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!