Wednesday, December 24, 2008

We Partied

My baby's birthday is December 28. It has always been our goal to make sure his Christmas and his birthday are separate. It seems so mean to have both fun, gift-receiving dates in your life only three days apart. But, he LOVES it! He thinks it is so cool that his birthday is sandwiched in between Christmas and New Year's.

I usually have a very hard time getting birthday celebrations in before Christmas. But, this year, I must have had some super mom powers! I even got cupcakes to his class before school got out for Christmas Break! (Last year, that didn't happen at all! My poor baby!) Anyhow, Colby decided he wanted his three good buddies from school to come over, go bowling, hang out in the hottub, watch movies and eat popcorn and spend the night! Oh, and he wanted to have a Twister Tournament too! The boys had fun and were low on sleep and high on sugar when I dropped them off at their houses the next morning!

Happy 8th Birthday, sweet boy!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

We Progressed

Last night, we held the 1st Annual Neighborhood Progressive Dinner. It was the first time in the 6 1/2 years we have lived here that we have had a get-together that required no kids! When we moved here, there was the traditional Halloween night craziness that included games, food and lots of kids that just wanted to go trick-or-treating. A couple of years later, the parents gave in and let the kids do what they wanted -- just go get candy! National Night Out was another "bring food to the end of the cul-de-sac and watch the kids go wild" night. However, August 1 in Houston equals a warm, soupy night and that got tossed by the wayside too. We all figured we see each other everyday. We can wave and say our neighborly "hellos" and get back to our lives.

After Hurricane Ike, the neighborly ways came out in full force and in the midst of helping each other, friendships were grown. The days were spent helping neighbors clean up, the kids playing together, gasoline and water and food shared. At night, bar-b-que grills were brought out and we sat and enjoyed the food and company in the dark together. I decided that attempts needed to be made to keep those relationships going.

Everyone seemed to like the idea of the Progressive Dinner. I explained that my parents used to do this when I was growing up. However, they would drive all over town and not be done until the wee hours of the morning. We just walked and were done by 9:30! (We are such partiers!!)

We started at one house and had appetizer's -- yummy pizza dip, olive tapenade, and sticks of mozzarella, basil and tomatoes. I tried to pace myself...On to the soup house, where a new neighbor moved in. Aida is from Russia and made this AMAZING Russian vegetable salad, vegetable soup and a meat pie. Wow!! I was very comfortable at this point; but, we were only halfway done! On to our house for the Main Course and side dishes and dessert -- ugh! -- I could barely leave the table after eating small portions of pork loin, green bean casserole, baked beans, broccoli salad and potato salad! We decided to take a break and do our White Elephant gifts first before having dessert. We had lots of laughs seeing the gifts people chose to give --an old Mr. Mouth game, a set of knives, salt and pepper shakers, and a framed picture of one of our neighbors! Poor Aida will get to look at Spencer's face for a year! We then FORCED ourselves to have a plate of desserts!

Four hours later, the babysitters were taken home, the kitchens were cleaned and we all were snug in our beds dreaming of what Aida will make next year!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What Christmas Looks Like at My House

Last year, I joined the hundreds of others who linked on to BooMama's Christmas Home Tour. I am so glad I did because as I was decorating this year, I went back to those old postings to see where I had put a few things. (I know I say often how my memory is bad -- but it REALLY IS bad!!) Those pictures made me realize that my mantle last year was really boring -- so off to the store I went! :)

I decided not to join BooMama this year; but, did want to post pictures of our house anyway. My parents are the only family who have been to our house at Christmastime; so, if nothing else, the rest of our family can see how everything looks. In all reality, these pictures are actually going to help me next year when I am decorating!!

This is my "snowflake" tree. I have red, green and white jingle bells and white snowflakes all over it. In Houston, this is usually the only snow we see!

My homemade Santa greets you in the entryway in his "twiggy" sled.

Our England Santa sits on our Dining Room table. As I said last year, this poor Santa's view is sure not the same as it was a few years ago. Chris and I were standing on a street in Stratford-Upon-Avon looking at Shakespeare's home. I turned around and this Christmas store was behind us. In the window, looking toward Shakespeare's home was this Santa! I had to have him!!

Welcome to our living room. If you can't tell, I LOVE snowmen! This is actually a bit odd since I don't like being cold and told Chris that I never want to live anywhere that is cold! I am getting very accustomed to Texas' hot, soupy weather!

This tree is sitting on my kitchen counter. When we brought it home a few weeks ago, we told the boys that was our tree this year. (You would think they would quit listening to us for as often as we tease them!) I said they would only get enough gifts to go under that tree. Colby looked heartbroken; however, Connor gladly said, "That's OK. The cell phone I want will fit perfectly under that!" Ha!!

Decorating the tree...

Some of my favorite ornaments...

Merry Christmas to all!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

No Dessert For Colby

Earlier this week, (when it snowed in Houston!), I made a big pot of chili. After putting the finishing touches on the Christmas tree tonight, I told the boys that we were going to have Frito Pie to use up the chili. Colby quickly chimes in and says, " I'll just take the Frito's. I don't like pie."

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Winter Wonderland -- Kind Of --

Taking Colby to the bus stop this morning was an artic-feeling experience: there was an icy sleet falling!! For those who do not live near Houston, this is a highly unusual sight to see -- especially since it was about 78 degrees yesterday! Well, as the day has progressed, more sleet has fallen and it is downright SNOWING in the front of The Woodlands right now!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I guess once you do something for six years it becomes a tradition -- no matter how far from different it is to when you grew up! Instead of spending Thanksgiving cooking and cleaning and hanging out at grandparents homes, we head to Abilene and stay in a hotel!! It is not too much of a stretch to say the Blakley women are not all into that cooking stuff and my dad doesn't like that cleaning up stuff -- so about 7 years ago, my sister and her family, my family, and our parents decided to start meeting somewhat halfway.

Abilene is a sweet, old, laid-back town with a great all-suites hotel that serves a good breakfast and a great Thanksgiving buffet. The kids love playing in the swimming pool, playing in the game area -- video games, ping pong, pool tables, shuffle board -- and throwing the football around outside in a big grassy area. They love going to Happy Hour every night to get a coke and maybe a snack. And the kids also depend on Aunt DD to bring the crafts to take up the extra time!

The day after Thanksgiving has been one of "discovering Abilene". We have been to the zoo, Children's Museum, parks, movies, and bowling alleys. It has been a nice, relaxing way to spend a holiday together without all the work that goes with it!! And, for my husband, who loves all the cooking, he only has to wait a few short weeks for Christmas to have a true home-cooked feast!

Craft time!

Waiting to eat!

Connor ate seven plates of food!

Working off all that food!

A tradition that will never change -- naptime!

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Boy Versus the Bed

And Connor wonders why no one wants to sleep with him!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

For Mature Audiences Only

Colby had baseball practice last night and, let's just say, it has been a sad season. They have yet to win a league game and have only won one game in a tournament. I don't know who is more frustrated -- the coaches or the boys.

As the boys were warming up, the coaches were talking amongst themselves and the head coach laughingly said that winning is overrated.

This morning at breakfast, Colby stopped eating and said, "Mom, do you know that my baseball team is rated R?"

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Football Season - 1 Injuries - 0

We made it!! Football season ended last night and Connor made it through without one injury!! Yipee!

Connor has never played football because his mom has been too scared he would get hurt (and I know nothing about football so I figured I would be bored!). I thought I would enjoy watching the cheerleaders; but, I guess I have been in a household of boys for too long because I really didn't enjoy watching them at all! The only thing that amazed me is that they still use the same cheers as we did 20 years ago!!

Last night's game was by far the most exciting game. We were down 13-6 with 1 minute 20 seconds to play. One of Connor's best buddies since 1st grade ended up catching the ball and making his first touchdown ever! Then another friend of his made the kick and we won 14-13!

I will now eat my words and say that I did enjoy football!

Here are a few pictures of my #32 in action:

Monday, November 3, 2008

Country Music is Now Banned From Our House!

#1: You must be a true country music fan to understand this post.
#2: I apologize profusely to anyone reading this. We really do try to be good role models and teach morals to our children! :)

After spending seven hours at the baseball fields yesterday, we decided to stop at our favorite Mexican restaurant, Chuy's. I think I have mentioned it before -- it is a slice of New Mexico heaven here in the Tex-Mex world! They actually have Hatch Green Chile!!

Chris and I saw an ad sitting at our table for a new drink called the New Mexico Martini. We decided to share one. As we each took sips of it, I commented on how much like a Margarita it tasted instead of like a Martini. (Another warning: I am NOT a drinker, so the fact that I am discussing this is comical in itself!) Chris looked at the ad and it said it used tequila.

We continued drinking through our dinner. It came in this shaker so there was probably enough martini to fill two glasses. Chris filled up the glass with the rest of what was in the shaker and told me to drink up. I informed him that I had had plenty! We teased back and forth when our 12-year-old piped up and said, "Mom, you know tequila makes your clothes fall off!"

Saturday, November 1, 2008

My Little Republican

A conversation I had with Colby this morning at breakfast:

Colby: Mom, who are you voting for?

Me: Why?

Colby: Well, we have to vote at school on Tuesday and I don't know who to vote for.

Me: I voted for McCain.

A few minutes of quiet. Colby came around the corner to stand in front of me.

Colby (in a whisper): Isn't Obama the one who is going to take all video games away from kids?

Me (trying so hard not to laugh): No, honey. Where did you hear that?

Colby ( with a matter-of-fact look on his face): Oh, I've heard it from LOTS of people.

Friday, October 31, 2008

It Must Be In The Blood

Chris and I got married in July. I thought, after knowing him for five years, that I knew everything about him. Then, Halloween approached. My engineering-student husband started doodling on his graph paper and hence a tradition was created.

Chris came up with detailed, goofy jack-o-lanterns that boasted ears and noses like none I have seen. Shoot, we didn't have a Christmas tree for the first two years of marriage...but, by golly, we carved those pumpkins!!

Once the boys were born, carving pumpkins became a "father-son" deal. I just take the pictures documenting their creativity. Well, this year, Chris is out-of-town. So last night, the boys became men and carved their own pumpkins. I guess it's in their blood (or they just like to play with knives)!

Connor carved a Bald Eagle and Colby carved a spider. I think their dad will be proud!

Happy Halloween to all!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Boy Humor

What would you do if you were enjoying the quiet sanctuary of your bathroom and open the door to find this staring at you?

I screamed!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My Voice

There is a boy who plays baseball with Connor who also plays football. His mother told me that she has a "baseball voice" and a "football voice" -- the "baseball voice" being much more subdued and quiet.

When Connor decided to play football for his Junior High this year, I couldn't believe that I would have lots to yell about -- I don't even understand the game!! Plus, my "baseball voice" is far from subdued and quiet; so, I didn't figure I would have a "football voice".

Since I have been out of town, I have missed Connor's first two football games. I was just thrilled when Chris would text me to let me know he made it through each game uninjured!

Well, yesterday I got to see my son play football.

And, 20 minutes into the game, the quarterback from the other team is running down the field with the football and noone else is around EXCEPT my son...So, I start saying quietly, "Come on Connor. Get him." They get closer to one another and I feel my body standing up and my voice getting louder, "Get him, Connor!" And when my boy tackled that quarterback, my arms were raised high in the air and my "football voice" was heard throughout as I screamed, "WAY TO GO CONNOR!!" I looked around and noone else in the stands were standing up or had their hands high in the air but me! I sank back down to my seat and said, "That's my son." if they didn't know!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Balloons, Green Chili, and Nieces

Going "home" always brings a flood of good memories and a list of things to do before leaving. I say "home" because Albuquerque will always be my home even though I haven't lived there in over 17 years. Maybe it is because we have moved 9 times and haven't developed the roots at any one place. Whatever the reason, Albuquerque is an awesome city -- beautiful in it's own way and full of uniqueness.

The International Balloon Fiesta happened to be going on while I was there. The Fiesta is one of those events that you take for granted when you live there; but, once you leave, you realize how amazing it is. Mom wasn't feeling well enough to go out to the Park; but, one morning the wind was blowing in the right direction to send some of the over 600 balloons to my parents house! I was like a kid staring out the window oohing and ahhing. Finally, I gave it up and went outside in my pj's with my camera to get a few shots.

Getting a good New Mexico green chili fix is also a must and I did get some good Mexican food and sopapillas! I also got my Dion's salad and slice of green chili/pepperoni pizza a few times! I totally should have took a picture of the Dion's sign since my sister and I helped support it that week we were there!!

My sister brought her four kids with her and they stayed at their other grandparents house. She has two boys, ages 7 and 2 and two girls, ages 4 and 5. Well, the girls have been wanting to come to Aunt DD's house for a "girlie weekend". I decided the next best thing would be to spend a few hours shopping and having lunch together. I picked them up and we proceeded to spend three hours in Target! They tried most every clothing item on that would fit them -- and we bought alot of them as well. They are so full of excitement and are so much fun! I definitely do not know how my sister can keep up with all that energy all the time though! Just the time in the dressing room was chalked full of blogging ideas. I so wished I had a tape recorder so I could remember all the things they said. It was summed up by Jadyn, the four year old, who looked up at me and with big eyes and a serious look said, "DD, I talk too much!"

Friday, October 10, 2008

An Emotional Two-Week Roller Coaster

The past two weeks have both flown by and dragged on and on. I was to have flown to Albuquerque on the 24th of September to help my mom and dad. Unfortunately, mom had a major setback and ended up in the hospital for a total of 19 days. She went home on her scheduled day only to return the next day when a fever and infection had set in. I postponed my trip by a few days so I could maximize my time with her at home. I ended up going on Saturday the 27th and didn't return home until the 8th of October.

Before going to Albuquerque, my mother-in-law went into the hospital as well. She has been diagnosed with congestive heart failure. She is still in the hospital after being there for two weeks.

Needless to say, my time in Albquerque was a bit draining; but also very rewarding. I was able to see my mom at what she perceived as her weakest but I perceived as her strongest. I am proud to have been there to help her when she needed my help. My sister came and she, my mom, my dad and I actually enjoyed being just the four of us. I believe we will be thankful for those weeks forever.

My sister-in-law and I would meet for lunch and talk about this "new stage" of our lives. Our parents are getting older and as much as we want to rewind time, we can't. We have to be strong and relish every moment we have with them and each other. Life is full of the unknown.

I can't imagine living life without my husband and without God. How do single people and non-Christians make it in this world?

Chris took over the household while I was gone and did a fabulous job! When I got home, the house was clean, laundry done, groceries bought and dinner was already cooked! He definitely knows my love language!!!

I am thankful for all God has given me and even for the difficult times He allows. I wouldn't trade my life for anyone else's. He has given me a snapshot of why I need to slow down and enjoy each day and each person in my life!

Thursday, September 25, 2008


The computer scares me.

I hear all the bad stuff that could happen -- identity theft, crazies in chatrooms, child predators --. I even make Chris open up a fishy-looking e-mail so that if it is a virus, I won't be the one to set it off. The attitude I have is that if I don't press the button, I will be safe!

I also know, just by joining the blogging world, that time slips away quickly! Luckily, once I catch up with everyone's newest post, I can walk away until the next day.

So, in the past when I have gotten invitations to join a friend's FaceBook page, I have quickly deleted them. I don't want everyone to know my stuff! HOWEVER, last week I received an invitation from a friend from high school. She is planning our 20th High School reunion. (Honestly? How can it be 20 years?) This was a way for her to find as many people as possible in an easy way. So I decided, "What the heck. I'll do it to let people know where I am; but, I WON'T post anything personal!" Well...I am hooked, addicted, loving fb!! I have come into contact with so many people that I haven't heard from in at least 17-20 years! To see their families, what they have become, where they live is so fun! There is even one guy that works 2 miles from my house!! I haven't seen him since my wedding 17 years ago in Albuquerque! Now I find out he has been 2 miles from my house -- talk about a small world!

The downside is that fb will eat up your day! You can chat away or look up people and the next thing you know it has been hours since you left the computer and it is way past dinnertime and you haven't started cooking yet(not that I have done that or anything!)

After being on fb for awhile, I feel safe enough to post albums and chat up a storm! I sure hope I don't regret pushing that 'Join' button.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

My Faithful Teachers

My mom has been battling cancer for the past two years. The start of her story is posted in my post titled "Reasons To Be Thankful" in 2007. We then found out this July that the cancer had returned. This second time around the treatment has been much more aggressive. She had two rounds of three-days-a-week chemotherapy. She then entered the hospital last Thursday and received six days of radical chemotherapy to kill her bone marrow. On Wednesday, she had a stem cell transplant. She will remain in the hospital until Monday unless infection sets in.

God has blessed her beyond measure. She has the most amazing attitude toward it all and believes that God is using this as a ministry. Her church presented her with a beeper to take into the hospital with her. Any time someone prays for her, they call a phone number and it makes the beeper go off. She says the beeper starts going off about 4:30 am and doesn't stop until after midnight! She says just that beeper has brought many questions from nurses and other patients alike. Mom enjoys telling them all about her faith and how that faith has sustained her through "her adventure".

She is going to have a long road ahead of her to get back to normal. I have no doubt that she will do it and do it with class! She says that she has gotten up every morning while in the hospital and gets showered, clothed and make-up on! Other patients think she is headed home. She is not one to pad around in her pj's. I think this is why she is doing so well.

My mom and dad have been rocks through this. They have taught me lots in my 37 years; but, most importantly they have taught me how important it is to trust God in everything.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Ike Aftermath

Here are a few pictures from our aftermath -- once again, we were VERY fortunate!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Return to Normalcy

Hurricane Ike powered through and left a swath of devastation. Thankfully, we were extremely lucky having only minor damage to fences -- due to the neighbor's trees falling into our yard -- and lots of debris left behind.

Our power was restored last night about 10 pm and you could hear shouts of joy throughout our neighborhood! It is amazing how much everyone depends on power! We were being told it would be 3-4 weeks before The Woodlands would have power. This morning as I was able to watch the news and get on the computer, I was able to see the devastation throughout the city. Once again, I say our family was blessed!

The day after, we drove around our area and there were many houses with giant oak or pine trees laying in the middle of their homes, trees on vehicles, insulation and carpets already being dragged to the curb. Lines for gas in our area were miles long -- my neighbor waited three hours on Monday for gas only to be allowed $50 worth. Chris waited in a line outside Home Depot for six hours to get a generator and supplies. We went to Randall's to get a few more nonperishable foods and their generator lights only lit the outside aisles. People were using flashlights to see what was down each aisle. It left a spooky feeling.

However, this "event" has brought some positive aspects to our lives. School has been canceled for the week so the kids in the neighborhood are finding creative things to do to pass the days. Neighbors are helping neighbors. We are all cooking outside together every night -- so there was a crazy kid of sadness that came with the flickering of the lights last night -- real life is back. Kids will go back to watching movies, playing video games, being on the computer. Neighbors will go back into their homes and eat at their own tables for dinner. Why does "real life" have to be so busy and unfriendly sometimes? My wish is that I will make the effort to be more creative, more open and more laid back when all is normal again.

We do pray that those that were harder hit will soon be at their own tables having dinner with their families and that "real life" will occur sooner than later.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

IKE -- I'm Ready For You!

I come from a town that is protected on all sides by mountains. Natural disasters are nil. Although, I do remember a tornado interrupting practice in high school causing the drill team and the soccer team to have to take cover in a classroom after school. There were some cute guys on the soccer team; so, I didn't mind!

We also lived in Oklahoma for a total of about 5 1/2 years; so, tornadoes became very familiar. So familiar that the alarms would start to ring, I would open the backdoor and our dog would head straight for the closet! The nice thing I have decided about tornadoes is that they are quick and usually unknown until right before they touch down. I say this is nice because if you have lived in Texas and have to prepare for a hurricane, it seems to go on for weeks!

Three years ago, Hurricane Rita was on her way. I, however, was on my way to Sam's Club to purchase a Christmas gift for one of the boys -- a set of Lincoln Logs! The parking lot was packed for a weekday morning. I walked on in and an employee greeted me with a, "Sorry, ma'am, but we are out of D batteries." "That's OK. They weren't on my list," I say with a smile on my face. Entering further into Sam's, there are hoards of people standing around an empty pallet and an employee telling them all to be patient and cases of water would be brought up soon. "Hmmm," I wonder aloud. "What is going on?" Well, yes, I had heard news of a Hurricane and Hurricane Katrina had just hit New Orleans so I wasn't THAT naive. But, The Woodlands? Honestly, were we really going to be affected?? By the end of my trip to Sam's, I had jumped on board and grabbed a case of bottled water and some other stuff that was not on my list. While standing in the checkout line, (I was the only one with Lincoln Logs in her cart however!) a lady picked up this small bottle of propane and asked me if I was going to purchase one. "Do you think we'll need some?" she asked. Well, sure! Pile it in. We can't be too prepared!!

We taped windows, brought everything that was outside inside, and then sat in our driveway with the neighbors waiting for it to hit. Rita came in the dark of the night -- the night before my birthday. We spent my birthday cleaning up the backyard that was littered with debris and branches, putting back the outside furniture, and untaping the windows. Kind of a let down -- all that work and hype and it passed without us knowing!

The worst of Hurricane Rita was the two weeks that followed. They implemented rolling blackouts, which occurred at our house everyday from 4pm-8pm. Planning meals around that was difficult. The other part that was a shock to me was the fact that grocery trucks couldn't get to our grocery stores -- bread, milk and meat weren't back on the shelves for at least two weeks.

This morning Chris called me from Canada and said I'd better stock up for Hurricane Ike. It does look like we are going to get the "dirty side" of this storm, which is the same side that Hurricane Allison struck Houston with about 8 years ago. According to neighbors, our street became a river. I also remember pictures of the inside of a downtown building that had deep water rushing past stairways.

I didn't want to be fighting anyone for water or bread or toilet paper, so I rushed to Walmart. Obviously, I am the only person ready for this storm! The few cars in the parking lot belonged to the "older crowd" who only had a few things in their baskets! I was a little embarrassed!

Anyway, we have enough stuff to definitely last a week. As Chris always says, "It's better to be lookin' at it than wishin' for it!" Honestly, if Ike doesn't make it to us, we will have a block party and cook burgers on the charcoal grill. As they leave, the neighbors will all be required to take a canned good and a roll of toilet paper!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Wonderful World of Blog

I just saw that I began this blog a little over a year ago -- Sept. 5, 2007. I have to say I figured after a few months the newness would have fizzled out and I would not be blogging anymore! However, I have enjoyed this. I have stated over and over that I have a horrible memory; so, this has been a fun way to record our life. I have gone back on days that are not busy and enjoyed reading about our last year -- and say to myself, "Oh, yeah! I forgot about that!"

I have also enjoyed making new "friends" in the world of blog. I know that they don't have a clue who I am; but, I feel like I am one of their best friends because I religiously read their blogs everyday. I love reading about their kids and their new grocery finds! :) In fact, we are thinking about spending Thanksgiving in San Antonio and I am tempted to get in touch with Big Mama to get her ideas on where to have a great Thanksgiving meal!

The one addition that I never did think about is the finding of "old" friends in the world of blog. Just within the last few weeks, I have reconnected with one of my dearest friends from high school, Kay. She is one of about three that I do keep in touch with -- the Christmas cards and the dinner out when we both happen to be home at the same time -- and she ended up having the link to another friend of ours that I have not seen or spoken to in close to 20 years. I knew she lived only a short distance from me (like about 30 minutes) but life got in my way... With these two blogs I can keep up on my friends lives and see what they have become and how their families are and know that I could totally call them for advice on Thanksgiving dinner!!

Yesterday I received mail from Kay. Tucked in the envelope were five pictures from 1993 or 1994 of me, Kay and our other BFF, Tyla. (Wow! Was I homely looking! I am glad I do not have a scanner because I would feel the need to scan these in to post on my blog. At least I have a good excuse to not share!!) They had come to Stillwater, OK from Albuquerque to bring me my bridesmaid's dress for Tyla's wedding. The three of us were the best of friends in high school and I have so many amazing memories with them. We actually went on a few road trips when we were 16 and 17 -- can't believe our mothers allowed that!! We were in drill team, on yearbook staff, and Honor Society together. We were in each other's weddings. Unfortunately marriage took Kay and I away from Albuquerque; but, I am so blessed to still have her in my life and thanks to the blogging world, get a glimpse of her everyday life all these years later!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Papa's Wise Words

Every summer, the boys and I go to Albuquerque to spend some time with the family. The boys will spend a week with Chris's parents and then a week with my parents. This time is very important to me because I know how important grandparents are. I was lucky enough to live in the same city as both sets of grandparents. My sister and I would spend every Saturday night at one set or the other. In third grade, my Nanny would pick me up everyday after school and take me to Baskin Robbins where I would get a double scoop of ice cream -- mint chocolate chip and strawberry cheesecake. When my sister or I were sick, our grandpa would pick us up from school (or home) and take us to KMart -- my sister was sick alot!! Just lots of special times that could only happen when you live close by.

When the boys are with my parents, they spend a few days going with my dad on his 18-wheeler. They help him wash it, work on it, and load it. In order to do this they have to get up early -- usually 4:30 or 5. They quietly get dressed and brush their teeth so as not to wake me and grandma. They wouldn't dare want to sleep in and miss their day with Papa.
They love learning all about trucks and parts and whatever else Papa teaches boys!

A couple of weeks ago the boys and I had our six-month dentist cleaning and Colby actually had no cavities! The poor little guy has had the worst luck with his teeth. Well, this morning while he was finishing up brushing his teeth, he got excited and shouted, "Papa was right mom! Two spits is all you need for healthy teeth!" "Huh??" "Papa told us this summer that all you need to do is brush your teeth long enough to spit twice and it must work 'cuz I didn't have any cavities!"

Papa is so smart!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Hi Ho! Hi Ho! It's Off To Work I Go

A couple of weeks ago I began thinking about how I was going to fill my five days a week once the kids started back to school. Last year, I spent almost everyday at either Connor's school or Colby's school or some days both schools! I decided that although I enjoy being involved in their classes and schools, I was NOT going to be SO involved this year. So besides the random party for Colby and pep rally for Connor, this year looked bare.

The Friday before school started, a friend from church called and asked me if I would like to work in our church's Mother's Day Out program. In fact, this is how I met her -- she was Colby's 3-year-old teacher when I took him to MDO. I told her I would think about it. Well, as it turned out, they had a new one-day a week program for 17-24 month-olds that needed one more teacher. So, I figured I would "ease back into the work force"!!

I just got home from my six hours of work this week and am plum worn out!!! However, our kids were perfect. A great first day! Hardly no crying, they all played well together, all but one fell asleep at nap time, and the day flew by! They are also so adorable, I could eat them up!

I do have to say that it doesn't seem that long ago that I was one of those eager moms dropping off her child on Thursday morning, excited about spending the day doing whatever I wanted to do. And, then I remember that excitement of seeing my baby after spending the day without him and being curious as to how his day was without me. I am so thankful that I can do this for these few moms. I hope they relish this age because before they turn around they will be sending their "babies" to 6:30 am football practice and 2nd grade too!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

H.E.B. -- You Rock!

We can finally stop our "tradition" of driving Hatch green chili from Albuquerque to Houston. We don't have to worry about it ruining in the car and oozing out the burlap bag. We don't have to sit by the grill, roasting 20-40 lbs. of chili while sweat rolls off our heads. And we owe it all to H.E.B.!! Thanks for bringing home a lot closer to us Mr. Butts!!