of coffee". If I can watch the first 15 minutes of host chat, my day is off to a great start. Today, for the first time since school started up again, I got to have my "morning cup of coffee". You see, Regis was repeats last week and yesterday I was not home to watch. So today is going to be a good day! Cheers!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Out of the Mouth of Babes

Tonight's dinner wasn't anything out of the ordinary at first. Chris did his normal, "So, Connor, what did you do in school today?" And Connor replied his normal, "Nothing." Well, Colby had lots to say about his day and was explaining one thing they do everyday pretty intensely. He then was quiet and looked up at Chris and in a very serious voice said, "Dad, are you growing hair?" My chile relleno about came out of my nose! For those of my blog audience (I can only hope) that do not know what my husband looks like, scroll up to our family picture...he is a little hair deprived on top! Chris just cut his hair and so when it is "short", the few hairs on top DO stand up a little more; and, the relleno WAS pretty hot. Maybe we found a new and improved Rogaine!

Monday, September 3, 2007

God and girls

This weekend brought a new phase to our lives as parents and made me decide I was FINALLY going to start a blog. You see, I am not new to the blogging world. I spend about an hour of my "free" time each day reading many entertaining blogs. I feel like these ladies are my dearest friends. My sister and I read some of the same blogs and will call each other and talk about so-and-so like they are our best friend!! Isn't that pathetic??? Anyway, I hope my blog (although will probably only be read by my husband, mom, sister, and maybe brother-in-law) will do for those who read it what these other blogs do for me -- to help others realize that life happens. Some days it is funny, some days it is not; but, you keep plowing on and one day look back and read past entries and say "Life is good!" The reality is that my blog will probably not receive any blogging awards -- yes, honey, there are such things! -- but, instead will be a great way to use that Journalism Degree I spent 4 years getting. I want to journal my days and hopefully, with my blog in mind, find the funny, interesting, life-changing story of each day.

So, back to this weekend. Actually, let me back up two months...Connor, our 6th grader, found two of the most important things in his life this summer...God and girls. I don't mean to say God and girls go hand-in-hand. God is definitely priority #1; but, Connor is now beginning his search for his life-long partner. I know that sounds silly; but, hey, I found mine when I was 13!! Anyway, Connor accepted Christ in June at our church's VBS for pre-teens, called VBX. A moment Christian parents pray for and are so happy when it happens. He also started instant messaging with friends from his class around June -- including girls!

Fast forward to Saturday night. We were getting his swimsuit and t-shirt in a bag for his baptism on Sunday morning when the phone rang. I said, "Hello?" A sweet little voice said, "Is Connor there?" "Ahhhh, hold on please." They proceeded to talk about 30 minutes. Now, as I told Connor, girls shouldn't be calling boys - especially when they are only in the 6th grade. My parents wouldn't allow me to call boys. (That's a different blog entry though!) But two other realizations this weekend made me realize that my life as a mom is changing. Connor needs to start wearing deodorant AND he has a pimple on his nose!! I am now in preteen-land!

I know there are going to be much bigger and scarier things in the next years that follow than a girl calling my house or a zit. So as I watched him be baptized Sunday morning, I realized that he was not only following Christ's example, but he was showing me that he is God's and I can let go a little more and trust that God will guide him through every decision. My new prayer for Connor is that he will serve God every day and will one day find his perfect helpmate!