Faith, Family, Friends, Fellowship, Food, and Fun

Monday, October 29, 2007

Happy Birthday Aunt Patty

October is a very busy month in our family. When I was younger, we would have one big celebration for all the October and November birthdays. I think there were 8. Saturday was my Aunt Patty's birthday. Aunt Patty is the middle of 5 children and sometimes referred to as "Crazy Aunt Patty." While I didn't make that phone call I planned on making (the Aggies were on TV and I lost all touch with reality), I did send her a card (well, it is in the mail). I hope you had a great birthday, we love you!

Happy Belated Birthday to Uncle Chris- the baby. His birthday was October 2 and I totally missed it.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Not my "Itty Bitty Boy" anymore

We set up the toddler bed almost a month ago so that Caleb could get used to it. We had it set up with the headboard against the wall so he could get on and off by himself. So for weeks Lauren and Caleb have had fun playing on the bed. A few weeks ago we turned the bed around and tried letting him sleep in the bed. We left the crib in place as a precaution and we put pillows on the floor at the end of the bed just in case. As soon as we closed the door we heard a loud thump and sure enough, he had escaped, so back to the crib he went. But the next day, the bed once again became a cool place to play. As we were cleaning the house, Caleb climbed into the bed and amused himself. At about 11:45 I realized that even though his door was open, I didn't hear him anymore. Any good parent knows that silence is NOT golden when your kids are in a different room. When I walked across the hall, this precious moment is what I found.

And he has slept there ever since.


Lauren has decided that naptime doesn't mean she actually has to sleep anymore. Let me say that Lauren has always been a WONDERFUL napper. She usually goes down at 1:00 and sometimes we have to wake her up at 5:00. Lately she has been playing, which is fine as long as she stays in her room, but yesterday she must have had her own little fashion show because when she came out of her room to potty, she was wearing something completely different than what she went in with. And later when she came out because she heard me at home, she was wearing something different again.

So, how many different outfits do you think she tried on in a 3 hour period? We're going to have a quick lesson on hanging up clothes! Mommy's big ol' belly can't bend over anymore.

Happy Birthday dear Christy!

Picture taken June 2005
Christy is my cousin and it's her birthday today. When she was a student at A&M she lived with us and I got to spend a lot of time getting closer to her. Then she up and moved to North Carolina so she could work on her Master's at Duke.

I have lots of great memories with Christy starting with when I went to stay with her family in Silsbee when she was 2 or 3. I got to babysit her (since I'm like way older than she is) and I remember how she had to have like 100 stuffed animals in her bed. I am serious, there was hardly any room for her. Now my precious Lauren is following suit. Another Christy memory is how she loved her Raggedy Andy, "Andy Boy" she called him. Well, Lauren found a boxed Raggedy Ann and Andy in my closet just last week and insisted on me opening them. She immediately called Ann, "Rags" and we have taught her that Andy is, "Andy boy." We love you and miss you Christy and we hope you have a super birthday!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Halloween Fun

I want to know what your greatest memory of Halloween is or what you now do for your kids. My greatest memories are of our old neighborhood back in Fort Worth. There were 5 girls around my age and we all had little brothers around the same age. We had the coolest neighborhood! Our parents would dress up and set up someone's garage as a spook house. Lisa, do you remember this? I remember being blindfolded and sticking my hands in different bowls of "mush" like eyeballs (grapes) and brains (pasta noodles). Those were good times. I also remember Lisa, Amy, and I going to haunted houses with our moms. I need to get the pictures from my mom and scan them in.

Now that my children are getting old enough to enjoy the Halloween fun, I want to start collecting ideas and hopefully soon we'll live in a neighborhood with lots of kids, just like good ol' Franwood Terrace. Then I can pass along the traditions too. Ahhh, good times!

This is where I'll start an ongoing post of fun ideas like games and recipes for Halloween. Please share your ideas by clicking on comments below.

Lots of Creepy Recipes
Kids' Turn Central
Family Fun
Family Education
Halloween Fun For Kids

Ghostly Cookies:
Melt white almond bark and dip Nutter Butter cookies in completely. Chill until firm. Add black eyes and a mouth. You may try to attach to a lollipop stick for decoration effects.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Who are the people in your neighborhood?

We live in a hidden neighborhood. I mean it is right off of the access road but there are people who were born and raised in this town and they have no idea our little neighborhood exists. There are only 2 streets with I don't know, maybe 30 houses on each street? Somehow, even our neighborhood is not immune from renting to students and I have to say most of the college students here are law-abiding citizens. Except for the house across the street! Keep in mind that their back yard butts up to an office building parking lot.

So as I was driving home for lunch yesterday, I noticed about 3 police cars parked in the parking lot where their house is. Then I saw the police officers sitting on top of their fence. All I could think of was, "Great! What now?"
Several years ago we came home to see the Brazos Valley Task Force conducting a drug raid at that house. We do not live in the ghetto!

These tennants have been there since August and they seem like nice people. So I drove down our street and noticed the animal control truck in front of their house. I remembered how our dog was barking at something under our deck the other night so I sent Stephen over to see if maybe this critter was in their back yard. The animal control officer (who was sitting in her truck) just told Stephen they were waiting for the tennants to come home. Okay....what on earth could be going on? Some more police arrived and one of the tennants arrived and walked them into the back yard. Stephen decided to go check the mail, which is up the street and around on the next street. When he got home the phone rang. It was another neighbor who told Stephen she saw him walking and he needed to close the garage and stay inside because some pit bulls were loose, one had already bitten a neighbor and a police officer had to shoot one that was coming at him aggressively. It's a good thing we hadn't been playing outside when the dogs got loose, I can't imagine.

It has been confirmed on the news that the dogs were over on the street behind ours and they were not allowing people to get to their cars. I found out today that one of the people who was chased back into her house is the sweet older woman who lives 2 doors down from the dog owner. Animal control could not get close enough to catch the dogs because they were so aggressive so they called the police. I absolutely love dogs, I have had dogs my whole life. I believe the police officer had every right to shoot that dog. I don't think pit bulls are dogs, they are beasts. I have seen many shows on them and it is just their nature, no matter how they are raised, to have killer instinct. They have the most powerful jaws that can snap just about anything. I don't want to start a controversy here but too many innocent people, often children, are mawled by these beasts and I see no sense in having them around. Stephen works at the local TV station and whenever email is sent to the station, it is sent to all the employees. The dog owner wrote in to say how dare that police officer shoot the dog? How could he leave him to die? He was outraged at how this was handled and about the fact that he is being fined. He said everyone knows that his dog is sweet and now his dog will never be the same. Can you believe that? Hey dude, how about all the neighbors who were terrorized? What if the smaller kids were outside playing as they sometimes are? All of this in our nice, quiet neighborhood.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Happy Fall Y'all

Today we took the kids to the Oil Ranch in Hockley which is about an hour away. There was so much to do. They had a petting zoo, pony rides, train rides, a hay barn, and tons more. As we left, they allowed the kids to pick out a pumpkin to take home. Lauren picked the prettiest ones. We all had a great time.

Oil Ranch

Friday, October 19, 2007

Caleb's first word!

He did it! Finally, last night, Caleb said his first word. Do you know what it was? "Pooh." No Heather, not like the Pooh you blogged about. We were at Toys R Us trying to find a costume for him. We held up his 3 choices: Mickey, a giraffe, and Pooh. He quickly smiled and reached for Pooh. So Stephen and I said it and he repeated it back to us! As we walked through the store we tested him and he said Pooh like 3 more times. Glory Hallelujah! By the way, when we got up to pay for the costume, it was half price so if you still haven't bought your costumes (or made them), go check out the sale.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Happy Birthday Mom and Lisa

Tomorrow is my mother-in-law's birthday as well as Lisa's birthday. I am posting today because Lisa is going on a special trip tomorrow. I have known Lisa since we were 2 so I wanted to share some of our special moments. Happy Birthday Ladies! I love you Lisa!

Check out my Slide Show!

I love pumpkins!

I am gathering pumpkin recipes from far and wide, I am even bloglifting them. If you have a great recipe, please post it in my recipe section-Holiday meals. I've added a new labels section on the right to make it easier to get to my recipes.

Do NOT go see this movie

I'm all about freedom of speech and all but anything anti-God gets my blood boiling.
This is an FYI that a terrible, anti-Christian movie called the "Golden Compass" will be coming out in early December, aimed at children and labeled as a family movie. This movie is based on a series of books by an atheist British author (Phillip Pullman) whose goal in writing the books is to be the "Anti-Narnia" series and to lead children into atheism.The main villains in the series of books are the Magisterium, Cardinals, and the Pope, and includes a heroine that is a young girl who sets out to kill God. The truly sick thing about the movie is that they have made it APPEAR as if it is an innocent film, with exciting effects and a fairytale story. They have removed from the movie the appalling anti-Catholic/Christian themes from the book. The goal of the movie is to hook unsuspecting families into viewing the film so that children will then want to read the books (and probably buy merchandise) . Nicole Kidman stars in it, and Scholastic Books is behind it. The goal is to let as many people as possible know about this horrible film and to have it bomb at the box office. The makers of the movie are hoping it will be as big as Harry Potter or the DaVinci Code. Let's pray that it won't! Please tell as many people as possible to avoid this terrible film. Thanks!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I need your ideas

Our postal service is the worst. Let me tell you all that has happened to us in the 4 years we've been here. In November '03 I mailed out rehearsal dinner invitations in BRIGHT green envelopes. All my friends in the DFW area received theirs but one of my bridesmaids who lives in CS 2 miles away never got hers. Well, I shouldn't say never. Months later she got it and she said it was all crumpled up. How does a bright green envelope get lost in the mail? Then, when we went to visit my parents in Nov. 04, after Lauren was born, I left the plug for my breast pump in Bedford. You can't just run to Wal-Mart and buy a replacement you know. My parents mailed it and it took almost a month for me to get it. I was running the pump off batteries and they just don't work the same. When I called the post office to complain, they said maybe the ink ran and the address wasn't legible. WHAT? First of all, the return address label is a label. Second of all, have you seen my mom's handwriting? It is like a rubber stamp. When I was in school my friends all told me I'd never be able to forge that handwriting. Seriously, there is no way the label was illegible.

For Easter this year my mom sent a card to each of the kids and a card to Stephen and me. She sent them altogether but Lauren NEVER got her card. My Mother-in-law sent me a Mother's Day card this year, I have never received it. The latest mystery is my mom mailed Halloween cards from Bedford 2 Saturdays ago, October 6. We still have yet to see them. I know that about a year ago one of the news stations did a story on this but it doesn't seem like it has gotten any better. I didn't even mention the sales ads that say please deliver between and we get them the last day of the sale.

So.....any other Aggieland readers having this problem?
Anyone else out there have some legal suggestions?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I'm losing my mind!

I don't know what age it's supposed to happen but it has officially happened. I'm sure it started before Friday but that's when I began to notice it. Friday afternoon, Stephen had to run to the cable company to drop off a commercial he made for Delta Zeta. I decided it would be nice for all of us to go together, ya know, get out of the house. I said we could run to Hobby Lobby after dropping off the tape. So as we were driving down the highway, we passed Barron Rd. I shrieked. Seeing Barron Rd. reminded me that I had signed up to COOK and deliver a meal to a family from church who recently had a baby. It was 4:00 and they eat dinner at 5:30. The meal had to cook for 45 minutes. How did I forget that? I thought about it every day that week and I even emailed Dana that morning to confirm. Luckily we made it home around 4:30 and I pulled a few tricks out of my hat and we delivered to her door at 5:32! Whew!

But today....I've never done what I did today. I took a late lunch so I could go straight to my 1:30 doctor's appt after lunch. I have finally learned a few tricks about that office and 1:30 is the BEST time to get my doctor. That's the first appt after lunch so she can't be behind unless of course there is a delivery. Anyway, I was at home for lunch and decided to pull my appt card out of my purse just to be sure the appt wasn't at 1:15 or anything like that. Nope, 1:30 YESTERDAY! And there's a charge for not making your appointments. I even talked to 2 people at that office yesterday morning and I said I'd see them tomorrow.

How could this happen? So after thinking about it for some time, I decided to go up there like my appt was today and just see what would happen. I got a great parking spot and went inside. I waited on the elevator and then a sign.... My old ob/gyn was standing there looking at me. Dr. G is the doctor that delivered Lauren. He is truly a nice man and smiled and asked how I've been doing. I did the best I could to suck in my 6 month pregnant belly and told him great and that was that. Was this telling me what was to come? I got to my doctor's office, signed in, sat down and waited.....then I heard, "Mrs. A****?" Oh, here it comes. Luckily, I got the nice lady. She said my appt was yesterday and I totally played dumb. I asked her what I needed to do. She said she'd look at the appt book and did I want to wait for an appt today? I said,"Only if it's not inconveniencing anyone." Then Dr. B said she'd see me. It's a good thing we have a little more than a normal Dr/patient relationship, her children attend my school. She didn't seem to mind that I missed my appt and she proceeded to talk about her kids. No harm done after all!

My 3 year old might run away

The other day Lauren was having a meltdown about something minor. We asked her to go cry in her room as we always have to which she replied, "You're going to miss me when I go to Uncle John and Aunt Ellen's. " Stephen and I could not help but burst into laughter. Where did she come up with that?

Yesterday when I was home for lunch, Caleb climbed up in my quickly shrinking lap for some snuggle time. I know that soon he will not want to be held tightly in my arms so I eat up every chance I get to snuggle. Then Lauren found a small spot left on my lap and she climbed aboard as well. Caleb shifted and laid across Lauren- which was even more precious than our snuggle time. I told Lauren, "Look Lauren, Caleb wants to love on you too, isn't that sweet?" And her reply, "Caleb, I'm not a pillow." I hope the sibling love never fades away.

Well, I'm off to my doctor for a check-up. Hope you are all enjoying the wonderful Fall weather as much as I am.

Friday, October 12, 2007

You Know You're a Mom When...

I stole this from

1. Your feet stick to the kitchen floor....and you don't care.
2. When the kids are fighting, you threaten to lock them in a room together and not let them out until someone's bleeding.
3. You can't find your cordless phone, so you ask a friend to call you, and you run around the house madly, following the sound until you locate the phone downstairs in the laundry basket.
4. You spend an entire week wearing sweats.
5. Your idea of a good day is making it through without a child leaking bodily fluids on you.
6. Popsicles become a food staple.
7. Your favourite television show is a cartoon.
8. Peanut butter and jelly is eaten at least in one meal a day.
9. You're willing to kiss your child's boo-boo, regardless of where it is.
10. Your baby's pacifier falls on the floor and you give it back to her, after you suck the dirt off of it because your too busy to wash it off.
11. Your kids make jokes about flatulence, burping, pooping, etc. and you think it's funny.
12. You're so desperate for adult conversation that you spill your guts to the telemarketer that calls and HE hangs up on YOU!
13. Spit is your number one cleaning agent.
14. You're up each night until 10 PM vacuuming, dusting, wiping, washing, drying, loading, unloading, shopping, cooking, driving, flushing, ironing, sweeping, picking up, changing sheets, changing diapers, bathing, helping with homework, paying bills, budgeting, clipping coupons, folding clothes, putting to bed, dragging out of bed, brushing, chasing, buckling, feeding (them, not you), PLUS swinging, playing baseball, bike riding, pushing trucks, cuddling dolls, roller balding, basketball, football, catch, bubbles, sprinklers, slides, nature walks, colouring, crafts, jumping rope, PLUS raking, trimming, planting, edging, mowing, gardening, painting, and walking the dog. You get up at 5:30 AM and you have no time to eat, sleep, drink or go to the bathroom, and still managed to gain 10 pounds.
15. In your bathroom there is toothpaste on the light fixtures, water all over the floor, a dog drinking out of the toilet and body hair forming a union to protest unsafe working conditions.
16. You buy cereal with marshmallows in it.
17. The closest you get to gourmet cooking is making rice crispies bars.
18. Your sick and your child comes out of the kitchen holding crackers, a spoon, and PB just before dinner time and you think, "Works for me, I don't have to cook."

BTHO Texas Tech

I'm sure I may have mentioned in previous blogs that the Aggies are #1 in the Big 12 South Division but it deserves being mentioned again. Tomorrow we take on Texas Tech in Lubbock and let me say they deserve a butt whoopin'. Have you seen the t-shirts one of the Tech frats designed? It is too graphic to display on my blog but let me post how it was described in the Tech school paper- "If you haven't seen the story (Was your head buried in the sand?), the front of the shirt - which was sold by the Theta Chi fraternity without authorization from the Tech administration - says "Vick 'Em." The back of the shirt has a silhouette of Atlanta Falcons' quarterback Michael Vick holding A&M mascot Reveille hanging by her neck in a noose." So I'll be watching tomorrow and I hope to see the best performance of the season by the Fightin' Texas Aggie Football Team.

TOXIC Black Mold

That's right, the house we wanted to look at has toxic black mold among many other defects. I am curious to see if anyone will buy that house or if it will stand empty for many years.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

100 days!

That's how many days until my due date. Of course Lauren was 5 1/2 weeks early and Caleb was 3 1/2 weeks early but 100 days just sounds exciting for some reason. Now, I am not in my classroom today or I would come up with 100 things I am thankful for. I can start with 10:
1. God our Father
2. My wonderful husband that I am in love with
3. My beautiful children who fill me with joy every day
4. The new life inside me
5. My family
6. My friends-especially the long lasting friendships
7. A home to live in
8. The Aggies!
9. The Mom's Prayer group at church
10. Our SHRINKING debt!

What about you? What are you thankful for?

Monday, October 8, 2007

Monday, Monday

Well, the only real news I have is that the Aggies won! Whoop! And since Texas has lost 2 conference games, we are #1 in the Big 12 South. Stephen has contracted to video some football games every Saturday through Nov. 10 so the kids and I did some laundry and watched the OU-Texas game. Lauren asked if it was the Aggies and I tried to explain that it was OU and t.u. So she tried her best and said, "Go Cowboys!" Now that should make Papa proud. During the Aggie game I was shouting and whooping and hollering and Lauren added her support as well, "You can do it, I know you can."

Well now let's go back to Friday. I was browsing the realtor website and stumbled upon a fixer-upper, no dump, I mean money pit, dream house? This house is on 2 acres, it has 5 bedrooms, 4 and a half bathrooms, a study, a sunroom, we're talking over 5,000 sq. ft. and the price is definitely in our price range. Looking at the picture, there are 3 more windows to the right that you can't even see in the picture. We're talking huge! I thought of how Stephen could have his own office and our friends and family could have their own bedrooms and bathrooms, heck, they could have their own wing! So I did my homework. It was built in '75 and the original owner had it until March '06. The buyer had it until Feb '07 when the bank took over.
This bathroom has been redone.

This bathroom has not. I wonder about the other 2 1/2 bathrooms.

This is one wall in the kitchen.

Looks like some new cabinets were installed. There's hope!
Wouldn't this be a fun project? I mean, if there is a working bathroom and kitchen, couldn't we live there and fix it up as we go? We have friends who just bought a house and remodeled every room. We could do it too. So I showed this house to Stephen and we drove out to see it Friday night. It has a wrought iron fence lining the front and along the sides as far as you can see. It has a fabulous circle drive that leads up to the beaming entry, reminds me of a hotel. Can you imagine decorating for the holidays? It definitely has possibility. Since it was dark, we couldn't see much more than what the picture shows. I did see a spiral staircase though.
But what's that saying? If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is? Yes, well, I was mentioning this "dream" to a friend at work and it turns out that the family who owned it from '06-'07 used to attend our school. This house is in another school zone so the students transferred when they moved. The father told one of our teachers how the old man had started remodeling and took out some walls and maybe even some structural beams, oh no! And....there was a pool in the backyard that the old man tossed stuff in and then filled in? What?
Bummer! Guess we'd better do our future searches through a real person, not the internet.

Yesterday was a day of more laundry, rest, and relaxation. I don't know about your kids but my kids love to help with the laundry. Caleb loves to close the dryer door after each bundle I toss in from the washer. Then as I set the laundry basket down, he loves to see how far all the hangers will fly in the living room and how far spread out they can be. Maybe what he really loves is watching me spend 10 minutes picking them all up. Then, if he doesn't want to climb on top of all the clean laundry, he likes to play toss across with all the clothes in the basket and if I'm really lucky to have his help, he likes to climb up on the couch and grab all the neat piles of clothes and see how far they'll fly across the room. I'm so lucky to have such help!
So in between loads of laundry, we watched the race and cleaned out closets and other clutter so we can get our house on the market. Most of the time, the kids played with their toys, but you can't go into the bathroom without Caleb trying to race you to get there. He has bathroom radar. He just knows that that's where you are going. What's so exciting about the bathroom? I just don't see the fun in unrolling the toilet paper for the hundredth time. Instead of fighting Caleb for the toilet paper, I decided to give him one square and do you know what he did with it? He put it over his mouth and made a blowing sound. It was really cute y'all. I guess he's watched me blow my nose so much that he wanted to do it too.
So that's it, it really was not an exciting weekend but it sure feels good getting some clutter out of the house.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Who will be the next president?

aka: Who is Duncan Hunter?
I am ashamed to say I know nothing about our 50 current candidates, okay, maybe there's not 50 but it seems like it. Anyway, I know who I do NOT want to run our country and it is no secret that I am a conservative republican. I found this link on Heather's blog. You answer 11 quick questions and then it tells you who you tend to agree with the most. So I matched up with Duncan somebody and Fred Thompson was a close 2nd. What about you?

Monday, October 1, 2007

Best Weekend in a Long time

We had such a wonderful weekend with Uncle John and Aunt Ellen (Lauren's Godparents). We swam just about the entire weekend, except breaking for church. Friday night we swam right after dinner up until almost 11:00. Saturday we were in the pool right after breakfast.
Lauren swam like a pro. She was all over the pool with the help of her little floaties. The weather was just perfect. It was nice to walk around outside without the College Station humidity. What a difference that makes.

We did take a break for lunch and I got to watch the end of the Aggie-Baylor game. Uncle John was teasing Lauren and told her, "Hook 'em horns." She gave him a puzzled look, paused, and her reply was worth millions to Aggies. She said, "Saw Varsity's horns off." I could not believe her little 3 year old brain processed such a perfect reply.

Wow, I DID NOT sink to the bottom! By Saturday night, Lauren was very comfortable swimming without her floaties (but with our help). I got it on video, unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of Lauren and her daddy.

Poor Caleb just never could enjoy the pool because he has some teeth coming in.
One of many wonderful meals they cooked for us, Uncle John treated Lauren to her first milkshake. It was delicious as you can see by her milkshake mustache. Notice the big girl cup? The first time Uncle John brought her some juice, she told him he forgot the lid. We just give her sippie cups so Caleb doesn't spill her drinks.