Tuesday, February 28, 2012

the weekend

inspiration this morning will have to come from a spring scented candle or a vase filled with tulips because, laaawwwwd...the weather outside is not helping any.

it's been raining and cloudy and foggy for, like 2 months.

the dog doesn't even remember what it's like to play football in the backyard.  he only knows tiptoing through puddles on a leash and being told, "no" everytime he even thinks about exploring the rest of the backyard...what used to be his playground.

i've got to get some spring cleaning done.  and by spring cleaning...i mean, simply getting the rings scrubbed out of the toilet and, maybe the occational floor mopped, if i'm lucky.

this weekend was a fun one.  but tiring.

friday night was a rare...but needed...girl's night.  i got together with some of my favorite friends to celebrate dea's birthday.  that meant a drive to the woodlands and a few-and-far-between slumber party.

the drive provided a sunset, skyline view that never ceases to suggest that maybe we should have rolled out the red carpet for it.

aiden went with me to hang back and have a slumber party of her own with dea's daughter.  and once we got the kids and her husband settled...we made our way out into the night.

it always feels strange to be headed somewhere...anywhere...without any children.  it's as if a long, lost life is whipering...

"pssst...hey...remember me?  the life you used to live?  where you could head out into the night with friends to find whatever shenanigans were lurking around the corner whenever you wanted?"

and i always silently reply...

"yeah...i remember you.  and truth be told...i don't miss you at all.  actually...in about 2 hours...i'm gonna start really missing the familiarity and comfort of my man, who knows every little thing about me and unconditionally loves me anyway and the 4 little disheveled babes that always find their way to be saddled up to my side...where they fit just perfectly."

but in the meantime...

i really can be known to either be laughing really loud or making good on a triple dog dare.

take this fella, for instance.

we found out that he was some sort of famous, vip, crazy, super rich guy that never fails to drop over $2,000 on his meal.  he stuck out like a sore thumb and had rose petals everywhere and a very obvious jewerly box propped up for his date.  i was facinated by this scene...right out of the gate.  it's a lifestyle that is so unbelievably foreign to me.  so...duh...i had to keep an eye on what was going on over there.  like how can two people eat enough and drink enough to spend $2,000?  i neeeeeded to know.

and claire needed to know too.  she was the only other one that was willing to ask the necessary questions to our waiter.  let's face it.  our "we are totally proper and trying to appear amazingly cool" ship has sailed.

cue her triple dog dare to ask him to take our picture.

and i'm the idiot in the movie who you are yelling at:


who does it anyway.

in my opinion...he could have tried a little harder.  how hard is it to center a picture?


we moved it on next door to hear a live band.  i may or may not have requested johnny cash...making the lead singer laugh and then talk the drummer into singing folsom prison.  this started the place hoppin (as apposed to the crap, boring music they were playing) and a couple actual jumped up and started jitter buggin.  i was pretty proud of myself...until the guy who was dancing tripped over the band's amp...knocking the base guitarist's mic stand out of the way...and landed on the floor.

we took that as a sign that we needed to make our exit.

so...dancing was the obvious choice.

she got herself stuck on the floor board of the back seat.

so what?

and these two...had a party of their own and had worn themselves, slap out.  singing and dancing to taylor swift can really take it out of ya.

colt's last basketball game of the season was saturday.

we love the coach.

i love that he has a job in ministry just as much as the next person...but the guy can coach.

i'm convinced that he would make a great living as a basketball coach.  i've never seen him more in his element as when he is coaching kids to play ball.

it's really amazing.

he knows just how to target each kid and get them playing to the very best of their ability.

including this kid.

it's official.  my good camera is broken.

i took it in and the lense is a gonner.  which is no good at all because to replace it would cost $800.

originally, these action shots would be crystal clear...but now it can't focus appropriately.

i'm quite sad about it.

i took the next picture to show why this particular team match up had me thinking "teen wolf" the whole game.

look who my son is matched up against!!!!

it's like david and goliath.

colt is 11 and this kid is a 7th grade beast!

colt never backed down or showed any sign of giving up.  he played tough and aggressively.

and when he dribbled circles around goliath and made lay-ups over michael j. fox as a wolf...

i puffed up with mama pride.

at the end of the season...i love it when chad presents him with a hand-shake, a trophy, and words of honor and respect at the player that he was throughout the season.


and last night...at this sight,

i puffed up with mama pride again.

there is something about watching an older sibling come alongside to help a younger one.

and i'm tellin' you what.

he explained it to him better than i ever could have.

and he made chase feel smart and capable and important better than i ever could have.


and that's when i think that siblings are one of the greatest things ever invented.

smoothies and bread with olive oil...

dinner of champions.

she had already had her bath.

that's pretty much par for the course.



i'm going to turn off the computer, light a spring candle, find me a tulip or two, and take advantage of the last 30 minutes of the sesame street power hour.

sister will watch her some sesame street on occation.  and when she does...

it's time for the whirlwind blow-by cleaning.

Friday, February 24, 2012


"go texan day is, like, my favorite day of the year," i told my dad on the phone this morning.  his reply was one that only my dad would give me.

"no it's not.  you have way too many favorite days of the year.  halloween...christmas eve...st. patrick's day...etc. etc. etc.  i wish i had as many favorite days as you."

well...it's ONE of my favorite days of the year, anyway.  and it's really up there too.  it's favoriteness is elevated substantially due to me loving it so much as a kid.  and...the fact that i now better understand it's purpose of welcoming the trail riders for the kick off of the houston livestock show and rodeo...well that just makes it even better.  plus...there are horses.

and we all know how i feel about those things.

if i knew how to link things into the post...this would be when i link an old blog post from, like 4 years ago, about how i am still bitter about the fact that i never won rodeo art in elementary school.  and don't get me started on the fact that they don't do rodeo art anymore.

it's a cryin' shame.

that's why, this year, we are having our own rodeo art contest with our family and some friends.

this is my year.

i can feel it.

sister can rock the cowgirl thing.

i mean...you don't want to look "in costume" or anything.  going texan is NOT a costume.  going texan is just using plain, good fashion sense.

and behind every cute cowgirl is a rugged cowboy.

now...i love me a man in a hat.

and a black cowboy hat...

with a dimple!!!!!  don't even try to tell me that ain't adorable.

in honor of what should obviously be a NATIONAL holiday...i photographed my grandpa's boots.

they sit atop my closet shelf and only make an appearance when i drag chad to a country bar or the rodeo.  but when he wears those boots...

it's fair to say that he gets nothin but lucky.

did i mention that i love a man in boots too?

mine are worn, slap out from being worn on one-too-many crowded, sawdust and dirt covered floors wear they have been stepped on as much as danced in...but they make me veeeeerrrry happy.

and don't think that just because a kid isn't in school that they miss out on the fun.

she looks like she waltzed right in off the prairie.

all we are missin' round here is the horse.  i think we should have 6.  everyone needs their own.

how can i make that happen?

and another thing i'm wondering today is...

if i get a horse in the next...say...week; and start training in the next...saaaaayyyyy...month; would i make it as a barrel racer before the rodeo next year?

i know what you're thinking and quite frankly...i'm appalled.

what ever happen to...

"you can do anything you set your mind to?"

i, for one, BELIEVE.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

it's thursday around here

look out, folks.  i've got my healthy on.

along the same lines...if you are a fan of ranch (we eat ranch dressing on everything round these parts) then you must try this.

i've sited pinterest so many times...even i am sick of hearing about it, so...i'm abiding by the rule that if you reference someone or something 3 times...you can stop referencing and take credit yourself.

i'm aware that i made up this rule myself.

and i'm ok with it.

so...you add a package of ranch dressing seasoning to a tub of plain greek yogurt and you have a much healthier alternative that tastes exactly the same.

i faked my own kids out.

and if i can do that...

than anything is possible.


every muscle in my body is sore.  i'm pretty sure that after my pilates class tomorrow, even my eye balls will be sore.

my friend invited me to try out a class with her because i was blabbling on about how i'm sick of being squishy and she said that i was a perfect candidate for pilates.  she has apparently been doing it for 4 years and somehow thought it would be a good idea for me to come along with her to try it out.

i was scared.  what the heck are those little purple balls for, anyway?

the last time i worked out...(12+ years ago)...there were no little, purple, squashy balls involved.

i quickly found out.

and my arms have been feeling the wrath of those little, purple, squashy balls all day long.  at one point...i think i told those little, purple, squashy balls to "bite me."

i'm going back tomorrow.

i refuse to let those little, purple, squashy balls get the best of my arms.


today, the sweet pea had her bestest friend over after school.

i had the brilliant idea to let them help me make dinner.

i'm sure it tasted great.

i wouldn't know.  because so much of it got dropped on the floor, or stirred with their hands...i didn't really eat much of it.

i'm telling you what.  these kids can completely have their way with a kitchen faster than annslee can decide to throw a tantrum.

and...that's fast.


chad has decided that he is going to read a psalm every night at dinner.

we don't do a great job reading the bible with the kids.  well...let's just go ahead and be honest...i am sucking at reading the bible, in general.  but...i'm loving this whole psalm-at-dinner thing.

so...he was reading psalm 2 last night (yeah...so...we've been doing it for 4 nights now and we have forgotten 2 out of the 4...but that's not really the point of the story) and something brought up the fact that in the bible, it says that mary rode into bethlahem on a jackass.  i'm gonna go ahead and chalk that up to having 2 upper elementary aged boys.  none-the-less...we explained that, that was what a donkey is called sometimes and that it isn't a bad word when talking about an actual donkey...but that you shouldn't really use that terminology because it just isn't necessary.  everyone seemed to understand.  but a little while later...aiden, seriously asked,

"so...every donkey's name is jack then?"

why must they always ask questions that are impossible to answer?

and then...


being chase...

announces, very matter-of-factly to the room,

"tomorrow night...i'm going night surfing."


Monday, February 20, 2012

denim and pleats

today, i saw a sight that made my heart flutter and my skin long for the sun-kissed glow that only the warm, spring sun can bring.  our morning dove has returned and is preparing her old, vacant nest for her babies.  it's as if i actually saw her draw the blinds to let in the sun light as she pulled the dusty blankets from the furniture that hadn't been used all winter long.  i couldn't believe it when i caught glimpse of her this morning.  it's like an old friend has come home.  i guess that can only mean one thing.

the babe and my "YES" walks will need to pick back up again and the cold, dreary rain is getting ready to give way to the sun and a warm breeze.

i, for one...am ready.


we did some baking this weekend.

i'm really working on inviting and welcoming the kids into the kitchen more.  i struggle with messes.  therefore...i struggle with children in the kitchen.  however, i do realize that this is a problem that needs to be overcome and that these kids deserve to make a good mess with the rest of em.  on this particular day, they did.

friday, i got to have 3 extra kids in my home for the day.  my cousin, tammy dropped her kids off at 8:00 friday morning and i had the pleasure of trying to entertain a 14 year old and 2 year old boy and an 11 year old girl...along with annslee.  i was in my element with the two 2 year olds...but was in new territory with the 14 year old boy and 11 year old girl.  luckily...they were both prone to naps.  whether or not from being tired or bored...i'm not sure?

we did chase down a renegade ice cream man...which i would think is fun at any age.

which brings me to a point that i may have already brought up before:

the ice cream men around these parts look sketchy, at best.  and don't get me started on the run-down, white vans.

after we got our ice cream, aiden asked, "mom?  is the ice cream man a stranger?"

i told her, "yes."

she's no fool.  she was thinking the same thing i was.  he's probably someone's grandpa and the nicest and most moral man you will ever meet.  he's probably even a pastor who is making a living as an ice cream man on the side to fund an orphanage in somalia.

but...let's just say that until i know those things for a fact...

my children will not be chasing down the ice cream man without me.

while the girls and i did that,

the boys did this.

i love a man that can play ball.  chads still got it on the court.

however...i could do without the old man complaining about his arm.  it sorta takes away from the "sexiness" factor.  no??

chase and annslee treated us all to a little johnny cash.

while loved ones caught up.

this is my cousin (with honey).  technically, she is my second cousin.  my mom and her dad were first cousins.  however...we grew up pretending we were sisters.  she would come from ft. worth and stay with us during the summers and i would count the days until she would get there.  we got ourselves into all sorts of trouble.  actually, we really didn't.  we just did things like practice and plan our future careers as an all girl musical group in between riding our bikes to the neighborhood pool.  as luck would have it...

i dug up an old recording that we made at a mall while staying a week with honey in beaumont.  it was one of those little, recording studios where kids off the street could go in, pick a song, and sing it to a track into a real life microphone and pretend to be famous for, at least, 6 magical minutes.

oh...did we ever sing.  we recorded a little bangles' eternal flame and i'm not gonna lie:

there were parts of it that were actually pretty good for two 12 or 13 year olds with absolutely no experience.  but there were also parts of it that were a hot, southern mess...with all our texas twang.  looking back...we totally should have picked a country song.  i'm gonna remember that for next time.

we cranked the volume on that sucker and let our husbands, all our kids, and honey hear us in all our glory.  i'm not sure if they were all laughing at us or with us.  well...except for honey; who swore up and down that we were the two best singers that ever lived.  (everyone needs someone who will support them like that, i think.)

the next day, we continued the reunion, of sorts, and went to main event.

the puddin cup took her first turn at bowling.

note to self:  to avoid tantrums next time...don't try to help the girl.  let her do it by herself.  even if she does roll the ball and watch it travel slow as christmas to it's destination...which may or may not be towards the pins.

this is aiden with her third cousin, maddie.

and let it be said...that although i do not condone the killing of innocent animals (unless they are snakes or something else that is threatening my life)...i do love to shoot a gun.  this, in my opinion, is the best game in the joint.

annslee and her third cousin, cody tried their hand at skeeskee ball skill here.

visits with family can't be beat.


a couple of weeks ago, i think i made mention of helping honey clean out her closet.  she wanted to free up some space by giving some of her old clothes that she no longer wears anymore to goodwill.  i had the honor of being able to take a couple of treasures home with me.  one thing that i snagged was a big, over sized sweater that she crocheted.  and another was this black, pleated skirt.

i wore it to church yesterday and colton took some pictures so that i could send one to honey.

i feel really funny taking "outfit" pictures...

but everyone seems to be doing it.

don't worry.  you won't be seeing outfit pictures a lot...do to an overwhelming amount of "lounge" attire.  let's be honest.  no one wants to see that.

but this???  can we just all agree that getting to wear my honey's old skirt is pretty awesome?

even if she would be appalled that i paired it with denim and a bandanna.

for church, no less!