Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Gringos in Paradise

This is one of the things we did over the weekend.

Maybe Austin and cousin John performed at a Mexican restaurant?

Or took a trip south of the border?

Here's a hint. We didn't have any chips and hot sauce. We were able to drink the water. And nobody rode a burro.

Muy bueno.

Friday, July 24, 2009


No matter how hard we tried, we couldn't get either of them to confess. That'll teach Austin to fall asleep watching baseball right after he told his sisters they couldn't watch Sleeping Beauty.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


So a friend forwarded this video to me, and I usually wouldn't post something like this. However, this pretty much sums up my feelings for my favorite place to eat. Finally somebody truly understands my obsession. :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A visit with Aunt Katie

My sister Katie, who lives in Atlanta, came to visit last week. We don't get to see her nearly enough, and I am REALLY hoping she decides to move back to our area in the next few months. Fingers are crossed!

We had a great time hanging out with her. Unfortunately she wasn't feeling too hot when she arrived, so we did a lot of hanging out at the house. Abby and I are trying to get over this bug now also.... it seems like we are the two who always get it the worse.

I picked her up on Thursday and headed to my mom's office so the kids could check it out. We then headed to the motherland.

Another great reason to love Chick-fil-A - you can trade in the kid's meal toy to get ice cream. I'm thinking they might want to hire me for their spokesperson or something?

Here's Katie at the exact moment she gives her horrible virus to Abby. Poor thing had no idea what was coming... :)

Friday the kids had their last day of VBS so we went shopping! Honestly I'm not much of a shopper... I prefer to do most shopping online these days when I can find good deals. I'm not one to mess with crowds. Plus, most of the time I go from rack to rack and find absolutely nothing. Clothes always look better on those darn mannequins and their perfect plastic bodies. Not to mention, I will never take the kids shopping with me again, but that's a different story. So James can never say anything about me spending too much on shopping. Well we did have a great time and I actually found a few tops. Score!

Saturday mom came over and we hung out in the pool all day. Look at Emily swimming now, no floaties or anything! It's just me and Abby hanging out on the steps these days.

On Monday we headed to Brenham, TX - home to the Blue Bell factory. We took a 45 minute tour - it was neat seeing how the whole ice cream process works. I think Austin was into the whole learning aspect, the girls just anxiously awaited the sample at the end.

Here's Austin with a brain freeze:

We love you Katie! Even if your favorite meal to make is hot dog casserole. Don't worry everyone - I won't be posting the recipe to that one anytime soon. Hey Katie, remember that the fastest way to a man's heart is through his stomach. I'm just sayin... haha! Come back and visit us soon!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Rain, rain, please don't go away

We finally got some rain over the weekend, and you know it's a big deal if it's actually blog worthy. We had a little bit last week (the first in over a month) and today it poured! Yahoo!

There's nothing better when you're momma says that it's ok to strip the clothes off and go play in the rain! Although, thinking about it later, we probably should have done it in the backyard instead of the front... But really, who cares? It was rain!!

Thunder, thunder everywhere. This is safe, right?

"So if I was on Survivor, I would just hang out by these leaves and cup a little water in my hands like this..."

Drinking some of the sweet rain that has eluded us for pretty much six weeks!

Here's our little southern lady Emily, looking for a gentleman to put down his coat... No such luck.

Running down the street in your undies is okay at four. Fourteen? Not so much.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Swimming 101

Two weeks ago the girls participated in a week's worth of swim lessons.

We tried them last year at our gym, but it really didn't go very well. In fact, Emily refused to even get in the pool the last half of the session. I thought this summer would be ideal, after all Austin took lessons at age 4 and he was swimming like a fish following his lessons. I hoped the same thing for the girls.

This year we went to a lady's house for lessons. She was so nice and really tried working with the girls. And I really thought they would do great, especially Emily, since she had a breakthrough during the week at our house. James would take her under water from one side of the pool to the other and she was fine. In fact, she wanted him to throw her in the air like he does with Austin. And he's usually good at making sure the kiddos actually land in the water. :)

Doesn't this look like a girl who enjoys the pool? (note: didn't Madonna go on tour with that same outfit in black, sans the flower bathing suit?) Anyway, this was going to be a piece of cake... Well you would never know it. The next day at lessons she insisted she would not put her face under water. I'm sure Ms. Ann-Marie would be totally shocked if she saw Emily at our house. It was a totally different child.

Abby started off the lessons better than what she finished. She progressively got worse after she was dunked the first day. Poor thing. Maybe she just takes after me. Seeing that I couldn't even jump off a diving board by myself at the age of 8...

My skills have gotten better since, but I'm not even close to swimming at my son's level or anything that extreme. I have always wanted to do a triathlon - although I have a horrible feeling they'd see one remaining bike and would subsequently have to send a search party in for me. I wonder if they have biathlons?

Abby has had a few breakthroughs since - her chin almost made it all the way into the water today. Baby steps.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

VBS 2009

The kids all attended VBS at our church last week and had a blast.

Calcium queen? 2% kiddo? Got Abby? I love when they do crafts (and I can usually tell what it is). This one really stumped me. Hmm... Perhaps it's a megaphone?? Unfortunately, none of them could tell me its purpose. We'll go with hat...

They even had a performance on Thursday night. What a touching tribute to Michael Jackson:

I am totally kidding about the MJ thing, but it still cracked me up. Their theme of the week was "Studio Go" which was sort of like a game show, hence the white gloves.

This is Emily right before she walks off stage and announces to the thousand people in the audience (ok, maybe a couple hundred) that she HAS to go pee-pee. Then she proceeds to sit with us the rest of the performance... serves us right arriving 30 minutes early to get good seats.

There was a really cute (and tall) little boy that blocked Abby almost the entire time. So here's proof that she was there also:

I really should have volunteered this year and have no legitimate excuses as to why I did not, but let me just say that having 3 hours to myself everyday last week was priceless. I got to go to the gym and grocery store alone, I got to clean and shower by myself, and I even had a "date." I picked up some food one morning, rented He's Just Not That Into You and sat on my hiney the whole 3 hours. It was complete paradise.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

To pierce, or not to pierce

Emily has been asking almost daily about getting her ears pierced. Every time I tell her - it's like getting a shot in your ear, are you sure you want that? It will hurt. She then asks, "will it bleed?" I respond "just a little." Then she says yes, she wants a shot in her ear. She wants to look like a princess.

In case you reading this and don't have little girls, Disney makes a ton o' money on this princess business.

After the "shot" appointment in the car:
"Emmy, do you still want to get your ears pierced?"
"No," she said still sniffling.

I gleefully jumped up and down for joy in my head. Thank the Lord. I don't have to worry about that for years to come. Maybe until she's 13. Because you know the shot at 11 will have the same effect.

Then later that week:
"Mom, when can I get my ears pierced?"
"Em, don't you remember that shot? I didn't think you wanted your ears pierced anymore."
"But Ariel has her ears pierced."
"Yeah, but didn't it hurt to get that shot?"
"A little."
Those were so not cries of a "little" pain.
"So you want to get a shot in your ear?"
"Yes," she said smiling hugely.

She forgot. In 2 days. 'Sigh'

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Emily & Abby's Check-up

So, the girls had their checkups last week, complete with four shots. And they can't stop telling people they had to go potty in a cup. Complete strangers too - can you imagine some of the looks they (I) get? They thought it was so funny. What isn't so funny is trying to position yourself without touching anything in a doctor's office bathroom, while holding a cup in the same position for 10 minutes x 2 waiting for your daughters to potty. I was a contortionist that day.

We started off with Emily since she is the oldest. So she is 37 1/2 inches and 35 lbs. All my kids are shorties, and every time the doctor does the percentile thing (Emily is in the 5th percentile - I am just happy she is on the charts), she says, "well mom and dad aren't that tall, so I'm not concerned about it." And everytime I correct her by saying - "we're not THAT short." I am 5 ft 5 inches. When did that become short? James is a few inches taller than me, and I know it's not like we can slam a basketball or anything... but sheesh.

Onto Abby - my more petite girl. She is a whopping 33 lbs, but she is a half inch taller than Emily at 38 inches. I thought she was taller, but she always walks on her tippy toes so it's hard to tell. The doctor also checked out her face and does not think it's broken. Whew. She thinks it's some sort of calcium buildup (that occurred during the healing process) that will be with her anywhere from a couple of months to years. She said she has seen one on a kid that the parents elected to do plastic surgery on after six months, but that was with a leg. I would be weary about doing that on her face - just having surgery alone and then scars and such. That is not an option now at all. We're just going to keep an eye on it for awhile.

Then came the really fun part - shots. Oh how I do feel sorry for the girl that has to go second. She has to witness the terror and screaming of the first child. That child was Emily. Poor thing. At least Abby didn't see it coming and it was over fast. Emily had to dwell on it and she was crying right along with her sister. Needless to say it was a battle getting her on the table.

The good thing is that was the last set of shots until they are 11. Their feelings were hurt, but they calmed down and got stickers for their ordeal which somehow made things much better.

But perhaps the worst part of the visit was a conversation with Austin - after seeing a ton of babies in the waiting room.

Austin: "Mom, I have a good question."
Me: "Oh, yeah. What's that?"
Austin: "I know how babies come out, but how do they get put in your body?"
(He knows he came out of my stomach, which is truthfully where he came out).
Me: "Uh, that is a good question."
Me: "Uh."
Me: "Hmmm."
Me: "Well God puts them there."
Austin: "How does he get them in there?"

Thinking how to respond to that.... the door opens, doctor walks in, and totally saves me. Seriously. Like right out of a movie. I really haven't thought about having that discussion with my kids. I mean he's only 6 years old. Thankfully he hasn't brought it up again.

Looks like Austin and James might be going on a camping trip soon.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Six Million Dollar Ducky

I waited a few days to work on ducky to see if someone miraculously found the same duck somewhere. No such luck.

This is the new ducky (nice foot placement):

Since I only have a travel size sewing kit, ducky has some new scars that are purple, white, and black.

This is my daughter's reaction to her duck:

I wasn't surprised. I just might have had something small to drink that night - maybe a few adult beverages out by the pool. When I gave it to James to tie the knot at the end (I could not for the life of me figure it out), he took one look at the duck and started cracking up. I guess ducky's leg wasn't where it was originally. This morning I realized it did look somewhat "off." At first glance she knew it too. No foolin' that girl.

But things did get better. After her initial reaction she dragged it with her everywhere just like the good old days.

Abby and ducky - together again.

Monday, July 6, 2009


Happy 4th of July to everyone!

Date the Declaration of Independence was approved: July 4, 1776 (although legal separation from England happened on July 2nd).

233 years later families all over our nation are still celebrating this holiday... I love history - it's always been fascinating for me. And I feel so blessed to live in this country. I remain optimistic that our country will pull through all of our current challenges. Americans always have found a way through tough times. God bless the men and women who keep us safe - and our ideals in tact.

Usually we quietly celebrate Independence day at home with our immediate family - sitting by the pool, cooking a few hot dogs, etc. For whatever reason, we decided that it was really important this year to get out of the house. Whether it's the war, the economy, tension across the world, or the wave of deaths in Hollywood - we just felt like honoring the flag this year.

We started out our weekend with a b-day party. My friend Merideth, who I think might be the oldest friend I still talk to - well her twin boys turned 5. It was right after I saw her boys for the first time that we became pregnant with twins. Something in the water I guess. We celebrated her boy's birthday at good ole Chuck E. Cheese. It's kind of like Vegas for toddlers. What happens at Chuck E. Cheese, stays at Chuck E. Cheese.

Jayson, Austin, and Justin being silly for the camera.

Austin with the "big cheese" himself. Emily knew he was a mouse, Abby thought he was a big rat.

Saturday morning we headed to Round Top, TX (population of 77 according to the sign) - home of the oldest 4th of July parade west of the Mississippi. This was their 158th annual parade and it was really cool. There were a lot of floats, classic cars, civil servants and local business people that participated in the parade - and most of the people were throwing loads of candy to all the kids. It was really funny - the excited kids looked like pigeons going after feed. After every toss, you'd see a cluster of kids - ours included.

We didn't bring any bags, so our kids filled up our "chair bags" with their booty.

Abby got lots of candy, but she was really interested in acquiring more bling.

Looking for diamonds, or maybe just making sure no sugar has disappeared.

By the way, our drought continues - and it was almost 100 degrees when the parade ended, and we were definitely feeling it!

"But there's still a few pieces of candy in the road. What do you mean we need to stay on the grass?"

On the way home we stopped and picked up some home grown tomatoes, watermelon, and cantaloupe. There is nothing I enjoy better than fresh tomatoes... I eat them just like apples. Yum! We actually made BLTs for breakfast this morning!

Later in the afternoon we went over to my friend Cathy's house and enjoyed some good BBQ with some good company. We then headed to a local church that had a huge firework display, including FREE hot dogs, snow cones, ice cream, popcorn, etc. Props to their church - they really put on a fantastic show! Good times! (By the way, Emily is absent in the picture below - she was having a slight diva moment. Nothing a snow cone couldn't fix.)

Austin and Nathan getting ready for the big show.

Emily is always riding on her daddy's shoulders

and telling "secrets" to us.

Waiting for the show to begin

and waiting for the show to end.

God bless America!