Friday, February 26, 2010

Ladies Night

Last night I went to Ladies Night at our church. I expected to have a few hours to hang out with some of my girlfriends, eat, hear a "nice" speech, and then come home to my family (kids already in bed). I think that my motivation for going shows that my heart wasn't in the right place when I left my house last night. What about my heart when I came home? That's a different story!

When I walked in the door of the church building I was greeted by a bulletin board on which people had taped their prayer requests. Upon seeing some of the burdens that my sisters are struggling with, my mindset of the evening changed.

When I sat down to eat, I had the opportunity to talk with old friends and even made a few new friends! Just as I finished eating my dessert, Karla Taylor (the wife of our former preacher) stepped up to begin speaking. The topic of her speech was easy enough to comprehend. She spoke to us on prayer.

She reminded us that prayer with our Lord is not just a time for us to list our grievances or give God a list of "I want this". Instead, prayer should be a conversation with our precious savior. Karla related our conversations with God to the conversations we have with our husbands. Sometimes Mike and I have long, intense, drawn out conversations about something very deep. Other times we have a short conversations (like "How was your day today?" or "What do you want to do for fun this Saturday?"). Mike and I even have 1 sentence conversations at times (ex. "Barrett's stinky." or "They car lights were left on and the battery's dead.") All kinds of conversations are needed to give depth to the relationship that I have with Mike. If we only had intense conversations, we might start to avoid each other (since those types of conversations can really wear you out!). On the other hand, if we only spoke to each other in 1 sentence conversations, how could our relationship grow? Because we have a balance of both, even the 1 sentence "I love you." has immense meaning to both of us.

The same is true for our relationship with God. We need all types of conversations to build a deep, lasting relationship! Here are the practical prayer ideas that Karla talked to us about:
  1. One way to have an intense conversation with God is through journaling your prayers. This can come in the form of a list that you pray over or it can mean that you actually write out your prayers in diary form. Not only will it help you stay focused on your conversation, but it will also give you encouragement as you look back at your journal weeks, months, or years from now and see how God answered your prayers.
  2. ACTS - This is an acronym that gives you an outline for praying. Structure your prayer in this order:
    Adoration -praise God
    Confession - confess your faults and shortcomings
    Thanksgiving - thank God for all things He has given you
    Supplication - this is where you ask for things
  3. Scripture prayers - Have you ever been reading a verse in the Bible and thought, "Wow. This writer really knew how to express his feelings to God." Did you realize that you can pray those same scriptures to God? A few examples of scriptures to pray that Karla gave are Psalm 86:11-13; Lamentations 3:22-26; I Corinthians 15:58; Colossians 3:13-14; Galations 5:22-26; and Ephesians 4:29-30
  4. Do you ever feel overwhelmed in your pray life? I know I do! There are so many people that I want to pray for from my family to the leaders of our church to the leaders of our nation! Karla suggested doing daily assignment prayers. This is where you make a list of everything you're wanting to pray for and then assign it a day of the week.
  5. Sometimes life gets hectic and you need to stop and catch your breath. What a great time for refocus prayers. Take 1 to 2 minutes to refocus mentally on what's really important.
  6. One sentence prayers can be some of the most important words you ever speak. When you're about to give advice to someone and you stop to ask for God's wisdom before you speak, you'll be amazed at how God will work through you!

These are the ideas that Karla challenged us with to go home and renew our relationship with God through prayer. Instead of walking out the door thinking about going home and relaxing (because my boys would be in bed), I walked out the door excited to go talk with God! What a great night!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Fresh Air

The other night we really needed to get out of the house. I'm not sure who needed the fresh air or the boys. We stopped and McDonald's and took our food here...
Then the boys played ball...

and then we walked thru the woods to another park to play on the playground.
Not only did we all have fun...but we enjoyed each others company much more once we got back home. What can I say. We all needed a breather.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

It'll get worse before it gets better...

Mike's finger 3 days post-injury (yes, it is still oozing blood 3 days after it was mutilated with a hammer). He can tell the nail is dead, but it hasn't fallen off...yet.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Twice in one month?!?

"You've gotta be kiddin' me!"
Nope. No kidding here. It snowed again today! We got close to 1 1/2 inches of accumulation. It snowed at our house until a little after 3 pm.
Even though Brody was running a fever and didn't go to school today, we still went outside to throw a few snowballs. He even made a big snowball and saved it in the freezer to show Daddy. (They decided to keep it in the freezer and they'll get it back out this summer to remind them that the Texas heat doesn't last forever.)
By the time Brody and Barrett woke up from their afternoon naps, the snow was all gone. It was beautiful watching it fall today and so much fun to have snow twice in one month!

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to my sister-in-law, Angela!

We celebrated this past weekend when Mark, Angela, and Jayden came to town. They made it in time for dinner on Friday night and then ended up staying the night with us (they were the first to get to sleep on the new daybed/trundle bed!) The boys had a lot of fun playing together while they were here. I tried to get a picture of them together, but this was the best I could manage...

On Sunday we went out for lunch with Mark, Angela, Jayden, and Mark's parents and sister.

Even though our boys may have grown a little restless (it's hard to sit still while the adults take their time eating after you've just sat thru church and Sunday school!), it was fun to have lunch together and celebrate Angela's birthday!
Hope you have a wonderful birthday today, Angela!

We're getting snow today (Angela's favorite). Must be a birthday present from God :)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Teen Abstinence

If you are the parent of a teen...have I got a deal for you! I have found a way to guarantee that you teen will practice abstinence...and it won't cost you a penny!

Each Sunday night at 6 pm your teen will arrive at the home of Henry and Beverly. They will go upstairs where they will find a beautiful, blond 20 month old little girl. They will start playing dolls with this sweet little girl and will be having so much fun (they might even think about how they'd like to be a parent one day). Then they'll hear a knock on the door. In walk 2 little boys (3 years old and 20 months old). Again...these boys are sweet, blond headed boys who are looking for a truck to play with (your teen discovers that the sweet little blond girl doesn't own a truck and tries to convince the 20 month old boy to play with a toy kitchen instead.) Then there's another knock on the door...and another...and another...and another..... Before long the last parent shuts the door (leaving their child inside a 10x10 room with your teenager) and heads downstairs for an adult Bible study.

Your teen will look around and find him/herself in a room with 8 children 3 years old and younger (don't worry there's another baby downstairs that will join the other 8 children in a few months...and I'm sure another couple will get pregnant within the next 6 months to a year...there will be an endless supply of babies joining this room.)

When one of the little girls enters the room, she'll spend the first 20 minutes in your teens presence kicking, screaming, crying, and wailing for her mama. At the same time, one of the little boys will cry whenever your teen puts him down (making it hard to console the screaming girl). The 3 year old boys keeps getting upset with one of the crawling babies who keeps taking the letters he's trying to use to spell his name, and your teen will discover that the baby he/she put in the bouncey seat knows how to roll over! Your teen will suddenly realize that the sweet little girl (who lives in this room) only has 1 baby doll...and there are 3 little girls who want to play with a doll (you do the math). One of the crawling babies will get hungry so your teen will get out the snack his mama left him...and then your teen will be swarmed by 8 vultures all wanting a piece of the baby's food!

As your teen begins plotting his/her escape (out the window, across the roof, down the tree...) there's a knock on the door. A mommy peeks her head in the door and asks, "Is he doing ok?" Your teen struggles to remember which child goes with the mom...and as luck would have it, her little one is not she closes the door and says "we'll be done in about 15 minutes."

"Only 15 minutes...I can make it!" thinks your teen. Finally your teen hears the sound of multiple people coming up the stairs. It seems to take an eternity for them to reach the top...and when the door opens chaos ensues. All the children start crying for their mommy's and run for the door at once (the door's only 32" wide and all 8 kids won't fit through at the same time)!

Finally the room is silent. Your teen turns around and wonders if a tornado came through the room while he/she was tending to a crying least that's what it looks like. He/she picks up the toys, walks downstairs, past the parents, out the front door, and climbs into his/her car. He/she locks the door (just to make sure none of the little ones could follow) and takes his/her first breath of the night.

When your teen gets home, he/she will come inside, give you a big hug, and promise not to have sex...EVER!

Did I mention that this therapy session is free...and that you can send your teen as many times as is necessary? I'd also encourage them to bring a friend. You might think it would make the job easier, but in reality it only results in 2 teens becoming convinced to remain abstinent...and they'll hold each other accountable!

This job is currently being undertaken by some of the moms and a few school teachers. All of these women have years of experience multi-tasking and dealing with crying children. If your teen were to watch them in action, they might think it's no big deal (especially since they can somehow carry on a conversation over the cries and chaos of 8 toddlers/babies), but it's not a job for the faint of heart.

If you have a teen who has a boy/girl friend, please...send them our way. We'll make sure that you NEVER have to worry about your child losing their virginity before marriage!

Saturday, February 20, 2010


This morning Mike and Brody got up early to go pick up a mirror and 2 end tables that we had a craftsman build for us. We were amazed at how everything turned out. It looks awesome in our house! Here is a picture of the mirror (please ignore the fact that we desperately need some decorations for the mantel)...
and here's what happened due to the fact that the mirror was very difficult to hang on the wall...
Mike's pinkie looks terrible! He was hammering on the top of the frame to try to get the mirror level and his finger got smashed between the metal plate he was holding on the frame and the hammer. I'm sure that there are bones fractured in the end of his finger. This picture was taken about an hour after the fact. I really should take another picture of it tonight. It looks even worse! He's been holding his hand above his head a lot of the day to keep it from throbbing.

Thanks, Honey, for sacrificing your body to get our mirror hung perfectly! I'm prayin' it won't hurt much longer...but I'm pretty sure he'll lose the entire nail.

Friday, February 19, 2010

It's FRIDAY...Bottoms Up!

I stumbled across this picture again today and it makes me laugh every time I see it! I was just about to take a picture of Brody in his t-shirt and Daddy's boots...and then he bent over!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Midnight Snack

Brody is my early riser. It's not unusual for him to get up by 6:30 am (or earlier) whereas Barrett is rarely up before 8 am. Like me, Brody knows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The first thing he does when he wakes up is head to the kitchen to get something to eat. We've actually had to tell him that he needs to wait for us to get up on the weekends so that we can have breakfast together (pancakes, biscuits & gravy, etc). His current breakfast favorite is a pop tart.

Yesterday morning I got up to go to the gym at 5 am and noticed that the pantry light was on. I looked around and saw a pop tart wrapper on the floor by the trash can. I checked on Brody and his lights were off and he was sleeping.

He actually slept in yesterday (until 7:30 am) and when he got up he was carrying a pop tart back to the kitchen. When I asked him if he got up early to get a pop tart he responded, "Yes. I got really hungry during the middle of the night and so I got a pop tart." He'd only take 2 bites out of the pop tart during the night, so he polished off the rest of it for breakfast.

I was kinda surprised that he walked through the dark house in the middle of the night to get a snack. I got on to him when he told me that he used the kitchen scissors to cut open the package (in the dark!) I told him he could've cut off one of his fingers! He responded, "No I couldn't. I put my fingers in the handles to cut and I held the package at the bottom with my other hand while I cut the top off." At least he was thinking about safety while he was "sleep eating".

Safety issues aside, I do have to admit that it was kinda nice that he got up and took care of his need while we kept right on sleeping!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Pack Heat

because you never know when you'll need to shoot a villain while taking a dump!

Monday, February 15, 2010


Brody came into the kitchen carrying this the other day:

I've seen him practicing his "B"s a lot...but I had no clue that he could write his whole name by himself! I was so proud of him!
Barrett may not be about to write yet, but he can spell (at least one word). It's testimony to the fact that Brody enjoys spelling his own name out loud. Barrett can now spell Brody's name. The other day he was standing at the fridge playing with the Leap Frog alphabet letters saying, "B-R-O-D-Y". lol! I didn't know that you were supposed to learn how to spell your brother's name before you learned how to spell your own!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Spending the night with Daddy Steve & Namaw

On Friday Mike and Carl headed out to their hunting lease to go deer hunting (last time for this season). I decided to take the boys over to Daddy Steve and Namaw's and spend the night. We were going a little stir crazy trapped inside our house. Of course, our time there included playing outside in the snow.

Don't worry, no one was hurt in this sledding accident.
Daddy Steve and I built a snowman in their front yard. You don't realize how heavy snow is until you roll it into a big ball and try to lift it! This gives me a better understanding as to how an avalanche could crush you!
Our snowman needed a little plastic surgery. We couldn't get the curves right and he looked a little lopsided. He looked better once we got his arms and face in place, but I didn't get any pictures of that.

When dinner was ready, Namaw and I took the boys inside. They weren't exactly thrilled with this decision. They really wanted to be outside helping Ron and Daddy Steve cut up the limbs that had fallen in the storm.

On Saturday morning Daddy Steve got out play doh for the boys (and him) to play with.

Then they went for a walk on the slushy roads.

We headed back home around nap time. Mike called and said that he got a doe and that he got the hunt on video. When he gets it edited I'll be sure to post it. He was home by midnight and then we both spent the night coughing and blowing our noses. Hopefully we'll get rid of these nasty colds soon!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Is this a result of Cabin Fever?

Unrealistic Expectations

The other morning when the snow started falling, Brody woke me up by telling me about the snow. The entire day, whenever he told someone about the snow, he told them that it was snowing "just like Christmas". I heard him tell Barrett, "It's snowing outside today like it's Christmas! We probably won't see it snow like this again until next Christmas."

I've tried to explain to my 3-year-old son that a white Christmas in Texas is not something that we see every year. Yes, this year we had a white Christmas...but the white Christmas prior to the white Christmas of 2009 was in 1928! If there's a white Christmas every 80 years or so...I guess there's a chance the boys will have another white Christmas in Texas...but I wouldn't count on it!

Since 49 of the 50 states currently have snow on the ground (according to the news last night...which you'd have to agree is very unusual), maybe we will be blessed with a white Christmas sooner than we think. Oh wait! I forgot about global warming...

Friday, February 12, 2010


The snow continued falling until early this morning. A storm that was predicted to drop 1-3 inches of snow ended up leaving our area with snowfall totals from 8-14 inches! Of course, this winter storms set all kinds of records in Texas. We're thankful that our trees aren't evergreens (most of them anyways) like Daddy Steve & Namaw's. Instead of looking out at tons of broken limbs, we looked outside to see a beautiful something you'd see on a postcard!
The boys didn't let us enjoy the view from inside for very long. They wanted Daddy to go outside and play! By the time I got my coat on and got outside they were in the middle of a game of snow baseball.
Barrett was happy when Mike shoveled the sidewalk. He didn't like walking in snow up to his waist! After the sidewalk was somewhat clear, he ran up and down it randomly yelling out, "Yay!"
As long as there's snow...there will be snowball fights. I warned Mike that if he hit my camera he'd have to buy me a digital SLR to replace it! He conveniently missed it every throw.
Brody wanted to help shovel the driveway...but a shovel full of snow was so heavy he couldn't dump it once he filled it with snow! I think he only lasted 2 scoops and then he was back to running and jumping into the piles of snow.
Barrett was so happy when he finally got his turn at bat.
I'm not sure who is loving this weather more...Mike or the boys. Winter is Mike's favorite season and he'd really prefer to live somewhere where there is snow year round. Seeing how Texas is pretty much the opposite of his ideal weather state...he is eating up every second of this winter weather storm!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

My Snowman's Bigger Than Your Snowman!

Shortly after Mike got home the boys convinced him to play with them in the back yard. I glanced out the window and saw a HUGE snowman! The snowfall right now (2:45 pm) is at 4 3/4 inches! I don't remember having this much snow in Texas! I've also never made this large of snowman! (No, I'm not wearing white sunblock on my's a snowflake. lol)
This is how the boys helped Mike. They had to use a ladder!
After they were kind enough to take a family picture for was time for an all out snowball fight!
One snowball hit Barrett and knocked him on his rear. He was happy to just sit down and catch any snowballs that came his way. He thought it was so funny when he caught them!
After more than an hour of playing in the snow, we headed back inside to warm up and take naps. (It kinda looks like he's touching the fireplace, but don't worry...he's a few feet away from the screen.)


For the past few days (since I've been sick), I haven't gotten up at 5 to go to the gym. Instead I've been trying to sleep an extra hour or so to try to get well. This morning Brody was at the side of my bed at 6:25 saying, "Mommy! The entire grass is covered in SNOW!"

I was confused. It wasn't supposed to start snowing until noon today. Brody pulled the blinds in my room back so that I could see that he was serious. He was right. The backyard was covered in snow! We hurried to eat breakfast and get dressed to go outside and play.

Surprisingly, Brody's preschool wasn't cancelled today. They were having their Valentine's Day party and pizza for lunch...but Brody said he'd rather stay home and play in the snow with me and Barrett. I called the school and told them that we were declaring it a snow day at our house. Some schools are closed and others are letting out early. I think the storm arriving sooner than expected took everyone by surprise!

This picture was taken at 10:00 am. We already have 2 1/2 inches of snow on the ground and it hasn't let up yet! It's snowing the big, beautiful snowflakes. I wonder how much we'll end up getting?

After the recycle truck came by, we decided to use the recycle bin to have some fun. The boys climbed inside and I pushed them down the sidewalk. They were having so much fun! (I'm not sure why Barrett started to cry when I took a picture.) The recycle truck was turning down a street by us and noticed us outside. They backed up to our house, asked if we had anything for them to put in the truck (I think they meant the boys), and then told us to have fun.

Barrett decided that my goretex gloves were better than his cotton mittens...especially since they kept his entire arm warm and dry!

"Why do we have to go inside right now?!?" (Because Mama's frozen and needs to thaw...and because everyone had snotty noses and I didn't have a Kleenex in my pocket!)

Barrett had crazy hair when we took his stocking hat off.

Mike emailed and said that he's going to head our way at noon. He's gonna stop and pick up pizza for lunch (since Brody's missing pizza day at school). I'm sure there will be more snow pictures to come...
(The great thing about snow days in Texas is that you can enjoy a beautiful snowfall, play in the snow all day, and by tomorrow it'll all be gone...without the muddy mess of dirt roads! lol)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"Pool pumps are inaccessible to all children." - CHECK!

Mike (and Brody) spent the past few days building a self-closing, self-latching, fence around our pool pump. The gate has a top latch that is unreachable by children. This should satisfy the home study requirement for having our pool pump inaccessible to all children and "machinery room locked". At first we balked at having to do this, but now that it's finished we actually like it! It makes this area of the yard look much neater. Now we can hide stuff behind the fence!

Sick Day

Do you remember those? I faintly remember them. It was back when I was working for the rec commission. There were a few times where I was too sick to go to work. Instead of going to work, I would stay in bed and sleep for hours. Then I'd get up and make me some hot tea, take some meds, and lay on the couch watching a movie. Even though I felt like run over dog poo, sick days were restful and re energizing.

Once you become a mom, you no longer have the privilege of taking a sick day. This doesn't mean that you don't get just means that there is no sleeping in or laying on the couch all day. I have a nasty cold and last night was up until 1 am with Barrett. He also has the cold and I think the children's cough & cold that I gave him made him wide awake rather than help him fall asleep. I finally just laid him in his bed, left the room, and let him cry for a little while. He went to sleep and I crashed into our bed too.

This morning I didn't even hear Mike get up to go to work. Instead, I was awoken by a very excited 3 years old who was climbing into my bed to tell me, "Daddy finished the gate last night!!!" (Mike had to build a fence around our pool pump to satisfy our home study requirements.) I thought I might could get a few extra minutes of sleep if I turned on Word World for Brody, but then I heard "Mama! Mama! Bubba! Bubba!" over the monitor. Barrett was awake too. What in the world?!? If I was used to getting 12+ hrs of sleep each night and last night I didn't go to bed until 1 am...I don't think I'd be getting up just after 7 am!

So....I dragged myself out of bed, stumbled to the kitchen to take some meds, then headed back to Barrett's room to sing "Good morning to you" and welcome my little boy to a new day.

As I was getting the boys their breakfast, Brody asked me if I felt like I was going to cry or throw up. (Guess he could see that I don't feel good.) I told him, "No, but my head is killing me right now!" He looked at me with a big smile on his face and said, "Mommy, I love you! You're my favorite mommy in the entire world!"

Who wouldn't give up all their sick days to hear that from their little boy?! I know I will!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Super Bowl 2010

Guess who's house the Super Bowl party was at this year?

Our house!!!
We had a lot of fun getting everything ready for the annual party with Billy & Paula's family. Mike made sliders (mini burgers) using venison, wild hog, and beef (along with many other ingredients/spices that he chooses not to share with the public...or even his wife!) They were delicious! Everyone brought food with them and we had a feast to say the least!

After eating (or maybe while taking a break between burgers), some people gravitated towards the media room to watch the game on the big screen...

while others preferred the warmth of the fire in the living room.

Tyler had to leave around half time to go study. We missed Ann (she was in Houston).

Each year we have contests during the Super Bowl. There are winners at each quarter and then there's an overall winner. There was something like 30 possible points this year? Last year Chuck was the overall winner and this year it was Lou Ann! Here's last year's winner passing the trophy to this year's winner. Guess they'll get to display the trophy for one more year!

Fun was had by all at this year's Super Bowl party (especially by Brody who wrestled with David until David was worn out)...but I think we would've had a lot more fun if the Cowboys had been playing!