Tuesday, December 30, 2008

6 Months Old

On the 27th, Barrett turned 6 months old! I can't believe that he's now closer to 1 yr than to birth! The past 6 months have really flown by. We are enjoying every minute we have with this precious little boy.

Barrett - 5 days old
Barrett - 6 months old

Monday, December 29, 2008

Annual Dinner

Tonight was my annual Christmas dinner with Juli Beth and Megan. This year we added someone new! Carrie (another life long friend) drove into town to go out to dinner with us. We went to Abuelo's (like always...that way we don't have to decide on where to eat) for dinner and followed it up with an amazing cookie/ice cream dessert from B & J's. After dinner we went back to my parents' house to watch old home movies of the 4 of us girls. We found one from 1992 where we made our own version of Rescue 9-1-1. Do you remember that show? Well, I think ours was a little less serious than the one I used to watch on tv. We were crying we were laughing so hard as we watched it! Megan and I were very dramatic in the video (faking tears as we talked about the fact that JB almost died choking on a cracker), while Carrie said, "I don't see what the big deal was! It was just a little cracker!" lol. Probably have to see it to know what I mean. Maybe someday I'll upload the video for you...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Last Cowboys Game

Today we went to Tyler and Ann's house for lunch, a game of football (with the guys), dinner, and the Cowboys game. Tyler and Ann made some fabulous fajitas for lunch and had a huge spread of dessert stuff to snack on until dinner time (pizza). I ate WAY too much food, but it's ok...it was good!!!

Barrett and Caleb ready for the Dallas Cowboys game (little did we know it'd be the last one of the season).

The guys during the game. It was a TERRIBLE game. (Notice Josh and Tyler are actually glaring at the players! You'll also notice that Dad is the only one that still has a smile on his face. I'm glad he can still smile even when his team is being stomped into the ground!)

Brody watched some of the game, but then he got busy shooting Ann's Grandma Nix and GG with his dart gun. (No, he's not shooting a grandma that's asleep...she was playing dead.)

This was the first time I've ever seen they guys walk away from the tv during a Cowboys game. I guess they just couldn't handle it anymore. Before the 4th quarter ended, they headed back to Tyler's game room to play Foosball. I was so proud when I walked in there to find Brody taking a picture of them!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas in Temple

All of the Temple pictures are on Dad's computer (my camera batteries ran out before we got there). Until I can make a post of my own, enjoy Dad's post about Temple by CLICKING HERE.

Friday, December 26, 2008

A Day of Shopping

This morning Namaw, Barrett, and I left by 7:30 to go shopping. There were a few things that we wanted to get during the Day-After-Christmas-Sales. While we were out shopping, Mike, Daddy Steve, and Brody did a little shopping of their own at Cabala's. Brody LOVES going to Cabela's with Daddy!
Brody with the moose. So cute!
Mike and Brody playing a shooting game at Cabala's.
They also stopped by Academy and bought another dart gun (remember how Brody got Mike a dart gun for Christmas? Well, Mike decided that Brody needs one too so they can play together.) When I got home they were laying on the floor shooting darts at the ceiling fan blades. I bet they had 30 darts stuck up there!
Brody is not feeling very well tonight. He has a fever, cough, and thick yucky snot. It's not looking good for the trip to Temple tomorrow.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Lunch

After spending a relaxing morning at home with the boys, we headed to Dad & Mom's house for some good southern cookin'! Mom made fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, fried okra, salad, jello salad, sweet tea, and rolls. Yummmm! It was good...and we were stuffed afterwards!

Brody was ready for everyone to finish eating so that he could open more presents!

Brody showing Barrett the present that Daddy Steve & Namaw got for Barrett. Mom and I are hoping it'll help entertain Barrett during tax season.

"You mean this present is for ME???"

Brody got his first camera from Daddy Steve and Namaw. I'm so proud to have a little photographer! He was super excited about it. For a few weeks he'd been telling me that he'd get his own camera when he "gets older". When he opened it he said, "I have mine own camera! I'm older now!!"

After all the presents were opened, Ann and I went outside to watch the boys play baseball with Brody's new ball and bat. It was fun having Tyler and Ann here for Christmas this year, although we missed Caleb & Audria (they went to St. Thomas with Audria's family).

Christmas Morning

This morning was so much fun! For the first time in our 9 1/2 years of marriage, we were HOME for Christmas!!! It was so much fun (especially with the boys) to wake up Christmas morning in our own beds and rush into the living room to see what Santa left. This year Santa was at our house until 2 am putting together a train set for Brody!

What's funny is that Brody walked into the living room on Christmas morning and AROUND the train set (without even noticing it) as he rushed to the fireplace. He was very curious as to whether Santa had eaten the cookies and drank the milk that he left out for him. Once he exclaimed over the fact that the cookies and milk were gone, he suddenly noticed the huge table he'd walked around and said, "Is this for me?!?!?" He was pretty excited about it.

Brody was more than willing to help everyone open their presents. He was just as excited about Barrett's presents as he was his own and he eagerly showed Barrett how to play with each and every one.

After a breakfast of pancakes, Barrett napped and Brody played with his toys. Did you know that you can even drive a tractor book on train tracks?

Barrett playing Santa.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Cookies for Santa

I'd like to thank Mr. Paul and Mrs. Sharon (Brody's Sunday school teachers) for giving the kids a little sack of cookies at church on Sunday. If it weren't for you...Santa would've gone hungry. I didn't have time to make any cookies and was so excited when I found the little gift bag of cookies in my diaper bag!

Brody was very interested in hearing how Santa would arrive at our house and whether or not he would eat ALL the cookies.

We couldn't leave Barrett out. Brody wanted to hold Barrett for the picture. Aren't they cute?!

Christmas Eve at the Falkensteins

Tonight Chuck and Lou Ann invited us to their house for dinner. Ann's grandmas were both in town, so GG went along with us to spend some time with "the grandmas" (as Ann calls them).
We ate lots of food and then we were entertained by our boys. Looks like Brody's showing Tyler that he can fly!
Chuck and Lou Ann gave Brody and Barrett a cool tractor book. It has over 55 flaps to look behind! Brody was really excited about it and wanted Ann to read it with him.
While the women sat around watching the kids play, the guys worked on getting Chuck's tv's ready for the switch to digital. I think they also recruited Mike to get their computer working again.
Brody didn't want to go home. We finally convinced him to leave by telling him that we had to get home and get him in bed before Santa came. Worked like a charm.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas on Saturday

Saturday we had Christmas with Namaw's side of the family. Can you believe that we actually managed to get a picture of everyone!? The only one missing was Sissie.

We had a hard time getting a pictur of Daddy Steve, Namaw, and all the "kids". Brody was being quite silly. This was the best I got (Dad may have a better one posted on his blog).

This is what most of the group shots looked like. Brody currently thinks it's funny to stick his finger up his nose when someone is taking his picture. We finally got smart and asked him to hold Daddy Steve's hand (notice he's not picking his nose in the picture above). It wasn't until Matt had taken several pictures of our family that he noticed the extra person in the background! Do you see him?

If I had time I'd look thru old pictures and show you how MANY pictures we have where Josh has snuck into the background of the picture!

The kids had lots of fun playing together. One time I walked into the living room to see them all wrestling on the floor. Even Barrett tried to get in on the action!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Letter

Merry Christmas 2008

(be sure to click on the picture to make it big enough to see all the pictures)
This has been an eventful year in our household. The word for the year was change. One of the biggest changes was moving from Kansas to Texas. The transition took 3 ½ months! In March I quit my job of almost 8 years with the Lyons Recreation Commission. Then Brody and I moved to Texas so I could begin my new job (working as an accountant for my mom). Mike stayed in KS to finish building our house and fulfill his contract with the Sterling school district. We wore out our web cams and cell phones the 3 ½ months we were in separate states. The house sold (before it was even put on the market…praise the Lord) and at 36 weeks pregnant we moved everything from KS to TX.

In May we were very sad to lose Daddy Ken to cancer, however, I was thankful that because of our move to TX, Brody and I got to see him several times in the months preceding his death.

The sadness of death was followed by the joy of the birth of our son, Barrett Daniel, on June 27th. He was born at _____Hospital in Texas and our midwife actually let Mike deliver him. It was so cool! Barrett has been a wonderful baby. He began sleeping thru the night at 9 weeks. He’s always smiling and cooing at us. He loves watching his big brother play and at 5 months old is already sitting up by himself and is starting to scoot on his belly using the army crawl! He is such a blessing to our family!

A few weeks after Barrett was born Brody got to go with Daddy Steve and Namaw (my parents) to Colorado for a week long vacation. He still talks about the airplane trip and the mountains.

Over the summer Mike studied for and obtained his CAPM (Certified Associate in Project Management) certification. In October he was hired by XTO Energy as a Business Analyst. He does a lot of project management for the Records in Management division and is really enjoying his new job.

In August Brody turned 2 years old and in September he started preschool (at our church) 2 days a week. He loves school and loves learning. Not only does he already know his colors, numbers, and ABC’s, he’s also memorized several Bible verses! His favorite pastimes are playing golf, watching Daddy & Uncle Caleb play softball, “fixing” any and everything with his tools, spending time at Daddy Steve and Namaw’s house (we currently live 2 blocks from them…so he gets to see them daily), and going to Cabela’s with Daddy.

This year we went to KS for Thanksgiving. We hit Plains, St. John, and Sterling in the few days we had. Mike had fun hunting with our friend Chris Anderson and we all enjoyed visiting with lots of family and friends. We’ve loved getting to see all of our TX family more often since the move and are looking forward to a relaxing Christmas at home and in Temple.

We know that many of you were praying for us during this year of change. We can’t thank you enough. God has blessed us more than we imagined possible this year! We can’t wait to see what he has in store for us during 2009!

We love you and hold you dear in our prayers!
Mike, Staci, Brody, & Barrett

Friday, December 19, 2008


I am wearing a pair of shoes.
They are ugly shoes.
Uncomfortable shoes.
Each day I wear them, and each day I wish I had another pair.
Some days my shoes hurt so bad that I do not think I can take another step.
Yet, I continue to wear them.
I get funny looks wearing these shoes.
They are looks of sympathy.
I can tell in others eyes that they are glad they are my shoes and not theirs.
They never talk about my shoes.
To learn how awful my shoes are might make them uncomfortable.
To truly understand these shoes you must walk in them.
But, once you put them on, you can never take them off.
I now realize that I am not the only one who wears these shoes.
There are many pairs in this world.
Some woman ache daily as they try and walk in them.
Some have learned how to walk in them so they don't hurt quite as much.
Some have worn the shoes so long that days will go by before they think about how much they hurt.
No woman deserves to wear these shoes.
Yet, because of these shoes I am a stronger woman.
These shoes have given me the strength to face anything.
They have made me who I am.
I will forever walk in the shoes of a woman who has lost a child.

I read this poem on Shiloh's blog a month or so ago. It is very fitting for today. Today we would have been celebrating Baby K's 1st birthday. A year ago my shoes hurt daily as I walked in them. I wondered if I'd ever be able to walk without feeling the pain. Today the shoes don't hurt as much. Mike and I both still miss our sweet little one and look forward to a reunion in Heaven some day, however, I no longer dwell on that grief. I have been able to comfort several women who are wearing the same shoes...and am more equipped to do so because I'm wearing the same shoes. Instead of focusing on the loss, I focus on the joy. I am overwhelmed with joy every day when Barrett smiles at me (and he smiles A LOT!) I know I've said it before, but if we hadn't lost Baby K, I wouldn't be holding Barrett. Yes, we miss holding Baby K here on earth, but we rejoice in the fact that hopefully one day we will be with all 3 of our children in Heaven!

Even though Baby K's not with us on earth, we will always remember. Brody already knows that he has a brother or sister that's waiting for him in Heaven and we plan to share our excitement of the reunion with Brody and Barrett as they get older.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Where's Santa?

Yesterday morning I told Brody that after his nap we were going somewhere special. I told he we were going to see Santa Claus. Big mistake!!! I put him down a little early for his nap (so we could avoid traffic going to the mall) and he talked to himself up there for over TWO HOURS! I finally went up to his room and he exclaimed, "I'm awake now! I'm awake! Let's go see Santa!!!" Since it didn't seem like he'd go to sleep, Namaw and I loaded the boys into the car and headed for the mall. What do you think happened as soon as we got on the highway? Yep. Brody fell asleep.

When we arrived at the mall we devised a plan to load the boys in the stroller while trying not to wake up Brody. As soon as I opened the door on Barrett's side, Brody's eyes shot open. He said, "Is this the mall?! Are we at the mall?! Where's Santa??" He said this while frantically trying to get out of his car seat. We got the boys in the stroller and headed into the mall while Brody asked over and over and over, "Where's Santa???"

I was so excited when we arrived at Santa's house to see that NO ONE was there! Santa and his helpers were just sitting there chatting. It was awesome! They said that the first half of the week in the afternoons is always really slow. (You better believe that's when we'll go every year from now on!) Brody climbed onto Santa's lap and went mute. He wouldn't smile or talk...he just sat there! Barrett on the other hand was captivated by Santa's beard! He was straining his neck back to look up at Santa. Not even the noisy elves (who tried to get his attention while I took a picture) could get Barrett to look away from Santa.

What is funny to me is that Santa came to Brody's school today to visit. I asked Ms. Amy if he went mute again and she said that he didn't! I guess he told Santa what he wanted for Christmas and told him "Merry Christmas!" He also told me that he smiled and said "cheese" when Ms. Amy took a picture. I said, "Why didn't you smile for me when I took a picture of you with Santa yesterday?" His response? "I only smile with Santa when Ms. Jessica and Ms. Amy are taking the picture."

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"I can't put my arms down!"

Last night Mark, Angela, and Jayden came over after dinner for a little visit. Jayden looked sooooo cute and warm when they arrived. He was in a full coat/bodysuit/warm thing that looked so cuddly...but it also made me think of The Christmas Story and the line..."I can't put my arms down!"

Mike and I couldn't believe how much Jayden has grown just in the month or so since we last saw him! He has the cutest little chubby cheeks and is really filling out! He made Barrett seem like a little shrimp! Looking at the picture below would you believe that Barrett is 3 months older than Jayden?

Brody LOVED seeing/holding/playing with baby Jayden. He gave him lots of kisses and hugs. One time he was sitting across the room and started saying, "Jayden! Jayden!" I asked what he wanted and he said, "I just wanted to tell Jayden that I love him." Awww!

Here's Brody "reading" our Christmas letter to Angela. I think he was telling her about all the pictures on the back.

Before long Brody and Mark started playing. I'm not exactly sure what they were talking about, but Brody was WOUND up!!! He was laughing hysterically with Mark.

The kids (and the adults too) were beginning to get tired, so Mark and Angela headed home. Before they left I captured this sweet picture of Jayden asleep in Mike's lap. He tried so hard to keep his eyes open, but sleep finally won out!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Quiet Time

While I was drying my hair this morning I put Barrett on the floor in Brody's room and asked Brody to my little helper and play with his brother while I fixed my hair. He was given strict instructions to keep all the little toys (that would fit in Barrett's mouth) off of the floor since Barrett can now army crawl to get wherever he wants to go. Nothing on the floor is safe!!

I was surprised when I peeked around the door and saw this:

Brody was sitting on the floor "reading" his Bible to Barrett! It was so sweet!!! I hurried to get my camera so that I could capture their quiet time together.

Sunday Fun

Yesterday Caleb & Audria had everyone over to their house to celebrate Tyler's birthday. Audria made yummy chili and mom made snickerdoodles (instead of cake) for Tyler. Tyler has never liked cake, so he always requests cookies instead when his birthday comes around. Here's the cookie that Caleb & Audria had made for him.
Brody loves Audria's "teacher room". It's filled with paper, crayons, and other craft supplies. Yesterday he convinced Ann to spend a lot of time back there with him coloring. Whenever she'd come back to the living room we'd hear, "Aaannn! Come play!" (I need to record him saying Ann's name. He draws out her name in true Texas style!)
After we'd filled our bellies, the guys headed out to the junior high football field to play a game of tag football. Quite a few guys showed up to play yesterday in honor of Tyler's birthday. I don't think there were any serious injuries.
Brody got to go watch the guys play football, so he went down really late for his nap. By the time he got up is was time for the Cowboys game! He saw football on tv and said, "Yay!! Go Cowboys! Yay!!" We were just relaxing watching the game when I looked up to see this:
No, Brody's not wearing capris...those are BARRETT'S pants!!!! So....maybe Brody hasn't grown as much as we thought! lol! They may be a little short, but they fit his waist just fine!

Friday, December 12, 2008


"Momma! Look at my legs! They're big and strong! They were growin' in the middle of the night last night!"

For some reason Brody has started of every morning for the past few weeks by showing me his legs and telling me that they grew overnight. I think he is going thru a growth spurt right now. Not only am I suddenly hearing words that I've never before heard from him, "I'm still hungry!", but every day he'll show me something new he can reach. He can now pop his pop tart in the toaster without using the stool to reach the pull-down-lever-thingy (what is the proper term for the handle you pull down on a toaster?!?).

He's always pointing out the fact that he can get things off of the kitchen counter while standing flat footed...and he's at that dreaded "hit your head on the corner of the counter" stage. It's fun to see the surprise in his eyes when he can reach something that he used to need a stool for. He'll look up at me and exclaim, "I'm growin'!!!" Then he'll get a slight look of disappointment in his eyes and say, "but I can't reach the sky yet."

I asked him this morning if he'd stop growin' and stay my little boy forever. He looked at me like I was crazy and said, "No thanks. I will be a big boy...just like Daddy."

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

One Crazy Day

5:20 am - Crawl out of bed. It's too late to make it to aerobics class, but I still went to the gym and did the cross trainer. Had my quiet time (aka Bible study time) while I was on the cross trainer.
6:10 am - Home from the gym. Make breakfast for me and Mike. Make a lunch for Mike.
6:30 am - check email
6:35 am - hop in the shower...stay in there too long because I'm dreading getting out of the warm shower and being hit by the cold air
6:50 am - throw on some fleece and make some hot cider.
6:55 am - start gathering ingredients for the dinner I'm making to take to our friends that just had a baby and put potatoes in oven to bake
7:20 am - Barrett wakes up. As I'm changing his dirty diaper (and he's crying b/c he's hungry) Brody walks into the living room. I send Brody to the potty and then tell Brody to get himself a pop tart while I nurse Barrett.
7:50 am - Go get pop tart for Brody (who hasn't "grown enough during the night yet"...his words...to be able to reach them in the pantry).
8:00 am - Put Barrett in exersaucer and try to start cooking while Brody eats.
8:20 am - Turn on Thomas the Train for Brody (who watches 3 minutes of it before he's back in the kitchen pushing his stool to the cabinet so that he can be stuck to my side while I try to cook)
8:40 am - Put Barrett down for a nap. Try to continue cooking with my "little helper".
9:20 am - Decide that it would be a good time for Brody to have roomtime so that I can finish cooking (meatballs, cream corn, twice baked potatoes, and cookies)
10:00 am - Barrett wakes up early. Get him out of bed and then go get Brody dressed. Alternate between drying hair and checking on meatballs.
10:20 am - Try to keep Barrett happy until the cookies are done.
10:30 am - Feed Barrett
10:45 am - Throw on some clothes and finish fixing my hair
11:00 am - Call Mom (I was supposed to be ready at 10:30 am, luckily she was running behind too) Feed Brody some of the extra food I just cooked for our friends.
11:30 am - Namaw shows up. I run out to grab the paper (that I hadn't had time to get yet) and the mail. Pack up the diaper bag and the food while she loads the kids in her car. Drive to her house to drop her and Barrett off (it's his nap time again) while I borrow her car to deliver the food. (This is when I'd usually head to work.)
12:00 pm - Brody and I stop by the grocery store to pick up rolls to go with the food and head towards our friends house.
12:40 pm - Arrive at Kasi's house. Give her food and talk for a little while.
1:10 pm - Get back in the car. Brody tells me nonchalantly that his ear hurts. I take notice because he never complains about being sick and he's had a cold for a week now.
1:20 pm - We're stuck in traffic because of some construction. Brody tells me he has to go to the potty. When a 2 year old tells you he has to go potty...you find a potty!! We stop at a gas station.
1:30 pm - I realize that I'm starving (why didn't I eat any of the extra food?) so I pull into Burger Street. After seeing that there's a long line I back out and drive to Brahms instead. Brody is still complaining of his ear hurting. I'm trying to calculate how I can still get 4 hrs of work before we have to leave for church tonight.
1:35 pm - Call mom to make sure Barrett's not starving. He's awake, but will survive until we get there.
1:40 pm - Stop at CVS. Wait in line to talk to the pharmacist to see if there's an OTC decongestant that I could give Brody to help prevent an ear infection. He tells me to talk to my doctor because there aren't any OTC decongestants for 2 year olds (said they make them so hyper they can't sleep).
1:50 pm - Get back to Namaw's house. Start feeding Barrett while Brody starts crying about his ear (and wanting me to hold him...kinda hard when I'm nursing Barrett). It's VERY unusual for Brody to act like this. I decide to take him to Care Now.
2:00 pm - Realize I never ate my burger. Scarf it down while trying to console Brody.
2:20 pm - Check into Care Now. Brody plays with the toys and alternates between telling me that his ear doesn't hurt anymore and then a few minutes later telling me that it still hurts. He entertains all the people in the waiting room with his talking and antics.
3:15 pm - See the doctor who tells me that Brody's ear is very red. She gives me 3 different prescriptions (antibiotic, ear drops, & cough syrup/decongestant)
3:45 pm - Stop by Namaw's house to get a CVS coupon.
3:50 pm - Go to CVS to get prescriptions filled. Find out that the cough syrup is $36 there rather than $4 like at Kroger. Decide to go to Kroger instead.
4:00 pm - Arrive at Kroger. Find out ear drops are $160! Tell them to just fill the other 2 scripts (I'll just give him Tylenol for the pain. Sorry kid!)
4:10 pm - Mike stops at Kroger on his way home to pick up Brody and take him home. I go back inside to get the meds. They filled all 3 (including the $160 one!) I inform them of the mistake and the clerk tells me I should get the $4 generic. Sure! I'll pay $4 for it! So they start the process of calling the dr to get approval to fill a different ear drop prescription.
4:50 pm - Finally leave Kroger and head for home.
5:00 pm - Stop by our house to give Mike the meds for Brody
5:05 pm - Get to Namaw's house to pick up Barrett
5:15 pm - Back home. Feed Barrett while Brody lays crying beside me. Mike calls Terry to ask him to teach the HS focus group for us tonight.
6:00 pm - Heat up the extra meatballs, cream corn, & twice baked potatoes for our dinner. Eat with Mike and Brody while Barrett plays in the exersaucer.
7:00 pm - Try to interest Brody in Home Alone...he doesn't bite. He'd rather talk to us about how much he's growing and tell us that he's well now (the Tylenol and ear drops are doing their trick). I start typing this post. We forgot about doing our Jesse Tree devo. Oops!
8:00 pm - I give Barrett a bath while Mike gets Brody ready for bed.
8:30 pm -I feed Barrett while Mike puts Brody in bed.
8:47 pm - This very moment. I'm typing this post and watching Home Alone on our DVR.

I didn't get any hours at my job today...instead I spent lots of time "working" as a mom! It may have been a crazy, long day, however, I wouldn't trade my job for any other job in the world. I love being a mom! I'm gonna go bust into the sack of Oreos that I bought while I was waiting for the prescriptions to be filled at Kroger and do absolutely nothing but veg on the couch!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Santa Barrett

Here are a few pictures that I took to get you in the Christmas spirit...