Sunday, May 30, 2010

Day Trip

When we woke up this morning Mike rolled over and said, "Can we just go somewhere to get away today?" We started brainstorming where we could go for a day trip. There are tons of state parks that are day trip worthy...but on Memorial Day weekend they would be overrun with people and boats! Mike finally suggested taking the boys to Cabela's. While this didn't seem "day trip " worthy to me (wasn't as exciting as going hiking and swimming at the state park)...I knew all three boys would enjoy it. We asked Brody if he could go anywhere today for a fun trip where would he go. His immediate response was, "CABELA'S!" That sealed the deal!

We may not have gone jet skiing or tubing behind a boat on the lake, but the boys still got to climb around in a boat that was parked in front of Cabela's.

We didn't spend the night in a hot sticky tent trying to sleep on the hard ground while listening to the crickets chirp outside...but the boys pretended like they were camping in one of the tents set up in the camping section of the store.

Mike and I didn't spend hours hiking through the woods with Barrett on our back and Brody trudging along beside us, but we did spend hours walking around Cabela's with Barrett in the backpack! (Brody took this picture of me and Barrett playing inside the tent. I think he did a great job framing the picture! I see a future little photographer!)

They boys didn't get to fish at a lake or hunt for wild game with their guns...but they did get to shoot at exotic animals in Cabela's shooting gallery (laser guns).

It may not have an exotic vacation in the great outdoors, but we had so much fun together as a family. And in some ways, going to Cabela's is like taking a day trip to the great outdoors...only it's with air conditioning!

Saturday, May 29, 2010


Today Mike spent 13 hours smoking 2 pork shoulders. Every time I walked outside my stomach would growl just smelling the delicious smell of meet smoking! It was a long wait (we didn't get to eat dinner until after 9 pm)...but it was sooo worth it! The pictures do NOT do it justice. (One thing is sure, I don't have the right kind of camera for food photography!)
He then made some homemade cole slaw and piled both the pulled pork and cole slaw between two slices of toasted potato bread. It was to die for!!!!
I can usually eat leftovers from a meal once, maybe twice after the original meal. This meal, however, I think I could eat for a week and not tire of it! I'm glad we have a lot of leftovers!

Date Night

Friday night was just what Mike and I needed...a little time to recharge together. We both headed to the gym after work (the boys went to my gym with me and played in the childcare room). Then it was home to shower and get dressed for a dinner date!

The boys were excited to get to go help Daddy Steve mow his yard...and even more excited when they heard that Ron & Jan were going to stop by for a visit!

Mike and I dropped off the boys and then tried to decide which sit down restaurant we wanted to eat at...just the two of us! We stopped at some new Italian restaurant first, but when we walked in and found that it was actually some kind of market, we did an about face and climbed back in the car. We finally decided to eat at BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse. We chose this restaurant based on the dessert that Juli Beth introduced me to a few years ago. It's called a Pizookie (pizza cookie) and is a huge, warm cookie with a couple scoops of ice cream on top. We ate dinner first, but we ordered small portions knowing that we were saving room for dessert!

As we were headed back to Daddy Steve and Namaw's to pick up the boys, Caleb called and asked if we wanted to come by and see their new Jeep Wrangler. {Side Note: Mike has been wanting to get a Wrangler for years and has been seriously looking at replacing our Hyundia (which won't fit 3 carseats) with a 4-door Wranger (which has plenty of room for 3 carseats). He's researched them enough and talked about them enough that our boys yell "JEEP" anytime we pass a Jeep and Barrett is proficient as saying both "Jeep Rubicon" and "Jeep Wrangler" of course we wanted to stop by and see Caleb & Audria's new jeep!!!} By the time Caleb and Mike figured out how to get the top off the Jeep and had examined every inch of the Jeep, we were finally ready to go for a ride. It was a beautiful night to ride around with the top down.

By the time we got back to Caleb & Audria's house it was well after 10 pm. I called Daddy Steve and we decided to just let the boys spend the night there (they were already asleep by then) and they'd call us in the morning after breakfast. Since we were kid free for the night, we stayed and played a game with Caleb & Audria until well past our bedtime.

It was after 1 am before we finally got to bed and we were looking forward to sleeping in a little on Saturday! One thing we didn't count on....our internal clocks. Before 7 am we were both laying in bed wide awake. We finally convinced ourselves that it'd be best to just get up and start the day. I have a feeling it's gonna be a great day!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


The other day Namaw and I decided to explore some of the greenbelt beind their property. As you can see from the pictures, our boys with have plenty of area to explore as they grow. There are some trails thru the woods, but there's a lot of the area that is overgrown and just waiting for someone to discover.
The creek was down to a trickle on the day we were exploring.
Do you remember how I made a Mulberry Cream Pie for Namaw's birthday? Well...we made the mistakes of carrying the mulberries with us as we were hiking through the woods. There was part of the trail that was muddy and slippery. I almost fell as I walked up it. I didn't realize that Namaw was following me up the hill or I would've warned her!
Yep. The mulberries took the brunt of her slide down the hill. Needless to say, I washed them again before putting them in the pie!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Uncle Caleb's Games

At our last small group meeting Audria & Robyn were watching the kids during our Bible study. Audria said that Brody kept telling her that when the adults were done talking he was going to ask Caleb if he could play a video game. Caleb was more than happy to turn on his Xbox for his nephew!
We don't have a gaming system at home, which may be why Brody's actions reminded me of when I was a kid. Growing up we didn't have a Nintendo at home...but Daddy Ken and Grandmommy did! Every time we went to visit we were so excited to hook up the Nintendo and play Mario Brothers or Duck Hunt. I'm sure Caleb won't mind if our boys give him an excuse to turn on his Xbox whenever we come over ;)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Dinner with W & W

Tonight we had dinner with Wade and Wendi. She is an amazing cook! We had roast, salad, homemade cornbread (that was delicious!!!) and banana pudding. Yummm! (What's even better is that I didn't have to cook!)

They have a Wii. Any guesses at what Brody asked to do after dinner?

Brody & Wade

Staci & Wendi

Wendi got a Keurig for her birthday and I was excited to pick out what I wanted to drink. She usually makes her cup of coffee in her travel she didn't realize how full a "large" cup of coffee is! It almost overflowed in my mug! (Notice the mug that she was happy to let me drink out of?!)

Wade & Wendi are leaving us to move to Houston at the end of June. We have really enjoyed getting to know them and are going to miss them as friends, fellow softball player/fan, and as members of our small group.

Thanks again for a wonderful dinner! (and thanks for the cornbread recipe!!!)

Friday, May 21, 2010

"Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?"

Ok, maybe it wasn't cookies...instead it was brown sugar! We walked into the kitchen and caught Barrett dipping his finger in the brown sugar canister and then sucking the sugar off his finger! We crept back out of the room and Mike took a picture. When he heard the click of the camera he turned around and had a huge grin on his face! We couldn't help but laugh (of course, then we told him no...but the laughter came first...wonder how effective that "no" was?!)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Namaw's Birthday BBQ

Tuesday was Namaw's birthday! Our family gathered together to celebrate! She was surprised when Tyler and Ann dove to town to have dinner with us.
Caleb took a picture of everyone sitting around the table. He and Tyler were sitting at the bar. I guess they wanted everyone to know that they were there too.
Daddy Steve got to try out the HUGE grill that came with their new house. It produced some yummy chicken!
They boys were busy playing football and basketball.
At one point Brody decided he wanted to ride on the riding mower. He didn't look at the seat he didn't notice how wet the seat was! He came inside asking for a different pair of shorts to wear. I didn't have any extra clothes for him with me. I guess I could've walked the block to our house to get him some, but instead Namaw said he could wear a pair of Daddy Steve's. She was thinking of putting him in a pair of elastic waist shorts and safety pinning them to hold them up. When they came out of Daddy Steve and Namaw's bedroom he looked like this:
I guess he insisted on wearing khaki shorts like Daddy and Daddy Steve were wearing (I found out later he was also wearing Daddy Steve's undies!) Namaw had to safety pin so much together in the back that it looked like he had a tail!
Daddy Steve and Namaw have 3 mulberry trees at their new house. Earlier in the day Namaw and I picked enough mulberries for me to make a fruit cream pie (Lavonne Farney's recipe...yummmm!) It was really good! Brody got to help Namaw blow out her birthday candles and he was so excited about it he was almost shaking while waiting for us to finish singing "Happy Birthday"!
It was a fun evening that ended all to soon (some little people needed to get to bed). We're so blessed to have Namaw in our lives and it was fun to celebrate her birthday together!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Barrett's New Glasses

(click on the collage to make it bigger and see each picture in detail)

We we picked up Barrett's glasses yesterday, he didn't want anything to do with them! The most he left them on all day was about 15 seconds. That all changed once Mike got home. He excitedly told Barrett he was going to take his contacts out and put on his glasses. Suddenly Barrett wanted to wear his glasses! He put them on and left them on until bedtime! This morning he woke up and wanted to put them on! Yay!! We took them off of him for a while today because they were rubbing behind his ears. I think it'll take a little time before he can get used to wearing them all day (mainly because of the ears). We put some Vaseline behind his ears and that seemed to help this evening. In one of the pictures above you can see how the glasses wrap around his ears to keep them from falling off. That doesn't, however, always keep them in position. Sometimes they'll slide down to "reading glasses" level (proof in one of the pictures above). It makes me laugh! I think you'll have to admit that he looks pretty cute in the glasses.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Move

The past week has been crazy around here! Last weekend was finally time for "the big move". Daddy Steve and Namaw moved to their new house (just around the corner from us!!!) Tax season ended not even a month ago and then they had been trying to keep their old house spotless for potential buyers. Some packing had taken place, but there was still TONS to pack. On Friday Namaw and I spent 12 hours packing! Saturday morning Joseph and Anna watched the boys for us so that we could get to the old house by 9 and get a start on moving day. It took all day Saturday and from after church on Sunday until bedtime to get the majority of their stuff moved to the new house. Now we've been busy unpacking. I found my desk, but I still don't have my office computer set up at their new house yet.

Their new house has a HUGE backyard that is surrounded by the greenbelt. My office overlooks the backyard so that I can see the boys outside playing while I work. The boys are so excited that they can go outside and play by themselves now! Since we have a pool and Daddy Steve & Namaw's old house had a pool...this is a new found freedom!

I'll try to post some pictures of their new house (once a little more unpacking takes place), but I just thought I'd let you know what's been going on here. For those of you who asked for copies of my notes from the Ladies'll just have to wait a few more days (until I find the scanner!)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Can you hear the Angels singing?

"...there will be more rejoicing in Heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent." Luke 15:7

Robyn and I have been meeting together once a week to learn about God, Jesus Christ, and the Bible. I was thrilled beyond words when Robyn called me Sunday morning before church to tell me that she had made Jesus Christ Lord of her life and wanted to make her commitment known to the world by being baptized! Luke 15:10 tells us that "there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents". I can testify that there was also great rejoicing here on earth! What a joy to be present as Daddy Steve baptized Robyn on Sunday morning!

Robyn has become a dear friend and I look forward to continuing meeting together once a week to dig deeper into God's Word!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Flower Petals

Mike and the boys are outside mowing our yard right now. A few minutes ago I was scrubbing the boys bathtub and was up to my elbows in suds when I heard the door chime (meaning someone had come inside). I heard small footsteps running my way and heard Brody calling, "Mommy?!"

"In your bathroom!" I shouted back (hoping he wasn't needing my help...I really wanted to finish scrubbing the least favorite of all the household chores).

"This is for you, pretty girl!" he exclaimed as he held out a single petal from one of the flower bushes from our front yard. "Isn't it pretty? Just like you?!" Then he gave me a kiss and ran back outside to "help" Daddy mow.

My heart was a puddle on the floor of the bathroom! Not only did he pick a flower for me, but he called me "pretty girl"! I love that boy!

Friday, May 07, 2010

The Camera Doesn't Lie

Click on the collage below so you can look at the pictures of Barrett close up. What do you notice (besides the fact that he so cute)?
About a month ago I noticed that Barrett's eyes were focused funny in one of the pictures I took of him. I assumed it was just my angle and the fact that I was so close with the camera. A few weeks ago Mike said, "Audria asked if we've ever noticed Barrett's eyes crossing?" and then just a few days later Namaw asked, "Have you ever noticed Barrett's eyes crossing?" Hmmm. Maybe. I went back and looked thru pictures and found some of the ones above. In some of them one of his eyes are slightly crossing and in others it's very dramatic. The dramatic ones are what convinced us that something wasn't right.

Sunday I ran into Kyle at church (he's the optometrist that Mike goes to). I asked him if he thought we should be concerned about Barrett's eye. He did a few quick things (having Barrett follow his finger as he moved it in different directions). I was hoping he'd say, "Nah. He's just fine. You don't have anything to worry about." Instead he said, "Yeah. I think that left eye for sure is having some problems. You need to take him to a pediatric opthamologist. Best case scenario he'll just have to wear a patch or glasses. Worst case scenario it's a muscle issue and he'll need surgery."

I called Juli Beth for a recommendation. She raved about the opthamologist that she takes her son, Lafe, to. When I googled Dr. P I found a site with 12 reviews...and they were all 5 star! The fact that he's a Christian doctor who will pray with his patients sealed the deal.

Barrett's appointment with Dr. P was yesterday at 2 pm. I tried putting him down for an early nap, but that didn't I was a little nervous about how he'd handle going to the eye doctor instead of taking a nap! He did amazing! He had 4 different people looking at his eyes (the nurse, some kind of specialist that does measurements, Dr. F, and Dr. P). After the first two looked at his eyes, they decided he needed to be dilated to be examined further. They put the drops in and then we went to the "dark room" waiting room for 30-45 minutes.

The first 3 examiners didn't tell us anything about what they were seeing, so I was glad when Dr. P came in and began to describe their findings. He said that Barrett's right eye is stronger, so his left eye crosses easier and more often. If we did not treat his eyes, he would eventually lose all use of his left eye. He said if this were happening to us as adults, it would incapacitate us because of the sudden loss of depth perception. He said that Barrett does not currently have blurred or double vision (PTL!) and hopefully we can avoid that by treating his eyes.

Dr. P said that we are going to start with glasses (I'm a little worried about getting him to wear glasses! Any tips from those of you who've had kids in glasses this young would be appreciated!) He's giving us a month to have him wearing them full time and then we'll go back for a check up 3 months from now. I asked how long he'd have to wear the glasses and he said, "Well, if it works he'll wear them until he's 8 years old. But...I don't think glasses are going to work for him." He wants to start with the least invasive treatment first, but he said that he's pretty sure that Barrett has Strabismus Estrophia (which is a genetic condition that you do not grow out of) and that he'll need surgery. Before we left the office, Dr. P prayed with us thanking God for the gift of Barrett and asking God to heal his eye. What a comfort to know that the physician we are relying on for Barrett's treatment relies on the Great Physician for his wisdom and strength!

We left the dr's office and headed straight to the recommended glasses store (one that specializes in children). Barrett had fallen asleep in the car in the 5 minute ride from the dr's office (did I mention that he kept saying "Mama lay down. Mama sleep!" while we were at the dr's office?), so I held a drowsy toddler while the employee fitted him for glasses. They should be in on Wednesday, so we'll all have to wait until then to see what he'll look like in glasses. I'm sure he'll be cute!

We didn't hear what we wanted to hear at the opthamologist's office, but at least we know what is wrong now...and we're soooooo thankful that we caught it this early! We'll keep you updated on our journey, and in the meantime...we'd covet your prayers!

Thursday, May 06, 2010


Have you ever had a homemade pop tart?

My boys love pop tarts. I've been trying to find a good recipe for a healthier homemade version than the ones I can buy at the store. When I buy them at the store, I always buy the plain (no icing) kind and try to find the mulit-grain or wheat ones...but even those have things listed as ingredients that I have no clue what they are! Since my friend, Paula, has a cooking website, I challenged her to come up with a healthier pop tart for me. She was up to the challenge! Today she posted the recipe on her website, Salad in a Jar, for Homemade Brown Sugar-Cinnamon Oatmeal Pop-tarts. (I borrowed this picture from her website)

Yesterday morning Paula left us a surprise on our doorstep. It was a plate full of different kinds of homemade pop tarts! They are delicious! I can't wait to make a bunch of them for the boys (and for me too)! Here's Brody biting into one of the Brown Sugar ones:

Early morning smile

SCORE! Paula scored big at our house! Did I mention how nice it is to be "on the way to work" for one of the worlds best chefs?!?

Monday, May 03, 2010

Michael & Kelli's Wedding

Friday night we went to a wedding for one of the guys on Mike's softball team. Travis (the old youth minister at our church who just moved away to take a pulpit position) was the officiant. It was the shortest wedding ceremony I've ever been to (about 15 minutes)! The reception was at the Double Tree and was really pretty!

The newlyweds, Michael & Kelli

Me and Mike at the reception
me and Audria

the girls at our table: Laura, Staci, Audria, & Wendi (Trent & Kasi left early, so she wasn't in this picture)

Caleb & Audria tore up the dance floor. The rest of us had fun watching them ;)

Around 11:30 Mike and I finally decided to head back to our room. We were surprised to learn that we had a corner room. When we opened the windows the view was so gorgeous! We slept with the windows open and awoke to a beautiful sunrise over the "valley" (we felt like we were up on a hill looking down into a valley with as high as we were in the hotel!)

A view of downtown Dallas from our room.

We hit the hotel gym Saturday morning and then headed out to do some shopping. The first stop was REI. While we were there we got a call from Namaw. She said they had to get the floors installed in their offices (at their new house) by Sunday night because the carpet layers were coming Monday morning. We cut our shopping day short and headed back to help them lay the wood floor.

It was fun going to the wedding together and spending the night in a hotel. Even though we were laying floors rather than shopping, it didn't matter. We enjoyed every moment we had together this weekend!

Now it's time to get back to work...