Wednesday, April 30, 2008


OK, internets, I know you all have just been DYING to know what has been up in our world, as it has been 4 WHOLE DAYS since I've blogged.  The days have been fast and furious.  Here's a quick little update...

Sunday it RAINED.  A lot.  And it was pretty chilly.  After church we went out to lunch with some friends.  Then, Luke went and ran with Will, and the girls and I went and played with Shelley and her girls while the boys were being all "healthy" and "athletic."  They both really enjoy exercise.  I really dislike that about both of them.

Monday was back to school.  Grace and I spent the day doing the normal "early week" stuff... mainly a BIG trip to Wal-Mart for lots of groceries and household items.  Not a fun trip, but Grace was good and quite funny.   We had a "healthy" lunch at Mickey-D's.  (However, I want bonus points for ordering a salad and not the big fat hamburger that I really wanted!!)

Tuesday was crazy.  Katie had to take the Math portion of the TAKS test, and she was quite nervous. It amazes me that she is worried about these tests!!!  She is bright, but now just "passing" isn't good enough... She wants to be "commended".  I hope she makes it, but I also hope that she is proud of herself no matter what.  She was prepared, and I know she did well.  After school we raced home and changed clothes to run back into town for T-ball practice and softball practice.  We got home in time to scarf down some dinner and bathe and jump in the bed.

Today was also really busy.  Shelley and I went riding with a "new" bicycling friend, Sheena.  We did well... we rode about 10 miles.  Then it was a mad dash back home for a shower before going up to the hospital to watch Luke give his speech for Women's Health Week.  (He did so well... he had made a slide show on the computer to go with it.  I learned a few things about Osteoporosis that I didn't know!!)  Then it was another hop skip and jump over to Circle T to chat about the Breast Cancer research Benefit that is going on this weekend.  I'm helping with the silent auction.  We really have a lot to do... I hope it all comes together!!!  Next I picked up the kids and helped Katie finish her Science Project before trucking to church and teaching my "Rhythm Rookies" choir class.  They were cute tonight... We sang a song about God creating the world in 7 days.  

Anyway, I know all that information was just so exciting... you all can quit snoring now! ha ha!  

The sad thing is, I had a GREAT posting in my mind for "Works For Me Wednesday", hosted over at "Rocks in my Dryer", but I haven't even had time to take a photo to go along with it!!  AHHH!!  Oh, well, maybe next week!!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

A good day!

Today was a good day.  For one of the first times in her life, I allowed Kate to leave our little town with a friend (who wasn't related to us! ha  ha!) and spend the day with her.  I know, I know, the child is 9 years old, and I probably should have allowed it a long time ago, but I'm one of "those" moms... I am WAY over - protective.  But, really, I'm OK with being a little on the "cautious" side.  Any-hoo, Katie Beth had a FANTASTIC time.  They went to the Ft. Worth zoo and saw all the animals (the penguins were her favorite), and they got to stuff an animal in the gift shop, they rode the train, and then, to cap off a perfect day, they ate supper at the hibachi place.  She was tired but really happy.

The rest of us had a fun day, too.  A few of my friends had a garage sale today, so I helped out there this morning.  While I was at the garage sale, Luke took the little girls on an "adventure".  Abby had so much fun she is still talking about it!  They went walking down to our creek and tried to skip rocks and looked for fossils and laid on the big rocks and put their hands in the cold waterfalls.    They were dirty and happy when I got back home.  We then headed to town for Miss Campbell's 2nd b-day party.  What fun!  A bouncy castle, a water slide, a wading pool, a huge sand box with green and purple sand... it was a kiddy paradise!  (Wish I had remembered my camera!!)  After the party, a good bath was in order for all of us!  Then Luke and I took the little girls out to dinner before Kate arrived back home.  (I kind of thought that Abs and Gracer might miss Kate today, but you know, they really enjoyed being "buddies"... Abby really got to play the role of the big sister, and, you know, she was pretty good at it!!)

Hope you all had as good of a Saturday as we did!!  

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thankful Thursday

 Before I start listing, I should probably give a little background first... Earlier in the week, a young man from our town unexpectedly passed away.  He would have turned 26 this weekend.  He began having a seizure at home, and then went to the ER.  They are still unsure, but they think he had a blood clot that went to his lung and killed him.  He was a husband.  He was a father to two precious young children.  All week I have just been sick over what his wife and children are suffering through right now.  If you have time, pray for the Carter family.

Then last night, I get a call from my partner who teaches Sunday School with me each week.  Her daughter (who is roughly the same age as me), went in to the hospital to have some fairly routine surgery.  She went into cardiac arrest during the procedure.  Luckily, she survived.  She was awake again, but they were monitoring her very closely.  My partner said that when her daughter woke up, she said, "Mom, I saw the light."    This gave me chills.  This woman has children and a husband, and they are praying about adopting another young child from the Ukraine.  She has much to live for.  Please pray for her, too.  Her name is Julie.

I give all this background, because I think my "thankful" list will probably be a bit more serious than usual, and I just wanted you to know where I am today.  A little shell-shocked, and totally thankful and humbled.


1.)  My family.  All of them.  Especially my husband, for I am unsure how I would "move on" with the business of life without him.

2.)  God.  

3.)  My life.  I am so richly blessed.

4.)  Being wonderfully and mercifully forgiven.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Chicken Update

I know you all have just been waiting with baited breath for an update about Abby's chickens(ha!).  Well, they all are 4 doing fine and growing at a ridiculous rate.  We were HOPING for 4 hens, and even had an old wives' tale that told us how to pick hens out from roosters.  Supposedly, if you hold them upside down by their feet when they are babies, the ones who do not fight and flap their wings are hens.  We dutifully performed this test and made our selections based on the results.  Well, now that they are growing, it appears that little trick is accurate... about half of the time.  That's right.  We are thinking we have two roosters and two hens.  The little purple chicken (named "Dumpling") has begun to perch himself on top of the water jug and "crow" (if you can call it that... it sounds like a sick little whistle.)  I'm hoping he never figures out how to really let loose and crow.  I like my sleep.  I don't want to be awakened at dawn by a happy rooster.  (I don't want to be awakened at dawn by anything! ha ha)  Wish us luck... how far do you think we could REALLY move that chicken pen away from our house?!?!?!?!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Under the weather...

So, after church yesterday, I started feeling not so good.  Queasy, nauseated, achy, the whole nine yards.  Luckily, two of my three kids had gone home with friends for the afternoon.  Grace is MUCH easier alone, so I pretty much curled up on the couch and let her watch TV and play around me while I napped and rested.  Luke was working, but luckily was able to come home for a little while.  Luckily, I feel better today.  Weak, but better.  The good doctor has checked me out, and luckily it is just a virus, likely the same one Grace had last Thursday.  Love the little gifts she gives!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Ball Pics...

No snazzy titles today... I guess I'm not feeling very creative!  Just wanted to share the "official" ball pictures of the girls for this year.  They are looking mighty cute, if I do say so myself!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful today for "sistah-luv".

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Works for me Wednesday!!

You can find lots of good tips over at Rocks in My Dryer
It's always fun to participate, so here's my best tip that "Works for me"!!

When trying to organize a playroom, you just have to suck it up and buy some good organizational containers.  I have always wanted these racks with colored bins, but would never spend the money.  I finally broke down and bought them, and they have made ALL THE DIFFERENCE!!  Everything has a place.  

I got my handy-dandy label maker and labeled each and every bin.  The older two girls can read, and so they can clean up the play room by themselves.  They know where every single toy belongs, and they can put it back there all by themselves.  (I tried to take a close-up photo of one of the labels, and my camera didn't want to focus on a image that close.  Not a very good picture, but you get the idea!!)

It works for us!  Hope it works for you!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


I finally remembered to take my big lens with my camera to one of Ab's T-Ball games and got some really good pictures of her in action.  The picture above is the big athlete, and she's "baseball ready".

The picture below shows Abby, up to bat and ready to whack the ball. (The only problem is, her feet were in the wrong place, so Coach Charles had to fix her feet.  It was just easier to pick her up and move her than try and explain where her feet should be!)  Cute, cute, cute!

Here's Ab in action, making her way safely to first base!
Her team is doing great!  Go Rangers!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Play Date

Today marked a kind of "milestone" for us... Gracie had a friend come over to play while the other two girls were at school.  We picked Miss Emiley up from pre-school and she and Gracie had the house to themselves, with very little interference from me.  They had lunch and then they sang a little karaoke (but that didn't last long, because the microphones weren't working correctly...).  They played dress-up and played with the kittens.  The picture above shows the girls in a play tent, all dressed up, with Pancho and Lefty.  What fun!  They truly had a ball... their only complaint was that it wasn't long enough.  I had to agree.

Jack and the Beanstalk

I'm spending some time trying to play "catch up" from the last few weeks... it seems that I haven't taken the time to post very often about all of our activities (probably because we have had so many activities! ha ha)

Last week Abby's kindergarten class presented a play, "Jack and the Beanstalk", during their music class. Abby was one of the narrators, and she did so well. Here she is, saying some of her lines. Their music teacher does such a good job with the kids and using things that they already have as props. Look at these two boys... the one standing in the chair with the green paper wrapped around him is "the beanstalk", and the other boy is "Jack". He is climbing the beanstalk. Cute!
At the end of the play, the teacher has all the students stand in a semi-circle around the class room and the audience comes around and shakes their hands. The children thank them for coming, and the audience congratulates them on a job well done. She encourages the children to look the adults in the eye and speak properly. She has taught the about a nice, firm handshake. Wow. What a teacher! Here is Abby, in line and ready to shake hands.
The play was fantastic! Way to go, kindergartners!

Music, Mustard, and Monsters Inc.

At church yesterday, the children helped lead the service. They did all the music, they did the invocation, they did the offertory prayer, they read the scripture (that was Kate's job, and she did so well!). The youngest kids served as greeters at the doors, handing out programs. All in all, it was a great day. Here is a photo of Abby singing with her choir, the Little Angels.As an encouragement for more kids to attend and participate, the church treated the kids to lunch and a movie in the Family Life Center after the service. They had hot dogs (with MUSTARD) and then watched a movie (Monsters Inc.). If the kids had at least 50 children show up, then they got to make our music minister, John, into a human hot dog. They got to be really messy and squirt him with mustard and ketchup and relish. They had to wear garbage bags as smocks so they didn't get their church clothes too messy. Here's a picture of Luke holding Grace, because, believe you me, she WAS NOT going to get left out of this one!!
And, finally, here's a picture of all the kids turning John into a human hot dog. He was such a good sport to do this!!
Happy Monday!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Play Ball!

I love to watch kids play T-ball and softball. More specifically, I love to watch MY kids play T-ball and softball!! It is so funny. Our seasons have begun, so I thought I'd give you some photos of the girls.

Here's Kate, ready to go. Her team is the Lady Rebels. They won their first game! Here's Abby. Her team is called the Rangers. They have won their first two games (even though they don't "officially" keep score in T-ball...)
Here is an action shot of Katie's team just after winning their first game. They were so excited!
Here is a picture of Abby's team in action. She's the little one playing short stop there.
Go teams! Can't wait to see them play again!!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Ducky Update

The ducks and chicks are growing SO quickly, I thought I'd give you a "visual". Here is a photo of my brother, Bill, holding his namesake, Bill, the Black Duck. Look how tiny Little Bill is! Now, this is a pic we took yesterday of Bill and Bubba Duck, swimming in the wading pool. They are swimming like big boys! Just look in the corner of the picture... Scardey Cat is watching them swim VERY closely. I think he'd probably eat them if we gave him half a chance. Luckily, he doesn't like water!

Friday, April 4, 2008

My "Mama" License...

Luke and I often marvel that people have to have a license to drive a car and a permit to buy a gun, but nothing to have a child. We think they should have to apply for a "mama card" or a "daddy card"... I'm sure that somehow goes against their civil liberties, but it is just one of those things that we enjoy laughing about.

Any-hoo, this week by about Wednesday, I was ready to turn in my "mama" license. My children were not enjoyable. Everyone was fighting and grumpy and just generally difficult to deal with. (It probably didn't help that I had a fierce headache, either.)

But, then today came. I'm glad I didn't relinquish my "mama card", because today it's been good to be a mom.

Here's the main reason why:
We didn't do anything today but play together while the older sisters were away at school. And it was really fun for both of us.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Some of the many things I am thankful for...

1.)  Good friends.  I am blessed to have a lot of them.

2.)  Family.  My husband, my kids, my parents, siblings, their spouses, nieces, nephews, ...I am blessed.

3.)  Animals.  We are blessed to have a lot of them, too.  Those new kittens are just the sweetest, cutest little things I have ever seen.  The ducks and chickens are thriving.  I'll have to post a photo soon, because they are quickly getting their adult feathers, and the chicks are learning to fly.  We took the ducks swimming for the first time, and they LOVED it.

4.)  Church.  I continue to be amazed at how GOOD it can be in a little town.  Tonight we had the Baylor Men's Choir come and sing for our church.  They were amazing.  We were honored to host 4 of them overnight in our home.  They were delightful.

5.)  Did I mention my husband?  I have had a headache for the majority of this week, and he has really stepped up to help me (and not just medically.)  He has helped so much with the girls and just house stuff.

6.)  Spring.  I love it.  Bring on the wildflowers.

7.)  T-Ball and Softball.  Is there anything better than watching 4 & 5 year olds play ball?  No, not unless it is watching 7-10 year olds play softball!

8.)  Comfortable jeans.  I found a new pair and I love, love, love them.

9.)  Flip flops.  

10.)  Being wonderfully and mercifully forgiven.


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Tough Weekend...

This weekend was tough for us, and I have had a tough time deciding whether or not to blog about it. SO... if this is your first time visiting my blog, please believe me when I say that I'm usually not quit so "morbid"... don't judge me! :-) After that little disclaimer, I guess I'd better explain...

The weekend started off great. We slept in Sat. morning, and then went into town to eat breakfast and purchase a wheelbarrow. Luke had ordered a 1/2 truck load of composted manure to use as fertilizer for the garden, and we intended to utilize the free child labor we have to spread it. At first the girls were a little hesitant, because, really, it IS manure, but they soon got over it... it is already composted and pretty much is just like dirt. Soon they were playing on the pile of "dirt" and helping us spread it. The dog and several of the cats came down to the garden, and the kids were having a great time playing and working.

We worked for several hours, took a break for a picnic, and then continued working. Finally we stopped so that we could all shower and get ready for two b-day parties... one for a friend of Abby's from school, and one for a grown-up friend of ours, who was turning 50. Luke's parents had agreed to baby-sit and everything, so we were excited to go to a "grown-up" party.

Here are the kids, sitting on the "dirt" pile. Here is Luke, wheeling the girls around in the wheel barrow. Oh, my, they had fun!
So, as we are getting ready to stop work in the graden, Katie walked up the hill, but the rest of us loaded in the back of the truck to ride up the hill. We loaded the dog, but I thought the cats had followed Katie up the hill (they follow her everywhere.) As we were leaving, Luke backed over Gato, the cat, with his truck. It was awful. Truly awful. Little Abby saw her die on the ground. Then we had to come up the hill and tell Katie, because it was her cat. She was HEARTBROKEN. She cried and cried and cried. I guess it was really the first time that she lost something that she REALLY loved, and there was nothing her Dad and I could do to fix it. We had to carry the kitty up the hill and bury her. Katie was so upset... she didn't want us to put the dirt on top of Gato to bury her, because she thought it would "scare" her. She had all kinds of questions about animals and heaven and lots of specific things that I really didn't know HOW to answer. It was so emotional and I felt so helpless, because I couldn't "fix" it, and I couldn't stop her pain.

Needless to say, after all the "drama", we didn't make it to either birthday party. We were so tired... we finally agreed to let the kids still visit Luke's parents, because Abby and Grace still really wanted to go. Katie went, but she was sad the whole time.

In honor of little Gato, who really was the BEST cat, I'm putting up a picture of her with Katie from happier times.
The next day after church we went to one of our dear friends' houses who had baby kittens that were ready for adoption. Katie decided that these little babies wouldn't REPLACE Gato, but maybe they might help her be happy again. So, we now are a proud family of two new kittens, and let me tell you, they are sweet. Pure little "kitten sweetness" in a box. Just look at them!
The girls decided to name them "Pancho" and "Lefty". They are about 8 weeks old, and they are living in my spare bathroom until they get a little bigger (yes, I know I said NEVER AGAIN to animals in the house, but what do you do? They are babies!)

Welcome to the family, Pancho and Lefty. You have big paws to fill!!