Wednesday, October 26, 2011

costume fun and contests won

my most favorite birthday wish this year came in the form of an e-mail from a friend out in south carolina. i don't get the pleasure of seeing her all the time...or even often...however i just know we would have a great deal of fun together if we could.  just think back to clemson days.  and weird box social dates at hockey games.  if you can have fun with someone on a box's just in the cards that you will always remain friends.  the e-mail simply read,

"hope you have a day filled with much J.R. Watkins soap, warm lattes, pumpkin candles, and limited interaction with pumpkin ale and large bottles of burgundy on your foot."

love is in the details.

thanks s.b.  :)

you made me laugh.

miss you.


we got the pleasure of going to pappa's burgers for the first time.  it's my new fave.  and i don't even eat hamburgers.  a chocolate malt is my love language.  and these were amazing.

they said the burgers were good.  i had an avocado burger...hold the burger please.

it was heavenly.  and this is coming from a person who never gets particularly excited about a meal.  nor do i ever use terms like, "heavenly" to describe food.

that speaks for itself.

she apparently enjoyed the ketchup.

she's the one who gave me my blue eyes.


we made a trip to yogurt bear with our old, yogurt bear faithfuls.

i love how chase is "lurking" in this picture.  i didn't even know he was behind us.

there i am again.  willing it to be cold by breakin out the wool scarf.  i think i even started sweating.

she is the one who gave my mom her blue eyes.

sister friend looooooves big baby.  she thinks her friend, kenzie, is one of her dolls.

we had a friday night fashion show.

complete with princesses and pirates...

and a bride down...

roaring tigers who somehow squeezed themselves into a toddler sized costume...

and a miniature ballerina.

we broke into the ole' cedar chest at my parent's house...and that provided hours of entertainment.  this was the raggedy ann costume that my mom made me for halloween when i was 4.  she will get to wear it next year!!!  i'm already threatening the boys about being forced to be raggedy andy unless they are good ALL YEAR.  it's one of the perks of being the mom.

we went to boo on the boardwalk.  chase was positive he didn't want to dress up and the girl's costumes aren't they wore these fun things.  it worked out swimmingly because clemson won that day...AGAIN.  that was something to cheer about.

aiden not having appropriate shoes really bothered me.  but i got over it.  be proud.

one of colton's a\pieces of artwork was chosen to go to the district wide art celebration.  we all went there and did things like, get our faces painted and lose our iphone in a dark theater and not realize it till we get all the was home and have to drive all the way back with the kids and beat on the door for an hour until someone finally hears and lets you in.  i was not in a good mood and my poor  friend c.w. got an earfull of a tirade.  lucky for me...she is patient.

but this was worth it.

oh...and by the way...

he won the yearbook cover contest.

i guess i'll be buying everyone in the family one.

here's to celebrating art, food, friends, family, costume fun and contests won.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


when i was birthday was like a national holiday, as far as i was concerned.  and my family...well they went right along with me and made me feel like for that day...on october 24th...i was the only thing that mattered in the world to them.  maybe that's not so good...or maybe it's great.  i'm not sure?  but what i do know, is that i vividly remember being awaken to presents and breakfast and decorated school lockers and parties and grandparents and chicken and dumplins and creme de menthe pie and feeling like i was one, special girl.  i thought  october 24th had to be the best day to be born.  fall is in full swing.  halloween excitement is in the air.  and the magic of christmas is just around the corner.  people are happy and they are in the mood to celebrate.  party themes come easy with costumes and pumpkins and festivity in the air.

yesterday was october 24th.  i know it because the calendar said so.  however, i didn't really feel like celebrating for some reason.  i hate that.

it was hot and humid outside.  we have a mosquito infestation that makes stepping outside the house miserable.  i felt crampy and moody and my face was all broken out  (draw your own conclusion with that one.)  the dog threw up.  and peed.  on the carpet.  annslee was sick.  chase was sick.  there was no festivity in the air.  my stomach hurt and my pride was bruised at the steady climb of my age.  i'm considered too old to bare children without concern.  the laundry was piled high and the messes were countless.  all i wanted to do was climb into bed and pull the covers over my head and block out the creeping reality that if i am getting older...than so are the people around me that i love.  my parents.  my grandmother.  my children.  suddenly, the lines that are taking up residence on my face are not my number one concern.  i start thinking of being forced to say a painful, plethora of different ways.

october 24th felt very different than it did before.


my faithful mother pulled through once again.  she created festivity in the air.  she made chicken and dumplins and creme de menthe pie.  she couldn't do anything about the age i was turning or the time that won't stop...but she did make me feel loved...for the 37th year in a row.

chad had just come home from cuba the night before.  even though he had been out of the loop for a while...he saw the sadness in my eyes where there is usually sparkles whenever i am in the midst of a matter how big or small.  he knows me...that one.

i had said, "absolutely NO presents" this year.  i only wanted money to go towards the adoption.

when he "gave me" my present...i cried.

he gave me an ING savings account in my name with $500 in it to get us started.  it is specifically for our baby girl.

it was the best present he could have ever given me.

he hugged me and whispered, "what do you think her name will be?"

i will never forget that.

it was exactly what i needed to hear.

my parents and honey gave me the remaining money needed to pay for our home study.

thank you family!!!

another october 24th has come and gone...inching me closer and closer to whatever life has in store...good and bad.  i guess i just have to live with that.  after's no different for anyone else.  and the good that God has awaiting is worth it.

the possibility of our girl out there...waiting for day closer to her family...

i can live with that.


i finally got my new computer charger in the mail.  i am reunited with writing and my pictures and i am already feeling a little bit better.  there may be a small sparkle coming back to these baby blues.

this is what i call...


this is what i call...

"if i can just use all of my body weight...i think i can stop her."

this is what i call...

"are you going to help me or just stand there uselessly taking pictures?????"

(look at aiden's sinister grin.)

and then she realizes she's had her fun and gives in.

one thing's for sure...sister friend knows how to get her way with the siblings.

this is quite possibly one of my favorite pictures of aiden.  i just love it.

she looks good in my hat.  and i think she knows it.

she is never to be out-done.

when i see my man with my baby...something happens.

it's like my heart actually grows a little.  or skips a beat.  or something.  i can't put my finger on it.

fun usually always overcomes fear for me.  i guess that's a plus.

we finally got around to making the acorn dinkleworms from one of her favorite story books.

if i had time...i'd talk about how much i love aprons.  all kinds.

here's a little secret...

chad was in cuba.

uk was over for supper.

and there is rum in that coke.

yeah...i taped trout's ears down...because i have an irrationally fear about them sticking up like a german shepherds.  it really worked too.

don't worry...i didn't come up with that idea myself.  i read about it on-line.  which pretty much makes me an expert.

i think these girls are simply amazing.

uk grilled us up some hawaiian jerk chicken, zucchini, squash, and tomatoes while he enjoyed one of the salvaged pumpkin ales.

i love family.

i also love pumpkin ale.

well...look who's finally making an appearance!  it's not that i like taking pictures of the girls's that they will allow it without a fight.

action shots in between video game breaks is about all i can drum up for these guys these days.


the joy they bring.

you know...the definition of a boy is "constant motion."

i'm pretty sure that's from websters. 

annslee and her "nanna" and "gaga" danced in the kitchen.

on another note...

this old fashioned madam alexander doll makes me extremely happy.

the way annslee is cradling her does as well.

this is my favorite thing in my house right now.  it basically gives me permission to do all the things i'm really good at...and encourages me to do better at the things that i'm not.

i guess that if time has to go on in order for me to experience the little things of every day that make me so, very happy...


i'll just have to be okay with that.

now...the crows feet on my face are another story.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

a post of frustration

is it already wednesday night?  how is that even possible?

i have been a little un-plugged these last few days.  it's been nice, i guess.  wait.  i'm lying.  i've missed writing.  but...sometimes it just can't be helped.

like when your husband takes your computer charger with him to cuba in order to give it away.  yeah yeah's great that it is going to someone who really needs it and i would have never said no...but it has been a wee bit hard to blog, check e-mail, and keep up with all the daily "checkings" that i am used to, being that the ole' laptop ain't firing on all it's cylinders.

so, tonight...when i remembered that i can, in fact, check e-mail on my phone...i did so.  i know what you're thinking.  how can one "forget" that one can check their e-mail on their phone?  i have a very good answer for you.  i don't know.  all i do know is that when i finally did get around to checking my e-mail, there was one from a spanish translator from our church.  it was obviously regarding chad and the two other guys from our church that were in cuba.  she had received an e-mail from one of the cuban church planters who had spent time with chad and the other two men that are with him.  it was in she copied it in and translated it for me and the other guys wives.  she said that the planter had said that he had seen chad and the other two guys on monday and that he could confirm that today they were with Jesus.


i freaked out and did that "panic-gripping the phone and scan the e-amil again in search of anything that would make it read differently and not mean what it said" thing and luckily i found the last sentence that i hadn't bothered reading the first time.

Jesus is a church planter in another town in cuba. 

geeeeesh.  i really didn't need that.  that's when i decided that any e-mails that are involving a man named "Jesus" should clarify at the beginning that the Jesus being referred to is not, in fact, Christ.



it's just been that kind of week.

yesterday, for example...i went to the store to get groceries.  the huge jugs of carlo rossi were on sale, so i picked up the burgandy.  this would last me forever.  or the next 10 minutes.  whichever.

i also picked up a 6-pack of blue moon pumpkin ale for uk.  he was coming over last night to grill and let the dogs play and i thought it would be the perfect addition to the night.

i got a serious phone call from a friend on the way home.  you know?  the kind where you don't interrupt for any reason, what-so-ever.  so, i pulled into the driveway with 10 minutes to get the groceries unloaded and the cold stuff put away before i had to leave to go get the kids from school.  i popped open the back barn door of the suburban and the jug of burgundy fell out and landed on my right foot.  then it shattered.  then it splashed and spilled all over the base of my jeans, my feet and the driveway.  the jug falling out caused the 6-pack of pumpkin ale to loose it's balance and fall out too.  it landed on my foot as well.  and it shattered as well.  3 bottles of the beer were salvaged...but my foot wasn't.  i reached down to pull the glass out of my foot...and that cut my hand.

so there i am.  standing in the driveway, covered in wine and pumpkin ale, the blood from my foot slowly mixing with the beer and  burgundy and running down the driveway.  the worst part was that i just stood there, listening to my friend, as if nothing had happened.

huuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhh.  (that's a long sigh.)

there was no time to clean this up before having to get the kids, so i just swept all of the glass to the side so that i could back out again.  when we got home...the kids were all, "what on earth happened in our driveway?"  they are always so great to point out the obvious.  "you really ought to clean that up." 

so while i was on my hands and knees cleaning up little pieces of glass out of the driveway and nearby grass, aiden yells out the door, " ice cream dropped on the kitchen floor."

"of course it did."

that's really all i can handle typing right now.  i'm a little tired.  and cranky.  and there's a load of laundry that needs to be folded with my name on it.

i am, however wishing you all a very pleasant evening.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Boo to YOU

Friday was a Halloween-ish sort of day.  I have really taken my time getting into my usual October, spookable spirit.  First of is still warm outside.  If there is anything that drives me's inappropriate seasonal weather.  It puts me in a bad mood.  Come September...I'm ready for a blustery, chill in the air.  And when it doesn't come...I have to pretend it's still Summer so that I don't go all "inappropriate seasonal weather bad mood" on the family.  No one wants to see that.

This started when I was little.  My mom will still tell you that I would march my little self into my closet, pull out my best jeans, and sport a sweater when it was still summer hot if willing the cool weather to make an appearance.  And then there was the time in college...when I wore a wool sweater to go Christmas shopping at the Galleria when it was, like, 90 degrees outside.  I was all wet and dewey with sweat...but I looked the part.  I've also been known to wish for a cold front for my October 24th birthday.

All of that to say...since it's been unseasonably warm outside for the past month, I am just now forcing myself to get the Fall/Halloween decorations out.

Aiden had been asking...and I just kept puttin her off.  She finally coaxed me into the attic this week to get them out.  And then my control issues where tested when she and Chase hung all the decorations on one door knob and decided that the best place for the pumpkin candle holders was on the pantry shelf next to the dog food.  It's like "sneak-behind-them-and-re-hang-all-of-the-ornaments-that-they-have-hung-in-a-12-inch-radius-on-the-christmas-tree" part 2.

All of this did put me into the "boo-ing" mood.  Which, of course...makes it all worth while.

But before we get to that...just look at this girl's cutie pie hair.  I particularly loved her messy bun as she scooted out the door for school yesterday morning.

She was super sweet when she whispered a secret that she "knew that i had dyed my hair brown so that i could look more like her."  She looked at me with knowing eyes and I just couldn't even help replying...
"How did you know?"  and  "Yes...I really did just want to look more like her."  and  "Shhhhh...don't tell anyone!!"

Although...if I'm being honest, I often examine her face and then my own to try and see hers that resembles mine.  So...I guess she wasn't so far off.


Onto the boo-ing.  I can't take credit for this idea.  I saw it on another blog that I read.  But the idea was inspiring to say the least.  And it was just the thing we needed as a family project to kick off the season.  The first thing you do is print off the "boo-ing" rules a few times.

And then comes the fun part.  You gather your goodies.  Sister couldn't gather quick enough.

She could barely contain her excited impulse to yank the boo directions before from the printer before they were done.

The girl loves her printer magic.

Aiden worked fast and with a skilled hand...carving construction paper jack-o-lanterns.

Mid-way through the project...we paused for a quick kitchen dance and some mac & cheese dinner magic.

At this point, I am well aware that it appears that I can no longer be bothered to put clothes on the babe.  It really isn't so.  This all just happened in the time span of about 30 minutes, right after I had removed her germy clothes that she wore to the redi-clinic to get her flu vaccine. 

Yeah...the whole family graced the HEB redi-clinic yesterday afternoon for flu shots.  That is a whole other story.  But the point is that I'm not entirely convinced that the germs in those places don't fly around like little, floating dust particles and stick to our clothes...just waiting to be taken to their new home.  And don't even get me started about what surfaces they move around to and contaminate once they get in our doors.

Not the point.

The point is that she is usually wearing more than a diaper.

Chad walked in the kitchen and asked, "What's for dinner?"  I looked at the stove, pointed, and said, "Duuuuuuhhhhh."

I can't be bothered with cooking dinner tonight.  We have boo-ing to get to.


So...after I got Annslee to bed, Aiden and I popped on over to the grocery to get our supplies.

This included picking out our family pumpkin.

This is a responsibility that is not to be taken lightly.

Sister friend made deliberate notes about each one...using a pen as a way to point out their flaws.

"This stem is too short."

"This side is too flat."

"This one is too dirty."

"This one is too smelly."

And then she found him.

Our perfect pumpkin.

It was love at first sight.  And she insisted on carrying him all the way home.

He had the best seat in the house.

Lucky pumpkin.

On the way home...she did get worried about carving him up and went all Linus, (from It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown) on me.


Once home...we got right to it...filling our treat bags, while enjoying a few treats ourselves in the process.

We got everything prepared and I instructed them on what to do.

You pick a neighbor...and then sneak up to their front door with the treat bag and boo-ing instructions.

Then you leave the treat and instructions on the doorstep and ring the door-bell.

Then you run.

We all decided that Colt was our best option here.  None of the rest of us are particularly fast...and the placement of the chosen neighbor's house required a quick get-a-way.

So...Chase, Aiden and I hid in the bushes across the street and watched Colt perform the ding-dong ditch boo.

He executed to boo perfectly. 

We whispered and giggled as he bolted back and around the bush to watch them open the door and discover the boo.

He was panting and excited and it reminded me of the high we used to get as kids after we would wrap a house.  I love that feeling.  Even now.

The hope is that the "boo-ed" neighbor will continue the fun and boo another neighbor.  The fun will, hopefully, keep going until Halloween...or until our whole street has the "we've been boo-ed" sign on their front door.   Fun.  Right???

This is a tradition that I think we will continue for years to come.

I mean, who doesn't love a bag of candy and a ding-dong ditch?